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ISBA News

Pamela J. Kuzniar
Pamela J. Kuzniar
Wendy H. Vaughn
Wendy H. Vaughn
The Illinois State Bar Association received two of only 20 awards given annually from the International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) at the organization’s annual meeting in Boston.

An Award for Outstanding Achievement was granted for the ISBA’s CLE course, Child Custody Litigation: Techniques for Trying a Custody Case From Rehearsal to Closing Including a Child Custody Trial, in the Best Program category. The program was sponsored by the ISBA Family Law Section and coordinated by the 2013-14 section chair and CLE coordinator Pamela J. Kuzniar of Chicago.

An Award for Outstanding Achievement was given for the CLE course, Family and Consumer Law Pro Bono Bootcamp, in the Public Interest category. Sponsored by the ISBA Delivery of Legal Services Committee and coordinated by Wendy H. Vaughn of Rockford, the course grew out of a need to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services and increase access to justice during harsh economic times when many families struggle simply to survive.

ACLEA members are professionals in the fields of continuing legal education and legal publishing.  Its annual ACLEA’s Best Awards are highly competitive and winning projects represent the highest level of achievement for the staff and volunteers involved.

The Illinois State Bar Association's Task Force on the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt on the Future of the Profession will hold seven open hearings throughout the state. The Task Force was established by President Richard D. Felice and is chaired by Hon. Ann Jorgensen, Justice of the Second District Appellate Court. ISBA members are encouraged to attend these hearings to discuss the core skill sets that new lawyers should have and how law schools can graduate more “practice ready” lawyers.

ISBA President Richard D. Felice
ISBA President Richard D. Felice
ISBA President Richard D. Felice will receive the Alumnus of the Year Award from NIU College of Law on Wednesday, Sept. 17. The ceremony will be held at the University Club of Chicago, 76 E. Monroe from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The 2014 award recipients were selected based on outstanding achievements in their careers, demonstrated service to the NIU College of Law, demonstrated service to their community, and professional integrity.

During his year as president, President Felice is placing special emphasis on three projects. The first is the formation of a Task Force on the Impact of Law School Debt on the Future of the Profession to address the tremendous challenges facing new lawyers, including staggering law school debt and a stifling job market. The second initiative is the formation of a Solo and Small Firm Practice Institute Series, offering educational programs to solo and small firm practitioners in five settings throughout the state. The third program focuses on civics education. Working with the ISBA’s Law Related Education Committee, the organization is expanding its civics education programming to high school students and will also work with Illinois Judges Association on its “Courtroom in the Classroom” project.

The 2014 ISBA Midyear Meeting and Joint Meeting with the Illinois Judges Association will be held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Chicago, Illinois from Dec. 11– 13. Take advantage of this opportunity to make your reservations for lodging early. Reservations at the Sheraton may either be made online at www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/isba2014 or by calling 800.325.3535. Please be sure to advise that you are attending the ISBA/IJA Meeting when making your reservation. Rates for 2014 are $149 for single or double occupancy, plus tax. Check-in after 3:00 p.m. and check-out before 12:00 p.m.

The deadline for making reservations for lodging is on or before November 17. Reservations received after this date will be subject to availability. The deposit will be forfeited for all no-shows, early departures and cancellations less than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Watch in the coming months for additional details, schedule of events and registration information on our website www.isba.org and Illinois Lawyer Now.


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 August 2014, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for August 2014:

  • 819 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (174), Personal Injury (107), Civil Disputes (83), Criminal Law (80), Real Estate (64), Employment Law (61) and Civil Rights (39).
  • 22,173 visits to IllinoisLawyerFinder.com (19,840 unique visitors)

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

Clients should call (800) 922-8757.

The Illinois State Bar Association's Task Force on the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt on the Future of the Profession will hold seven open hearings throughout the state. The Task Force was established by President Richard D. Felice and is chaired by Hon. Ann Jorgensen, Justice of the Second District Appellate Court. ISBA members are encouraged to attend these hearings to discuss the core skill sets that new lawyers should have and how law schools can graduate more “practice ready” lawyers.

Those who provide comments should focus on:


The Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Bar Foundation, Illinois Judges Association, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Alliance of Illinois Judges, Illinois Judicial Council and the Jewish Judges Association of Illinois are teaming up for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) 20th annual Race Judicata Sprint for Justice 5K Run/Walk. This fundraising event takes place on Sept. 4 in Chicago’s Grant Park.

T-shirts will be provided for team members. All proceeds from Race Judicata go to the general operating costs of CVLS, which works to provide legal services to the poor and working poor of Chicago. The four organizations will host a tent that will serve as the main gathering point for team members. Food and water will be available at the tent. The entry fee is $34 through August 22nd. Register under the team name WBAI, ISBA, IBF, IJA, AIJ, IJC, JJAI at www.cvls.org/judicata.

The Illinois Bar Foundation has elected its officers for the organization’s 2014-15 Fiscal Year. They are: James M. Lestikow, partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, president; Shawn S. Kasserman, founding member, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC, first vice president; Elizabeth A. Kaveny, partner, Burke Wise Morrissey & Kaveny, second vice president; and Perry J. Browder, shareholder, Simmons Hanly Conroy, third vice president.

The mission of the Illinois Bar Foundation is to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. This year, the Foundation will distribute close to $400,000 in grants to legal aid organizations across the state of Illinois, and in Lawyers Care Fund support to attorneys and their families in need. The Illinois Bar Foundation is located at 20 S. Clark St., Suite 910, Chicago, IL  60603, and the phone number is (312) 726-6072.


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 July 2014, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for July 2014:

  • 827 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (155), Personal Injury (108), Real Estate (97), Criminal Law (86), Employment Law (80), Civil Disputes (42) and Estate/Probate Law (34).
  • 22,807 visits to IllinoisLawyerFinder.com (20,472 unique visitors)

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

Clients should call (800) 922-8757.


Patrick Dempsey (center), a retired police officer who is director of the Jeanine Nicarico Children’s Advocacy Center, received a 2014 Law Enforcement Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) on July 24. ISBA President Richard D. Felice (right) presented the award as DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin looks on. Berlin nominated Dempsey for the award.

The ISBA’s Law Enforcement Award was created to recognize sworn law enforcement officers for conduct that promotes justice and to distinguish those individuals whose service to the public brings honor and respect to the entire criminal justice system. It is given to recognize those who truly excel in the field of law enforcement. In addition to Dempsey, four other law enforcement officers from judicial districts throughout Illinois are being honored.