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Chicago Attorney Representative Handled Skype Calls for ISBA Ask-a-Lawyer Day

This past Saturday, April 25th, Pamela Sakowicz Menaker was the attorney representative for the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) during their 34th Annual "Ask-a-Lawyer" Day. Menaker is the Communications Partner for Clifford Law Offices. She handled calls through Skype from consumers across the state of Illinois from 9am to 2pm. In addition to the Skype platform there were two toll free hotlines and an email address that ISBA volunteers managed during the day to help answer questions. The no cost event was open to anyone who had a legal question and needed to consult with a lawyer. The ISBA sponsored event cooperated with the following associations located in These counties: Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will. These bar associations helped to provide a lawyer through their referral service for consumers who needed legal help. The initial legal consultation meeting is set at a nominal fee.

Sarah King Writes Article on Jurors Asking Questions

Sarah F. King, associate at Clifford Law Offices, authored an article on "When Jurors Ask Questions" for the American Bar Association (ABA) Litigation Journal. The article, which appeared in the Spring 2015 issue that is disseminated to some 65,000 lawyers across the country, discussed the issue of Illinois now joining the ranks of nearly 40 other states that permit the use of written juror questions directed to witnesses. King explains her own experience at trial with the judge stopping the proceedings and allowing jurors to ask screened questions, submitting them in writing to the parties and then to the witnesses. She said it sometimes even led to the trial team's "shift[ing] strategies to focus on issues that were engaging the jury conceptually. We used the facts accepted in the questions to reframe issues that were being misconstrued." She said she found it eye opening that "jurors were targeting clearly relevant information that helped persuade them to solve this problem in our client's favor." Sarah is an experienced writer, having won awards in law school for excellence in Legal Analysis and other classes.

ABA Extends Free Membership to All Law Students - Bob Clifford Chaired Special Committee

The American Bar Association (ABA) is offering free membership to all law students starting in August, waiving the $25 annual dues for those enrolled in ABA accredited law schools across the country. ABA President William C. Hubbard of South Carolina made the announcement in April on behalf of the 395,000-member organization. It comes on the heels of a recommendation of the special Task Force to Examine Association Policies Impacting Recruitment and Retention of Law, chaired by Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices. Clifford was appointed last June by then ABA President James R. Silkenat of New York to examine the policies, strategies and tactics for the recruitment and retention of new members.  Part of the Task Force's duties also was to create a consistent approach and policy to help recruit new members, including law students, and coordinate these recruitment measures with various constituent groups throughout the organization. The Task Force was created as a result of a recommendation of the ABA Standing Committee on Membership. On behalf of the Task Force and as part of its extensive report, Clifford made a presentation in February to the ABA Board of Governors making the recommendation of free membership to all law students. Clifford, who has served three consecutive terms as the Illinois State Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, just stepped down last August after serving nine years, the maximum term limit allowed for state delegates. Law students who take advantage of this free offer will be allowed access to the ABA job board, a subscription to the ABA Journal, discounts on various products such as Sprint cellular plans and other opportunities including webinars and networking events.  Approximately 119,000 law students are currently enrolled and would be eligible for this free offer. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported on the story in its "Law School Notes" column on April 17, 2015. "ABA to Extend Free Membership to Law Student." Dominic Lo Verde , a law clerk at Clifford Law Offices and a second-year law student at Loyola University Chicago College of Law, commented on the new measure to reporter Jack Silverstein stating that, although he already had paid $60 as a first-year law student entitling him to three years of ABA membership, he has found it to be invaluable for gaining practical experience as well as for networking opportunities. To take advantage of the free membership, law students are encouraged to enroll at or by calling the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221. Currently, the ABA also offers the first year of membership free to upon admission to the bar. After that first year, lawyers then choose to become dues-paying members.

Clifford Law to Participate in 34th Annual ISBA Ask-a-Lawyer Day

Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner, Pamela Sakowicz Menaker, will be participating in the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) 34th Annual "Ask-a-Lawyer Day" event this Saturday, April 25th, 2014. The event is available at no cost to anyone with a question about a legal matter. It runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Robert Clifford Presents Opening Argument in Mock Trial

Senior Partner at Clifford Law Offices, Robert A. Clifford is presenting a demonstration of an opening argument today, Wednesday, April 15, at the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation Annual Meeting. Clifford's demonstration will consist of an opening argument in a "re-trial" of the high-profile case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Sacco and Vanzetti were two Italian immigrants who were convicted of killing a guard and another man at a shoe factory in Massachusetts in 1920. Both men were convicted in 1921 by a jury and were executed by the electric chair in 1927. The case drew worldwide attention. The full day of panel discussions and mock trial takes place at the United States District Court - Eastern District of Louisiana. The "2015 Anatomy of a Trial" includes a panel discussion with judges and all-star litigators from around the country on the important step-by-step aspects of trying a case.

Robert Clifford's Video Deposition Advice

Chicago personal injury attorney, Robert A. Clifford provided specific advice on preparing for a video deposition in his Chicago Lawyer article called "Skill at Taking Depositions Brings Victories in the Courtroom." His advice from that article was shared in a recent American Bar Association (ABA) piece titled "Video Depositions: Essentials, Resources." In the piece Clifford is quoted as cautioning that "long pauses or frequent 'OK's. can become aggravating in a recording." The ABA goes on to recommend using DepPrep, a witness preparation tool to help with video depositions. DepPrep is an electronic tutorial created by LexisNexis that makes it easy to groom witnesses for their recorded depositions. Clifford recently ranked at #76 for the second consecutive year in a row on Chicago Magazine's Power 100 List of most powerful Chicagoans of 2015. Clifford speaks regularly at webinars and workshops for law school students and experienced attorneys. He was invited by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) this year to give the closing arguments at their annual Damages Seminar. As founder of Clifford Law Offices, Clifford sponsored and moderated the Continuing Legal Education program, "The Ethics of Conflicts of Interest" webinar this Winter.

Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm

Clifford Law Offices, based on Chicago, Illinois, is a top-ranked personal injury law firm serving victims and their families nationwide. We provide a glossary of legal terminology on our website to provide a general understanding of legal definitions in the areas in which our firm practices.

Pam Menaker Writes Article for ABA Litigation News on Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

Pamela Sakowicz Menaker, Communications Partner at Clifford Law Offices, wrote an article for the American Bar Association Litigation News for which she serves as a Contributing Editor. The article that was published Feb. 11, 2015, dealt with the issue of professional liability insurance coverage involving a False Claims Act case. In a complex case to come out of Pennsylvania, the court discusses the issues of professional liability insurance coverage that was precluded even when the insured is not served with an underlying sealed lawsuit during the policy period and had no formal notice of a potential claim. The case revolves around the definition of "claim" and lawyers are advised to be careful in their drafting of policies so that the contract clearly covers prior or pending litigation. If it means increased premiums because the language is broader, the cost may be worth it for some. To read the article in its entirely, please visit: Also, Menaker has been asked to serve on the ABA Host Committee for the 2015 Annual Meeting to be held in Chicago in July-August. It is expected to be jam-packed with events and a tremendous turnout. To view more about this week-long event, go to the ABA website at

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