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

It's Sunday afternoon and the neighbor kid's drone comes buzzing over your yard, maybe 50 feet overhead. Like any good lawyer you ask yourself, "Is this drone flight violating my airspace?" (If you're a really good lawyer, you refer to "airspace" as "vertical curtilage.")

The short answer is yes, writes Elizabeth Austermuehle in the April ISBA Real Property newsletter. "[I]n the absence of federal or state regulations granting drones the right to fly over private property without the property owner's permission, drones do not have the right to do so," she writes. Though Illinois has passed legislation ordering up a task-force report on drone regulation (due July 2017), state law does not currently regulate drone use.

As for federal law, the FAA has long permitted flights over private property in "navigable airspace," which generally applies to the space 500 feet and higher above ground, Austermuehle writes. But it hasn't had much to say about drones - at least not until June 2016, when the agency "released its first operational rules for routine use of small [unmanned aircraft systems]," she writes. "The rules offer safety regulations for UAS weighing less than 55 pounds conducting non-hobbyist operations. Among other things, the rules require drone operators to keep the drones within their visual line of sight and prohibit flights over unprotected people on the ground who are not directly participating in the UAS operation."



The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays.  The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law.  For the month of April, there were at total of 940 calls.  Lawyer Referral Service helped people in need of legal services in the following areas:



Today's challenge is to create a more thoughtful out-of-office ('OOO') message, also called an automatic email responder, to better serve and delight your clients.

An Easy Way to Extend Your Customer Service. Picture this...it's the end of the day the Friday before your week-long vacation. You're about to shut down your computer when you remember - shoot! - I need to let everyone know I'll be out next week. So you log back into Outlook/Gmail, spend 60 seconds updating your last (generic) OOO message with next week's dates, and 2 minutes later you're out the door.

Sound familiar? If so, you're not alone.

And while just the basics will suffice, it's certainly not taking advantage of the opportunity to create a positive memorable experience for the reader. You've worked hard to develop client relationships and deliver exceptional service while you're in the office. It's time to extend that to your client touches when you're out of the office as well.

The Bare Necessities. A professional OOO message should at minimum cover the following 3 items:



Don’t miss ISBA’s final installment of the Family Law Table Clinic Series! Join us in Chicago on May 18, 2017 as our speakers offer informal table top presentations on a number of key family law topics, including how to understand financial statements, personal returns, operating agreements, and LLC returns; proving marital and non-marital characterization; maintenance issues; property division; issues with pension and retirement asset division; and more. This interactive innovative CLE format gives you ample opportunity to ask questions, clarify issues, and discuss concerns with faculty members at the end of each presentation. Attendees move from table to table throughout the day, gaining the perspective of both experienced and newer attorney speakers throughout each 30 minute table clinic. The series is open to all levels of practice experience, but designed with attorneys new to family law (or who need a refresher) in mind.

The program is presented by the ISBA Family Law Section and qualifies for 6.0 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.



Enter 'MMAM17' as a coupon code when viewing your shopping cart in the Bookstore.


Save 25% on ISBA books, Fastbooks and merchandise* from May 8-19.

ISBA books are a great resource to help save you time and money. Covering a wide range of subjects, all books are written by recognized authorities and are focused on Illinois law.

Each title is available in a convenient paperback format, and most are also available as a downloadable Fastbooks PDF. Because Fastbooks are downloadable and searchable, they make it easy to always have the law at your fingertips.

What's more, most ISBA books are bundled with a complimentary Fastbook PDF that you can download after placing your order.

A few recent bestsellers include...



Welcome Desk4Success-ers to Week 2: Polishing Your Professional Presence! Today we're exploring proper LinkedIn etiquette for better business networking.

LinkedIn is for Business (Only). LinkedIn differs from other social networking platforms in that it's only meant for business. So those family photos, political comments, and videos of you puking rainbows — all that should stay off of your LinkedIn profile.

Not on LinkedIn? Check out these YouTube videos on creating a LinkedIn account and updating your account for 2017.

The Golden Rule. The most important thing to remember when using LinkedIn is to treat your connections online the same way you would IRL. Build rapport. Be respectful. Don't overstep.

Making and Accepting Connections. 'Connecting' is to LinkedIn what 'Friending' is on Facebook. Once you've 'connected' to another person — either by their invitation or yours — you are considered a 1st-degree connection. And, like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, you have an extended network of connections made up of people that your connections know. (Learn more here.)

Here are our some common do's and don'ts when it comes to connections:


Nearly two dozen volunteer attorneys helped answer hundreds of questions that in came in by phone, e-mail, and Skype at the 36th Annual Ask A Lawyer Day last Saturday, April 29, in Springfield and Chicago. Attorneys were qualified to answer questions on over 30 areas of law, and the majority of the questions fielded were about domestic/family, personal injury, and criminal law. The calls helped members of the public resolve their legal issues with additional information or gave them the next steps toward resolving those issues, such as a lawyer referral. The endeavor also garnered positive media coverage throughout Illinois.

On hand to answer calls in the Chicago office were ISBA President-Elect Hon. Russell Hartigan, Zachary Hunsinger, Vanessa Hammer, John Zrnich, Nathan Neff, Shannon Heilman, Scott Fintzen, John Donlevy, Alice Dolan, James Coogan, Samuel Cannizzaro, Kristi Verti, and Huan Cassioppi Tran. At the Springfield office, Thomas CarlisleHon. Michael Robinson, Brendan Harris, Rex Gradeless, Jason Adams, Don LoBue, and John Taylor answered calls. 

The ISBA would like to extend a sincere thank you to the volunteers who worked out of both offices. 


Dennis Orsey
Dennis Orsey
Dennis J. Orsey won the race for third vice-president of the Illinois Bar Association, and Julie A. Johnson and Shawn Kasserman won Cook County seats on the Board of Governors. Alisha Biesinger won the race for the Under Age 37 Outside Cook County seat on the Board, and Anna P. Krolikowska and Sarah M. LeRose won the seats for Under Age 37 Cook County.



Please enjoy this gift from our malpractice insurance partner, ISBA Mutual!

Almost 30 years ago, ISBA Mutual was created with a simple mission: to be a benefit to the members of the ISBA. We will be celebrating this longstanding relationship throughout ISBA Member Appreciation Month.

To help you put your best face forward, ISBA Mutual is sponsoring the Free Business Portraits Giveaway.

Also in celebration of ISBA Member Appreciation Month, ISBA Mutual is sharing some valuable resources that are normally available exclusively to ISBA Mutual insured firms, starting with a complimentary download of our e-book The Fundamentals of Loss Prevention for Lawyers!

Legal malpractice claims affect lawyers in every area of law. Even practices that were once thought to be immune from malpractice claims such as criminal and defense work are seeing a rise in claims. Furthermore, the chance of being sued does not diminish with experience. On the contrary, statistics indicate that the greatest percentage of legal malpractice claims are made against lawyers who have been practicing ten years or more.



We're finishing up our week of 'decluttering our office + mind' by dealing with digital data backup.

"You'll be sorry you didn't!" - Mom

Last month my basement flooded and the water destroyed everything in its path.

I had meant to check on the sump pump earlier in the day. But the phone rang, laundry needed to be done...life happened. What would've taken me all of 60 seconds to check on ended up costing me a back-breaking 3 days of work ripping out (heavy wet) carpet and dealing with the messy, stinky aftermath of a flooded basement.

Which brings me to backing up computer data.

Back up your data. We all know we should do it. It doesn't take much in the way of time or resources. So why do so many of us drag our feet getting it done - when the consequences for not doing so are disastrous?

No more. Today, we're going to take a look at a few simple solutions for backing up our electronic data, and pledge to 'Get-R-Done.' That way, we don't have to spend any unnecessary time or energy worrying about losing those files, pictures, and contacts we just can't do without.

The power of three. Backing up can be as simple as copying a file from one spot to another (e.g., from your desktop to a removable USB drive). It can also include uploading your files to the cloud, or installing a file-synchronization service.