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The Illinois State Bar Association’s Academy of Illinois Lawyers will induct its 11th class of Laureates during a luncheon on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, at The Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Court, in Chicago.

The April 26 induction will begin with a reception at 11:30 a.m., followed by the luncheon at 12:15 p.m.  Reservations are $65 per person and can be made by calling JoAnn Hibbs at (800) 252-8908.

The 2011 Class of Laureates, who will be recognized during a ceremony conducted by John G. O’Brien of Arlington Heights, chancellor of the Academy Board of Regents, will bring the total to 102 distinguished Illinois attorneys to be so honored.

The Academy was established in 1999 to celebrate excellence in the practice of law by individuals who maintain the highest standards of professional and public service. The 2011 class, nominated by their peers in the profession, includes:

  • Peter J. Birnbaum, Chicago, President and CEO of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.
  • Gino L. DiVito, Chicago, Partner in Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC
  • William V. Johnson, Chicago, President of Johnson & Bell, Ltd.
  • Rosalyn B. Kaplan (posthumous), Chicago, former Chief, Civil Appeals and Ancillary Litigation Division of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
  • John B. Kincaid, Wheaton, Partner in Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC
  • Leo H. Konzen, Granite City, Partner in Lueders, Robertson & Konzen
  • David B.

ISBA members will be receiving ballots for the 2011 ISBA Election. VR Election Services (VRES), ISBA's election provider, has begun emailing e-ballots to members with valid email addresses and mailing paper ballots to members without email addresses. If you haven't received your e-ballot, please check your email spam under the suffix vres.us. If you do not receive your emailed or paper ballot by April 4th you may contact VRES at (800) 218-4026.

Members receiving an e-ballot will have the option to request a paper ballot from VRES. Likewise, any member receiving a paper ballot will have the option to vote online. Instructions for requesting a paper ballot will be included in the e-ballot email, and instructions for voting online will be printed on the paper ballot.

Online voting ends at 4:30 p.m. CT on Friday, April 29th. Paper ballots must be received at VR Election Services in Texas by 4:30 p.m. CT on Friday, April 29, 2011 in order to be counted.

The Tellers of the Election will complete the Canvass of the Election no later than May 4, 2011.

All members with their dues paid by March 1st are eligible to vote if there is a contested election in their area. The two contested elections are Cook County Board of Governors, and Downstate under 37 Board of Governors. Because there is no 3rd Vice President contest, out-of-state members do not vote.

Within the next several days ISBA members will be receiving ballots for the 2011 ISBA Election. On Monday, March 28, VR Election Services (VRES), ISBA's election provider, will be emailing e-ballots to members with valid email addresses and mailing paper ballots to members without email addresses.

Members receiving an e-ballot will have the option to request a paper ballot from VRES. Likewise, any member receiving a paper ballot will have the option to vote online. Instructions for requesting a paper ballot will be included in the e-ballot email, and instructions for voting online will be printed on the paper ballot.

Online voting ends at 4:30 p.m. CT on Friday, April 29th. Paper ballots must be received at VR Election Services in Texas by 4:30 p.m. CT on Friday, April 29, 2011 in order to be counted.

The Tellers of the Election will complete the Canvass of the Election no later than May 4, 2011.

If you do not receive your emailed or paper ballot by April 4th you may contact VRES at 800.218.4026.

All members with their dues paid by March 1st are eligible to vote if there is a contested election in their area. The two contested elections are Cook County Board of Governors, and Downstate under 37 Board of Governors. Because there is no 3rd Vice President contest, out-of-state members do not vote.

The Illinois State Bar Association's Board of Governors, at its March 11 meeting, approved signing the Pledge for Change from the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law.

The Pledge for Change states:

"As Legal Employers, Chief Legal Officers, Hiring Partners, and Hiring Personnel, we hereby affirm our commitment to diversity, including diversity regarding individuals with mental, physical, and sensory disabilities, in the legal profession. Our pledge is based on the need to enhance opportunity in the legal profession and our recognition that the legal and business interests of our clients require legal representation that reflects the diversity of our employees, customers and the communities where we do business. In furtherance of this commitment, this is intended to be a Pledge for Change for the profession generally and in particular for our law departments, firms, agencies, and organizations. We further pledge that we will encourage those law departments, firms, agencies, and organizations that we do business with to make a similar diversity commitment."

The ISBA has been added to the ABA's list of signatories.

The Spring issue of the Illinois Lawyer Now Quarterly publication has been printed and is in the mail for ISBA members' mailboxes. This is the annual election issue, so learn about contested Board of Governors races for Cook County and under 37-Downstate. There is also detailed information on how electronic voting is available for the first time.

The issue is available now in pdf form at www.isba.org/publications/illinoislawyernowquarterly

Illinois lawyers and judges are undoubtedly watching the catastrophe in Japan and responding in a generous spirit. The unfathomable devastation there continues to unfold before our eyes.

I have conveyed the following official messages to the president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and to the Consul General in Chicago expressing our sympathy and willingness to help in any way we can.

To the Consul General:

The Honorable George Hisaeda

Consul General of Japan
737 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1100
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Dear Consul General Hisaeda,

The Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association adopted a resolution at its meeting last Friday to express deep sympathy and concern for the people of Japan.  We have seen pictures of the unbelievable destruction from the earthquake and tsunami.  Our thoughts are with you, the members of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and with all of the people of Japan who have been affected by this terrible event.

We know that it will take many months to recover from this disaster.  If we can somehow be of help to you, please let us know.  In the meantime, we extend our sympathy, friendship, and continuing concern for the people of Japan.

Sincerely,

Mark D. Hassakis

To the Japan Federation of Bar Associations:

Mr. Kenji Utsunomiya

President, Japan Federation of Bar Associations

Dear President Utsonomiya:

The catastrophic earthquake and resulting tsunami of this past Friday are uppermost in the minds of the lawyers and judges of Illinois.

"Mortgage Foreclosures: The Early Stages" and "Mortgage Foreclosures: Litigation Process", two half-hour programs presented by Illinois Law, a cable production of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), will air on Chicago Access Network Television, Channel 21 in Chicago.  "The Early Stages" will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, April 5 and 26, and "Litigation Process" will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, April 12 and May 3.

Appearing on the shows are (from left) Mitchell A. Lieberman, of Noonan and Lieberman, Ltd. in Chicago; Cook County Circuit Court Judge Margaret A. Brennan; program moderator Samuel A. Kavathas (standing), of Kavathas & Castenes in Chicago; and Lisle lawyer Steven B. Bashaw, a member of the ISBA Real Estate Section Council.

The 33,000-member ISBA, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois lawyers, and education and services to the public. "Litigation Process" and "The Early Stages" are available on YouTube. Previous programs are available for viewing at www.illinoislawyernow.com/tag/illinois-law-video/

The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) applauds Gov. Quinn for signing the bill to abolish the death penalty in Illinois.

ISBA President Mark D. Hassakis, of Mt. Vernon, said the Governor is to be commended for his thoughtful consideration of all sides of the issue. “In the end, we believe he made the absolute right choice,” Hassakis said. “We cannot guarantee that there is fair application of the death penalty, and if an innocent person is put to death, that would be the grossest miscarriage of justice imaginable.”

ISBA’s  201-member Assembly voted in June, 2008 to support abolition of the death penalty in Illinois. Previously, ISBA had supported numerous recommendations to reform the death penalty after 13 Death Row inmates were released from the death sentence, some of whom were completely exonerated.

The ISBA, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, is the state’s largest bar association with 33,000 members.


This ad is appearing in newspapers statewide to recognize ISBA members who assist military personnel and their families.

As part of its Lawyers Care program, 10 members of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) have been recognized for their service on behalf of members of the military and their families.

The ISBA members – William W. Austin, Effingham; Steven B. Bashaw, Lisle; Janice L. Boback, Chicago; Tambra K. Cain, Carbondale; William L. Cleaver, Moline; Larry A. Davis, Des Plaines; Roza Gossage, Belleville; Kenneth T. Lumb, Chicago; John Lynn (posthumous), Carbondale; and Cheryl A. Powell, Mt. Vernon; – will be recognized in a statewide print advertising campaign, according to ISBA President Mark D. Hassakis, of Mt. Vernon, who launched Lawyers Care to recognize the many ways in which lawyers make a difference in their communities.

“These lawyers have gone above and beyond to help members of the military with their legal problems, including employment issues, civil and criminal court actions, and family issues that, unfortunately, sometimes arise for deployed soldiers,” Hassakis said. “These lawyers are not alone in rising to meet the legal needs of military families.


Chatham Glenwood won the 2011 ISBA High School Mock Trial Invitational. Members of the team included: front (left to right):  Ben Shane, Samuel Adkisson, Kelly Franklin, Coach Christine Self, Zane Carmean; back (left to right):  Jansen Eaton, Luke Folkerts, Travis Farris, Tylar Midden, Skylar Midden, Quinn Marschik
Chatham Glenwood High School placed first in the 29th annual Illinois State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitational held at the University of Illinois at Springfield on Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, 2011. Timothy Christian High School in Elmhurst came in second place, and tying for third were Glenbard East High School in Lombard and Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale. Teams from 47 Illinois high schools traveled to Springfield to participate in the program. Chatham Glenwood High School will represent the state of Illinois at the National High School Mock Trial Championship which will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, May 5-7, 2011. “The mock trial program is a rare opportunity for Illinois high school students to compete in a high-level academic endeavor,” says Pablo A. Eves of Bloomington, chair of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Law-Related Education for the Public, which conducts the program.