Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Northern Illinois

In part because of the steadfast efforts of Sen. Richard J. Durbin, $10 million was included in the Senate CJS Appropriations bill for the John R. Justice Prosecutor and Defender Incentive Act. This loan forgiveness program requires balance in awards between prosecutors and public defenders and equitable distribution across the states. This is less than the full $25 million authorized, but it's unusual for a new program to get full funding. It now goes to a joint House-Senate conference committee for final markup.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will announce that she will seek re-election -- and not run for governor or the U.S. Senate, the State Journal-Register is attributing to a report from the Washington Post. Madigan has called a 2 p.m. press conference. More from the Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet Hinsdale lawyer and lawmaker Kirk Dillard will announce his candidacy for Illinois governor later today, according to an AP story.
President O'Brien discusses diversity and the need for Illinois to do a better job of providing legal help for low-income families.
The new president of the Illinois State Bar Association describes himself as "the suburban white Irish guy," but John O'Brien thinks the profession and the association need more diversity.
Click here for the full story
As Helen Gunnarsson reports in the July Ilinois Bar Journal, "lawyers with file drawers or boxes of original wills for long-lost clients may rejoice: there’s finally a way to get them out of the office. Assuming a new bill is signed into law, the Illinois Secretary of State will take them off lawyers’ hands – for a small fee, of course." The law was drafted by ISBA Trusts and Estates Section Council member Ray Koenig.
Last week the Supreme Court of Illinois issued new Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct to take effect Jan. 1, 2010. New Rule 3.9 has created quite a buzz among the lawyer-lobbyists as to what it means. It may have broader applicability than those of us who lobby in Springfield to include appearances before other governmental bodies. The Rule states that “A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3(a) through (c), 3.4(a) through (c), and 3.5.” The incorporation of Rule 3.5 creates the buzz. Rule 3.5 prohibits ex parte communication with an official during the proceeding. Can this be construed to prohibit all lobbying by a lawyer-lobbyist unless it is part of a scheduled public hearing? In other words, is all I can do to lobby is testify in committee? No position papers to elected members of the General Assembly? No one-on-one individual lobbying? I can’t imagine that was the intent. Rule 3.5’s title is “Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal.” Key word is “tribunal.” It is defined in Rule 1.0(m) as follows: “Tribunal” denotes a court, an arbitrator in a binding arbitration proceeding or a legislative body, administrative agency or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity.
isbalincolnmosaic1501Chicago Sun-Times Advertising Critic Lew Lazare discussed the Illinois State Bar Association's Lincoln mosaic poster in today's column:
The organization's latest marketing initiative from & Wojdyla is a poster that features a prominent image of Abraham Lincoln, perhaps Illinois' most famous -- and readily recognizable -- attorney. But recently a few other attorneys with strong connections to Illinois also have become almost as famous as Lincoln, and they are included in the dense collage of tiny headshots of past or present ISBA members that are superimposed over the poster's dominant Lincoln image.
ISBA members can also submit their photo to danderson@isba.org to be seen in the next edition of the poster. Click here to read the full story (3rd item) Click here to order the poster

The Power of Peer Discussion

Got substantive law or practice management questions?  Get answers, maybe in minutes. All ISBA members are eligible to join ISBA e-mail discussion groups, where you can pose questions and share information with lawyers from Chicago to Cairo (Illinois that is.)  Available discussion groups include “general discussion” (open to all law-related topics), “ISBAcafe”, “litigation”, “transactional law”, “family law”, and “criminal-DUI-traffic”. Members who sign up for one or more discussion groups can also search those groups’ archived posts. Here’s what your fellow members are saying about the ISBA e-mail discussion groups … “It's like having all the benefits of a partnership without the office politics." Melissa Maye, Yorkville "Thanks for all your quick responses. WOW!!! This list is so great!" Peggy Raddatz, La Grange Click here to join the discussion