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

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court will administer the attorney’s oath to 476 new attorneys on Thursday, May 4, at five separate locations across the state.

The largest group, 327, will be admitted in the First Judicial District during three ceremonies at the James R. Thompson Center Assembly Hall, located at 100 W. Randolph St., in Chicago. The ceremonies will be at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. Media coverage is invited.

All of the candidates set to be sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They will bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,700.

Appellate Justice Margaret S. McBride will preside over the 9 a.m. ceremony.

Guests of the morning ceremony will include Natalie Howse, president of the Cook County Bar Association; and Hariklia Karis, president of the Hellenic Bar Association.

Sharon Strickland will move for admission of the class.

Justice Charles E. Freeman and Appellate Justice Cynthia Y. Cobbs will preside over the 11:30 a.m. ceremony.

Guests of the second First District ceremony will include Hon. Russell Hartigan, president-elect of the Illinois State Bar Association; and Claudia Castro, president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association. Justice Cobbs will move for admission of the class.

Justice Mary Jane Theis will preside over the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.


The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), the administrative agency that regulates licensed Illinois lawyers, has filed its year 2016 Annual Report with the Supreme Court of Illinois. The report was released to the public this morning when a copy was posted on the ARDC website.

A summary of the annual report is available at Highlights of the 2016 Annual Report

The ARDC annually evaluates the effectiveness of the disciplinary system.  Complete and comprehensive statistics concerning the disciplinary caseload are submitted to the Illinois Supreme Court and are published in the Annual Report. Few professions account for their regulatory activity in such detail.

In its Annual Report, the ARDC accounts to the Supreme Court for money received and spent. No tax money is used to fund the agency. All operating funds are taken from an annual registration fee paid by Illinois attorneys. By Supreme Court rule, lawyers pay an annual fee of $385. Of that amount, $95 is remitted to the Lawyers Trust Fund to fund legal services for the poor; $10 is sent to the Lawyers’ Assistance Program, an organization that helps lawyers, judges, law students, and their families with alcohol abuse, drug dependency, or mental health problems; $25 is submitted to the Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism; $25 funds the Client Protection Program to indemnify victims of lawyer misconduct; and the balance of the registration fee is used by the ARDC to pay for lawyer regulation.



The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a statewide policy statement for pretrial services. The statewide policy statement is a continuation of the advancement of pretrial services in Illinois.

"This policy statement seeks to serve as a guide for all of our trial courts," Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier said. "The goal of pretrial services is to reduce the pretrial incarceration rate while ensuring that defendants comply with approved pretrial release. This process includes the application of a validated pretrial risk assessment tool which aids judges in making research-based decisions about whether defendants should be detained or released prior to their criminal trials.”

The statement is as follows:



This week we're tackling the clutter — physical, electronic and mental — that weighs us down at work. So without further ado, let the desk transformation begin...

Purge with a purpose. When deciding what to get rid of, Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo recommends asking yourself...'Does this spark joy?' If the answer is no, get rid of it. Tell it 'thanks' on the way out. #goodkarma

But be smart about it. Work-related items require more consideration. So before you pitch that client file that doesn't make you happy, also ask...'Is this something I need for work?' If no, say 'thanks' and send it on its way. If yes...

Go green if you can. Scan it, e-file it, back it up electronically. Need more guidance on client file (and information) retention requirements? Refer to ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion No.17-02.

Repeat for every item on your desk. If you've got time, also go through your desk drawers and shelves until only the items that spark joy or are required for work remain.



We've partnered with ISBA Mutual Insurance Company to bring back pro photographer Kari Bedford for 3 days of free business portrait sittings for 242 lucky members.

Enter to win a free sitting by completing the online form by midnight tonight.

Only 1 entry per member will be accepted.

  • Our Springfield session will run Friday, May 12 from 10AM-5PM at the newly renovated ISBA Springfield Office.
  • Our downtown Chicago session will run on Wednesday, May 17 from 10AM-5PM and Thursday, May 18 from 8AM-2PM at the ISBA Mutual office.

Portrait sittings are each 5 minutes in length; winners will be booked in half-hour intervals.



22 Days to a Decluttered Office + Mind and a Polished Professional Presence.

Ready to have some fun, do a little spring cleaning, and find your office 'A' game?

Sign up to take the Desk4Success Challenge and enter the Grand Prize drawing.

You'll receive a daily challenge in your Inbox from May 1-31 (normally delivered @6AM weekdays, excluding Memorial Day). Challenges cover decluttering your office and mind, polishing your professional presence, timesaving tech tips, and office wellness.

Participate in our social challenges for a chance to win additional prizes. Follow us on Instagram (@isbalawyers) to play.


Sign up for the Desk4Success Challenge and enter our grand prize drawing for 2 tickets to 'Hamilton: An American Musical' in Chicago or a $500 Visa Gift Card.

Only 1 entry per member will be accepted.


President-elect Russell Hartigan and Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington represented the ISBA at ABA Day in Washington, D.C. on April 25-27. ABA Day is a three-day conference that brings together leaders of the ABA and state and local bars from across the country to meet with members of Congress and advocate on behalf of lawyers. Of special interest this year was funding for legal services.

Jim Covington; Emily Roschek of the ABA; Dawn Willis, Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Foundation Advocacy Committee; Congressman Bill Foster, who represents Illinois’ 11th District; Russell Hartigan; and Jessica Bednarz of the Chicago Bar Foundation
Jim Covington; Emily Roschek of the ABA; Dawn Willis, Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Foundation Advocacy Committee; Congressman Bill Foster, who represents Illinois’ 11th District; Russell Hartigan; and Jessica Bednarz of the Chicago Bar Foundation



Registration is now open for the 141st ISBA Annual Meeting. Join us June 15-17 at the Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wisconsin, to celebrate our accomplishments over the past bar year and prepare for the year ahead of us. The Annual Meeting is a great place build lasting relationships, create positive changes in the profession, earn CLE hours, and be a part of our community. Advanced registration must be received by Friday, June 9

Register here

Hotel and registration information

Annual Meeting schedule of events

Annual Meeting CLE

 



Perfect your trial practice skills with this full-day seminar that not only walks you through each step of the trial process, but also shows you how technology can help you flawlessly deliver your case to the courtroom. Trial attorneys with intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar in Chicago or via live webcast on May 12, 2017 will learn: how to get rid of biased jurors during voir dire; the importance of a well-told opening statement; how to prepare your next witness for direct examination; how to question lay and expert witnesses during cross examination; which high-tech tools can help you present your next big case; the value of demonstrative exhibits and technology to engage your jury; how to prepare a powerful and persuasive closing argument; what attorneys have done right (and wrong) in trial as experienced by one retired judge; and the common incidents that lead to malpractice.

The program is presented by the ISBA Civil Practice and Procedure Section and qualifies for 7.0 hours MCLE credit, including 7.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.


J. Timothy Eaton, partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, discusses when and whether you should appeal.