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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 2005

2005 Tradition of Excellence Award August 2005 The General Practice, Solo and Small Firms Section Council has awarded its 2005 Tradition of Excellence Award to Joseph B. McDonnell of Swansea, Illinois.
Administrative Law: A hearing with a predetermined outcome is no hearing at all By Bernard Wysocki November 2005 Policemen and Police Pension Boards are watching with great interest what the Illinois Supreme Court will decide concerning the two cases filed this fall from the First and Second District Appellate Courts.
Agreements to waive accrued child support are unenforceable By Hon. Brian L. McPheters January 2005 The Fourth District Appellate Court has again reaffirmed the unenforceability of agreements not to collect accrued child support in its opinion in In re Marriage of Case, (4th Dist. - August 24, 2004), 351 Ill.App.3d 907, 815 N.E.2d 67, 286 Ill.Dec. 857.
Ante-nuptial agreements: Broken promises By Patrick M. Kinnally December 2005 When I was in law school, my family law professor seemed intelligent and energetic about the topic. One area of instruction was “antenuptial agreements.”
Appellant beware: Trust fees and administrative costs disallowed on appeal By Donald A. LoBue January 2005 Since early in law school, attorneys have heard the phrase "Buyer Beware." A recent Fourth District case, NC Illinois Trust Co. v. Madigan et al, No. 4-03-0738, 351 Ill.App.3d 311(4th Dist. 2004), is an example of a situation where the Appellant needs to beware.
Buyer’s remedies in the fraudulent sale of residential property By Donald A. LoBue December 2005 The courts continue to expand buyers’ remedies regarding the purchase of homes.
Chairman’s corner By Timothy E. Duggan August 2005 This is my last Chairman’s Corner. It has been an honor and a pleasure to be Chairman of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section Council for the 2004-2005 Section Council Year.
Chairman’s corner By Timothy E. Duggan January 2005 At the Annual Meeting, ISBA President Ole Pace presented a theme of his presidency, as "Making a Life and Living in the Law."
Chairman’s corner: Proposals to help earning power By Timothy E. Duggan April 2005 President Ole Bly Pace asked each Section Council to propose at least one practical idea to help members of that Section improve their earning power.
Chairman’s corner: Thoughts on the nobility and honor of our profession By Timothy E. Duggan February 2005 Eight years ago the Honorable Judge Richard Mills, United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois, spoke at a memorial service for the local attorneys who had passed away in the recent years.
Chair’s column By Dawn R. Hallsten November 2005 Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, fall is officially here and we completed the highly successful first Solo and Small Firm Conference on October 7th-9th.
Chair’s column By Dawn R. Hallsten August 2005 As we begin this new ISBA year, we thank Tim Duggan for his outstanding job last year as chair of this section’s council.
Chair’s column: ISBA Web discussion groups as a research tool By Timothy E. Duggan March 2005 ISBA Web discussion groups can be used as research tool, either by merely asking your question on the list-serve, or searching the discussion group archives for prior discussions on a subject.
Child support By Anne M. Martinkus February 2005 Oral agreements to modify child support must be approved by court to be binding-Laches does not apply to enforcement of judgment
“Don’t Just Survive-Thrive!” Mark your calendar for the ISBA’s First Annual Solo and Small Firm conference October 7-9, 2005 By Michele M. Jochner May 2005 Make sure to mark your calendar now for Columbus Day weekend-Friday-Sunday, October 7-9, 2005-and plan ahead to be part of a rewarding weekend of learning, networking, and family fun at the ISBA's First Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference.
Editor’s column: Computers-Is it time to upgrade? By John T. Phipps April 2005 Lately I have been amazed to learn in personal computer magazines, newspaper ads and trips to various computer stores at how excellent computers, flat-panel monitors, printers and accessories can be obtained at incredibly low prices.
Editor’s column: GP Solo & Small Firm Section Council responds to the continuing evolution of the law By John T. Phipps March 2005 The legal stage is changing yet again. It is no wonder they call what we lawyers do "the practice of law" because lawyers are faced with the constant challenge to adapt to ever-changing laws.
Editor’s column: Indirect consequences of pleas indicates growing concern for lawyers and clients By John T. Phipps February 2005 Jack Carey's article, "When is "not a conviction under this Act" a conviction?," highlights an area of growing concern for general practice lawyers as more and more indirect consequences for pleas for Court supervision or first offender probation are being created.
Editor’s column: ISBA responds to bottom line issues with “Don’t Just Survive-Thrive” conference By John T. Phipps May 2005 The practice of law is constantly changing and some of those changes are resulting in more and more demands on lawyers.
Editor’s column: The power of new ideas December 2005 Illinois is now a mandatory Continuing Legal Education state. Illinois lawyers will soon have to complete at least 30 hours of education every two years.
Editor’s Column: unbundling services–A way lawyers can meet unmet legal needs and a create a source of fees! By John T. Phipps August 2005 How often do we turn down cases because the time they would take and the fees would exceed the amount of the claim?
Family law update By Anne M. Martinkus April 2005 In a dissolution of marriage case, a law firm claimed that the disgorgement statute, (750 ILCS 5/501(c-1)(3)), that authorizes a law firm to be required to disgorge interim fees paid by its client to the opposing party's attorney is unconstitutional.
Family law update By Anne M. Martinkus March 2005 On February 21, 1991, a judgment of dissolution of marriage was entered. The judgment incorporated the parties' marital settlement agreement in which the child was to reside with wife and husband was to pay child support in the amount of $250 per month.
Growing area of concern: When is “not a conviction under this Act” a conviction? By Jack Carey February 2005 There are occasions when the general practitioner unwittingly finds a remedy for a client that would not have been suggested had the consequences been known.
Hot probate, estate and trust topics in a nutshell By Patrick E. Ward December 2005 How the Family Limited Partnership is supposed to work to the advantage of estate planners: Dad puts his business assets into a limited partnership.
The importance of being (Earnest)(Ernest) (Honest) By Matt Maloney January 2005 I have, occasionally, commented about the importance of communicating with clients. I don't mean just talking to them, but trying to insure that they get the message.
Law clerks By Walter Kilgus April 2005 What do you do when a law student sends you a resume or merely stops into your office seeking summer employment?
Medicaid lien not recoverable against spouse’s estate By Brian L. McPheters November 2005 A recent opinion, not yet released for publication, in Hines v. Department, of Public Aid ,358 Ill. App.3d 225, 831 N.E.2d 641, 294 Ill.Dec 691, 2005 WL 1218677 (Ill. App. 3 Dist.) contains a holding that is of great interest to general practitioners and any attorney dealing with probate or elder law issues.
No standing to challenge daughter’s required Pledge of Allegiance By Timothy E. Duggan May 2005 We were awaiting the ruling on whether the phrase "under God" as part of a required recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance violated the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as it applied to the States by incorporation into the Fourteenth Amendment.
Over the river and through the woods again—How will courts interpret the new Grandparent Visitation Act? By Michael K. Goldberg August 2005 After a two-year hiatus, Illinois grandparents once again have the statutory right to petition for visitation with their grandchildren.