Tuesday, January 31, 2023

CBA invites Officer and Board nominations for the 2023-2024 bar year

The Chicago Bar Association is soliciting nominations for available Officer and Board of Manager positions.

If your CBA dues are paid up, you probably got a notice about this. And probably deleted it, too. But I'm currently retired... so, just this once, I read it... and now I have questions.

The CBA says it is inviting nominations for Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and eight postions on the Board of Managers where incumbents are rotating off.

That sounds -- to me, anyway -- like a suggestion for Perry Mason to nominate Hamilton Burger, or Grace Van Owen to nominate Ally McBeal, or (making a probably futile attempt at sounding contemporary here) Diane Lockhart to nominate Lucca Quinn. Right? Isn't that how nominations work? Person A suggests that Person B would be a splendid choice. Person B would not necessarily know anything about it. At least not right away.

But the notice then provides that these supposed 'nominees' must complete and return candidate questionnaires by a date certain (February 21 at 5:00 p.m. for Officer positions, February 28 at 5:00 p.m. for Board of Managers hopefuls).

Well. Questionnaires? That sounds suspiciously like an application form. So not nominations at all, but more like choosing teams for basketball in gym class, with everyone yelling pick me!, pick me!

Maybe this is just another of those musty old Boomer conventions that will fall by the wayside as we depart over the horizon... but I thought it was considered a tad unseemly to 'nominate' oneself.

And there may be some vestige of this feeling reflected in the bylaws and procedures of the CBA because there will be an open meeting on March 9, 2023, starting at 4:30 p.m., at which nominations will be received "from members of the Association as to candidates for Officer and Board of Managers positions." So if Person B can persuade Person A to show up and make the nomination, appearances may still be maintained. Except that everyone on the Nominating Committee would necessarily know that Person B completed the questionnaires... won't they?

And then, on March 30, also beginning at 4:30 p.m., all Officer and Board "candidates" (the word "nominee" is not used at this point in the original memo) will be invited to "schedule a brief appearance before the Nominating Committee." Which sounds a lot like an invitation to give a campaign speech as opposed to a blushing nominee's expected comment (something along the lines of "who, me?").

Perhaps it's just as well I never read one of these notices before. Anyway, this year's CBA Nominating Committee consists of:
  • Hon. Maryam Ahmad, Chair
  • Edward J. Austin
  • Daniel Berkowitz
  • Michelle L. Carey
  • J. Timothy Eaton
  • Gail S. Eisenberg
  • Noah J. Graf
  • Erika Harold
  • Andre Hunter, Jr.
  • Eileen Letts
  • Hon. Clare E. McWilliams
  • Juan Morado, Jr.
  • Kathleen Dillon Narko
  • Gavin S. Phelps
  • Donata Stroink-Skillrud
  • Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr.
  • Michael J. Zink
To receive a questionnaire, or if you plan to appear or have someone nominate you at the March 9 meeting, please email Beth McMeen at bmcmeen@chicagobar.org or Michele Spodarek at mspodarek@chicagobar.org.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Jennifer Barron appointed to DuPage County vacancy

The Illinois Supreme Court today appointed Naperville attorney Jennifer L. Barron to an at-large vacancy on the Circuit Court of DuPage County, a vacancy created by the recent appointment of Judge Linda E. Davenport to the Third District Appellate Court.

The appointment is effective February 15 and expires on December 2, 2024.

A solo practitioner, Barron has operated as Barron Legal Ltd. since 2017. She has also been of counsel to the Law Offices of Lynn D. Dowd since 2004 and has worked as a pro bono attorney for Prairie State Legal Services since 2015. Ms. Barron’s previous experience includes serving as a partner at Boyle & Barron, Ltd. (formerly Charles A. Boyle & Associates, Ltd.), and as an associate at Cozen O'Connor P.C. She has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1995. The Supreme Court's press release is available at this link.

That's the news, presented as I usually cover these things, although regular FWIW readers will no doubt object that I don't usually cover judicial comings or goings outside the boundaries of our beloved County Cook.

But I have my reasons: I was sharing office space with Charles A. "Pat" Boyle in 2001 when I first met Jennifer Barron. She's a really good attorney and I have every expectation that she will do a great job on the DuPage County bench. She tried a med mal case once for Pat in which the jury actually asked the Paul Newman Question (i.e., "can we give the plaintiff more than she asked for?") (I realize that Millenials and Zoomers may have to Google the reference, but it will be worth their while). And because I've worked with Lynn Dowd on a number of matters over the years, I have personal knowledge of some great work that Barron has done for Dowd.

So I could not let this occasion pass, even if it is a tad outside the usual purview of this site. Since this appointment is safely outside Cook County, I trust my reputation for neutrality will not be irreparably damaged if I also publicly offer my congratulations to Ms. Barron... and I do so herewith.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Guest Post: From refugee to jurist -- the story of Judge Alfred J. Paul

I heard about this story at yesterday's Appellate Lawyers Association meeting. With the permission of the author and the permission of Justice Eileen O’Neill Burke, president of the Illinois Judges Association, I herewith reprint this piece from The Gavel, the IJA newsletter in which this article first appeared.

by Justice Mathias W. Delort

Today’s news reports are full of stories about refugees fleeing their homelands in search of a better life. From our perspective as American judges, these stories might seem remote and perhaps even irrelevant. The life story of one of our judicial colleagues, however, not only illuminates the tremendous potential these persons have to contribute to our society, but serves as an inspiration for all of us.

Cook County Associate Judge Alfred J. Paul, who recently retired after 36 years of distinguished service to the State of Illinois, was born in 1942 in Huszczka Duża, Poland, a tiny settlement about 100 miles from Lviv, Ukraine. At that time, World War II was raging, and Poland was under German control. When he was but two years old, Al and his older brother Kazimierz, and his mother were snatched at gunpoint by German soldiers and placed on a train to Germany to work as unpaid laborers on a farm. The farm was liberated by French troops in 1945, and the family lived in barracks in Germany from 1945 to 1950. The family could not return to their homeland, because Poland was under Russian occupation. During this time, Al learned not only his native Polish, but German, as well, although teaching in the refugee camp was sporadic at best. In 1948, President Truman signed the Displaced Persons Act, which allowed families such as the Pauls to immigrate to the United States if they could receive medical clearance and secure sponsorship from an American citizen. The Paul family’s sponsor was an army colonel from Texas.

The Paul family, now reunited with Al’s father, boarded a ship and emigrated to the United States under the new law. When the ship arrived in New Orleans in 1950, Al was wearing German lederhosen. The family traveled to Texas and discovered that the sponsoring colonel intended to exploit the family for free agricultural work on a chicken farm. They were housed in a snake-infested hovel, where temperatures routinely exceeded 100 degrees. They feared deportation if they did not accede to this arrangement.

After six months of this horrific experience, a Polish-American priest from the community came to the family’s rescue by helping them escape from the Texas farm under cover of darkness. The priest wrote a large tag for each family member to wear, stating that the wearer did not speak English and was headed to Chicago. A cousin living in Chicago, whom they had never met, obtained a taxi to meet them at the station. The cousin helped Al’s father secure housing in the Wicker Park neighborhood and a job in a local factory.

At age seven, Al began attending the local Catholic grade school, where the nuns helped him learn English for the first time. An excellent student, Al went on to graduate from Holy Trinity High School. He then became a student at DePaul University, where he participated in the ROTC program, became a naturalized citizen, and graduated with a degree in history. He then served in the army for almost three years during the Vietnam War era. Although his ROTC training qualified him as an officer, Al’s assignment was far from a cushy desk job. He was assigned to one of the most desolate military posts on earth -- Murphy Dome Air Force Station in northern Alaska -- where the temperatures dipped to glacial levels as low as -71° Fahrenheit. The base housed a radar facility manned by soldiers like Al. Their job was to sit in an underground bunker and constantly monitor radar screens for possible nuclear missiles from Russia routed over the polar regions. To qualify for this role, Al obtained top-secret cryptographic clearance. Murphy Dome soldiers took on other tasks in the area, as well, and Al was commended for his heroic efforts helping to save lives and property during the great Fairbanks, Alaska flood of 1967.

After being discharged with the rank of first lieutenant, Al began working at the federal courthouse in Chicago as a clerk for a bankruptcy referee. This piqued his interest in the law, and he began attending Chicago-Kent Law School at night. During law school, he married Mary McCue, and the couple has been together for over 50 years.

Al and Mary’s son, Danny, was born in 1979, and was quickly diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a condition which renders him a functional quadriplegic. For a long period during his childhood, Danny received extensive care at Children’s Memorial Hospital, and his parents kept close watch on him while they stayed at the nearby Ronald McDonald House. Like his father, Danny was an excellent student, a fact that is especially remarkable, given his inability to attend school in person. He received much of his education through lessons which teachers sent home for him to work on. He graduated from Lane Technical High School in Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies, with distinction, online from Indiana University. Danny has continuously been on a ventilator since 1986, and he receives round-the-clock nursing care from a devoted group of home health aides and his tireless parents. He enjoys watching sporting events and working on his computer, which he operates by using his eyebrows to move a cursor to select letters and words. With this remarkable technology, he has met friends from around the world.

After a few years of working for a small law firm and handling personal injury litigation for the Chicago Transit Authority, Al was appointed as an associate judge of the circuit court of Cook County in 1986. During his time in the Law Division, he presided over countless jury cases, helping reduce the division’s then-legendary backlog. For the last 21 years, he has been the mainstay of the court’s county division, which handles a variety of unusual matters such as real estate valuation objections, tax deeds, mental health issues, and election disputes.

In recognition of his military service, Judge Alfred Paul retired from the circuit court at 11:11 am on Veterans Day (11/11), 2022. His judicial colleagues presented him an award engraved with these words: “To the best team player who never said no to anyone who needed help”. That’s quite an understatement.

The Illinois Judges Association extends its congratulations and gratitude to Judge Paul for an inspiring life of selfless service to country, community, and family.

Alderperson in need of lawyers... as donors

Anyone who's lived in Chicago for more than a few years knows that some members of Chicago's City Council will likely be in need of lawyers... for representation... in the face of criminal charges. But 49th Ward Alderperson Maria Hadden is currently looking for lawyers for a different purpose, namely, to support her reelection effort:
This particular opportunity to mix and mingle with other politically inclined lawyers (some of whom may someday support your judicial hopes... or not) is set for Tuesday, February 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at One North Kitchen & Bar, 1 N. Upper Wacker Drive.

Tickets are $100 apiece and, of course, sponsorships are available (Friends and Neighbors - $150, Fighting the Good Fight - $250, Zealous Advocate - $500, and Good Government Ally - $1,000). For tickets, follow this link.

Event sponsors have included the following statement at that link, "Given higher Covid rates, we'll ask that people bring and wear masks when not eating or drinking."

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Solidarity Award recipients announced in advance of February 5 Green Book program

An update to this January 9 post:

The six organizations jointly sponsoring the February 5 "Green Book" program -- the Black Women's Lawyers Association, the Cook County Bar Association, the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, the Illinois Judicial Council, the Jewish Judges Association of Illinois, the North Suburban Bar Association, and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois -- have announced the identities of the persons who will recive their Solidarity Awards. The persons to be honored at the event are:
  • Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr.,
  • Former Congressman Bobby Rush,
  • Illinois State Sen. Laura Fine, and
  • Circuit Court Judge Abbey Fishman Romanek.
Tickets for the February 5 CLE event and awards presentation are $35 for adults and $20 for children. Sponsorships are also available. Both event tickets and sponsorships are available at this link. For more information about potential sponsorships, email wbai.cle@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

District Court offers child care option for ILND General Bar members

An email from the District Court that may be of interest to some FWIW readers:

The CCC Learning Center is now enrolling new students at the newly renovated childcare facility at 78 W. Van Buren Street, Chicago, adjacent to the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building. The CCC Learning Center offers quality childcare and learning to children aged 6 weeks to 5 years old at a location convenient to federal employees and attorneys with downtown offices.

Members of the ILND General Bar are invited to take advantage of this service.

The CCC Learning is a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited facility and is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. With bright and inviting amenities, they offer flexible care options ranging from one to five days per week. 

For information on enrollment, tuition, or to schedule a tour, call 312-886-0834 or email ccclearningcenter78@comcast.net. A "virtual tour" of the facility is available at this YouTube link.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Weeping Angels strike Springfield yet again: Countywide vacancies will continue in Cook County but the number of associate judgeships is going down

A year ago, here on FWIW, I was wondering about P.A. 102-0693's apparent elimination of 55 countywide judicial slots in Cook County -- and, with it, the elimination of 55 opportunities for the Cook County Democratic Party to cash substantial checks from eager lawyers in exchange for the privilege of the Party's endorsement for countywide judicial vacancies.

At the time I was concerned about the nine persons already slated for countywide vacancies in the June 2022 primary -- I sometimes get hung up on language actually used in statutes (which I thought wsa something lawyers were supposed to do) -- but the election went off without a hitch and, in the event, 10 countywide vacancies were filled.

But that did not resolve the question of how future countywide vacancies might be allocated among the newly created subcircuits.

Countywide vacancies did occur thereafter in the normal course, and some of these were filled by temporary appointments, as the Supreme Court sometimes does when it has a mind to.

After one such appointment, last summer, I reached out to the Supreme Court's press officer to find out which new subcircuit would be given the privilege of filling the latest vacancy. I printed the response: "The vacancy created... will be filled by election in 2024 so if it needs to be allotted to a subcircuit, that allotment will occur closer to the 2024 election."


I questioned the usage of the conditional word at the time -- if the vacancy needs to be allocated? Wasn't that the plain language of the statute?

Sure, I thought it was a little odd that the Legislature -- wholly controlled as it was (and is) by the Democratic Party -- would deprive the Cook County Democratic Party of the significant revenue streams, actual and incidental, created by countywide judicial vacancies. But I thought, well gosh, the Senate President is not just a township Committeeperson, when it comes to the selection of judicial candidates in our fair county, he is in fact one of the most influential. So I figured, however inconvenient this might be for the Cook County Democratic Party for the next several election cycles, this was all a done deal.

But the Supreme Court (or at least its press officer) understood the political untenability of the vacancy allocaton method specified by P.A. 102-0693 much better than I did.
And, sure enough, late last week, the Weeping Angels struck Springfield again.

The vehicle chosen for utter transformation on this occasion was HB0045, a 307-page behemoth that would have conformed language in a host of statutes to current fashion (alderman to alderperson, and so forth). (They're not always one-paragraph wonders.) HB0045 sailed through the House after it was introduced in January 2021, passing 102-6 in April of that year. It moved to the Senate and seemed to be sailing through there as well... until it was parked awaiting its third and final reading.

And there it remained until January 5 of this year, when it was revived, only to be eviscerated, with all its previous 307 pages torn out and 70 new ones substituted in their stead. On that same day, it sailed through committee and back onto the Senate floor for what was already (technically at least, which is all that apparently matters) its third reading... where it passed... on a party line vote... and -- still on the same day, mind you -- went back to the House which sent it to and through committee and back onto the floor. By this time, a new day had dawned. And on this new day, January 6, the "amendment" to its bill was accepted by the House, also on a party-line vote.

It will presumably be signed into law promptly, if indeed this has not already occurred.

Don't blink!

Obviously, I did not find out about any of this on my own. FWIW has a great many sharp readers, some of whom actually know what's going on in the political world, and one of them -- named Anonymous, like most of my readers -- sent me a link to the Senate "Amendmendment."

So what happened?

The amendment addresses how the validity of mail-in ballots is determined (worthy of its own post, obviously) and makes changes across the State to the Judicial Circuits Districting Act of 2022.

To which FWIW readers say -- get to how it changes things in Cook County already.

OK. First, there will be countywide vacancies to be filled in Cook County in 2024 and beyond. The number of countywide judgeships remains at 94.

Now, the 55 new resident judgeships (in the five new Cook County subcircuits) will be filled from vacancies occurring among the ranks of the associate judges.

Section 2f(d-5) of the Circuit Courts Act, 705 ILCS 35/2f(d-5) has been totally rewritten. Last year's §2f(d-5) provided:
All vacancies in circuit judgeships in the Circuit of Cook County, which are not allotted to Judicial Subcircuits 1 through 15 pursuant to subsection (c) of this Section, existing on or occurring on or after June 1, 2022 shall be allotted in numerical order to Judicial Subcircuits 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 until there are 11 resident judges to be elected from each of those subcircuits (for a total of 55).
(It was the "existing on" language that had me worried about the 2022 countywide candidates: Vacancies exist until they are filled by election; existing vacancies can be temporarily filled by the Supreme Court, but the vacancies still exist. But we got past that... somehow... so we move on.)

As now rewritten, §2-f(d-5) clarifies that a vacancy occurring in one of the existing subcircuits goes automatically to the same numbered subcircuit under the new map, even if that subcircuit is now on the other side of the county. It also purports to address the allocation of the few remaining pre-subcircuit resident judgeships. But the meat of the new provision is this:
Any vacancies in formerly associate judgeships converted to resident circuit judgeships in the Circuit of Cook County occurring on or after June 1, 2023 shall be allotted in numerical order to Judicial Subcircuits 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 until there are 11 resident judges to be elected from each of those subcircuits (for a total of 55). The maximum number of formerly associate judgeships converted to resident circuit judgeships which may be allotted to Judicial Subcircuits 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 in an election cycle shall be 2 judgeships per subcircuit.
This is a reference to an amendment to §2(a)(4) of the Judicial Vacancies Act, 705 ILCS 40/2(a)(4), which increases the number of resident (for our purposes, subcircuit) judges in Cook County from 165 to 220 and adds a new §2(a)(4)(vi), which in turn explains that the new 55 resident judges will be authorized one by one, "one each for each reduction upon vacancy in the office of associate judge in the Circuit of Cook County as those vacancies occur on and after the effective date of this amendatory Act of 102nd General Assembly and as those vacancies are determined under subsection (b-5) of Section 2 of the Associate Judges Act until the total resident judgeships authorized under this item (vi) is 55."

The reference here is to new §2(b-5) of the Associate Judges Act, 705 ILCS 45/2(b-5). We're coming to this in due course.

But first, we need to look at §2(a) of the Associate Judges Act, which sets the 'maximum' number of associate judges in Cook County as a division problem: Take the population of Cook County (still the only circuit with a population of more than 3,000,000) and divide that figure by 29,000. So the statutory maximum number of associate judges changes according to population fluctuations in Cook County. It went down in 2010. It went up by two as a result of the 2020 census.

Of course, nothing is simple when it comes to calculating the number of judges in Cook County. Section 2(a) of the Associate Judges effectively adds six associates to the result of the division problem referred to in the preceding paragraph with this sentence: "In addition, in circuits of 1,000,000 or more inhabitants, there shall be one additional associate judge authorized for each municipal district of the circuit court."

That maximum number was reduced when the first 15 subcircuits were created. Section 2(b) of the Associate Judges Act reduced the maximum by 60.

(Or thereabouts at least. I did some ciphering today preparing this article. After the 2010 Census, which put the population of Cook County at 5,194,675, the maximum number of Cook County associate judges per §2(a) was 186 (5.194.675 divided by 29,000 comes out to just over 179, which rounds up under the "or part thereof" language in §2(a) to 180 plus one for each of our six municipal districts). Reduce that number by 60 as per §2(b) and we have 136. However, in 2019, when all the associate judges were up for retention, there were 137 relected by their peers, and one rejected, making a total of 138. 'Close enough for government work,' you may say, and I can't disagree, really, but it offends my sense of neatness. Maybe someone can explain the seeming discrepancy.)

Anyway (to resume the narrative thread), new §2(b-5) reduces, or will reduce, the maximum number of associate judges in Cook County by another 55. This is the operative language:
Each associate judgeship vacancy that occurs on or after June 1, 2023 shall be converted to a resident circuit judgeship and allotted to a subcircuit pursuant to subsection (d-5) of Section 2f of the Circuit Courts Act, and that maximum number shall be reduced by one until the total number of associate judges authorized under subsection (a) is reduced by 55. The maximum number of formerly associate judgeships converted to resident circuit judgeships which may be allotted to subcircuits 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 in an election cycle shall be 2 judgeships per subcircuit. A vacancy occurs when an associate judge dies, resigns, retires, is removed, or is not reappointed upon expiration of his or her term; a vacancy does not occur at the expiration of a term if the associate judge is reappointed.
The current class of associate judges working its way through interviews will not be derailed by this new statute. And no more than 10 associate judge vacancies in any given election cycle can be allocated to the new subcircuits. But the frequency of new classes of associate judges, absent extraordinary turnover, will likely diminish.

And all these changes were accomplished in a day.

It's amazing what our Legislature can accomplish when it wants to. It's no way to run a proper government -- but it's amazing nonetheless.

Don't blink!

Monday, January 09, 2023

February 5 program: The Green Book CLE and Solidarity Awards

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will open an exhibit on February 2 entitled "The Negro Motorist Green Book."

A few days later, on Sunday, February 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., a consortium of six local bar and judges' groups will present a lecture by Dr. Adam Green, who serves on the faculty of the University of Chicago in the Departments of History and Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity, on The Green Book, Plessy v. Ferguson, and the Civil Rights Act. The lecture will follow self-guided tours of the exhibit. One hour CLE credit will be available for lawyers attending (diversity credit is pending).

The program will also feature the presentation of Solidarity Awards, awards to be conferred jointly by all six sponsoring groups. The identities of the awardees is expected to be disclosed later this week.

The six organizations jointly sponsoring the February 5 program are the Black Women's Lawyers Association, the Cook County Bar Association, the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, the Illinois Judicial Council, the Jewish Judges Association of Illinois, the North Suburban Bar Association, and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.

The Green Book was created, and updated annually for many years, by Victor Green, a Black postal carrier from Harlem. The exhibit at the Holocaust Museum was created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with Candacy Taylor. The Smithsonian Institution has an online Green Book exhibit where readers can get a sense of what can be found at the exhibit at the Holocaust Museum. A quote from the online exhibit:
The Green Book would not have been possible if not for the community of self-sufficient, talented, and successful Black businesses that filled its pages.
Tickets for the February 5 CLE event and awards presentation are $35 for adults and $20 for children. Sponsorships are also available. A Gold level sponsorship ($100) includes two adult tickets and printed recognition in the program materials; a Platinum level sponsorship ($250) includes four adult tickets, verbal recognition at the event, social media publicity, and prominent recognition in the program materials. Both event tickets and sponsorships are available at this link. For more information about potential sponsorships, email wbai.cle@gmail.com.

Several bar groups plan dinner to welcome in the Lunar New Year

The Women's Bar Association of Illinois, the Asian American Bar Association, the Korean American Bar Association, and the Chinese American Bar Association are jointly sponsoring their Second Annual Lunar New Year Dinner Celebration on Thursday, January 19, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Wicker Park Iron Age Korean Steakhouse, 1265 N. Milwaukee Ave. Judge Rena Marie Van Tine will be the keynote speaker at the event.

Tickets for the dinner are available at this page of the WBAI website. The price is $40 apiece for WBAI, AABA, CABA, and KABA members ($30 for those selecting a vegetarian option). The non-member price is $50 ($40 for the vegetarian option).

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Haitian American Lawyers Association hosts welcome reception for new Loyola Law Dean

The Haitian American Lawyers Association will host a welcome reception for new Loyola Law Dean Michèle Alexandre on Friday, January 20, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Loyola, 25 E. Pearson, 10th Floor.

Organizers note that "Dean Alexandre is the 14th Dean of Loyola School of Law, the first Black dean (in a permanent role), and the first Haitian-American dean to hold this position."

Registration is required for this event. To register, click here.

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Film Premiere at the Illinois Holocaust Museum on January 19: "The Devil's Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes"

I have to do another post about an upcoming event at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, and I will, of course, but this upcoming event caught my attention along the way:

On January 19, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will host the North American premiere of The Devil's Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes (trailer here).

The Devil’s Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes unearths secret recordings of Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust’s Final Solution, which definitively shows his active involvement in the planning and implementation of one of the greatest atrocities in world history. Recorded in Buenos Aires in 1957 by Dutch journalist and former SS-Officer Willem Sassen with the intention to prove the Holocaust did not happen as portrayed and without Hitler’s knowledge, these tapes show the opposite and expose Eichmann, in his own voice, stunningly contradicting claims he made during his eventual trial for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes against the Jewish people. The Devil’s Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes sheds light on the hidden forces that concealed the recordings, altering the arc of history as we have understood it for more than 70 years, and provides irrefutable proof against Holocaust denial and the pernicious antisemitic hatred from which it springs.

Originally premiered as the opening film of the renowned documentary festival DOCAVIV (and released as a documentary series on Israel’s TV-network KAN 11), MGM Television, SIPUR, Toluca Pictures, Alice Communications, Menemsha Films, and the Illinois Holocaust Museum will bring a feature-length version of The Devil’s Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes to North America, beginning with its January 19 premiere in Skokie.

A reception, starting at 5:15 p.m., will precede the premiere. The screening will be followed by a distinguished panel discussion with Director Yariv Mozer, Executive Producer Emilio Schenker, and world-renowned Holocaust experts Dr. Michael Berenbaum, of American Jewish University, and Dr. Peter Hayes, Professor, Northwestern University. The discussion will be moderated by Richard Salomon, Vice President, Museum Board of Directors. Opening remarks will be given by Steve Stark, Chairman of Toluca Pictures, former President of MGM Television, and Executive Producer of the film.

Co-sponsoring this premiere with the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center are the Illinois Film Office, the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival, Am Shalom, Chicago-Kent School of Law Centerfor National Security and Human Rights Law, Temple Chai, the Consulate General of Argentina in Chicago, and the Decalogue Society of Lawyers.

To register for this event, click here.

Clarence Darrow offers CLE in upcoming CBA presentation

For many years Clarence Darrow was comfortably ensconced as the second-most famous lawyer to come out of the State of Illinois. Then Barack Obama dislodged him.

But Darrow is still in there pitching, providing CLE for the CBA on Wednesday, February 2, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., at the Union League Club.

Well... not actually the real Darrow... but Paul Morella, an actor with a one-man show that features reenactments of some of Darrow's best-known courtroom moments laying, in the words of the event promoters, "the foundation for an examination of the ethical issues raised during the performance, including conflicts of interest, jury nullification, dishonesty, misrepresentation, fraud and more."

Sadly, the promotional materials don't address whether Morella will specifically address Darrow's guilt or innoncence in the California jury-tampering case that almost ended Darrow's career some 110 years ago. (There is some serious question about whether Darrow may have actually been guilty of those bribery charges. But that's the great thing about history: It is populated by flesh-and-blood people, just like people in the present day, people in possession of great attributes... with coexisting great flaws... and who may be, or should be, worthy of respect and admiration, those human defects notwithstanding.)

Tickets for this event are $100 each for CBA members (CBA Advantage Plan members have to pay full price for this event). The non-members price is $150. Registration is available via this link. Organizers say that attendees will qualify for 1.5 IL PR-MCLE credit.

Friday, January 06, 2023

AABA Installation set for February 1; early bird pricing ends this weekend

The Asian American Bar Association will hold its 35th Annual Installation Gala on Wednesday, February 1, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the University Club of Chicago, 76 East Monroe St.

Early bird ticket sales end this weekend -- and tickets are already becoming scarce.

For the moment, tickets for those in the private sector are $120 each; tickets are $90 each for persons working in the public sector, for non-profits, or for students. Next week, tickets will be $125 each for AABA members, $150 for non-members. Registration can be accomplished through this link. And, FWIW readers will be relieved to discover, sponsorship opportunities are still available.

At this event the AABA will confer awards on Rudy Figueroa (In-House Counsel Leadership Award), Eirene Nakamura Salvi (Rising Star Award), Peter Ohr (Justice Award), and Avanti Bakane (Law Firm Partner Diversity Leadership Award).

A portion of the profits from this event will be donated to the AABA Law Foundation whose mission is to support the development of Asian Pacific American law students through the Foundation’s scholarship program.

Book it: Chicago lawyer-authors interview each other about their books

The Chicago Bar Association will host a CLE event for Tuesday, January 17, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., featuring Illinois Appellate Court Justice David Ellis, the author or co-author of several books, including the recently-published solo venture, Look Closer, and former CBA President Daniel Cotter, the author of The Chief Justices, interviewing each other about theiri respective works. This in-person event will also be webcast.

Amission is free for CBA CLE-Advantage members. Otherwise, admission is $65 for CBA members ($125 for non-members). Registration is available at this link. Copies of both books will be available at the presentation and there will be an audience Q&A opportunity.