Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership


Asked and Answered 

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am the managing partner of a nine-attorney general practice firm in the Chicago suburbs. We practice in the areas of estate planning/administration and family law. While our estate planning and uncontested family law work is done on a flat-fee basis, our estate administration and contested family law work is billed by time. We collect initial retainers for these matters, but we fail to ensure that the retainers are replenished. We are having accounts receivable collection problems as a result. I would appreciate your thoughts.



Learn advanced negotiation skills from a national expert and renowned instructor! You negotiate every day. In fact, your ability to effectively negotiate may be the most critical skill you possess, yet most negotiate instinctively or intuitively. This Master Series seminar on June 21, 2017, which takes place in Chicago or via live webcast, trains you to approach negotiations with a strategic mindset, allowing you to become a more effective lawyer. And make no mistake – no matter how much you’ve negotiated, you can still learn. Adding that one new tactic may be the difference between winning and walking away empty-handed. Topics include: the golden rules of negotiation; gaining leverage with alternatives; using objective criteria and timing to your advantage; techniques for gathering information; generating creative solutions; dealing with “negotiation games”; ethical considerations; and much more.



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 May 2017, there were a total of 1,117 calls. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in 31 areas of law.

Here are the results for May 2017:

  • 1,116 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Referrals made in 31 areas of law
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (189), employment law (135), and criminal law (126)

These numbers do not include additional referrals made through the online Lawyer Finder service.

Want to be part of the ISBA Lawyer Finder Service?  Call 800.252-8908 and ask for the Legal Department, or visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com.

Clients should call 800.922.8757.


The election of Dennis Orsey as ISBA third vice president created a vacancy on the Board of Governors in Area VIII (the 3d and 20th judicial circuits). The Board will fill the vacant position at its July 21, 2017 meeting. The term will be for one year and begins immediately. Any member who wishes to be considered as a candidate should email the Executive Director by July 7, 2017 at kweaver@isba.org. A brief biographical statement should be submitted with the communication.

If you have questions, please contact Kim Weaver, Assistant to the Executive Director, at 800.252.8908 or kweaver@isba.org.



June Splashes
Universal Orlando just debuted their newest park, Volcano Bay. The water park whisks guests away to a tropical island full of relaxation and thrills. This June you can experience the new island getaway with special savings on TicketsatWork.com. Get five days for the price of four! Meanwhile, keep the splashes coming with a SeaWorld Orlando/Aquatica Orlando Combo Ticket and save up to 35 percent on two visits!

Pandora to La Nouba
This June experience some of Walt Disney World's most exotic lands and experiences with savings up to 20 percent on a 4-Day Magic Your Way Ticket with Park Hopper Option. The Orlando theme park just opened Pandora - The World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It is also the last few months to see Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba at Disney Springs. Right now when you buy a 4-Day Disney Magic Your Way Ticket with Park Hopper Option you can experience both and get an extra day free! Denver residents can enjoy their own Cirque du Soleil show with over 30 percent savings on select seats at Luzia.

Deal of the Month: Get 5 Days for the Price of Four at Universal's New Volcano Bay Water Park



In sports, it’s easy to know who’s winning and who’s losing just by looking at the scoreboard. Believe it or not, business isn’t all that different. A few simple numbers can show business owners everything they need to know about the health of their business – and law firms are no exception. Numbers tell a story, but you have to know which numbers to look at and how to interpret them. Reveal the health of your firm by learning how to read the traditional and non-traditional numbers that are telling your business’s story, where to find these numbers, and how to make sense of them.

The seminar will be presented during ISBA’s Annual Meeting in Fontana, Wisconsin on June 16, 2017. Registration to the Annual Meeting is not required to attend this seminar. It qualifies for 1.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.50 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.


The Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) has partnered with the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company to create the ISBA Mutual Giving Circle.

This new and innovative initiative gives the opportunity to all ISBA Mutual policyholders to assist the IBF in furthering its mission of closing the gap in the civil justice system and assisting lawyers in need. The program allows ISBA Mutual policyholders to donate part or all of their dividend to the IBF upon annual renewal of their policy. Members who contribute a portion of their dividend will be enlisted in the ISBA Mutual Giving Circle while members who donate their entire dividend to the IBF will join the exclusive 100% Club. For their generous contributions, all members will receive recognition on the IBF and ISBA Mutual websites and on the ISBA blog Illinois Lawyer Now, in addition to a certificate of recognition. Members of the 100% Club also receive quarterly recognition in the Illinois Bar Journal as well as recognition in the 20 S. Clark Street offices.

ISBA Mutual Insurance Company is an Illinois malpractice insurance company created by lawyers, run by lawyers, for lawyers. Established in 1988 by the leadership of the Illinois State Bar Association, ISBA Mutual ensures Illinois lawyers have equal access to quality and fair malpractice insurance.


Kerry Bryson reviews People v. Sebby, handed down by the court Friday, June 2.

People v. Sebby

By Kerry Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

On October 27, 2011, LaSalle County Sheriff's Deputies went to the Sebby residence to serve a custody order. They were looking for the defendant's mother, Bonnie, who they believed had current physical custody of the defendant's niece (L.S.). L.S.'s mother, Casey, was the defendant's sister. Casey died in a car accident a month prior, and the custody order directed law enforcement to assist L.S.'s biological father in obtaining custody of her.

Deputies had gone to the Sebby residence on two occasions during the week prior to October 27, but had been unsuccessful in serving Bonnie with the custody order. On the 27th, deputies arrived at 6 a.m., knocked on the door, and were met by a young woman who did not live at the home. The events that followed were recounted by both the deputies and the defendant and his family and friends, with each side giving a version which differed from the other, and with each version being plausible. The encounter ended with the defendant's arrest for resisting.

Ultimately, the case proceeded to jury trial. During jury selection, there were defects in the Rule 431(b) admonishments provided by the court (commonly known as the Zehr admonishments). Defense counsel, however, did not object to the defective admonishments. On appeal, the defendant relied on the plain error doctrine to challenge the unpreserved 431(b) error.


Gabriela O. Asrow of Hoffenberg & Block, LLC discusses the six types of difficult family law clients and how to work with them.



Congratulations to Rana Meents for winning two tickets to 'Hamilton: An American Musical' with suite service in Chicago!

As part of May Member Appreciation Month, ISBA members were given the option to sign up to receive daily Desk4Success Challenge e-mails — which covered decluttering techniques, how to polish your professional presence, technology tips, and more — and enter our grand prize drawing to win two tickets to see 'Hamilton' in Chicago or a $500 Visa Gift Card.