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

Central Illinois

Central Illinois blawgger Jeremy J. Richey conducted a revealing interview with Brian Pedigo, a California lawyer who found himself on a jury and thus saw the sausage being made (indeed, helped make the sausage). Here's a representative quote: "Jurors have their minds made up before they enter the deliberation room, even though they’re not supposed to.  It takes a very persuasive juror to change the mind of another. Also, jurors use common sense almost to a fault.  Sometimes their common-sense opinions are not relevant or related to the actual law." Read the whole interview here. Richey hosts The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog.
We invite you to share your hard-won knowledge and maybe win $2,000 in prize money by entering the 51st Annual Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest. We're looking for useful, practical articles on topics important to practicing lawyers. The highest scores will go to manuscripts that Illinois lawyers can use in their practices, written in a no-nonsense, plain-English style. If you're an ISBA lawyer member under age 36 as of July 1, 2009, or admitted to the bar fewer than five years as of that date, you're eligible to compete for a share of the $3,500 in Lincoln Award prize money and a handsome plaque for your office. And even if you don't win, yours may be among the many Lincoln Award entries to appear in the Illinois Bar Journal. Click here for more details. Click here for contest rules and application. And don't delay -- the deadline for filing a notice to enter the contest is July 15!

State

Chicago area

Southern Illinois

Nation

Legal tech

This post is updated with breaking news throughout the day.
A revised version of the following jury instruction was just posted to the Illinois Supreme Court Web site: "110.04 Liability of Owner or Keeper of a Dog or Other Animal--Statutory Strict Liability."
isbaletterbudgetcutsISBA leaders have sent a letter to Gov. Quinn and four legislative leaders in a bid to prevent cuts of up to 50% for legal aid in the current State budget. Read the letter from ISBA President Jack Carey and ISBA President-elect John G. O'Brien.
The Supreme Court ruled today that Texas is entitled to a Voting Rights Act exemption, parents who remove their disabled children from public school can be reimbursed for a private education, and the Army Corps of Engineers can issue permits for dumping dredge into waterways. From On the Docket.
The June issue of the ISBA Workers Compensation newsletter includes an interview by Robert C. Nelson with Springfield arbitrator Ruth White, who remembers her early days as a practitioner. "My first workers' comp trial was a 'nature and extent' only on a back surgery case against the State, " she said. "I tried it all afternoon that day. I remember that when an inexperienced young attorney is going on and on and on." Find out what else she has to say.
The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, which advocates for and distributes the state apporpriation for civil legal aid, faces a 50 percent cut in its appropriation if the budget bill passed by the General Assembly on May 31 becomes law. The appropriation would drop from $3.5 million to $1.75 million. In 2008, the $3.5 million appropriation helped over 68,000 low-income families address their legal needs. The General Assembly is going into a special session on Tuesday, June 23. The IEJF asks that voters call their state senators and state representatives and tell them that legal aid is important. Click here for more information.
By a 4-2 vote in Maddux v. Blagojevich. Justice Freeman delivered the judgment with Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justices Kilbride and Burke concurring. Justices Karmeier and Garman dissented. Justice Thomas was not part of the decision. From the case summary:
William Maddux is the presiding judge of the law division of the Cook County circuit court. He will be 75 years old before his current term expires in 2010. He would like to serve beyond that time, but wants to do so by running for retention, rather than in a contested election. The Illinois Constitution of 1970 states criteria for eligibility for judgeships which do not include age, but also states that the “General Assembly may provide by law for the retirement of Judges *** at a prescribed age.” The Compulsory Retirement of Judges Act states that “a judge is automatically retired at the expiration of the term in which the judge attains the age of 75.” In 1992, the Act was construed by the appellate court as precluding a judge from running for retention after age 75, but as allowing a candidate for judgeship to run in a contested election at any age, thus reaching a compromise between the constitutional absence of age as an eligibility requirement and the legislature’s constitutionally granted power to set a retirement age. This judicial interpretation, now 17 years old, has not been altered by the legislature. This declaratory judgment action seeking summary judgment was brought as an attempt to secure for Judge Maddux the right to run for retention. It was claimed that the statutory scheme now in place is constitutionally invalid. The circuit court dismissed the action.