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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 2003

Legislative update: It’s technical, but new law makes it easier to collect old judgements By J.A. Sebastian January 2003 Public Act 92-817 (S.B. 39) approved and effective August 21, 2002, adds a new provision to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure at 735 ILCS 5/2-1602, entitled "Revival of judgment."
Limited liability legal practice comes to Illinois: An overview of the changes to Supreme Court Rule 721 and new Supreme Court Rule 722 By Michele M. Jochner October 2003 On July 1, 2003, amended Supreme Court Rule 721 and new Supreme Court Rule 722 went into effect.
Modification of child support for high-income earners By Brian L. McPheters November 2003 A recent opinion of the Fifth District Appellate Court, authored by Justice Chapman with Justices Maag and Kuehn concurring in In Re Marriage of Harry Timothy Garrett and Elizabeth Ann Garrett, 336 Ill. App. 3d 1018,____ N.E. 2d ______ (2003), underscores some of the risks faced by high-income earners when confronted with a Petition for Modification of Child Support.
New statutory factors for maintenance reviews or petitions to modify or terminate maintenance By Dawn R. Hallsten November 2003 Under Public Act 93-0353, Illinois courts will have eight additional statutory factors to consider whenever they review an order for maintenance or hear a petition for modification or termination of maintenance upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances.
Piercing the corporate veil: Shroud or substance? December 2003 A times our clients are faced with litigation with a corporation that may seem like it acts through its individual owners, as opposed to observing the requirements for acting as a distinct corporate entity. In other words, the ownership is so unified between the persons operating the corporation and the corporate entity itself that they merge into one.
Power Of Attorney: So simple yet so complicated By Thomas F. Hartzell June 2003 Power Of Attorneys are drafted for clients as part of their estate plan.
Practical considerations for representing your clients who have been damaged by Wall Street analysts’ conflicts of interest By James J. Eccleston September 2003 Securities regulators have opened a Pandora's box for the major brokerage firms.
Practice alert: Lawyers now need to warn clients of potential Department of Public Aid collection efforts after declaration of retroactive child support agreements in court orders By Brian L. McPheters October 2003 For those attorneys thinking not much in a civil practice could be simpler than finishing a child support arrearage case on behalf of a support payor, the Illinois Department of Public Aid has made the process much more complicated as illustrated by a recent decision by the circuit court in Champaign County, Illinois.
Practice tip: Not-for-profit resources By Terrence M. Madsen June 2003 There is an unwritten but well known rule of the profession that every small firm and solo, regardless of their areas of practice, must plan for the day when their best client calls in the middle of the night--or Sunday afternoon--seeking emergency help for a spouse who can't drive sober or a child who shoplifts and is in jail.
QDROs—A problematic source of recovery of child support arrearages By Brian L. McPheters July 2003 Illinois courts now permit the recovery of support arrearages via Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) pursuant to the authority of In Re Marriage of Thomas, 2003 Ill. app. Lexis 568, 789 N.E. 2d 821, 273 Ill. Dec. 647, issued May 5, 2003. Previously, QDROs were available for such purpose under the law of several other states, but the Thomas case from the appellate court of Illinois, Second District, presented the issue as a case of first impression in Illinois.
Reasonable, not perfect, competence of counsel: Yarborough v. Gentry By J.A. Sebastian December 2003 In a succinct and instructive decision, the United States Supreme Court held, in a per curiam decision, in Yarborough v. Gentry, that the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees reasonable, not perfect, competence in counsel, on petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Supreme Court Rule 416(c)—Constitutional dimensions By Patrick E. Ward August 2003 (c) Notice of Intention to Seek or Decline Death Penalty. The State's Attorney or Attorney General shall provide notice of the State's intention to seek or reject imposition of the death penalty by filing a Notice of Intent to Seek or Decline Death Penalty as soon as practicable.
Taxable costs issue addressed by Supreme Court By Patrick J. Hitpas August 2003 In the case of Vicencio v. Lincoln-Way Builders, Inc., 2003 Ill. LEXIS 769, the Illinois Supreme Court granted Defendant's Petition for Leave to Appeal to resolve a split among the Appellate Districts on the question of whether a trial court may assess as costs the fee charged by a plaintiff's treating physician for his participation in an evidence deposition that was presented to the jury.
What should a jury know about a defendant’s prior convictions? By Patrick J. Hitpas February 2003 An apparent inconsistency has developed in what information a trial court should allow a jury to hear regarding a defendant's prior convictions.