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

The accepted wisdom is that a civil defendant's conviction (e.g., for a traffic offense in a case based on a car wreck) is not a binding admission of wrongdoing — and thus is not admissible in the civil trial — if the defendant merely "stipulated" that the underlying facts are true and did not admit guilt.

But in the August Trial Briefs, Winnebago County Circuit Judge Eugene G. Doherty points to a 35-year-old appellate case, Batterton v. Thurman105 Ill. App. 3d 798434 N.E.2d 1174 (3d Dist. 1982), that indicates otherwise. (Trial Briefs is the newsletter of ISBA's Civil Practice Section.) In Batterton, the court found that the defendant's stipulation to the underlying facts in a criminal proceeding constituted a binding admission and was admissible in the subsequent civil trial.



Discover a new approach to addressing the ongoing problem of nutrient pollution in Illinois’ waterways with this online seminar! Don’t miss this comprehensive look at how a market-based approach to solving water quality problems may lead to cleaner water in a shorter timeframe and with less financial burden than traditional approaches. Environmental lawyers, administrative practitioners, and local government attorneys with all levels of practice experience who attend this online seminar on October 31, 2017 will better understand: what a market-based approach entails; how the trade of pollution reductions between different entities could be the answer to lowering nitrogen and phosphorus levels in our water; the potential challenges with this new approach (including local hot spots and market illiquidity); and how a properly designed market could address each of these challenges.

The program is presented by the ISBA Environmental Law Section and qualifies for 1.0 hour MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.


In early 2017, the Illinois Bar Foundation joined the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, the Chicago Bar Foundation, and the Public Interest Law Initiative in releasing a statewide survey to hear directly from attorneys about their experiences with pro bono.

The Pro Bono Survey Project is part of a national effort spearheaded by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service to study broader pro bono trends across the country. Nearly 6,000 attorneys in every judicial circuit, county, and practice setting in the state responded to the survey. The thousands of responses reflect the diversity of both our state’s attorneys and their experiences with pro bono. 

This month, as we celebrate Pro Bono Week, we would like to share some survey highlights and helpful websites to learn more about pro bono.



Gain the momentum you need to propel your practice to prosperity with this informative full-day seminar in Chicago or via live webcast on October 27, 2017! Learn how to run your practice with maximum profitability, hire and fire employees in your firm, maintain a virtual practice, and refer clients. In addition, attendees will gain a better understanding of: practicing on a budget for a financially-sound practice; how to build your firm with the best employees possible; the pros and cons of practicing virtually; the risks and benefits of accepting referral fees; how technology and ethics intersect; and much more!

The program is presented by the Illinois State Bar Association and qualifies for 6.75 hours MCLE credit, including 6.75 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.


Ngozi C. Okorafor, policy advisor with the Office of Governor Bruce Rauner, discusses retaliation and whistleblowing in the workplace, and outlines eight steps to prevent them.



Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a firm in Los Angeles. We have nine attorneys: four partners and five associates. We are a young firm in that we have only been in business for four years. The four partners started the firm together, and we are equal partners who split the profits equally. When we started the firm, we each made equal capital contributions. We do not have a partnership agreement. We are thinking about bringing in two associates as equity partners and are trying to think through the mechanics. One of our questions is whether there should be a buy-in and, if so, how should we determine it. We would appreciate your thoughts.



ISBA and DuPage Bar presidents participated in memorial ceremony for Hon. John (Jack) Darrah at a DuPage County Board meeting held Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the County Board Room in Wheaton. 

Judge Darrah passed away on March 23, 2017. He was elected to serve in the state court in 1986, assigned to the Chancery Division of the 18th Judicial Circuit, DuPage County. He served in this capacity until 2000, when he was appointed to the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by President Bill Clinton. 

Hon. John Darrah's full obituary is available on Illinois Lawyer Now


Divorcing clients have a range of estate planning needs, but some issues arise for nearly everyone whose marriage is ending, notes Chicago lawyer and ISBA member Lauren Evans DeJong. So be prepared to counsel your divorcing client about the following five estate-planning tasks.

Changing beneficiary designations. These include removing the soon-to-be ex as beneficiary "of [the client's] life insurance policies, individual retirement accounts, land trusts, and annuities," DeJong writes. Also review "transfer on death or payable on death bank or brokerage accounts, land conveyed by transfer on death deeds, and employee benefits."

Controlling access to online accounts. The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, 755 ILCS 70/1 et seq., which took effect last year, "provides a priority system for individuals to specifically control disclosure of digital assets and content of electronic communications" on social media, email, and the like.

"Many clients will not want their…ex to have access to their e-mails, Facebook or Instagram accounts, financial or banking information, diaries, or other personal information," DeJong writes.

"Individuals can use online tools established by providers [e.g., Google's Inactive Account Manager and Facebook's Legacy Contact] to direct disclosure of digital assets," she writes. "[A]n online tool…takes precedence over any other method of directing disclosure." Another option is to draft a statement directing disclosure, which can be included in a client's will, trust, or POA.


Mark your calendars for the ISBA High School Mock Trial Invitational, March 24-25, 2018, at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign-Urbana!

Help us make the 2018 invitational a success by participating! All lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals are invited to volunteer as judges and jurors. No trial experience is necessary. Volunteer registration information will be distributed in January 2018.

The Mock Trial Handbook, Problem, and Registration Packets will be made available by November 1, 2017.

For information about the program, please visit the ISBA’s Law-Related Education for the Public’s website or email the mock trial coordinator, Katy Karayannis.



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These special monthly offers are tailored specifically for you! Along with FREE shipping on all web orders, you can enjoy access to energy-efficient green technologies and award-winning service.

Visit Lenovo's Illinois State Bar Association member page.
Call: 1-800-426-7235, ext. 3577 (M-F: 9am-9pm ET, Sat: 9am-6pm ET)

Be sure to check the website often – special offers change frequently.