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

Illinois State Bar Association President Vincent F. Cornelius issued the following statement today.

It has been covered extensively by the media that President Trump referred to U.S. District Judge James L. Robart as a "so-called judge." An independent judiciary is the bedrock of American jurisprudence. Every federal judge, including Judge Robart, was nominated by a sitting president of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate. Once confirmed, federal judges are granted life tenure so their appointments are not subject to influence by the president who nominated them, the Senate that confirmed them, future presidents, or the ballot.

While reasonable Americans can disagree with a judge's rulings, questioning the legitimacy of a federal judge is inappropriate. In the words of American Bar Association president Linda Klein, "There are no so-called judges in America."  

 


The Illinois Bar Foundation is joining the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, the Chicago Bar Foundation, and the Public Interest Law Initiative in inviting Illinois attorneys to participate in a statewide survey of pro bono activity.

The survey was emailed this week to all registered Illinois lawyers, who are encouraged to fill it out whether or not they regularly do pro bono work. It is open through March 10 and available here,  Responses are anonymous and only reported in the aggregate. Those who complete it are eligible to win a $500 gift certificate.

"The Illinois Supreme Court has a strong commitment to supporting pro bono as a professional responsibility and as a way to meet the legal needs of the poor. In order to address the justice gap, the Illinois Supreme Court ATJ Commission and others need to review how and why attorneys provide pro bono service and what can be done differently to expand services," said Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, ATJ Commission liaison for the court. "We invite attorneys from all four corners of the State to join us and participate in this survey."


Don’t miss this four-part series that explores the housing access injustices suffered by individuals and families facing economic challenges across the spectrum and how their communities are being devastated. Part 2 in this series, which takes place as a live webcast on February 22, 2017, examines a number of housing issues, including: housing rights for victims of domestic and sexual violence; “Ban the Box” laws and background checks designed to screen out undesirable tenants; how the abuse of due process rights by landlords can lead to rejection of eligible applicants and eviction of tenants; when landlords can legally exercise their rights to evict tenants; what remedies wrongfully-evicted tenants can pursue; current efforts to educate the public about the legal remedy of expungement; and how the displacement of families from housing affects the quality of life for those families. The series is designed for practitioners in local government, criminal justice, human rights law, education law, family law, real estate, and/or consumer protection law at all levels of practice experience. The seminar is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law, and co-sponsored by the ISBA Standing Committee on Disability Law, ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law, and the ISBA Diversity Leadership Council. It qualifies for 2.0 hours MCLE credit.

 Click here for more information and to register.



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 January 2017, there were 1003 referrals. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:


By John E. Brennock

It is an unfortunate fact that some people are unable to obtain legal representation because of limited financial resources or the inability to qualify for or obtain pro bono representation. Those people likely would benefit from at least some attorney involvement in their matter, but often are forced to proceed pro se, and without legal knowledge and training, struggling to successfully handle their legal problem.

Likewise, attorneys naturally want to engage clients who can pay for all of the services connected with a given legal matter. But when faced with a prospective client of limited financial means, attorneys either are forced to reduce their fees, risk nonpayment from a financially challenged client, or simply turn down the representation.

Limited scope representation1, when done correctly, may provide a workable solution to these problems. And for attorneys who want to offer pro bono representation but cannot commit to full representation because of financial or time constraints, limited scope representation can be utilized to provide at least some pro bono service for indigent prospective clients an attorney might otherwise turn away.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. We have a 12-attorney business litigation firm in Springfield. I am part of our three-member management committee and have been charged with helping the firm find and hire our first legal administrator. While we have a bookkeeper who handles our billing and accounting, the rest of the firm's management matters are handled by the management committee. We believe we have reached a size where we need help with managing day-to-day operations. What sort of skill set and type of person should we be looking for?


Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Carbondale attorney and ISBA Board of Governors member Carey C. Gill as an at large Circuit Judge in the First Judicial Circuit. Ms. Gill was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Judge James R. Moore was elected to the Fifth District Appellate Court in the November 2016 general election.

The appointment of Ms. Gill takes effect on February 17, 2017, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2018 general election.

"I am thankful to Chief Justice Karmeier and the Supreme Court for appointing me to the Circuit Court,” Ms. Gill said. “I am honored to have this opportunity and recognize the great responsibility to both the profession and the community associated with serving on the bench.”

Chief Justice Karmeier recommended the appointment to the full Court following a review of applicants by a six-person screening committee, which included the Hon. Stephen Spomer, retired Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District; Tambra Kay Cain, Esq., Johnson County State’s Attorney; the Hon. Terry Foster, retired judge and attorney at Kruger, Henry & Hunter in Metropolis; attorney Kara Lynn Jones of Feirich, Mager, Green & Ryan, Carbondale; attorney Michael Oshel of the Harrisburg law firm Oshel Law, P.C.; and attorney William F. Sherwood of Southern Illinois Healthcare.


ISBA President Vincent F. Cornelius made the following statement on behalf of the association about the executive order on immigration issued by President Trump last Friday.

This past weekend the attention of the nation was captured by the newly implemented immigration policy of President Donald J. Trump. The effects are playing out at airports around the country, including Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

The State of Illinois and the city of Chicago are international hubs of business, travel and political influence, with vibrant and successful immigrant communities. Many Illinois lawyers provide important legal advice on immigration, and they and others in the Illinois legal community will be busy in the coming weeks helping immigrants, employers and other stakeholders to assess the impact of the President's executive order and to respond appropriately within the framework of the law.

At this pivotal moment in our nation's history, the Illinois State Bar Association will diligently monitor and assess developments and look for ways to play constructive roles in educating the public and convening the legal profession. At times like these, lawyers and the rule of law take on their greatest importance in our democracy. The ISBA will do its very best to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the President's order.

 


Update your knowledge on a number of advanced workers’ compensation issues with this full-day seminar on February 20, 2017 in either Chicago and Fairview Heights. Labor and employment attorneys and workers’ compensation practitioners attending this seminar will better understand: how orthopedic injuries are diagnosed and treated in workers’ compensation claims; the 2016 Appellate Court decisions that have impacted workers’ compensation law; how to avoid ethical dilemmas in your practice; how to present effective arguments before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission; American Medical Association evaluations and how they’re used in court; and claims of retaliatory discharge.

The program is presented by the ISBA Workers Compensation Law Section and qualifies for 5.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.