Welcome to the Peoria County Bar Association

The Peoria County Bar Association was founded in 1879 and is the largest regional bar association in downstate Illinois. James F. Kane became the 106th President of the Association on July 8, 2013.  Two areas on which President Kane plans to focus his attention this year are 1) increasing active participation by more of our members, and 2) Serving and actively involving "more experienced" PCBA members (age 60 and above). To learn more about Jim's plans, click here.



The Young Lawyers & Law Day Committee is pleased to announce Congresswoman Cheri Bustos will be the keynote speaker for the 2014 Law Day Luncheon.  Congresswoman Bustos is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives of Illinois, 17th District. Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 13, 2014, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at the Peoria Marriott Père Marquette.  Special thanks go to the Law Day Subcommittee which includes Sharbel Rantisi, YLC Chair, Ashley Miller, luncheon coordinator, Melissa Schoenbein, Essay Contest coordinator, and Monica Kim, School Speaking Engagements coordinator, for their role in this year’s Law Day Luncheon. If you are interested in speaking at an area school please contact Monica Kim (309) 676-0400 or by email mkim@heylroyster.com.  Awards for First and Second place essays will be presented to area students in 5-6th grade and 7-8th grade.  We will be welcoming to the bench Associate Judge Kirk D. Schoenbein and Magistrate Judge Jonathan Hawley as well as recognizing our 50-year members: James L. Hafele, John C. Mulgrew, Jr., Robert E. Muir, Joseph R. Napoli, and Gary T. Rafool. Cost is $40.00 per person or $350.00 for a table of ten. You may make reservations online www.peoriabar.org when using a MC/Visa or by mail when paying by check made payable to the Peoria County Bar Association. Deadline for reservations:  May 8, 2014.  


Cheri Bustos was born in the Illinois state capitol of Springfield into a family that taught her the importance of hard work, caring for others and public service. While working as a young reporter in the Quad-Cities, Cheri met a rookie cop named Gerry Bustos who she fell in love with and married. They raised three sons together in East Moline, in the same house where they still live today. Gerry is now the Under-Sheriff of Rock Island County and Commander of the Quad-Cities Bomb Squad. Their three sons are grown.  Throughout her career in journalism, Cheri used her pen to help her community. She uncovered numerous stories of corruption and greed in government, winning state and national awards for her work on behalf of the public interest. That same commitment to doing what’s right and striving for excellence continues to drive her today.  Twelve years ago, Cheri left journalism to work for one of the nation’s largest non-profit health care systems. At her job, she helped the disadvantaged navigate the health care system and worked to improve the quality of health care available to families throughout the region. Cheri has long been active in her community, serving on numerous nonprofit boards and as the President of the Women’s Connection, one of Illinois’ largest women’s organizations. In 2007, her commitment to public service and desire to further give back to the community, led Cheri to run for local office. Cheri was elected to serve on the City Council in East Moline for two terms and made her top priority economic development, which led to her founding the East Moline Downtown Revitalization Committee. Her success is evident in a more vibrant downtown where dilapidated buildings have been demolished to make room for new developments such as the recently opened Community Health Care clinic.  She also is a past member of the East Moline Citizens Advisory Committee and the East Moline Plan Commission. Cheri considers it a privilege to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, to which she won election in November 2012, and an honor to serve the families of Northwestern, Western and Central Illinois as their voice in Washington. Cheri earned a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master’s Degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She also attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, where both her parents and son graduated. An accomplished basketball and volleyball player, Cheri was inducted into the Illinois College Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

Extended Media Coverage - Rule 15 and Rule 16

Chief Judge Kouri has provided Rule 15 and Rule 16 regarding extended media coverage.  Click on the links above to read the complete Rules.

Upcoming CLE

Brown Bag Series:  PCBA Members only.  Our Wednesday lunch seminars provide one hour of general MCLE credit each and include lunch.  Topics and speakers are:
March 5: The New Medical Marijuana Law by Rodney Nordstrom  Medical_Marijuana
March 12:  Causes of Action for Retaliatory Discharge by Ambrose McCall  Retaliatory_Discharge
March 19 ARDC / LAP by Peter Rotskoff and Jim Radcliffe  LAP_Addiction_Mental Health
March 26:  Collections and Supplementary Proceedings by Ed Walker   COLLECTIONS and Supplementary Proceedings
April 2:  Same Sex Marriage Act by Judge Jerelyn Maher. Same Sex Marriage Act
To download the registration form click here.

May 16 - Spalding Pastoral Center, 419 Madison, Peoria, IL 61603
8:00 - 11:30 a.m.  Government & Public Interest.  Patricia Redman and Stacy Crabtree, Moderators.  Click AGENDA for the timed agenda. Download seminar materials by clicking on the link next to each topic.

  • Ethical Considerations for Governmental Attorneys including a discussion on Who is your Client—William Atkins, Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office, Presenter & Moderator.  Panel: Sonni Williams, City of Peoria, Michael Holly, Tazewell County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Mark McGrath, McGrath Law Offices   PART 1

  • Freedom of Information Act—Chris Boggs, Public Access Bureau, and  Open Meetings Act —John Redlingshafer, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C. PARTS 2 AND 3

  • Zoning Law Primer—Brian Mooty,  Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White & Frederick PART 4 unavailable at this time

  • Disciplining Public Employees in Light of the First Amendment—Joshua Herman, Miller, Hall & Triggs  PART 5

12:30 - 2:30 p.m. Professional Responsibility SeminarTried and true: Professional Responsibility in Famous American Trials. In this two-hour professional responsibility CLE program, the presenters will draw on four well-known American Trials as their source for a discussion of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The first case of four to be discussed will be:

Trial Publicity and the Trial of Richard Speck, presented by Patgrick O'Shaughnessy
The Peoria County Courthouse had never seen anything like the trial of Richard Speck. For three weeks in April, 1967, the nation riveted its attention on the second floor courtroom at Main and Jefferson Streets, where a man accused of murdering eight student nurses stood trial. Learn the facts of this historic trial, and the limits of pre-trial publicity as governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Decorum in the Tribunal and the Trial of Leopold and Loeb, presented by Hon. Kevin Lyons
Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb decided to commit the perfect crime:  they kidnapped and murdered a  young boy and demanded ransom from his father.  Soon caught, their attorney Clarence Darrow entered guilty pleas for them in a capital case.  Was it Darrow's impassioned closing argument that won the day and kept the youths from execution, or did the judge accept a bribe?  Learn the history of this landmark case, and what the RPCs allow and prohibit a judge from doing. 

Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel and the Trial of shoeless Joe Jackson, presented by Gary Nelson
Joe Jackson batted .375 in the World Series, committed no errors, threw out a runner at the plate, and yet he was implicated in taking a bribe to throw the series.  White Sox owner Charles Comiskey told his lawyer to prepare pro se Jackson for his testimony before the Grand Jury investigating corruption charges.  The result:  "Say it ain't so!"  Learn about this historic case and the RPCs governing fairness to opposing parties.

2014 Winter Series:  The following seminars are available on DVD and may be purchased at https://peoriabar.org/Shop.

Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate.  Susan Dawson-Tibbits and Marci Shoff, Moderators.  To download written materials click here.

  • Guardianship Issues and the Public Guardian—David L. Wentworth, Hasselberg, Grebe, Snodgrass, Urban & Wentworth

  • Guardians ad Litem:  Tips and Perspectives—Jeremy H. Heiple, Heiple Law Office, Anne D. Bartolo, Attorney at Law and Jim Lawson, Hasselberg, Grebe, Snodgrass, Urban & Wentworth

  • Elder Law and Medicaid Update—Susan Dawson-Tibbits, Johnson, Bunce & Noble

  • The Basics of a VA Practice—Dawn Weekly, Legacy Law Firm, LLC

  • Estate and Gift Tax Returns—Marci M. Shoff, Hasselberg, Rock, Bell & Kuppler

  • View from the Bench—The Hon. Kevin R. Galley and The Honorable Michael D. Risinger

Criminal/Multidisciplinary.  Art Inman, Moderator. To download written materials click on each part:  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3.

  • Insanity and Fitness for Trial in State and Federal Courts—Speakers include:  Dr. John Day; George  F. Taseff, Federal Public Defender; and Jeremy Beard Assistant State’s Attorney.

Civil Practice.  Carol J. Perkins and Jennifer L. Morris, Moderators. 

  • The New FMLA Regulations—Laurie Peterson, Lindner & Marsack, SC, Milwaukee, WI    PART 1

  • The New Concealed Carry Laws:  Perspectives from the Prosecutor and Business Interests—Richard A. Russo, Davis & Campbell, LLC   PART 2A    

  • Illinois Concealed Carry - Jerry Brady, Peoria County State’s Attorney     PART 2B    PART 2C

  • Public Act 098-0548: An Act Concerning the Swift Payment of Settled Claims.— Patrick Poston, Heyl Royster    PART 3A   PART 3B

  • iPads and Technology — Matthew Smith, Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorius & Cerulo   PART 4

  • An Overview of the Affordable Care Act and How It Will Affect Your Practice—Deb Freeland, Clifton Larson Allen   PART 5

  • Judicial Roundtable — Judge Paul Gilfillan, Judge Lisa Wilson, and Judge James Shadid  PART 6

  • Case Law Update—Jeffrey Bach, Attorney at Law  PART 7

Workers' Compensation.  Brad Elward and Chris Doscotch, Moderators.

  •  Medicare Set Asides—Brad Peterson, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C. PART_1

  • “Arising Out Of” /Traveling Employees/Snow & Ice Cases—Craig Young, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C. PART2

  • Medical Burden of Proof—John Kamin, Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorious & Cerulo PART3

  • Repetitive Trauma Update—John Lesaganich, The Law Office of John Lesaganich   PART4  PART4A  PART4B

  • Petitioner’s Perspective—Christopher Doscotch, Doscotch Law Office  PART5

  • Commission Practice-A Panel Perspective—Commissioners Ruth White and Thomas Tyrrell

Case Law Update—Written materials.

Family Law.  Hon. Jerelyn Maher and Richard Zuckerman, Moderators.   

  •  Legislative Update—Richard Zuckerman   PART 1

  •  Practice Tips: Things that give Family Law Practitioners Gray Hair

    • Panel: Lou Benassi, Benassi & Benassi  PART 2 Benassi

    • Kelly Giraudo, Law Office of Susan Butler;   PART 2 Giraudo

    • Michael Hasselberg, Hasselberg, Grebe, Snodgrass, Urban & Wentworth;  PART 2 Hasselberg

    • Michelle Eggert, Vonachen, Lawless, Trager & Slevin; and

    • Diane Potts, Office of the IL Attorney General  PART 2 Potts

      • QDRO—It is more than a form, it is malpractice waiting to happen!

      • The client who obtains the Emergency DVO, THEN tells you.

      • How do I redact and redact and redact—Amended Supreme Court Rule 138

      • Just how do I subpoena those mental health records?

      • How badly do I want to collect that fee from my client?

      • How to partner with HFS for child support collection

  • Case Law Update—Judge Jerelyn Maher-Schulz  PART 3

  • The Top Ten Mistakes in Business Valuations—Bruce Richman  PART 4

  • Judges’ Roundtable


PCBA Partners to Serve Veterans and Military Personnel

The Peoria County Bar Association (PCBA) is working with Illinois Joining Forces to better serve local military personnel and veterans.    For more information click here.  

To visit the PCBA sponsor page, click here


Contact Us

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Prairie State Legal Services

Prairie State Legal Services offers free legal services for low income persons.