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The ISBA will soon fill one vacant Assembly seat in the 18th Circuit (DuPage County). This vacancy is for a two-year term and begins immediately. Assembly members must reside in their circuit or district.

In accordance with paragraph 3.8(a) of the ISBA's Policy and Procedures on Association Elections, ISBA is notifying members that Rick Veenstra of Wood Dale, Illinois, has filed a nominating petition to be elected to the one ISBA Assembly vacancy from the 18th Judicial Circuit.

Any eligible ISBA member in the 18th Judicial Circuit wishing to be considered for this vacancy must submit to ISBA Executive Department by e-mail to kweaver@isba.org, a nominating petition as described in the Policy and Procedures on Association Elections. This nominating petition must be submitted within 14 days of today. You are asked to also forward the original Nominating Petition to the attention of ISBA Executive Department, 424 South Second Street, Springfield, Illinois 62701.

According to the Policy, if no other candidates file a nominating petition, Mr. Veenstra will be declared elected.  If other nominating petitions are filed, the Board of Governors shall fill the seat from the candidates nominated.

An e-mail containing this information and the nominating petition was sent to members earlier today, June 23, 2017.

There are three total vacant Assembly seats to be filled. The remaining vacancies are in Cook County. 

Two Assembly members were elected at the ISBA Annual Meeting to vacant seats on the Assembly Agenda and Program Committee. The committee has primary responsibility for preparing agendas for Assembly meetings. The winners were Carl R. Draper of Springfield and Nicholas J. Feda of St. Charles. Both seats are for two-year terms.


He's been a litigator for 33 years, a Cook County Circuit Court judge for 6½ years, and currently works as a mediator and arbitrator - with a side gig as a high school football referee for 40 years - but perhaps the most consistent, year in and year out feature of Russell Hartigan's career has been his deep involvement in the Illinois State Bar Association.

So dogged has been his advocacy of bar membership that he has been kiddingly dubbed "the pied piper of the Illinois bar" by his older son, Michael, who stepped into his father's shoes with the Chicago-based firm of Hartigan & O'Connor when the elder Hartigan became a judge in the Fifth Municipal District in southwest suburban Bridgeview in 2010.

And now that pied piper has become the bar's president after being sworn in June 16 at the ISBA Annual Meeting. Hartigan plans to spend his year prioritizing issues like helping solos and small firms with succession planning, finding ways for the legal profession to help combat gun violence in his native Chicago, addressing law student debt, and - in keeping with his son's nickname for him - attracting young attorneys to ISBA membership.

Find out more more in the July Illinois Bar Journal.


The 141st Annual Meeting was held last week, June 15-17, at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wisconsin. Attendees celebrated the accomplishments of the past year, planned for the year ahead, expanded their professional networks, and earned CLE credit. During section meetings and at the Assembly meeting, various members of the ISBA community were recognized with awards. At the Friday dinner and program, the Hon. Russell Hartigan was installed as ISBA president for 2017-18. 

The photo galleries of highlights from the Annual Meeting are listed below:

Congratulations to the winners of the Annual Meeting bingo contest:

  • $200 Amazon Gift Card - Roza Gossage
  • Affinity Tech $50 Gift Card - Rosemary Collins
  • $100 Gift Card - Nancy Easum
  • $100 Gift Card - Jeanie Pearlman
  • $100 Amazon Gift Card - John Voorn
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card - Bridget Schott
  • Gift basket with tickets & a day of golf - Jan Strzalka
  • Yoga mat & water bottle - Emma Dorantes
  • Gift basket with ISBA logo items and books - Lisa McLeod
  • Coffee-themed logo basket with Starbucks gift cards - Ron Menna
  • Custom website assessment ($99 value) - Freddi Greenberg
  • Google Home - Mark Wolf
  • OPI nail polish gift basket ($100 value) - Marylou Kent

Hon. Russell Hartigan
Hon. Russell Hartigan
Hon. Russell W. Hartigan, of Western Springs, arbitrator, lawyer, and retired Cook County judge, will be installed as president of the Illinois State Bar Association at the organization’s 141st Annual Meeting on Friday, June 16 at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wis.

During his year as president, Judge Hartigan will concentrate on several initiatives. He is dedicated to helping lawyers manage their practices. He will assist solo practitioners and small firms with succession planning through programming aimed at lawyers nearing retirement age to help them think about what’s next for their practices and clients. In addition, he plans to expand the association’s law firm management programming and resources, which includes launching the ISBA’s management and technology web portal, PracticeHQ.

To help the legal profession combat gun violence, Judge Hartigan will establish a blue-ribbon committee to recommend an appropriate role for the ISBA in educating others on and addressing the issue.

A third initiative will focus on new and young lawyers. He plans to address law student debt and practice-oriented training in law school by working with the ISBA Council of Illinois Law School Deans. He is also committed to recruiting young attorneys to ISBA membership.

The ISBA will soon fill three vacant Assembly seats, two in Cook County and one in the 18th Circuit (DuPage County). One Cook County seat has a one-year term and the other has a two-year term. Both terms begin immediately – the two-year vacancy will be filled first. The 18th Circuit vacancy is for a two-year term and begins immediately. Assembly members must reside in their circuit or district.

Interested in being a candidate? Under a policy change adopted at the 2016 Annual meeting, Assembly vacancies are no longer filled in the first instance by the Board of Governors. Instead, those seeking election must submit a nominating petition with at least 10 member signatures to the Executive Director at kweaver@isba.org. Within seven days of receiving the first petition, the ISBA will send notice via email to the membership in the affected area calling for any other nominations. If none are received within 14 days of the notice, the member submitting the nominating petition is declared elected. If more nominating petitions than vacancies are submitted, the Board will fill the vacancy from those submitting the petitions.

The new policy is at paragraph 3.8(a) of the ISBA Policy and Procedures on Association Elections. Please consult the full document for details about Assembly vacancies, nominating petitions, and other election-related processes.  If you have questions, contact Kim Weaver, Assistant to the Executive Director, at 800.252.8908 or kweaver@isba.org.


The deadline for pre-registration for the 141st ISBA Annual Meeting is Friday, June 9. Join us June 15-17 at the Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wisconsin, to celebrate our accomplishments over the past bar year and prepare for the year ahead of us. The Annual Meeting is a great place build lasting relationships, create positive changes in the profession, earn CLE hours, and be a part of our community. 

This year, we're offering a program on e-filing in Illinois. Join us for this session on Friday morning to learn how to use eFileIL, a statewide electronic filing system that will soon be mandatory, and get answers to the questions you have about it. A successful transition will allow you to continue to serve your clients efficiently. 

You can also learn how to use data to better understand your firm. In "Moneyball for Lawyers: Using Data to Build a Major League Practice," also on Friday, you will learn how to read the traditional and non-traditional numbers that are telling your business’s story, where to find these numbers, and how to make sense of them. 

There will also be plenty of opportunities to network with your peers at the Networking Luncheon and Annual Dinner on Friday, and Networking Breakfast on Saturday.

View the schedule and register today

The Illinois State Bar Association will present several awards recognizing individuals for their commitment and service to the profession and their communities at the organization’s 141st Annual Meeting at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wisconsin. Award recipients are:


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 May 2017, there were a total of 1,117 calls. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in 31 areas of law.

Here are the results for May 2017:

  • 1,116 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Referrals made in 31 areas of law
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (189), employment law (135), and criminal law (126)

These numbers do not include additional referrals made through the online Lawyer Finder service.

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.