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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.

Mark Curriden

NYT bestselling author Mark Curriden (“Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching that Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism”) will be the morning plenary speaker at the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference on Friday, Oct . 22.  He will be telling the true account (based on his book) of the only two African-American lawyers practicing law in Tennessee in 1906 and their representation of a black man falsely accused of rape and sentenced to death.  This sequence of events led to the first and only criminal trial ever held in the history of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Mr. Curriden will also be speaking at a breakout session later that day regarding “The News Media and Your Law Practice.”

So who is Mark Curriden? He is a writer and frequent lecturer on topics including legal history, trends at the Supreme Court of the United States, the American jury system and relationships between lawyers and journalists.  He has made presentations on these topics to numerous federal and state judicial organizations, state bar associations, law firms and law schools throughout the country.  In April 2004, Mr. Curriden was appointed to serve on the ABA’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the future of the American jury system.

Interested in learning more about Mr.

The law firm of Sgro, Hanrahan & Durr, LLP of Springfield, Illinois is proud to announce the affiliation of Ellen C. Bruce as an associate. Ms. Bruce is a 2005 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and obtained her undergraduate degree from the Colby College of Waterville, Maine. She has prior experience as an Assistant Attorney General with the General Law Division. She will be concentrating her practice in the field of general civil law including litigation, Workers' Compensation, automobile accidents and estate planning.