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

Update your knowledge on a number of advanced workers’ compensation issues with this full-day seminar on February 20, 2017 in either Chicago and Fairview Heights. Labor and employment attorneys and workers’ compensation practitioners attending this seminar will better understand: how orthopedic injuries are diagnosed and treated in workers’ compensation claims; the 2016 Appellate Court decisions that have impacted workers’ compensation law; how to avoid ethical dilemmas in your practice; how to present effective arguments before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission; American Medical Association evaluations and how they’re used in court; and claims of retaliatory discharge.

The program is presented by the ISBA Workers Compensation Law Section and qualifies for 5.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.


Justice John J. Stamos
Justice John J. Stamos
Justice John J. Stamos, who served as an Illinois Supreme Court Justice from 1988 to 1990, passed away on Saturday, January 28, in Northbrook. He was 92.

“On behalf of the Illinois Supreme Court, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Justice John J. Stamos," Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier said. "Justice Stamos was an outstanding lawyer and judge who distinguished himself both on the appellate court and as a member of the Supreme Court of Illinois.

"Justice Stamos is perhaps best known as the author of In re Himmel,  125 Ill.2d 531(1989).  Decided in the wake of Operation Greylord, In re Himmel affirmed that all members of the Illinois bar are under an obligation to report lawyer misconduct or the misconduct of others directly observed in the practice of law or the administration of justice. The case has been cited hundreds of times in the legal literature and has had a profound and positive impact on how lawyers conduct themselves in Illinois and throughout the United States. The people of our State owe him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering commitment to the highest principles of justice. He will be missed."



Please save the date for the Illinois Bar Foundation’s Lawyers Rock presented by Meyers & Flowers on Thursday, March 16 at the Lincoln Hall in Chicago. Enjoy live music and lots of fun as lawyers rock out for justice. The proceeds of this event help the Illinois Bar Foundation ensure access to justice and support juvenile justice causes through the Foundation’s M. Denny Hassakis Fund. General Admission is $50 per person and includes food and two beer, wine or soda tickets, and VIP tickets are $100 per person and include food and beer, wine or soda throughout the evening. A limited quantity of reduced price YLD General Admission tickets are available for current ISBA YLD members.


The Illinois Supreme Court announced rule amendments today that make Illinois the first state to adopt so-called “proactive management-based regulation” (PMBR), a system designed to prevent ethical missteps by requiring lawyers without malpractice insurance to review their operations. For the text of the changes, see Amended Rule 756(e).  

Beginning in 2018, Illinois attorneys in private practice who do not have malpractice insurance must complete a four-hour interactive, online self-assessment regarding the operation of their law firm. This self-assessment will require lawyers to demonstrate that they have reviewed the operations of their firm based upon both lawyer ethics rules and best business practices. The program will be administered by the ARDC.

Following a lawyer’s self-assessment, the ARDC will provide him or her with a list of resources to address issues identified during the self-assessment process, according to a supreme court press release. All information gathered in a lawyer’s online self-assessment is confidential, although the ARDC may report data in the aggregate.

Lawyers who do not maintain malpractice insurance are required to complete a self-assessment every two years. Other lawyers are encouraged to self-assess. Lawyers who participate in the PMBR self-assessment will earn free MCLE credits.


Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am the owner of a personal injury plaintiff practice in downtown Chicago. I am the only attorney in the firm. I have two legal assistants. I am 66 years old and am starting to think about retirement and how to exit my practice. I would like to sell the practice to another law firm or practitioner. Does my practice have any value and can it even be sold?


Mediation is designed to resolve differences both in and out of the courts. It requires a very different mindset than courtroom litigation. This five-day Master Series program – which takes place in Chicago from February 13-17, 2017 – trains practitioners to resolve conflicts in a non-adversarial, non-confrontational manner, allowing peaceful resolutions between parties. The program is taught by Richard Calkins and Fred Lane—two nationally recognized mediators, authors and educators. Mr. Calkins and Mr. Lane have developed an approach that encourages the mediator to be a peacemaker, deemphasizing the antagonism involved in formal litigation. Their five-day course has considerable hands-on training and requires each participant to complete two full mediations as a mediator. Course topics include an introduction to mediation, caucus form of mediation, qualities of a peacemaker, ethical considerations, other Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms, advanced mediator techniques, and arbitration.

Mr. Calkins and Mr. Lane are co-authors of the “Lane & Calkins Mediation Practice Guide,” which is included as part of this program.

Click here for more information and to register.


Woodstock attorney Michael Cortina offers tips for documenting commercial construction loans.

 


The ISBA is among bar associations co-hosting a free reception in Chicago Monday, February 13, for two world-recognized anti-slavery leaders, Biram Abeid and Brahim Randhame of Mauritania, West Africa. Abeid and Randhame have led the fight against slavery in Mauritania, which did not criminalize the practice until 2007 and whose weak anti-slavery laws are seldom enforced. Slavery in Mauritania is race- and descent-based and is chillingly similar to that in the antebellum United States.

The reception will be from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Latham & Watkins LLC Conference Center at 330 N. Wabash #2800 (find out more and RSVP here) and will raise funds to help combat slavery in Mauritania. The legal community is partnering with the Chicago-based Abolition Institute to host the event. For more information contact Sean@StoppingSlavery.org.


Consumers go online to rate restaurants, hotels, retail businesses, and home services. Specialized sites have sprung up to rate teachers, professors, doctors, and other professionals. So why should lawyers be an exception?

In fact they're not, and for that reason they need to promote - and defend - their reputation online much as they do in physical space, although the specific concerns and methods may differ. To begin with, attorneys need to claim and populate their page on the legal website Avvo, while promoting themselves elsewhere on other social media, says Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute.

"It's better to play offense than defense," he says. "It is not a matter of if you will get a negative review, it is a matter of when. Eventually, someone is not going to like what you did. It's better to take a proactive approach. We are in the consumer review economy. You can't get away from it. It is what it is. Let's deal with it." Find out how to respond to negative reviews in the February Illinois Bar Journal.