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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.

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law hosted “Power, Prestige and Your Personal Brand” on Friday at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Among the topics discussed were: Using communication styles to create a lasting impression, positioning yourself as an expert in your niche, authentic networking with a purpose and developing a look that complements your individual style and career.

On hand for the event were (from left to right): speaker Chris Beebe (theVisionaryAgency), event coordinator and member of the Committee on Women and the Law Emily N. Masalski (Deutsch, Levy & Engel), speaker Jan Anne Dubin (Jan Anne Dubin Consulting), panel moderator Kristen E. Prinz (The Prinz Law Firm), Sandra Crawford (Chair of the Standing Committee on Women & the Law), speaker Bill Moller (Bill Moller Communications, LLC) and ISBA President Mark Hassakis.

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 February 2011, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

  • Administrative Law - 9
  • Animal Law - 1
  • Bankruptcy - 18
  • Business Law - 13
  • Civil Disputes - 53
  • Civil Rights - 21
  • Collection - 20
  • Consumer Protection - 15
  • Contracts – 9
  • Criminal Law - 76
  • Education Law - 20
  • Employment Law - 84
  • Estate/Probate Law - 28
  • Family - 97
  • Government Benefits -19
  • Health Law - 10
  • Immigration - 3
  • Insurance Disputes - 3
  • Intellectual Property - 5
  • Miscellaneous - 4
  • Municipal Law - 11
  • Personal Injury - 62
  • Real Estate - 29
  • Social Security - 6
  • Tax - 10
  • Workers Compensation - 5

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.

Nominations are being accepted for ISBA awards that will be presented on Friday, June 17, 2011, at the 135th ISBA Annual Meeting at the Abbey on Lake Geneva, Fontana, Wis.

Nominating forms are available at www.isba.org/awards

General Practice

The Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award is sponsored by the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section. Nominees must be ISBA members who have been in general practice for at least 20 years and have made significant contributions to the profession and community. Nominations are due by March 25, 2011. The nominating form is available at www.isba.org/awards/gp.

Community Leadership

The Community Leadership Award is sponsored by the Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Nominees should be lawyers, judges, lawyers, members of state or local legislative bodies, educators or community activist groups who have worked to eliminate discrimination and foster understanding of legal issues relating to the LGBT community. Nominations are due by April 15, 2011. The nominating form is available at www.isba.org/awards/sogi.

Young Lawyers

The ISBA Young Lawers Division presents two Young Lawyer of the Year awards - one for Cook County and one for outside Cook County. Nominees must be ISBA members under age 36 who have achieved excellence in litigation, advocacy or counseling, and have contributed to the profession through public service and pro bono activity.

A number of ISBA leaders attended the DuPage County Bar Association's Judges Nite on Friday, Feb. 25, at the Abbington in Glen Ellyn. This year's production, the event's 36th, was titled "Flee." On hand for the show were (from left): ISBA Board of Governor Lisa Nyuli; candidate for 3rd VP Rick Felice; current 3rd VP Paula H. Holderman and Board of Governor Jim McCluskey.


ISBA President Mark Hassakis and Presiding Judge of the Cook County Juvenile Courts Michael Toomin discuss juvenile justice issues.

Illinois State Bar Association President Mark Hassakis met to discuss juvenile justice issues with the presiding judge of the Cook County Juvenile Justice Division, Judge Michael Toomin. President Hassakis had earlier toured the facility with Illinois Juvenile Justice Initiative President Betsy Clarke and Dr. Beverly Butler, Special Assistant to Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans. The group met with Judge Toomin and Chief Court Officer Diane Walsh after the tour to discuss juvenile justice issues, specifically re-entry programs and alternatives to detention.

Judge Toomin recently succeeded Curtis Heaston, who led the juvenile courts for more than a decade earlier this year.