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Central Illinois

Jacques W. Scott, 88, of Bethany, passed away at 8:40 a.m. Saturday, July 10, at McKinley Court in Decatur. Funeral services have been held with Military Rites by the Bethany American Legion Post #507.

Mr. Scott was born on April 22, 1922, in Decatur, the son of A. Jay and Clydia Jay (Heiland) Scott.  He was a World War II Army Veteran.  He served in the 2nd Army in the China-Burma-India Theater.  He served from October 1942 to February 1946 and attained the rank of Master Sergeant.  He married Leola Jane McCarty June 29, 1958, in Bethany.

He graduated from the Eastern Illinois State Teachers College, Charleston in 1947, and the University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign in 1951.  He practiced law in Bethany until his retirement in 2004.  He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Bethany.  He was also a member of the Bethany American Legion Post #507.

He is survived by his wife Leola; daughter, Mary Kay Scott and husband James Meehan of Kildeer, and son, Jay Scott and wife Judy of Decatur; grandchildren, Nathan, Emily, Meghan, Mackenzie, Andrew and Luke.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

Both his daughter and son are practicing attorneys and also graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law.  Mary Kay Scott is a shareholder with the Chicago law firm of Brenner, Ford, Monroe & Scott, Ltd., and Jay Scott is the First Assistant State’s Attorney with the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office in Decatur.

Donna Schechter (with her husband Gary at right) has retired after 28 years in the ISBA's Legal Department.

Donna Schechter, the Illinois State Bar Association's longtime Assistant to Counsel in the Legal Department, has retired after 28 years.

Donna joined ISBA in September 1982 and was instrumental over the years in nurturing the ISBA High School Mock Trial Program, as well as other Association programs.

She worked closely with the ISBA Standing Committee on Law-Related Education for the Public. Thanks Donna, for all those years of wonderful service to the Association.

Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a Circuit Court vacancy in the 11th Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy was created by the upcoming retirement of Judge G. Michael Prall on November 2, 2010. Judge Prall has been a judge for the 11th Circuit since 1991.

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled by Supreme Court appointment. The application process will lead to final Court approval. The applicants will undergo an evaluation and screening process.

Notices of the vacancy has been posted in courthouses throughout the Circuit. The application form and instructions may be obtained by visiting the Illinois Supreme Court’s website at and follow the instructions on the “Latest News” scroller announcing the Eleventh Judicial Circuit vacancy. Original applications must be submitted via mail to:

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman administered the oath of office to Matt Sullivan on July 9 at the Edgar County Courthouse in Paris. Pictured at the ceremony are: (seated) Circuit Judge Matt Sullivan; (standing, right to left) Judge James Glenn, Judge Teresa Righter, Justice Steven Garst, Justice Garman, Judge David Lewis, Chief Judge Tracy Resch, Judge Gary Jacobs, Judge Brien O'Brien, and Judge Mitch Shick.

Central Illinois

Chicago area

Northern Illinois


This post is updated with breaking news throughout the day.

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Register for the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference and sign-up for one or both Fastcase seminars on Thursday morning, Oct.

“It is portentous, and a thing of state; that here at midnight in our little town; a mourning figure walks, and will not rest; near the old courthouse pacing up and down.” Vachel Lindsay – “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight in Springfield, Illinois”

This year’s 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference will once again take place in the hometown (Springfield) of our state’s most famous and beloved lawyer (Abraham Lincoln.)  But Conference attendees won’t be the only ones to haunt the capital city…

While there are a number of spirits who are said to haunt this historic town, the most famous is that of Abraham Lincoln himself. According to over a century of legends, Abraham Lincoln continues to lurk around his tomb. He has also been reported to have been seen walking the streets surrounding Springfield’s original courthouse, as well as the hallways of his former home. Others have reported seeing the ghost of Mary Lincoln at their old home located at 413 South Eighth Street. Having a long-standing reputation as being haunted, reports range from apparitions of a woman to toys moving of their own accord. Most people believe that the house is haunted by Mary.

The most interesting haunting surrounding Lincoln is the phantom funeral train.

Is your last professional business portrait looking a little dated?  Never had one to begin with? Photographer Daniels-Ackerman of Springfield will be taking portraits of registered attendees (complimentary) at the Solo & Small Firm Conference on Thursday, Oct. 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sittings are first come, first served (no appointments).

To find out more about the Conference and to register, please visit

Dustin Cole

Looking to build a more successful and satisfying practice, especially as it relates to technology?  Then be sure to attend the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference Lunch & Program – Practice Pointers for the Changing Legal Landscape – on Friday, October 22nd, featuring Dustin Cole, President and Master Practice Advisor of Attorneys Master Class – Mastering the Business of the Law.

Over the last 15 years, Mr. Cole has trained over 10,000 attorneys across the United States in how to build more successful practices. He brings more than 35 years of experience in every phase of business management and development, marketing, advertising, and public relations to his work with the legal profession. He has supported firms ranging in size from sole practitioner to over 2,000 attorneys and has been the keynote speaker at numerous state bar and solo & small firm conferences around the country.

Here’s what people are saying about Mr. Cole and Attorneys Master Class:

  • “My office is no longer in such a state of chaos that a small breeze feels like a hurricane…my practice is transmogrifying into the practice that personifies N. Diane Holmes, family lawyer extraordinaire…I would have never believed that my mental outlook and attitude would be what it is today; it will only get better!

The ISBA Networking Reception at this year's Solo and Small Firm Conference will be held at the Executive Mansion.

Share stories and swap best practices with other solo and small firm lawyers from around the state at the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference’s Networking Reception at the Illinois Executive Mansion on Friday, Oct. 22. (Sponsored by ISBA Mutual Insurance Company) This event will be a great way to wind down after a day packed with programming and give you a chance to make some new personal and professional acquaintances (and catch up with old friends too) over food and drinks.

While there you’ll also be able to tour the official residence of the Governor of Illinois – a three-story red brick Italianate style mansion designed by Chicago architect John M. Van Osdel, completed in 1855 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The Mansion is one of three oldest continuously-occupied governor’s mansion in the United States. The libraries, bedrooms, parlors, sitting rooms, etc. are maintained as they may have looked in the 1800s. The Mansion has hosted many important social events, including receptions for seven U.S.