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Congratulations to Stanley B. Balbach, Urbana, Illinois, who has been named a Pillar of the Bar by the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF). The award recognizes lawyers who have throughout their careers significantly distinguished themselves in the practice of law and in their professional and community activities and who have set an example to which others aspire. Recipients are nominated by their fellow attorneys.

ATG founder, Stanley Balbach (second from left) of Urbana, Illinois, was recently named a "Pillar of the Bar" by the Illinois Bar Foundation. His family joined him in celebrating the honor: (from left) son Bryon Balbach, wife Sarah Balbach, and Byron's wife, Jeanne.

As a member of the Young Lawyers Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) in the 1950s, Mr. Balbach began his campaign to establish a Bar-related® title company in Illinois to preserve the attorney's role in real estate transactions. His efforts led to the creation of ATG in 1964. His selfless dedication to the general practitioner, the real estate lawyer, and the public made ATG a primary force in the title industry. During his 1964-2004 tenure on its Board of Directors, ATG grew to become one of the major title insurers in the state with more than 3,800 attorney agents. Due in part to Mr. Balbach's efforts, Illinois did not become an "escrow state" where most consumers have no legal counsel in real estate matters, benefiting all Illinois attorneys, not just ATG members.
His other accomplishments include ISBA Senior Counsellor (1992), ISBA Board of Governors Award (1994), the Arthur H. Larson Leadership Award of the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging (1999), ISBA Tradition of Excellence Award (2000), the Community Service Award of the Urbana Exchange Club (2000), and Academy of Illinois Lawyers - Laureates (2002).

The other attorneys elected 2006 Pillars of the Bar include ATG members Sam Ervin (deceased), Champaign; French Fraker (deceased), Champaign; Stuart Mamer, Champaign; Darius Phebus, Urbana; and Richard Thies, Urbana; along with local attorneys Frederick Green, Urbana; and Lawrence Hatch, Urbana. For more information, go to www.atgf.com, and click "ATG in the News" to read the June 19, 2006, News-Gazette article, "Group to Recognize Eight Lawyers in First 'Pillars of the Bar' Class."

The Illinois Bar Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1951. Originally established to provide aid to deserving Illinois Bar members who could no longer care for or support themselves, its mission now includes legal services for Illinois families and the development of the honor and integrity of the Illinois legal profession.

The 2006 Pillars of the Bar, standing from left: Guy Fraker (representing his father, French); Stuart Mamer; Richard Thies; and Joe Phebus (representing his father, Darius). Seated Stanley Balbach; Lawrence Hatch; and Frederick Green.
[Last update: 7-13-06]