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General Practice, Solo, and Small FirmThe newsletter of the ISBA’s General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section

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Newsletter articles from 2002

Ante-nuptial isn’t nuptial By Terrence M. Madsen April 2002 An ante-nuptial agreement does not enjoy the traditional disclosure privileges associated with marital communications according to the Third District's recent opinion in In rel. Puterbaugh v. Puterbaugh, 3-01-0292 (2/14/02).
Chairperson’s column March 2002 ISBA's President Tim Eaton and the ISBA Board have gone on record to again advocate for changing the Supreme Court rules to permit the sale of a solo practice.
Chairperson’s column January 2002 The Illinois Supreme Court has established a special committee on Lawyers Civility to seek "appropriate ways to promote civility, as the norm, within the legal profession."
Chair’s column August 2002 One of the more difficult jobs of becoming the chair of an ISBA section is getting your chairman's article in to your editors in a timely fashion so you don't delay the publication of the newsletter.
Chair’s column June 2002 This has been an eventful year for the ISBA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section. Much of the credit for what the section has worked on and accomplished this year is due to ISBA President, Tim Eaton.
Chair’s column May 2002 If memory serves me correctly, the annual attorney's registration fee we pay was to help offset the cost of the Attorneys Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
Chair’s column April 2002 ISBA president Tim Eaton has appointed a Special Committee on the Transfer of a Law Practice.
The debate continues: Holes in the professional liability proposal By Patrick F. Cleary November 2002 The Supreme Court Rules Committee is reviewing and taking public comment on the proposed Attorney Financial Responsibility Rule.
Divorce law issues: June 2002 In 1991, the Illinois Supreme Court in In re Marriage of Zells (1991), 143 Ill.2d 251, 157 Ill.Dec. 480, 572 N.E.2d 944, addressed the issue of the division of the goodwill value of a law practice in a dissolution of marriage proceeding.
Doctors and health care fraud: what every attorney should know about the False Claims Act and qui tam By Michael K. Goldberg January 2002 This article will explore the affect of this enormous growth in health care fraud on physicians and administrators, focusing on the primary vehicle used by law enforcement to root out health care fraud, The False Claims Act.
Editor’s column December 2002 Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks? Ever since I bought the first computer for my desk 20 years ago, I have followed the recommended pattern of buying myself an updated, faster computer about every 18 months to two years, depending on the costs and the nature of the computer advancements.
Editor’s column November 2002 The Solo Practice Transfer Committee has developed and submitted a draft rule for comments from the ISBA Members.
Estate planning & probate update By James F. Dunneback and Anne Scheurich Kelly April 2002 The past year has seen significant and far-reaching changes in the estate planning and estate and gift tax arenas.
The future of grandparent visitation post-Wickham v. Byrne By Michael K. Goldberg November 2002 Now that the Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act, 750 ILCS 5/607 (b) (1) and (3), has been held facially unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in the case of Wickham v. Byrne, 99 Ill. 2d 309; 769 N.E.2d 1, there has been much debate as to how (or indeed if) a new third-party visitation statute should be drafted.
Garageman’s labor and storage liens another believe it or not situation By G. Bradley Hantla March 2002 An automobile mechanic and/or garageman enters your office indicating that he has a truck that has been left at his premises for a considerable period of time and that there is a storage bill owed on the truck in a sum in excess of $5,000.
Illinois Supreme Court amends Rule 307 to allow early appeal in class action lawsuits By Michele M. Jochner December 2002 The Illinois Supreme Court has amended Rule 307, effective January 1, 2003, to permit a party to seek a discretionary, interlocutory appeal of whether a lawsuit was properly certified as a class action prior to the resolution of the suit at the trial court level.
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Moses W. Harrison announces his retirement from the bench in September; Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow set to become the high court’s first female Chief Justice By Michele M. Jochner August 2002 Chief Justice Moses W. Harrison has announced that he will step down from the bench on September 4, 2002.
Local governmental involvement—doing the right right By David Spagat January 2002 Problem: something is not right in your local community and you want to do something about it.
Mechanics’ liens: Oh, those old cases—how they haunt you By Thomas F. Hartzell June 2002 We were recently involved in a mechanics' lien case where we represented the plaintiff lumber company against the owner of the real estate, his contractor and the bank as mortgagee.
Medical information minefield: What does HIPAA stand for and why you should care By Michael K. Goldberg June 2002 Ask any health care professional for his or her list of hot topics in health care and the vast majority will quickly refer to the acronym HIPAA. What is HIPAA and what makes it such a hot topic?
New Supreme Court rule amendments and court orders By Michele M. Jochner November 2002 The Illinois Supreme Court has recently amended several rules, and has also issued orders which will affect the practice of law in Illinois.
Office management­ “preventive solutions no firm should be without” By Martine P. Jackson March 2002 In "Prevent Office Theft," author Patrick Clearly suggested a simple procedure for reducing the incidence of theft in the workplace.
Old soldiers never die … do the myths By Matt Maloney January 2002 My career started in early September 1973. Direct contact with clients, old and new, began immediately.
Part 1: Reciprocal or mutual wills—implied consequences By Timothy E. Duggan March 2002 A simple and common request can have significant consequences which may be unintended: a married couple, each with children from prior marriages, wants wills which leave everything to the surviving spouse and then, upon the death of the survivor, the estate is to be divided among all of their children from their prior marriages.
Part 2: Reciprocal or mutual wills—implied consequences By Timothy E. Duggan May 2002 In a previous issue of this newsletter, an article by the same name discussed the factors that courts would consider to determine if wills were executed pursuant to contract, reviewed specific cases to highlight how the analysis of such factors worked in practice, and noted that ordinary disposition schemes have been argued to evidence contractual wills.
Patient beware! Part III By David K. Harris April 2002 On October 23, 2001, the Fourth District Appellate Court reversed the trial court's decision allowing summary judgment against the plaintiff/patient. Warren v. Burris, 325 Ill. App 3d 599.
People do notice: Professional passing By Terrence M. Madsen December 2002 I recently attended the funeral of a former circuit clerk in a small rural county. This clerk had, as often is the case, served actively in his political party and had even once managed a campaign of a now-retired circuit judge.
Practice reminder—ABA Techshow By John T. Phipps March 2002 Don't forget the ABA Techshow which is being held March 14-16, 2002 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Chicago, Illinois.
Practice tip—New IRS procedure to obtain employer ID numbers By John T. Phipps March 2002 As of January 2, 2002 the toll free number to obtain EIN numbers is 866/816-2065.
Practice transition problems of solos By Bernard Wysocki January 2002 Probably, the most important project that the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section Council has been working on this year, is the work on the proposal for changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct allowing the sale of a law firm by sole practitioners.