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Illinois State Bar Association President John E. Thies (front row, center) gave a speech to representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Justice, including Zhao Jianji (front row, second from left), the Director of the Ministry's Department of Legislative Affairs. The delages were on a two week trip to the U.S., coordinated by the University of Illinois. President Thies discussed the various bar associations in the United States (including their respective activities, and how such associations benefit various members of the legal profession and public); lawyer regulation; legal ethics; legal education; and legal aid (among other topics).

The Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, has announced a change to its bylaws that will shorten the term length of its officers from two years to one year, as of June 2014. The change was approved at the IBF’s board meeting on June 14.

During the transition, Cook County Judge Debra B. Walker, of Chicago, will become president at the IBF’s board meeting in October and will hold the office for 18 months through June 2014. Other officers, who will hold their terms during the same time, are James M. Lestikow, of Hinshaw & Culbertson, Springfield, first vice president; Shawn S. Kasserman, of Corboy & Demetrio, Chicago, second vice president; and Elizabeth Kaveny, of Burke, Wise, Morrissey & Kaveny, Chicago, third vice president. The remaining positions of secretary and treasurer will be appointed prior to the October meeting.

"By adopting the terms and officer structure of our partner, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Foundation Board now gives more of its members the opportunity to bring their zeal, passion and enthusiasm for the foundation to its leadership,” said IBF Board President George F. Mahoney, III, of Joliet.

The mission of the Illinois Bar Foundation is to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. This year, the Foundation will distribute more than $425,000 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 ISBA/JTBF Law and Leadership Institute (LLI) will kick off its first residential program this Sunday at the Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale. The downstate program is a one week residential program running from Sunday, June 24 through Saturday, June 30.

The LLI is a statewide initiative to assist students from minority, ethnic, and other groups who are currently underrepresented in the legal professions achieve academic success and aspire to a career in the law.

The two current programs in Illinois were spearheaded by the ISBA Diversity Pipeline committee and will be hosted by the Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale and the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The Chicago commuter program will be held from Monday, July 23 through Friday, August 10.

The LLI involves a combination of classroom lectures, logic and critical thinking exercises, writing and oral advocacy instruction, guest speakers, and field trips to area law firms, government offices and courthouses. Many ISBA members participate as program speakers and activity sponsors. Students who participate in the LLI will:

President John E. Thies addresses the Assembly on June 16 at the ISBA Annual Meeting.
President John E. Thies addresses the Assembly on June 16 at the ISBA Annual Meeting.
The Illinois State Bar Association, in partnership with the American Bar Association’s Senior Lawyers Division, has filed a resolution for action by the ABA’s House of Delegates at the upcoming ABA Annual Meeting in August.

The resolution reaffirms the ABA policy – adopted in 2000 – that law firms shall not be owned by non-lawyers and legal fees shall not be shared with non-lawyers. Proposals that would change this policy have been circulated in connection with the work of the ABA’s Commission on Ethics 20/20.

President John E. Thies briefed the ISBA Assembly on the proposed changes, and the need for the ISBA’s action. “Ethics 20/20 has been tasked with looking at the impact of technology and globalization on the legal profession – these are not bad subjects to consider. However, this inquiry is being used directly or indirectly as a means of advancing proposals which seek to do some of the very same things which were defeated during the battle over Multi-Disciplinary Practice,” Thies said. 

A number of states have already indicated their support for the ISBA/Senior Lawyers Division resolution, including Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Thies added: “this is about defending the core values of our profession against the encroachment of non-lawyers – to the detriment of clients. It’s gratifying that so many other states are lining up behind us, and I expect this to continue as we approach the ABA meeting in August.”

Paula H. Holderman
Paula H. Holderman
Illinois State Bar Association 2nd Vice President Paula Hudson Holderman has been named as one of the "100 Women Making a Difference” by Today's Chicago Woman. She will be featured in the July 2012 issue.

Holderman, who will become ISBA President-elect at the Annual Meeting in June, is the chief attorney development officer for Winston & Strawn LLP. In 2011, she took the lead to establish the ISBA's Law and Leadership Institute to expose diverse young women and men to the profession of law.

Holderman, Winston & Strawn’s chief attorney development officer, has global responsibility for the firm’s professional development and all facets of education and training. She also teaches as the James C. Wood Distinguished Co-Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

New ISBA President John E. Thies is sworn-in by his father, former ISBA President Richard L. Thies
New ISBA President John E. Thies is sworn-in by his father, former ISBA President Richard L. Thies
John E. Thies, a shareholder at Webber & Thies, P.C., in Urbana, was installed Friday as the 136th president of the Illinois State Bar Association at the Annual Meeting at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wis. His installation marks the first time both a father and son have led the Association. Thies’ father, Richard L. Thies, was ISBA president from 1986-87. View pictures from the Annual Dinner and Reception.

“It’s a great responsibility and opportunity. As the largest state-wide organization of Illinois lawyers and judges, the ISBA has an enormous capacity to champion the core values of our system of justice, and the lawyers who serve it,” John Thies said. “As ISBA President, it is my top priority to make the most of this capacity for the benefit of our membership and the public our members serve.”

During his term as president, Thies will place special emphasis on four major projects that derive from his own experiences in life and the law. A Law School Debt task force will examine the heavy educational debt burden faced by new lawyers as they begin their careers and how that impacts the delivery of legal services. A Committee on Fair and Impartial Courts will coordinate the ISBA’s efforts to identify and publicize threats to fair and impartial courts due to lack of funding.

ISBA President John E. Thies presents Young Lawyer of the Year Awards to Angela Baker Evans of Peoria and Steven Hunter of Chicago.
ISBA President John E. Thies presents Young Lawyer of the Year Awards to Angela Baker Evans of Peoria and Steven Hunter of Chicago.
The Illinois State Bar Association presented several awards to recognize individuals for their commitment and service to the profession and their communities at the Awards Luncheon on Friday, June 15. Click here to view the photo gallery from the luncheon.
•    Law Student Division Public Service Award: Alejandra Lara, University of Illinois College of Law;
•    Young Lawyers of the Year: Angela Baker Evans, of Peoria, a lawyer at the law firm of Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller, LLC; and Steven Hunter, of Chicago, a partner with the Chicago law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP;
•    Diversity Leadership Award: E. Lynn Grayson, partner, Jenner & Block;
•    Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award: Warrenville attorney William Price;
•    Community Leadership Award: Hon. Sebastian Patti, presiding judge, Domestic Violence Division, Circuit Court of Cook County;
•    Elmer Gertz Award for Human Rights: Hon. Martha A. Mills, Circuit Court of Cook County;
•    Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award: John Lafond, of Urbana, a telephone counselor at the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation;

"Need an Adult Guardianship for Someone Close?" and "Seeking an Adult Guardianship: What's Next?" aired on the Illinois Law cable program in June and July. These programs were moderated by the Hon. Cheryl Cesario and featured Margaret Benson, Nancy Spain and Gregg Garofalo. "Seeking an Adult Guardianship: What's Next?" begins at 26:23 in the video.

John E. Thies
John E. Thies
John E. Thies, a shareholder at Webber & Thies, P.C., in Urbana, will be installed Friday as the 136th president of the Illinois State Bar Association at the Annual Meeting at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wis. His installation marks the first time both a father and son have led the Association. Thies’ father, Richard L. Thies, was ISBA president from 1986-87.

“It’s a great responsibility and opportunity. As the largest state-wide organization of Illinois lawyers and judges, the ISBA has an enormous capacity to champion the core values of our system of justice, and the lawyers who serve it,” John Thies said. “As ISBA President, it is my top priority to make the most of this capacity for the benefit of our membership and the public our members serve.”

During his term as president, Thies will place special emphasis on four major projects that derive from his own experiences in life and the law. A Law School Debt task force will examine the heavy educational debt burden faced by new lawyers as they begin their careers and how that impacts the delivery of legal services. A Committee on Fair and Impartial Courts will coordinate the ISBA’s efforts to identify and publicize threats to fair and impartial courts due to lack of funding.

The Illinois State Bar Association will present Board of Governors Awards to Oak Forest attorney Edward J. Burt, 4th District Appellate Justice M. Carol Pope and Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Julie Ann Sebastian on Friday at the Annual Awards Luncheon during the 136th Annual Meeting at the Abbey Resort on Lake Geneva.

Edward J. Burt
Edward J. Burt
Board of Governors Awards are given to ISBA members for significant service to the profession and the public.

Burt is partner with the law firm of Urban & Burt, Ltd. He is a past member of the ISBA Assembly and a current member of the ISBA Family Law Section. He also currently serves as a Board member of the Illinois Bar Foundation.

He is a 1970 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1973.

M. Carol Pope
M. Carol Pope

Pope, of Petersburg, is a Justice with the 4th District Appellate Court in Springfield. She recently finished her term as president of the Illinois Judges Association. Pope was elected Menard County State’s Attorney in 1984 and 1988. In 1991, she was appointed a resident circuit judge of Menard County by the Supreme Court of Illinois and was elected to that position in 1992 and retained in 1998, 2004, and 2010. She was assigned to the Appellate Court in 2008.