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

Southern Illinois

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 July 2009, the ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

  • Administrative Law       8
  • Animal Law                  3
  • Bankruptcy                   19
  • Business Law               7
  • Civil Disputes               89
  • Civil Rights                   22
  • Collection                      22
  • Consumer Protection     21
  • Contracts                      8
  • Criminal Law                74
  • Education Law              10
  • Elder law                      2
  • Employment Law          99
  • Estate/Probate Law       26
  • Family                          111
  • Government Benefits     4
  • Health Law                   2
  • Immigration                   2
  • Insurance Disputes        9
  • Intellectual Property      10
  • Miscellaneous               2
  • Municipal Law              4
  • Personal Injury              92
  • Real Estate                   67
  • Social Security              12
  • Tax                              7
  • Workers Compensation  6

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) 525-8908 and ask for the Legal Department, or visit

Clients should call (800) 922.8757.

Public Act 96-583 was signed into law on Tuesday, August 18. It does four things affecting the award of attorney's fees in family law cases: (1) limits the presumption in favor of summary hearings to prejudgment cases, (2) tolls the deadline for filing a final petition for fees in some instances and permits a stipulated deferral of one year for such a filing, (3) eliminates the requirement that the attorney must file billing statements in court if he or she is seeking a consent judgment, (4) and expands the applicability for fee awards for hearings that are prompted by improper purposes. Effective January 1, 2010.

Naperville lawyer, ISBA member, tech expert, and Solo and Small Firm Conference presenter Bryan Sims (aka The Connected Lawyer) says there are four must-have tools for sole practitioners: a smart phone, a laptop, a scanner, and a good backup system.

“Unless you’re going to be tied to your office, you should have some sort of smart phone,” such as an iPhone, a BlackBerry, or a PalmPre, Sims told Helen Gunnarsson in an interview for the yet-to-be-released September Illinois Bar Journal. “You need something that will allow you to get your e-mail, look at documents, and otherwise get some work done when you’re out of the office.”

As for laptops, Simms recommends buying a business class model directly from the manufacturer instead of the cheapest thing available. “If you’re using your computer for your law practice, you can’t afford to have it out of operation for a week,” he says.

A scanner will help you create a paperless and a portable office. “I recommend that you keep all of your documents in .pdf format. If you want to keep the hard copy too, fine, but scan everything,” Sims says. Scanned documents are easy to manage and disseminate.

Finally, you need a good backup system.

Governor Quinn has signed 543 new public acts into law. He will have another 200 to sign in the next 30 days. You may want to go to the General Assembly's homepage at and click on "public acts." It lists them in chronological order in the order he signs them. Some of these new public acts take effect the day he signs them and could affect your practice area.


Members of the Illinois State Bar Association staff worked the "Looking for Lincoln" tent on Sunday at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and will be back again on Tuesday, August 18. The "Looking for Lincoln" tent also sponsored a re-enactment of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Fair attendees can collect rubbings from all five Lincoln storyboard medallions and receive half-off an adult admission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The ISBA tent is located on the north east side in the Heartland area, near the "Dock Dogs" show on the outer perimeter. All fair attendees are invited to stop by.

We've heard all the negatives, but now we want to hear the success stories and share them with ISBA members.

For the premiere print issue of Illinois Lawyer Now Quarterly in September, we would like to feature how ISBA members are adapting their practices in light of the challenging economic climate.

  • Have you succeeded in attracting new clients or growing your practice despite the downturn?
  • Have you been able to cut your overhead while still maintaining the same level of service?
  • Have you been successful in finding a new job despite the current economy?

If so, we want to hear how you did it!

Please send your story (as long or as short as you feel necessary) to Alexa Giacomini, ISBA Director of Marketing & Membership at