Friday, April 09, 2021

Illinois Bar Foundation to host "Virtual Authors' Q&A" on April 28

To be clear, both Appellate Court Justice David Ellis and Chicago attorney Christie Tate are actual authors; they will merely be appearing virtually for this one-hour Q&A, sponsored by the Illinois Bar Foundation, on Wednesday April 28, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. John McNally, the Managing Editor of Chicago Lawyer, will moderate the event.

Tickets for the program are priced at $25 apiece. For $40, attendees gain access to the program and a copy of either Tate's memoir, Group, or Ellis' latest offering (with James Patterson), The Red Book (Patterson usually gets top billing but he is not a member of the Illinois Bar). For $50, attendees can get copies of both books.

Sponsorships are available (Gold - $1,000, Silver - $500.00, or Bronze - $250). For more information about tickets or sponsorships, click here and follow the links. Proceeds of this virtual event benefit the charitable programs of the Illinois Bar Foundation. Ticket purchases, donations, and sponsorships of this event are 100% tax deductible. For questions concerning the event, or more information, contact Jessie Reeves at (312) 920-4681.

The Illinois Bar Foundation was established in 1951. Its initial commitment was to provide aid to deserving members of the Illinois Bar who, because of age or infirmity, could no longer provide for their own care or support. Since then, the Foundation has expanded its scope to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. For more about the IBF's mission, click here.

Well-Being Week in Law starts May 3

The Institute for Well-Being in Law, "a 501(c)(3) non-profit that evolved from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being," is promoting "Well-Being Week in Law," running from May 3 to 7. The infographic above, taken from the organization's site, lays out a general schedule for the week.

Well-Being Week in Law (WWIL) is being promoted as an annual event, to occur in the first week of May this year and each succeeding year to "align with Mental Health Awareness Month in May." If you guessed it was tied into Law Day, you apparently guessed incorrectly.

Organizations participating in WWIL include the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Practice Division and its Attorney Well-Being Committee and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Program’s (CoLAP) Well-Being Committee. Judging by the email I received from the Appellate Lawyers Association, I would guess the ALA is in on this as well.

Your personal invitation "to be a well-being champion" can be found by clicking here.

Organizers of the week note, "Too many in the legal profession struggle with mental health and alcohol use disorders. Many others, while not dealing with a diagnosable illness, still are not fully well. The aim of WWIL is to raise awareness about mental health and encourage action and innovation across the profession to improve well-being."

Monday, April 05, 2021

Tragedy tomorrow -- comedy tonight! Well, actually, on April 28....

The Illinois Judges Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois Judges Association, is going to hold its first ever (and perhaps first annual) Judges Joke program on April 28 at 7:00 p.m.

The virtual program will be free (although a "good will" donation of up to $30 is encouraged). Registration is required, of course, and is available from this page of the IJF website (where sponsorship information can also be found). Registrations must be made by April 27. A link to join the live program will be emailed on April 28, 2021, in advance of the 7:00 p.m. curtain.

The event will feature current and former judges teaming with talent from the legendary Second City comedy troupe in an effort to bring cheer to the challenging days of the pandemic.

The IJF has recently announced its cast for the event. In alphabetical order, the judicial cast includes: Dan Locallo, a retired judge from Cook County, who serves as the Secretary of the IJF; Brian McKillip, a retired judge from DuPage County, who serves as the Treasurer of the IJF; Marty Moltz, who currently serves as a Cook County judge and as a Director of the IJF; Michael Otto, a Cook County judge and Co-Chair of the IJA Pension and Employment Benefits Committee; and Joan Smuda, a former Cook County judge and a Past President of the Advocates Society.

“Thanks to these wonderful jurists, who auditioned and were selected to work with talent from The Second City, to show the positive role of judges in our community,” says Judge Mike Chmiel of McHenry County, who serves as President of the Foundation.

The IJF is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation working to facilitate various benevolent and educational efforts, including those of the Illinois Judges Association. In the fall of 2020, the IJF had a record demand for scholarship help from law students, and doubled its awards. In this pandemic year, the IJF has also sponsored two virtual tours of the Illinois Holocaust Museum for the IJA, and an externship program of the American Bar Association.

“We thought it was especially important to provide our Judges Joke program free of charge,” says Retired Judge Mike Bender of Chicago, who serves as Chair of the Donor and Development Committee of the Foundation. “Several folks have already committed to sponsor the program and make free-will donations, to cover the cost of the program and help with the ever-escalating demand on the limited resources of the Foundation.”

Chicago will continue to lag behind the State of Illinois in opening up vaccine availability

So reports ABC News, in this article by Marlene Lenthang entitled, "Chicago mayor defies governor, refuses to open COVID-19 vaccine to all due to uptick in cases." An excerpt:

Lightfoot noted that the uptick in cases emerged primarily on the North Side of the city in neighborhoods like Old Town, Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Portage Park, especially among 18-to-39-year-olds.

"We're not going to see anything more significant in the reopening front until we see those numbers stabilize and start to come down," Lightfoot said.

She blamed the spike in infections on young people resuming life as normal as the warm weather moves in. She tweeted Tuesday, "Folks, the pandemic is not over. Warmer weather is not an excuse to make reckless decisions."

This is craziness, and must end in tears.

Yes, the Mayor is surely correct when she says the pandemic is not over. Yes, she is likewise correct when she says that people should not act foolishly just because the weather is getting better. People, even 18-to-39-year-olds, need to take responsibility for their own actions. And to recognize, I might add, their obligations, not only to themselves, but to the rest of society.

That said, the only justifiable rationale for rationing vaccines has been scarcity: We gave shots first to those most at risk -- seniors in nursing homes, then to other old folks, first responders, teachers conducting classes in person, grocery store clerks. Old folks were most at risk for severe complications; they were the most likely to tax our hospital resources. The rest were a priority because they were most likely to spread the disease, even unknowingly, because many might not even develop symptoms.

Now others, no doubt chafing like the rest of us from the year's worth of lockdowns, are venturing out and about. They shouldn't be jumping the gun.

But the City should not be imperiling all of us, especially with contagious new variants spreading, by not doing something about it.

Look... the City, bowing to the anguished howls of the restaurant and hospitality industry, and to its own incresingly desperate need for tax revenues, has started to ease restrictions on restaurants and bars and other places of public amusement. Essentially, then, the City has invited the 18-to-39-year-olds back into the streets, even while scolding them for doing so.

If cases really are going up, and there's no reason to doubt otherwise, the City can either close everything down again... or vaccinate the people in the street.

Vaccines are not as scarce as they were in January, and every day they are less so. City Health Department workers should be flooding the streets where people are congregating, offering vaccinations to those wandering in and out of newly reopened taverns. Register them as they meander down the public ways, and innoculate them immediately, preferably with the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine so no follow-ups are necessary. Turn potential super-spreaders into viral dead ends.

Doesn't the City ever want this to end?

Free IVI-IPO Zoom program tonight on the "myths of carjacking"

Since no further details are provided, I will not speculate on the myths that may be identified and dispelled. To join the meeting, follow this link to register.

Meanwhile, from the HeyJackass! website, here are some statistics about the explosive growth in carjackings in Chicago over time:

Thursday, April 01, 2021

There really is a company called TimeSolv. However... this can't be a good marketing idea

My late mother-in-law was overly impressed with personalized marketing.

Every time she'd get a solicitation from an insurer, or a company offering to lower her property taxes, using publicly available information in its pitch, she'd call to tell us. "They must know me," she'd say, often with some wonder in her voice. "They know all about me!"

Sometimes, in her view, this was a good thing; sometimes it was frightening. She always thought it noteworthy.

In the modern day and age, most of us have become immune to personalized pitches. Immune and/or mildly resentful. My wife had me looking up different types of yarn for some projects she was working on recently, and for the last several weeks, I haven't been able to read the news headlines, or browse Facebook, without pushing past a number of ads for yarns, knitting patterns, and crochet patterns. I don't know which annoys me more: That the Internet provides ads based on my browsing history or that the Internet doesn't understand that I'm not the least bit artsy or craftsy.

But I got a new one this morning: I received an email from a time management software outfit called TimeSolv. The graphic above is from the company's website. It's apparently a Thomson West spinoff, with an excellent BBB rating and positive reviews and all that good stuff. So what, you say. Another ad? Don't we all get dozens, even hundreds of ads every day?

Well... yeah. Except this wasn't an ad. This email was bannered "Welcome to TimeSolv" and purported to provide me with my very own user name and password. And it had a link to click to begin.

We've all endured seminars on Internet security, providing advice on how to avoid embarrassment, or even discipline, by being more vigilant online. I didn't see any of the telltales on this morning's emailthat are supposed to alert us to a possible scam -- no slightly off email address, a telephone number consistent with the Minnesota origins of the company, no glaring grammatical errors in the text of the email itself.

Are the Nigerian generals' widows getting that sophisticated?

Who knows? Maybe this morning's email was legit -- but just really badly timed. Maybe someone thought lawyers like me might stay with, and ultimately pay for, time management software if we were automatically enrolled -- and, Lord knows, I could be much more efficient -- but sending the email on April Fools Day?


Bad things can happen when you click blindly on 'click here' -- as today's edition of Brewster Rockit illustrates:

I marked the email as spam. I will have to become more efficient some other way.