Monday, December 8, 2014

CBA/YLS Moot Court Compeition

On November 13, 14 and 15, 2014, The Young Lawyers Section of The CBA held its Thirty-Second Annual CBA Moot Court Competition. This annual moot court event is a nationally recognized competition featuring teams from all over the country. Thank you to this year's committee chairs, Shawna Boothe, Jennifer Bitoy and Jeff Moskowitz, for putting together an outstanding fact problem and competition.
This year's 30 teams examined claims brought by an arrestee under the routine booking exception to Miranda and the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.  The arrestee brought his claims against the Government, seeking to suppress a statement made during routine booking prior to being Mirandized, and to quash the Government’s subpoena to produce decrypted documents from a laptop found during the search incident to his arrest.  The trial court denied the arrestee’s motion to suppress the statements made during the booking process because the government’s administrative purpose of record-keeping is a legitimate reason for asking whether property belongs to a suspect.  The trial court denied petitioner’s motion to quash the subpoena because the court believed the contents of the computer file were a foregone conclusion and not testimonial in nature.  The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision.  Students examined the case on the merits and address complicated issues of constitutional rights juxtaposed with governmental administrative concerns.

The final round had Florida Coastal School of Law and Pepperdine University School of Law, with the win going to Florida Coastal. Having graded briefs and judged the final round, I can attest to the excellence of the problem and the strength of the competition. Both finalists conducted themselves well and are to be congratulated.



Halfway Point For the Bar Year

I hope you as a CBA member are having a great bar year. I am enjoying it and hard to believe that we are half way through the bar year. Rest assured, much left to do.  You will be hearing about a number of programs and initiatives we will hold during the second half.  Quoting Robert Frost, "But I have promises to keep,   And miles to go before I sleep,   And miles to go before I sleep."

First Half
We have been incredibly busy.  Our goal is to address issues of relevance to our membership and to continue working on the issues of relevant to our members, including the young lawyer, our main focus this year.  A few of the events and notable dates we have enjoyed so far this bar year:

  • July 15, 2014 - CBA and CBF Pro Bono & Public Services Awards Luncheon
  • July 30, 2014 - Corporate Foreign Counsel Educational Seminar with ACC
  • August 7-9, 2014 - ABA Annual Meeting, Boston, and MBC meeting
  • September 8, 2014 - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Luncheon
  • September 10-13, 2014 - World City Bar Leaders Conference, Philsadelphia, PA
  • September 17, 2014 - CBA Annual Golf Outing
  • September 18, 2014 - Justice John Paul Stevens Awards Luncheon
  • September 18, 2014- CBA/YLS Open House
  • September 29 and 30, 2014 - Annual SCOTUS Swearing In
  • October 8, 2014 - Operation Greylord Seminar with IJA Leading
  • October 22, 2014- Someone You Should Know with Corporation Counsel Steve Patton
  • October 23, 2014 - Pro Bono and Public Service Fair, Skadden
  • October 24, 2014 - 50th Anniversary Members Luneheon
  • November 15, 2014 - CBA/YLS Moot Court Finals, Dirksen Building
  • November 15, 2014 - CBF Fall Benefit at Museum of Science And Industry
  • November 19, 2014 - Interfaith Reception for Judge Tom Hogan
  • December 2, 2014 - Unity Dinner
  • December 5, 2014 - CBA Presidents Reception Bar Show

The above list is not everything. Our committees have been busy putting on hundreds of CLE events from committee meetings to full seminars. They are the lifeblood of this organization and kudos to them.

Our JEC evaluated the retention judges and elections and worked countless hours providing this public educational service. Kudos to them as well.

None of this would be possible without the amazing team you have working for you, from Terry Murphy and Beth McMeen and everyone else. Being able to work with them very closely on a daily basis is a blessing.

Second Half
There is much being planned and more to come on various fronts. We will soon have dates and more information on leadership institute, open mentoring, and other programs we have talked about.  Stay tuned.  Want to key you in to two special events (among many others) that will both take place in April 2015:

CLE in Barcelona
We have put together an amazing week of activities planned and it is a "do not miss" trip.  The basics are:

April 4-6 - Optional Tour to Madrid
April 7- Opening Reception in Barcelona
April 8 & 9- CLE Programming (mornings only)
April 9 - Celebratory "Closing" Dinner
April 10-13 - Optional Tour to Seville

CLE Topics:
The Mock Trial: Comparison of Civil & Common Law Systems
The Client and Ethical Issues
Making a Difference: Improving the Profession and Our Communities


Anita Alvarez, Cook County State's Attorney
Aurora Abella-Austriaco, Austriaco & Associates, Ltd.
Hon. William J. Bauer, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
Hon. Ruben Castillo, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Daniel Cotter, Fidelity Life
Hon. Mathias Delort, Illinois Appellate Court
J. Timothy Eaton, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
E. Lynn Grayson, Jenner & Block LLP
Scott Henry, Segal McCambridge
Daniel M. Kotin, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman
Terri Mascherin, Jenner & Block LLP
Hon. Thomas R. Mulroy, Law Division, Circuit Court of Cook County
Cesar Rivera, Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira
Dolores Sancha, Bartolome & Briones
Pedro Yúfera, Yúfera Abogados
Additional speakers to be announced.


Majestic Hotel & Spa

We are expecting a large contingent and hope you are part of it. You will have an amazing time!

Retrospective/Prospective on Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act
We are planning an amazing gala event, recognizing those who were significant movers in making these two acts a reality. Join us on April 30, 2015, along with other bar associations, to discuss these monumental pieces of legislation and recognize those who made it a reality. We will also discuss why both of these acts remain relevant.

Warmest holiday wishes to all of you and thank you for permitting me to be in this amazing role.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Who is ready for some good laughs?

This week, the 92nd annual Bar Show presented by The Chicago Bar Association will take place,  This year the theme is, "Bar Wars Episode 6.5 - The Phantom Museum." Performed entirely by lawyers, this show is one not to miss whether you are a lawyer or not.  The show pokes fun at local, state and national politicians and celebs.  With the midterm elections taking place a few weeks ago and changes at the state and federal level, there will be plenty of fodder for this year's show. Add to that mix the George Lucas Museum and other recent issues in our city, and you have a recipe for another fantastic, laugh a minute show.

I hope to see you at the Bar Show.  On Friday, I will attend the show.   I will be on stage to read a few lines from the hilarious number, The Junior Partners.

Take some time out of your lawyer schedule and check out Bar Wars Episode 6.5.  May the force be with you!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Bar Show and Other Events Now That the Weather is Colder

As we near the holiday season, your bar association continues to be a busy place for events. On November 6, our newest additions to our ranks were sworn in at various locations.  Chicago area admittees celebrated at the Arie Crown Theatre, welcomed by Justice Anne Burke. Welcome to the newest admitted attorneys and we hope that you will fully use your free year of membership to learn more about The Chicago Bar Association and become lifelong members of this wonderful bar association.

LAP Dinner
Last night, the Lawyers Assistance Program held its Annual Dinner at the Union League Club.  LAP "is a not-for-profit organization that helps Illinois lawyers, judges, law students, and their families with alcohol abuse, drug dependency, or mental health problems."  The dinner recognized the work of a number of attorneys for their work with LAP, including Tressler LLP for its work.  Judge Henry Simmons, Managing Partner at Clifford Law Offices,  received the  John Powers Crowley Justice Award for his work.  Congrats to those recognized last night for the important work they do.

The keynote was given by Justice Anne Burke after being introduced by Judge Sheila Murphy. Judge Murphy's introduction was very moving and then Justice Burke gave a wonderful presentation on her struggles with dyslexia and finished with some humorous, but true, rules.  It was a wonderful evening recognizing the outstanding work LAP does.

CBF Fall Benefit
Tonight is the annual CBF Fall Benefit at the Museum of Science and Industry.  One of my favorite bar events of the year, it is a chance for those in the legal community to support a great cause (The CBF!) while spending time with family and friends. So many of our events as adults are solo affairs, where families are not part of the event.  The CBF annual fall benefit is a great event and if you have never been to it, I encourage you to check it out. You will enjoy full access to the  museum and exhibits while support the important work The CBF does.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

10th Annual Pro Bono Week

The week of October 19th was the 10th Annual Pro Bono Week for The Chicago Bar Association and The Chicago Bar Foundation. It was started with the twin goals of honoring lawyers' pro bono efforts and educating the public and the legal community about how these lawyers are improving the lives of the less fortunate. 

The Week was the idea of then-CBA President, Michael Hyman. Justice Hyman and Meg Benson of CVLS (which last week celebrated its 50th anniversary) served as Honorary Co-Chairs of the 10th Annual Pro Bono Week. Lynn Grayson from Jenner & Block and Matt Passen from The Passen Law Group served as Co-Chairs of the Week.

Pro Bono Week kicked off this year with a wonderful Game Night. Pro Bono Barristers went head-to-head answering questions about pro bono, with the winner allowed to designate a grant to the organization of his or her choice. The night ended in a tie, with a number of organizations receiving a piece of the winnings. This event proved popular and there is talk of a 2nd installation next pro bono week.

The next day, there was a CBA CLE program, Lost in Translation, addressing improved communications with pro bono clients. A large crowd attended this free CLE.

Thursday, the 21st Annual Pro Bono Fair was held at the offices of Skadden. Presented by the Young Lawyers Section, the Fair is an opportunity for attorneys to visit with more than 50 agencies to find a good match for their leadership or pro bono services.  More than 200 people attended this event and engaged in conversations with others interested in the cause.

The week culminated on Friday with a Breakfast with Judges event at Jenner & Block. Judges from state and federal benches attended. This event was very well attended and a great interaction took place, with judges discussing professionalism, the necessity of pro bono and other matters.

The CBA was the first bar association to have a week long focus on pro bono.  For the last six years, after the American Bar Association adopted the idea, bar associations across the country joined The CBA in the ABA's National Pro Bono Celebration.  I encourage each of you to find a cause or matter that you can commit to do in the pro bono or public service arena.  You will be rewarded beyond the experience.

A Fifty Year Celebration

On October 24, 2014, The Chicago Bar Association held its Fifty Year Member Luncheon. The event recognizes attorneys who have been continuous members for fifty years of this fine bar association.  Each year, we celebrate these remarkable members.

We welcomed the twenty members being recognized at the luncheon by raising a toast to them for their professional and personal contributions to our association.  Their membership and involvement has paved the way for this and future generations of lawyers to come together to share their time and talent in service to the bench, the bar, and the public. We thanked them for their contributions to our members and the public.  Their membership and work has allowed The CBA to do much for the improvement of justice and the courts over the years.

After lunch, the Bar Show did a few songs to entertain the crowd.  James Grippando, in keeping with tradition, gave a few remarks and observations about the changes to the profession and observations he had.  Richard Phelan then keynoted the event, remarking that he believed the profession was going to thrive and offered some advice.

The best part of the luncheon then commenced.   A YLS member during lunch interviews each of the fifty year members and then introduces the attorney before they are recognized with a small token of our appreciation. It is a great tradition and the YLS and fifty year members both enjoy this part of the luncheon.

We closed with an anonymous quote and inviting the members to continue to stay involved.  I encourage you to attend next year's 50 year luncheon and learn about some of the lawyers who have paved the way for us. And please continue on your 50 year membership journey - we look forward to feting you in a number of years and recognizing you for your commitment and service.

Post Note

Speaking of 50 year anniversaries, two events took place last week that recognized 50 year anniversaries.  The first was the 50th Anniversary Gala for CVLS.  It was an amazing night of camaraderie and recognition of the agency's founders and friends.  And on Friday, October 31, the Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy held a symposium that your bar association sponsored with a number of other organizations, Martin Luther King’s Lawyers:
From Montgomery to the March on Washington to Memphis.
It was an amazing lineup of speakers to discuss the lawyers that represented Martin Luther King.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mentoring that Matters

A while back, Justice Jesse Reyes, who sits on the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District and is a Board of Managers member, asked me if I would visit some schools with him.  I love visiting with students of various ages and agreed to do so.  Today, we made two visits.

Our first stop was to Perez Elementary School, where we met with 4th graders from the two classes.  Justice Reyes addressed his "4 R's": respect, reliability, reputation and remember where you came from.  We answered a ton of questions the students had about the lives of lawyers and judges and how much reading we have to do. Some of the kids were raising eyebrows when we told them the amount of reading required, but remained interested.  It was a great visit and we look forward to visiting Perez and we are looking forward to future visits.

 The next stop was to the Maria Kaupas Center. There we spoke to a high school group in its after school program. The group was a bit more challenging, with pizza waiting the end of our session, but also rewarding.  We met a number of the wonderful students who attend Catalyst High School in the building and then participate in the after school program.  We are looking forward to return visits to these two places as well as visits to other schools that Justice Reyes is planning.