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

Chicago Area

Mark Belongia
Mark Belongia
Belongia, Shapiro & Hynes, LLP
has moved to new law offices at 20 South Clark Street, Suite 300, Chicago. Belongia, Shapiro & Hynes, LLP expanded its offices due to its ever expanding client base and the addition of several new attorneys in 2009, doubling its size. Belongia, Shapiro & Hynes, LLP is a full-service boutique law firm that handles a wide scope of legal matters locally, nationally and internationally. The Firm’s trusted experience and reliable leadership have allowed its attorneys to represent a broad client base ranging from large multi-national corporations to individuals.
In a recent column for the Law Technology News, veteran lawyer and legal-tech writer Bob Ambrogi compared the two leading bar-sponsored legal research services, Fastcase and Casemaker. As he notes, Casemaker partners with 28 bars representing 475,000 lawyers, while Fastcase is offered by 17 state and other bars -- including the Illinois State Bar Association -- representing 380,000 lawyers. His conclusion? "[B]oth are worthwhile services with many similarities. In the coverage of federal and state libraries and the relative strengths of their search tools, neither stands out as significantly superior to the other. But in their intuitiveness and ease of use, Fastcase has the clear edge." Read his review.
The rumor mill is spinning that effective July 1, 2009, Medicare Set-Aside (MSA) trusts are required for liability litigation as is already required in worker’s compensation. (Reimbursement by a plaintiff for previously paid benefits to Medicare is unchanged by the new law.) Although federal research is not my strong suit, I can’t find any support for this proposition. My best guess is that this rumor started because of the new § 111 reporting requirements included in the Medicare, Medicaid & SCHIP Act of 2007. (Public Law 111-173). Section 111 provisions are reporting requirements and do not mention any need for MSAs in liability cases. This new law simply requires those paying  for judgments to report to Medicare payments of settlements, awards, judgments, or other payments. An argument is being posited that the previous law still in effect already requires MSAs in personal-injury cases for future medical expenses. (Medicare Secondary Payer Act). I cannot find any clear authority supporting that proposition.

A Glimpse at Illinois Lawyer Finder Referrals

The ISBA's Illinois Lawyer Finder phone service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays and in a number of areas of law.  For the month of May 2009, ISBA helped 588* people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:
  • administrative law (5)
  • animal law (3)
  • bankruptcy (18)
  • business law (11)
  • civil disputes (67)
  • civil rights (12)
  • collection (15)
  • consumer protection (12)
  • contracts (6)
  • criminal law (50)
  • education law (12)
  • elder law (2)
  • employment law (73)
  • estate/probate law (18)
  • family (103)
  • government benefits (4)
  • health law (2)
  • immigration (1)
  • insurance disputes (5)
  • intellectual property (6)
  • miscellaneous (1)
  • municipal law (12)
  • personal injury (78)
  • real estate (47)
  • social security (3)
  • tax (10)
  • workers compensation (12)
Want to be listed in the ISBA's Illinois Lawyer Finder service?  ISBA members are entitled to a free or a premium (paid) listing, which helps market and build your practice. Call 800.525.8908 and ask for the Legal Department, or click here to sign up today! (Looking for a lawyer through Illinois Lawyer Finder?  Call 800.922.8757 or click here)
Amy Gardner
Amy Gardner
ISBA Member Amy M. Gardner was re-elected President of the University of Chicago Alumni Club of Chicago at its officer elections June 22.  Ms. Gardner is a 2002 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.  The Club is made up of the 46,000 alumni and friends of the University of Chicago who reside in the Chicago area. Gardner is a commercial and IP litigator at Ungaretti & Harris LLP.
The American Constitution Society held its "Sixth Annual Supreme Court Term in Review" Thursday afternoon at Mayer Brown LLP, 71 S. Wacker, Chicago. The panel consisted of Jeffrey W. Sarles, Partner, Mayer Brown; Gary Feinerman, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP and former Solicitor General of Illinois; Colleen Connell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois; and Steven J. Heyman, Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law. The panel was moderated by Steve Sanders, an Associate at Mayor Brown.
Gerald Snyder Jr.
Gerald Snyder Jr.
Waukegan attorney and longtime Illinois State Bar Association member called a tireless advocate for children. He was a partner in the firm of Snyder, Clarke and Fouts.

From the Daily Herald:

Law partner Jim Fouts said Snyder took a personal interest in his clients.

"There were times where a woman wouldn't be able to afford a lawyer and Gerry would pay," Fouts said. "There were times when these people needed a place to stay and Gerry would put them up in a motel. He had an unending compassion for children."

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