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

Central Illinois

By Emily Vock and Eric Bulman, Land of Lincoln Assistance Foundation, Champaign

As our nation takes time to reflect on the sacrifices of veterans and celebrate their heroism, the legal community would be remiss if they did not stop to consider what we can do to give back to the men and women who have selflessly served our country. For many veterans, access to the legal system proves to be a difficult challenge once they have returned from service. According to an annual survey by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, access to legal services is one of the top ten unmet needs for veterans. Thankfully, the challenges faced by veterans in the legal system are not going unnoticed, and a partnership between Equal Justice Works and AmeriCorps has created the Veterans Legal Corps. This group of thirty-six attorneys across the country is serving the legal needs of low-income and homeless veterans. Veterans Legal Corps members are working to reduce homelessness, improve economic security, and enhance quality of life among veterans through access to legal services.

Two of these Veterans Legal Corps attorneys are working in Illinois at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation's Eastern Regional Office in Champaign and can be reached at 217-356-1351 (ext. 119 and 122) or and Land of Lincoln serves low-income and elderly clients throughout central and southern Illinois. The Veterans Legal Corps lawyers are working with the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, the VA outpatient clinic in Decatur, and local Salvation Army offices to reach out to veterans throughout central Illinois. 

Judge Michael P. McCuskey
Judge Michael P. McCuskey
The Illinois Bar Foundation will host a Champaign County Fellows Reception honoring U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey on Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 5-6:30 p.m. This event will be held at Crane Alley Restaurant, 115 W. Main Street, Urbana.

Tickets to this reception are $35 and include appetizers and drinks. To register, please click here or call the IBF directly at 312.726.6072.

The Illinois Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the ISBA and is dedicated to improving access to justice to those most vulnerable, helping attorneys and their families in need, and to providing year-long legal Fellowships to new attorneys working in legal aid clinics.

The Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation are a unique group of attorneys and judges, who have committed, by direct payment or pledge over 10 years, sums of money ranging from $1,000 to $25,000.

Fellows pledge payments are retained in a special fund of the Foundation, and are used for making grants, helping lawyers and their families in need, and providing legal fellowships to new attorneys in their alma mater’s legal aid clinic.

Fellows Officers of the Illinois Bar Foundation:

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday that former Circuit Judge Stephen C. Mathers has been assigned to the bench in the Ninth Judicial Circuit. He is a 32-year veteran of the judiciary.

The assignment, effective November 12, terminates on December 1, 2014, when the position will be filled by the 2014 General Election.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman
Chief Justice Rita B. Garman
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman will preside over the Fourth Judicial District Bar Admission Ceremony on October 31 in Springfield.

The 10 a.m. program will be held at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 South Sixth Street.

Chief Justice Garman, in her first bar admission ceremony as the Chief Justice, will administer the attorney's oath to 82 new lawyers in the Fourth Judicial District.

All of the candidates have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination, a required ethics examination, and were certified by the Committee on Character and Fitness.

Hon. Steven H. Nardulli of the Seventh Judicial Circuit will be the keynote speaker. Danville attorney Kerry R. Clapper will make the motion to admit the class. Hon. Jeffrey B. Ford of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Hon. Esteban F. Sanchez of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, and Springfield attorney Saul J. Morse, will second the motion. Springfield attorney and ISBA Board member Jennifer Hammer will also address the class.

Other guests of the Supreme Court will be Chief Circuit Judges Millard S. Everhart of the Fifth Circuit, Dan L. Flannell of the Sixth Circuit, Leslie J. Graves of the Seventh Circuit, Richard D. Greenlief of the Eight Circuit, and Elizabeth A. Robb of the Eleventh Circuit.

A reception will follow.

Sean Patrick O'Brien
Sean Patrick O'Brien
Sean Patrick O’Brien, 37, of Morton Grove, passed away suddenly and tragically in a car accident on Sept. 22, 2013.  

Sean was very close to his family, extended family, and friends. He received his double Bachelor’s degree from  Illinois State University.  His master’s degree in Political Science from University of Illinois and then he went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton law school.  Shortly after law school Sean began a career working at the Illinois Department of Criminal Justice Information Authority where he is well respected amongst his peers. One of his main contributions was developing an organizational model of their system in which many states throughout the country have implemented.

He is survived by his beloved wife and soul mate  Lisa ( Weiland) O'Brien.  Beloved oldest son of John and Linda O’Brien.  Loving brother of Erin (Brent) Eggleston, Moreen (Jacob) Lusk and Kevin “Shorty” O’Brien.  Adored uncle of Isabelle and Matthew Eggleston, Ethan Lusk and Brandon and Jeremy Flores.  Dear son in law of Pam (and the late Steven) Weiland.  Fond brother in law of Karyn Weiland Flores.  Loved nephew of Richard and Colleen Atwood and Greg and Mary O'Brien. 

Charitable donations may be made in Sean's memory to the following organization:

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Illinois Chapter

Justice Rita B. Garman
Justice Rita B. Garman
The elevation of Justice Rita B. Garman to become Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court will be marked by an installation ceremony Monday, October 28 at the Vermilion County Courthouse in Danville.

Justice Garman will become the 119th Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, the second woman in Illinois to be Chief Justice and the second woman to head one of the three branches of government in Illinois.

"I am honored and humbled to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as Chief Justice," Justice Garman said. "This office has been held by many great jurists, several of whom I have served with and count among my friends. I welcome the challenges and the responsibility that go with the role of Chief Justice because I know that I can count on the support of my colleagues at all levels of the judiciary and the members of the Illinois bar."

Justice Garman was elected to the Court from the Fourth Judicial District, which is made up of 30 counties that stretch across central Illinois from west to east.

Her selection as Chief Justice on the seven-member Court culminates her long service to the people of Illinois. There are more than 950 judges in Illinois, and Justice Garman has served in the judiciary longer than all of them--except one.

Increasingly, drug cases are part of the criminal caseload throughout Illinois. As such, it is important for attorneys to educate themselves on the tools needed for handling these types of cases and to be prepared for the unique issues that drug cases often present. Join us in Springfield on November 14th or Chicago on November 22nd! Attorneys with basic to intermediate experience practicing in criminal courts throughout the state who attend this seminar will better understand: the recently passed legislation involving drug and criminal cases; the most common issues involving pre-trial motions in drug cases; search and seizure issues, including the use of dogs to find drugs in homes and vehicles; how to utilize the veteran’s courts to assist your clients; what to expect in drug and other specialty courts; and much more!

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Criminal Justice Section and qualifies for 5.25 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information on the Springfield program.

Click here for more information on the Chicago program.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the 10th Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Kirk D. Schoenbein as an associate judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Schoenbein received his undergraduate degree in 1984 from Western Illinois University in Macomb and his Juris Doctor in 1987 from the University of Illinois College of Law. Mr. Schoenbein is currently affiliated with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Peoria.

Master the basics of administering a decedent’s probate estate with this full-day seminar in Bloomington on October 23rd! Follow along as respected estate planning practitioners guide you through the estate administration process – from the initial meeting with clients to closing the estate. Trusts and estate professionals with basic to intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand: What needs to be discussed during the initial client meeting; how to determine if probate is necessary or appropriate; the appropriate procedures for locating heirs and legatees; how to prepare an Affidavit of Heirship; how to handle claims against the estate; the tax consequences of distributions from the estate; when to use disclaimers and Powers of Appointment; how to create a plan for distribution; how to avoid conflicts of interest; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Trusts & Estates Section and qualifies for 6.0 hours MCLE credit, including 0.75 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Join us in Normal on Oct. 17 to update your knowledge on the recently-enacted real estate-related legislation and current case law that will impact your practice! It is important that attorneys working in the real estate arena keep abreast of the ongoing changes and developments taking place in this important field of practice. Real estate lawyers, transactional attorneys, and commercial banking/bankruptcy practitioners – with basic to intermediate practice experience – attending this program will better understand: the real estate issues that can arise during the dissolution of a marriage; the economic development incentives being offered by municipalities throughout Illinois; how the landmark Cypress Creek case has affected lien disputes; important tax issues that can affect real estate transactions; the ethical and malpractice issues to consider when representing a client during a real estate case; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Real Estate Law Section and qualifies for 6.0 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.