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(To order individual sessions, click here for the 2012 Solo and Small Firm Category.)
Program Information
Program Date:
September 13, 2012
Program Location:
2012 Solo Small Firm Conference
Going Paperless in the Real World
Paperless is a great concept, but has anyone actually done it? What technology should you use? How difficult is it? Find out if converting paper files to digital files improves efficiency, cuts down on potential malpractice risks from lost or misplaced documents, and makes your work easier with this informative segment.

Speaker Information
Aaron W. Brooks   [ view bio ]
David M. Hundley   [ view bio ]
Business Entity Choices for Law Firm Organization
Being organized is the key to running a business as smoothly as possible. Learn how an organized law firm can help you minimize tax and lawyer liability issues, while maximizing lawyer and employee benefits!

Speaker Information
William S. Condon   [ view bio ]
David B. Sosin   [ view bio ]
Health Care Reform for Small Employers

In this segment the speaker discusses the status of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act following the Supreme Court ruling, including continued implementation of required changes to health plan design, the small employer tax credit, required disclosures and reporting for small employers, individual tax changes and State Insurance Exchanges.

Speaker Information
Michael J. Powers   [ view bio ]
Basics of Consumer Bankruptcy - Chapter 7 & 13

This comprehensive overview offers a basic examination of consumer bankruptcy issues for those attorneys who are new to the practice area. Topics include: preliminary considerations during the initial interview of clients; client expectations; mean-test considerations; Chapter 7 Reaffirmations; and drafting effective Chapter 13 Plans.

Speaker Information
Sean M. Williams   [ view bio ]
Cloud Tools for Solos and Firms

There are many cloud options to choose from, but how do you choose which ones are viable tools for your law practice? This session covers cloud services for every aspect of the solo and small firm law practice, including cloud-based practice management, time tracking and accounting, document management, and several other law office productivity tools.

Speaker Information
Diane Ebersole   [ view bio ]
Nerino J. Petro   [ view bio ]
Bryan M. Sims   [ view bio ]
The One Thing a Solo Practitioner Can Do to Reduce Their Disciplinary or Malpractice Risk

In this segment, the speaker draws upon her past role as a Hearing Board Chair and Litigation Counsel with the Illinois ARDC to explain why solo practitioners have a higher risk of becoming the subject of a disciplinary or malpractice claim. Topics include: the practice areas that receive the most complaints; the statistics regarding the types of complaints handled by the ARDC; and the specific ethics rules that seem to give lawyers the most trouble. The presentation concludes with practical tips and advice for solo practitioners to use in an effort to reduce their ethical risks. 

Speaker Information
Allison L. Wood   [ view bio ]
Domestic Relations Update and Social Media Entanglements for the Family Lawyer

Don’t miss this review of recent significant cases and legislative changes in the family law area, along with practice suggestions from a family law judge. A discussion on the various legal and evidentiary issues created by modern social media is also included.

Speaker Information
Arnold F. Blockman   [ view bio ]
Alan Pearlman   [ view bio ]
Real Estate Closings

This comprehensive overview offers a look at real estate closings, including an update on engagement letters, the basic contract, and attorney approval issues. A discussion on the practical and ethical issues involving short sales is also included.

Speaker Information
John G. O'Brien   [ view bio ]
Deep Impact: How Technology Raises New Concerns for Privacy, Self-Incrimination, and More

Processing information electronically comes with many benefits – from saved storage space and reduced costs, to increased efficiency and greater mobility. Even so, many risks are associated with the modern electronic era, including data loss, identity theft, and public disclosure of private/sensitive information. This presentation explores the basic laws and regulations about information privacy and security, as well as a review of recent case studies regarding data loss and protection. Practical tips on how to keep your information safe and secure is included.

Speaker Information
Aaron W. Brooks   [ view bio ]
Shamla T. Naidoo   [ view bio ]
Reducing Risks and Managing Mayhem: Recognizing and Managing Clients with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Problems

Learn to spot clients and litigants with high conflict personalities and discover resources and strategies for working with them!

Speaker Information
Dr. Gail Petrich   [ view bio ]

As the recession continues and solo and small firm attorneys “reinvent” the focus of their practice, the prospect of mortgage foreclosure defense work becomes more realistic and the opportunities more frequent. Join us for an exploration of the fundamentals surrounding the mortgage foreclosure arena, including the most recent case laws affecting mortgage foreclosure issues.

Speaker Information
Steven B. Bashaw   [ view bio ]
The Nuts & Bolts of Opening a Law Practice

Get the information you need to start a solo or small firm practice with this informative session! Topics include: office space; office equipment; banking needs; accounting; and billing software. Current technology, marketing issues, and the ethical considerations common in a small or solo firm practice are also explored.

Speaker Information
Justin B. Ryan   [ view bio ]
Michael E. Ryan   [ view bio ]
A Day in the Life of a Mac-Using Lawyer

Let our speakers show you just how easy it is to use Mac products in a Windows-based environment! Discover some of the differences you will experience when working with a Mac computer, as well as several advantages. Gain a better understanding of the native applications available on the Mac for lawyers and the various apps available on the cloud. A discussion on how to utilize the Mac eco-system – laptop, iPad, and iPhone – is also included.

Speaker Information
Mark C. Metzger   [ view bio ]
Alan R. Press   [ view bio ]
The Practice of Practicing Law - PART ONE: The Economics of Starting a Law Practice

In this segment, the speakers discuss the financial and practical details involved in creating your own law firm, including: business plans, taxes, lines of credit, budgets/balance sheets, billing structures, conflict checks, fee collections, retainer agreements, payroll, and more.

Speaker Information
William Barnes   [ view bio ]
Juliet E. Boyd   [ view bio ]
Bankruptcy: Interaction of Bankruptcy and Divorce

Discover how bankruptcy and divorce interact and affect one another with this comprehensive overview. Topics include: filing before or after a divorce; discharging payments owed to third parties; drafting the necessary language in a settlement agreement; discharging the attorney’s fee; and violating the automatic stay. A discussion on the various decisions each court makes – including bankruptcy courts and state courts – is also included.

Speaker Information
Paul A. Osborn   [ view bio ]
Seth M. Williams   [ view bio ]
Basics of Adoptions

There are many nuances of Illinois adoption law that attorneys need to understand if they’re going to effectively help their clients. This presentation offers an overview of adoption law in Illinois, including how to complete both an unrelated adoption and a related adoption (and the difference between the two), how to terminate parental rights where there is no consent by a biological parent, and the necessary steps needed after the judgment for adoption is entered. A discussion about confirming international adoptions in the Illinois courts is also included.

Speaker Information
Jane Craddock Ryan   [ view bio ]
10 or More Things You Can Do With the Software You Have

Be more efficient and effective around the office by learning how to use the software you already have! Topics include: creating digital signatures for Adobe Acrobat; typing on static PDFs for free; capturing screen images quickly; and sending files via Skype – to name just a few. Information about free software that helps you avoid forgetting to add attachments in Outlook is also included.

Speaker Information
Todd H. Flaming   [ view bio ]
Nerino J. Petro   [ view bio ]
The Practice of Practicing Law - PART TWO: The Business Side of Starting a Law Practice

Starting a law practice means more than just knowing the law! Learn the ins and outs of running a solo or small firm – from retirement plan options and important accounting tools to personal estimated tax payment issues/strategies, §125 café plans (medical expenses and dependent care benefits), and §132 transportation fringe benefit plans. Discover how managing law firm employees effectively can greatly reduce the risk of ethical violations. Topics include: hiring/firing employees, responsibilities of non-lawyer assistants, conflicts of interest, calendars, notary rules, employee handbooks, and more! 

Speaker Information
Matthew Costello   [ view bio ]
Lisa M. Nyuli   [ view bio ]
The Intersection of Basic Estate and Life Care Planning with Elder Law

This comprehensive overview explores the recent changes to the Medicaid eligibility rules for long-term care, which resulted from the post-DRA rules and the SMART Act. The presentation includes a discussion on how these rules intersect with basic estate and life care planning, as well as the various issues and provisions for consideration when drafting basic estate and life care planning documents – particularly in light of the Medicaid eligibility rules in Illinois.

Speaker Information
Constance B. Renzi   [ view bio ]
Technology and the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct: How Not to Commit Malpractice with Your Computer
Technology has transformed the practice of law by providing unprecedented access to information, streamlining the workflow, and creating instantaneous and cost-effective communications. Yet lawyers who race to use the latest and greatest technology do not always see the corresponding ethical and legal issues lurking around the next curve. This segment discusses how to avoid ethical blunders and malpractice risk including: metadata missteps; damaging electronic messages; social networking perils; Wi-Fi pitfalls; data breaches; ways to avoid costly collisions; and more.

Speaker Information
Catherine Sanders Reach   [ view bio ]
Transfer on Death Instruments: The Good, The Bad, and the Potentially Ugly

This comprehensive review explores the new Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act and provides options and forms for its effective use in practice. The potential pitfalls and the unanswered questions of the new Act are also discussed.

Speaker Information
Patrick D. Owens   [ view bio ]
Ten Things Judges Wish You Knew About Legal Writing

Judges at every level say that they repeatedly encounter legal writing blunders that can sabotage arguments and make written advocacy weaker and less effective. This session shows you how to avoid common writing errors by using ten key techniques to produce powerfully persuasive briefs that will stand out from the crowd and give your client the best chance of success.

Speaker Information
Timothy J. Storm   [ view bio ]
Baby Boomers, The Age Wave, and the Commoditization of the Practice of Law: How to Survive the Storm
There is a hurricane coming that could substantially alter (or destroy) the coastline that is the solo and small firm legal practice. Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer and other form producers fueled by Baby Boomers who want to do their own legal work are taking away substantial business from solo practitioners and small firms. This session gives you the tools you need to change your practice and successfully weather this storm.
Speaker Information
Ben A. Neiburger   [ view bio ]
Getting the Most Out of Outlook While Avoiding Malpractice Risks

Lack of communication is among the top 10 reasons for disciplinary complaints in every state – and Illinois is no exception! Keeping a clean inbox and staying on top of tasks and appointments goes a long way to being responsive. Microsoft Outlook is a powerful tool and the primary “practice management” application in many law offices, making it important for attorneys to understand how this software works. Come learn how to more effectively harness the features and functions of Outlook, including calendar and task management. The various add-ons and plug-ins that can help supercharge this software as a valuable component for your law office is also discussed. 

Speaker Information
Catherine Sanders Reach   [ view bio ]
Alternative Billing Practices

This presentation explores alternative billing practices, including: value, project and results-based billing; setting minimum billable times for phone calls and emails; billing for staff time, copies, and mail; and free consultations vs. giving away advice. A discussion on how to handle confidentiality considerations when someone other than the client is paying the bill is also included.

Speaker Information
Maurice Grant   [ view bio ]
Eileen M. Letts   [ view bio ]
Hot Topics for Senior Lawyers

Fantasizing about life after the practice of law? This session explores the most concerning retirement-related issues, including practice transition, estate planning options, and what to do with yourself after you take down your shingle for the last time.

Speaker Information
Mary A. Corrigan   [ view bio ]
Family Law: Your First Divorce

From initial client consultation to finalizing the divorce, this presentation gives you the general knowledge you need to properly initiate a dissolution proceeding and represent your client from start to finish. Topics include: identifying divorce cases, clients, and issues; filing; disputes involving children; addressing financial issues; pre-trial; agreements; trial; and prove ups.

Speaker Information
Justin B. Ryan   [ view bio ]
Trust Accounting and the New Rules: QuickBooks and Staying Out of Trouble Using Software for Trust Accounting

There is no quicker way to get in trouble with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission than to fail to properly maintain your IOLTA account. This session discusses recent changes under the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and explores various software tools – such as QuickBooks and Excel – to meet your obligations and maintain your IOLTA account.

Speaker Information
Dianne L. Ebersole   [ view bio ]
Bryan M. Sims   [ view bio ]
Of Counsel Relationships: Ethical and Legal Considerations

Thinking of becoming Of Counsel to a firm or associating with another lawyer? Gain a better understanding of what the term “Of Counsel” means, including the various ethical and legal considerations of the Of Counsel affiliation.

Speaker Information
David B. Sosin   [ view bio ]
Employment Law: Overview for Business Clients

Keep abreast of current trends in the employment law arena with this hot topic review of the Fair Labor Standards Act issues and related Illinois rules! Topics include: record retention obligations and disclosure limitations imposed by state and federal law; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; and the legal issues associated with maintaining employer privacy in this electronic age. The specific questions that will be addressed throughout this presentation include: What records must employers keep? When and to whom may those records be released? How active is the current wage and hour enforcement environment? Which agencies are auditing and what can employers expect when government auditors call? What are employers’ obligations under HIPAA and other employee medical privacy statutes? What are the pros and cons of permitting employees to use their own tech devices in the workplace?

Speaker Information
Tracy C. Litzinger   [ view bio ]
Cathy A. Pilkington   [ view bio ]
Setting Up a Corporation
Learn how to form an Illinois corporation and limited liability company – from completing the necessary forms to understanding the process – with this informative segment. Practical pre-incorporation and post-incorporation tips are included throughout the discussion.
Speaker Information
Aaron J. Lytle   [ view bio ]
Document Assembly Magic - Effective Use of Document Assembly

Discover how new tools can allow you and your staff to easily create smart document templates using your own forms without the aid of outside technical support. See demonstrations of some of the newest document assembly tools like TheFormTool, as well as more traditional standbys, such as HotDocs and the tools included in Microsoft Word 2007/2010. Learn how document assembly can save you time and improve your efficiency, while avoiding malpractice risks inherent in reusing documents with Find & Replace.

Speaker Information
Trent L. Bush   [ view bio ]
Dianne L. Ebersole   [ view bio ]
Buying and Selling a Law Practice

The act of buying or selling a law practice has to be fair and work for both parties. This informative segment discusses a number of buying/selling aspects, including: authorizing the sale and purchase of a solo practice; important checklists to remember; maximizing value in a sale; paying a reasonable amount for the purchase of a practice; payment issues (from both perspectives); potential liability issues; closing the sale; and insurance issues for buyers and sellers. An exploration of the various traps that both parties need to be aware of is also included. 

Speaker Information
John H. Maville   [ view bio ]
John T. Phipps   [ view bio ]
Evidentiary Foundations and Admitting Social Media, Email and Other Digital Evidence

This comprehensive overview explores the general principles of the authentication of evidence, including the specific foundations for the authentication of digital evidence, such as text messages, social media, and websites.

Speaker Information
Steven N. Peskind   [ view bio ]
Basics of Personal Injury Litigation

This segment discusses the nuts and bolts of personal injury litigation, including effective client interviews, determinations of claim v. lawsuit, and the anatomy of a personal injury lawsuit.

Speaker Information
Matthew L. Willens   [ view bio ]
Security and Encryption Tools for Mobile Devices
Between the emergence of tablets and the near ubiquity of smartphones, lawyers are finding it easier than ever to escape the office and still get real work done. But the flexibility offered by this mobile revolution isn’t without risks. Discover some of the major security issues facing lawyers who use mobile devices in their practice and explore some of the strategies and best practices to protect your clients and your firm.
Speaker Information
Aaron W. Brooks   [ view bio ]
Joshua J. Poje   [ view bio ]
Limited Scope Representation: Unbundling Your Practice

Non-wealthy clients want and need streamlined legal services for streamlined prices, and lawyers who develop strategies to meet that need will own the future. Accomplishing this task does come with challenges, though, including knowing when limited services will actually meet a client’s needs, making sure the client understands the limited scope of the representation, and averting professional liability for acts or omissions beyond the scope of the intended representation. This session explores the ethical and practical challenges (and solutions!) for offering limited scope representation.

Speaker Information
Mary T. Robinson   [ view bio ]
Short Sales in Today's Current Real Estate Market

This comprehensive overview explores short sales in the state of Illinois, including how to initiate and follow through on successfully completing this type of sale. Attention will be given to the Equator System and how to use it in conjunction with short sales.  

Speaker Information
John M. Kuranty   [ view bio ]
Basics of DUI/Traffic Laws
Join us for this comprehensive overview that covers a broad array of DUI and Traffic law topics, including: handling/evaluating traffic and DUI cases; supervision and dispositions; revocations, suspensions and other collateral consequences; and field sobriety testing. A brief discussion on specialized traffic law areas such as graduated driver’s licenses, construction, and Scott’s Law tickets is also included.

Speaker Information
J. Randall Cox   [ view bio ]
iOS and Android: How to Use Mobile Devices in Your Practice and Understanding the Apps You Need

No other technology is as alluring today as mobile technology – specifically smartphones and tablets. As a modern lawyer, you can now carry most of your law office with you in your pocket no matter where you go…yet how do you make sure your mobile technology serves as a practice tool and not just a distracting toy? This session explores some of the best practices in selecting, implementing, and using mobile devices in your practice and discusses the top apps for both iOS and Android devices.

Speaker Information
Mark C. Metzger   [ view bio ]
Joshua J. Poje   [ view bio ]
IOLTA Accounts Made Simple and Malpractice Insurance Risk Management

Start your new practice off on the right foot with this informative presentation! Topics include: setting up an IOLTA account; required paperwork; managing trust accounts; case laws that impacts law firms; and new laws on IOLTA accounts. Important malpractice insurance and risk management issues are also discussed.

Speaker Information
Mary F. Andreoni   [ view bio ]
Navigating the New Medicaid Laws

With new rules issued by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) – and even newer statutes approved by legislature – it is important that attorneys learn to effectively navigate the new Medicaid laws. This seminar provides an up-to-date report on what you need to know regarding Medicaid rules and the new qualifications for this benefit.  

Speaker Information
Amy P. DeLaney   [ view bio ]
Heather E. Voorn   [ view bio ]
Small Claims and The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Join us for this comprehensive overview of the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act and get the answers you need to effectively advise your clients. Some of the important questions addressed include: Does this law apply to me? Does it cover small claims/some claims/all claims? What should I do….and, more importantly, what shouldn’t I do?

Speaker Information
Robert G. Markoff   [ view bio ]
Individual topic purchase: Selected
Illinois State Bar Association
Total General MCLE Hours: 41.50
Including Professional Responsibility: 22.50
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