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


Robert E. Craghead
Robert E. Craghead

Illinois State Bar Association Executive Director Robert Craghead was recently elected to serve as Vice President of the National Association of Bar Executives. His term as Vice President begins in July, 2015, and he will serve as NABE President in 2017-18.
NABE was founded in 1941 and serves bar association professionals from state and local bar associations from throughout the country.
Craghead has spent his entire professional career working with the ISBA. He started in 1975 and early in his tenure served as the Young Lawyers Division Director. He has served as Executive Director for twenty years.  He has also been very active in NABE over the years and received the Bolton Award for Professional Excellence, the highest NABE Award, in 2003.

As part of Member Appreciation Month, our vendor partner GEICO* provided us with 20 prize packages to give away to members. Congratulations to the winners named below:

  1. Janice Gascoigne
  2. Heidi Hoffee
  3. Bruce Falk
  4. Dawn Marlow
  5. Raleigh Kalbfleisch
  6. Mario Carlasare
  7. Jean Grommes Feehan
  8. Jennifer Rhodes Yengoyan
  9. Larry Sanders
  10. Joe Dvorak
  11. Rachelle Rago
  12. Robert J. Duffin
  13. Robert Sternberg
  14. Lisa Nijm
  15. Rick Rogers
  16. Lisa Dannewitz
  17. Alen Takhsh
  18. Iain Johnston
  19. Dion Davi
  20. Bary Gassman

Bonus winner (1st person to enter contest): Sheina Franco

Winners will receive an email with additional information.

Prize packages include:

SAVE 25% on ISBA books, Fastbooks and merchandise* in the ISBA Bookstore, good May 11-22!

ISBA books are a great resource to help save you time and money. They cover a wide range of subjects, including evidence, family law, real estate, criminal law, practice management, and many more.

Member Appreciation Month is the ISBA’s opportunity to make the point: Your success is ours. We’re recognizing that fact and the occasion with a gift from our sponsor ISBA Mutual Insurance Companythat we trust will advance your use of technology in managing your practice and serving your clients.

The gift is an eBook, “The Road Ahead: What Lawyers Need to Know About Technology in Their Office Today and Tomorrow,” developed by ISBA Mutual for its 2014 Risk Management Conference.

The materials are normally available exclusively to lawyers and firms insured by ISBA Mutual.

It shares how to:

  • Identify and avoid ethical landmines.
  • Secure information on your tablets and phones.
  • Benefit from “cloud computing” with safe and secure practices.
  • Avoid the professional pitfalls of websites, email and social media.
  • Understand the technology implications of ABA changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Illinois lawyers.

ISBA Mutual shares the ISBA’s commitment that members are equipped to understand and follow legal best practices. That’s why it sponsors the ISBA’s Free Online CLE, the Solo & Small Firm Practice Institute Series, Fastcaseresearch tools and so many other ISBA programs.

James McCluskey
James McCluskey
James F. McCluskey of Lisle won the race for third vice-president of the Illinois State Bar Association, and Jessica A. O’Brien of Chicago, Kent A. Gaertner of Wheaton, Rory T. Weiler of St. Charles, and Dennis J. Orsey of Granite City won contested races for seats on the ISBA Board of Governors. Sonni Choi Williams of Peoria and Charles Davis of Springfield won uncontested Board seats.

Here is the full Tellers report for the 2015 ISBA election:

CONTESTED RACES (winners in bold)

For Third Vice-President – 1 to be elected

  • James F. McCluskey, Lisle      2,366        
  • Lisa M. Nyuli, South Elgin      1,444

For Board of Governors – Cook County – 1 to be elected

  • John W. Damisch, Chicago     643
  • Jessica A. O’Brien, Chicago    838

For Board of Governors – Area 1 (Circuit 18) – 1 to be elected

  • Kent A. Gaertner, Wheaton                        176
  • Sharon R. Mulyk, Glen Ellyn                       103
  • Keith E. (Chuck) Roberts, Jr., Wheaton      160
  • Michael J. Scalzo, Wheaton                           70

For Board of Governors – Area 3 (Circuits 12, 13 16, 21 and 23) – 1 to be elected

  • Jean A. Kenol, Joliet              153
  • Rory T. Weiler, St. Charles    242

For Board of Governors – Area 8 (Circuits 3 and 20) – 1 to be elected

  • Dennis J. Orsey, Granite City    179
  • Tom Speedie, Nashville             117
  • Kristi Vetri, Belleville                  49

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 April 2015, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for April 2015:

  • 775 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (147), Personal Injury (107), Civil Disputes (86), Criminal Law (74), Employment Law (67), Real Estate (52), and Estate/Probate Law (30).
  • 20,372 visits to (18,077 unique visitors)

Want to be part of the ISBA Lawyer Finder Service? Call (800) 252-8908 and ask for the Legal Department, or visit

Clients should call (800) 922-8757.

The Committee on Legal Education, Admissions and Competence has established "The Excellence on Legal Education Award" designed to annually honor a law school program that emphasizes real world skill for students.


  • Must be a program, class, clinic or other initiative focused on teaching practical skills as an ABA accredited law school affiliated with the ISBA;
  • Must provide students with an opportunity to practice identifiable, practical legal skills, including but not limited to skills related to advocacy, transactional representation, law office management or ethics.

Voting in the ISBA election ends at 4:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, April 30th. Paper ballots must be received at VR Election Services in Texas by 4:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, April 30 in order to be counted.

Have you received your ISBA ballot?  

If not, please contact VRES at (800) 218-4026 or

ISBA's election provider VR Election Services (VRES) emailed e-ballots to members with valid email addresses and mailed paper ballots to members without valid email addresses on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Candidate biographies can be found in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

The Illinois State Bar Association invites YLD members to share their hard-won knowledge, and maybe win $2,000 in prize money by entering the Annual Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest.

We're looking for useful, practical articles on topics important to practicing lawyers. The highest scores will go to manuscripts that Illinois lawyers can use in their practices, written in a no-nonsense, plain-English style.

If you're an ISBA lawyer member under age 36 as of July 1, 2015 or admitted to the bar fewer than five years as of that date, you're eligible to compete for a share of the $3,500 in Lincoln Award prize money and a handsome plaque for your office. And even if you don't win, yours may be among the many Lincoln Award entries to appear in the Illinois Bar Journal.

The deadline for filing a notice to enter the contest is July 15, 2015; use our online form. A brief outline of the article must be submitted on or before August 15, 2015; email the outline to Jean Fenski at The final deadline for manuscripts is noon Thursday, October 1, 2015; manuscripts should be emailed by noon to Jean Fenski at

The contest is sponsored by and for members of the Young Lawyers Division. A distinguished panel of judges will evaluate the entries. Please read the contest rules at

Image about malpracticeThe ISBA Young Lawyers Division will host "Legal Malpractice Pitfalls for Young Lawyers" on Monday, April 20 from noon-1 p.m. at the ISBA Chicago Office, 20 S. Clark, Ste. 900.

Studies show that approximately 1 in 10 lawyers will be sued for malpractice during their career. Even meritless claims can burden you and your firm with both financial and emotional costs. By law, attorneys are not required to obtain legal malpractice insurance. Moreover, some types of legal malpractice insurance only provide coverage for certain conditions. This presentation will highlight common mistakes young lawyers make that often result in malpractice claims, provide steps to take to avoid these pitfalls, discuss an overview of important features of malpractice insurance policies, and evaluate the risk of young attorneys who find themselves in hot water.

YLD Professional Development Luncheons are aimed at teaching law students and young attorneys practical steps in developing their legal careers.