Friday, January 16, 2015

The Annual Illinois Supreme Court Dinner - ISBA/CBA

Each year, The ISBA and The CBA cosponsor a dinner at The ISBA midyear to recognize the Illinois Supreme Court.  At the dinner, a Supreme Court Justice speaks. This year, Justice Robert Thomas spoke.  A video of his speech is available at  It is worthwhile to spend a few minutes and watch this serious presentation.

Justice Thomas opened by noting his normal approach is lighthearted and self-deprecating. But not on this occasion. He discussed the "crisis of trust" facing our nation on many fronts, including our politicians.  Justice  Thomas noted, " Earlier this year, an ABC news poll confirmed that, for the first time in the 25-year history of that poll, more than half the country disapproves not only of Congress as an institution, but also of their own local representative. This has never happened before, and it is deeply illustrative of the crisis of trust we are facing."

 He then turned to the situation in Ferguson, noting that it is something we as lawyers and judges are involved in the very system being attacked.  He stated, "But we do serve the legal system. And that system is at the heart of the Ferguson crisis, and there is no question that for many in our country, trust in the legal system – in the system you and I serve – has broken down." 

He explained that when we face such breakdown of trust, we can either "choose cynicism and despair, or we can choose hope."  If we choose the latter, "We commit ourselves to ensuring that, to the extent it is within our power, the shadow of injustice, inequality, or corruption never taints the work we ourselves do."

He closed by imploring each of us in the legal community to work with hope and trust and that "it is the very least we owe to one another."

It was a powerful speech and I encourage you to watch it and act upon the demand.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Past Presidents

Yesterday, the annual meeting of the Past Presidents of The Chicago Bar Association took place.  One reason for the meeting is the selection of the two past presidents and two at-large members for the Nominating Committee.  As current president, I have not been to these meetings before, but in a few months will join the group.

One of the most impressive parts of the lunch to me, in addition to being able to interact with the Past Presidents who were in attendance and are remarkable, is spending a few minutes with some of the folks in the room looking at the wall of photos of most of our past presidents. The people who have held the position are an amazing group of individuals, a true "Who's Who" of the Chicago legal community.  On the wall are names that every Chicago attorney knows, as well as so many others who have lead this fine legal community.

After spending time discussing past presidents and the lunch meeting itself, it reinforced what I have known for a long time - being CBA President is about as big an honor as one can imagine and it is humbling to be amongst such greatness.  Big shoes to fill for sure and so the efforts must never end to do our best. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Traffic Court Video

I’m excited to share the CBA and Illinois Judges Association video production of “How to Be Prepared for Traffic Court” with Judge Thomas R. Mulroy.


Before you head to Cook County Traffic Court, watch this short video on how to be prepared and present yourself in a professional, organized manner. Circuit Court of Cook County Associate Judge Thomas R. Mulroy shares tips on how to be prepared for Traffic Court. Presented by The Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Judges Association. Watch now at

Join Me and The Chicago Bar Assocatoin for a Very Memorable Trip to Spain - Don't Delay

I invite you to join myself and The Chicago Bar Association in Barcelona this April! I am very excited to announce that the CBA is headed to Barcelona, Spain from April 7-10 for a continuing legal education excursion. Our travel plans also include the option to add-on pre- and post-travel to Madrid and Seville. Having participated in previous CBA CLE travel to Dublin, Rome, Manila,  Paris and London, I know firsthand how terrific these trips are. In addition to the educational opportunities these trips provide, the personal connections I’ve made are second to none. To learn more, feel free to reach out to me or visit to see our planned itinerary. However, don’t delay. Registration ends Friday, January 16.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Chinese Delegation

On Monday, December 15, The Chicago Bar Association was host to a U.S. Department of State Visiting Delegation of Chinese Law Professors and Lawyers. The main request of the meeting was to discuss the topic, "Preventing Wrongful Convictions through Reliable Evidence."

The panel consisted of Darryl Goldberg, a private criminal defense attorney; Christoper Hotaling, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Nancy Galassini,
with the Illinois States Attorneys; and, Patrick Reardon, with the Office of the Public Defender. The meeting was a great discussion of how our federal and local systems work. The Chinese delegation had a number of questions, including a discussion of the Hearsay Rule.

We were honored to be hosts to this outstanding delegation. The CBA continues to be a place of not only local law profession concerns, but global. 

Happy Holidays

As we get to the half way point of the bar year, and the holiday season upon us, want to extend a Merry Xmas, a Happy Hannukah and happy holidays to all of you, the members. You have an incredible bar association that is not matched by any other bar we are aware of in this country.

A heartfelt thanks to the staff of The CBA, led by Executive Director Terry Murphy and Assistant Executive Director Beth McMeen. The staff at 321 S. Plymouth is amazing and a fantastic group of talented, hard working individuals who ensure that our bar association remains unrivaled.

It is an incredible honor to be your President this bar year. I continue to ask for ideas and thoughts for programs, events and comments from you.  It is your bar association, so let us know what we can be doing to provide value added benefits to our members.

I can be reached at, by text to 312-259-4285 or by calling that number.

Safe and joyous holidays to you and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2105 to each of you!

Public Service Traffic Video

In what we hope will be the first of many public service videos on appearing in various courts, Board of Managers member, Judge Tom Mulroy, recently filmed this outstanding public service video on how to appear in traffic court. This helpful video is designed for the general public to understand the importance of being prepared and presenting well.

This project was co-sponsored by The CBA along with The Illinois Judges Association, and the generosity of Judge Mulroy.  Please take a look and spread the word. We hope this video will be watched by those who must appear in traffic court on various violations.

Thank you to Judge Mulroy and the Bar Show actors who volunteered to be in the film.

Please check out this public service video that addresses appearances in traffic Court. The CBA and IJA jointly sponsored this video as a public service, and Judge Thomas Mulroy did an exceptional job on this video.

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