Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays.  The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law.  For the month of June 2011 ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:
  • Administrative Law - 11
  • Animal Law - 6
  • Bankruptcy - 19
  • Business Law - 14
  • Civil Disputes - 71

By Michael T. Reagan, The Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan In Wirtz v. Quinn, Justice Burke wrote for a unanimous court in reversing the appellate court’s Opinion which had declared the 2009 Capital Projects Acts unconstitutional. This Opinion will serve as a modern Baedeker for the law of legislative drafting. This action, brought by Rockwell Wirtz and Wirtz Beverage Illinois, LLC, on behalf of taxpayers generally, was initiated by a complaint seeking to enjoin the disbursement of public funds pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/11-303. The statute requires that the action be commenced by filing a petition for leave to file, and requires that the circuit court find reasonable ground for filing before the complaint may be filed. The circuit court concluded that reasonable ground did not exist, and denied the petition. The appellate court found that PA 96-34 "An Act Concerning Revenue" violated Article IV, § 8(d) of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, the single subject clause. The remaining three acts, consisting of an Appropriation Bill, a Trailer Bill and a Budget Implementation Bill, each expressly provided that it was passed contingent upon PA 96-34 becoming law. Because the appellate court found that PA 96-34 was void in its entirety, the remaining three bills were found to fall as well because of that contingency. The appellate court did not then have occasion to take up any of the other constitutional challenges to the bills. The supreme court granted the Petition for Leave to Appeal filed by the numerous governmental defendants and handled the case in a compressed timeframe. The supreme court reversed the appellate court’s holding that PA 96-34 violated the single subject clause. Then, in the interest of judicial economy, and perhaps in recognition of the practical fiscal importance of this dispute, the court addressed all of the other constitutional challenges pled in the taxpayers’ complaint, rather than remanding the case to the appellate court.

The Illinois Supreme Court today unanimously reversed the Appellate decision in Wirtz v. Quinn. Read the case summary. Return to later today for a Quick Take from leading appellate attorney Michael Reagan.

Illinois State Bar Association members are being offered up to a 25% discount on tickets to Cirque du Soleil's OVO. OVO is an acrobatic immersion into the teeming and energetic world of insects. This performance is at the Grand Chapiteau at the United Center parking lot, 1901 W. Madison. The show runs through Aug. 14. View discounts and purchase tickets. Questions regarding this offer can be answered by calling customer service at (800) 331-6483.

ISBA's Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reports from Springfield on seven new public acts that Gov. Quinn has signed. New laws affect worker's compensation, transfers on death, court's witness, students, juvenile justice, FOIA and insurance law.

A proposed House budget released yesterday would cut funding for legal services by 26 percent. This would roll back funding to the 1999 level. If you care about legal services and the good work they do, now is the time to call your Member of Congress and validate the importance of funding of legal services. More details about this proposal may be found here. Don't write; call. First-class mail takes too long because it is trucked somewhere and tested for chemicals. Their phone numbers may be found here.

As a benefit to ISBA members, Dell has a special offer on computer products in July. A $75 off coupon is attached. As a reminder, the member purchase program allows your members to:
  • Save up to 30% on personal purchases.
  • 10% off Dell Mobility purchases
  • Dell financing available to qualified customers.
Always reach a live person Monday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. at (877) 587-3355.

It's a question that will come up more and more often. "In 2009, the average cost of a wedding was in excess of $30,000," writes Kelley Manzano in the latest ISBA Family Law newsletter. The average. When it comes to planning expenses alone, we're not talking chump change. Kelley reminds us that plaintiffs in two pending Cook County Circuit Court cases are seeking damages in the tens of thousands for costs associated with broken engagements. She looks at the case law, the Breach of Promise Act, and some interesting theories of recovery in her fascinating article.

Solo Small Firm Conference
Solo Small Firm Conference

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
You may be a Solo or Small Firm lawyer, but you are NOT alone. The Illinois State Bar Association will present the 7th Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference from Oct. 27-29 at the Springfield Hilton. Last chance to catch the Conference in Springfield before it moves to a new location! Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride will be the featured plenary speaker. Register by August 25 for the Early Bird discount! Earn up to 12 hours of MCLE credit, including all 6 hours of PMCLE credit. “Get Connected” to your peers, the latest in technology, and current practice updates at this year’s Conference. Learn how to:

  • Avoid the biggest business mistakes lawyers make
  • Market your practice on a tight budget
  • Properly manage non-lawyer assistants
  • Use social networking and understand the related ethical issues
  • Prepare for technology backup and disaster recovery

Do you use three words when one would do in legal drafting? Do you draft ordered, adjudged, and decreed instead of just ordered? When you order black coffee, do you order it  black, utterly black, without cream, without sugar? (This is Garry Trudeau's cartoon parody of author David Halberstam's writing style.) You may consider deleting what Professor Joseph Kimble refers to as doublets and triplets. Do the extra words add anything? If not, use the most accurate term and delete the rest.