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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 2009

Chair’s column By Hon. Brian L. McPheters October 2009 A message from Section Chair Brian McPheters.
Chair’s column By Hon. Brian L. McPheters September 2009 A message from Section Chair Brian McPheters.
Chair’s Column By J.A. Sebastian May 2009 A Section accomplishment update from Chair J.A. Sebastian.
Chair’s Column By J.A. Sebastian March 2009 A Section update from Chair J.A. Sebastian.
Chair’s column: It’s your section, use it By Hon. Brian L. McPheters July 2009 A message from Section Chair Brian McPheters.
Chair’s column: Legal library resources free and available By Hon. Brian L. McPheters December 2009 If you live too far from Chicago to be able to use the Daley Center Law Library, you may have a law library in your own courthouse. Unfortunately, these are often not extensive or current or have many subscription services. Alternative research locations may still be available to you.
Chair’s Column: Lincoln’s thoughts still pertinent By J.A. Sebastian January 2009 As our Supreme Court considers new rules of professional conduct and rules governing retainer agreements, the remarks of Mr. Lincoln are worth repeating and are reproduced below for your consideration.
Contingency Planning: Motion to Stay—Preparing to counteract a possible negative ruling By Susan M. Brazas July 2009 Where the client (or the client’s children) stand to suffer great harm in the event that the court makes a ruling adverse to their position, the attorney should consider preparing, in advance, a Motion to Stay enforcement of the court’s judgment pending appeal.
Doing it on the square By J.A. Sebastian December 2009 The date: October 2, 2009. In the Chicago area, an historical day: a day when some bemoaned the selection of Rio rather than Chicago for the 2016 Olympics. For others, it was the day to attend the annual endowed Rudolf G. Schade Lecture Series at Elmhurst College, created in 1984 as a class gift to sponsor an annual campus lecture, usually pertaining to history or ethics. 
Editor’s column By John T. Phipps October 2009 A note from Editor John Phipps.
Editor’s column: Being a lawyer means something By John T. Phipps March 2009 Lincoln-the-Lawyer is still the model for Illinois lawyers to aspire to. Lincoln is ranked as one of the U.S.’ best presidents, but his Illinois legal career is no less exceptional.
Editor’s column: Current economic downturn requires lawyers to evaluate case acceptance, billing and credit policies By John T. Phipps January 2009 You need to make the choice about your own pro bono. Or as another lawyer told me, if work is slow, invest in yourself and improve your office and your skills rather than donate your time to someone who cannot or will not pay you.
Editor’s column: Don’t overlook available resources By John T. Phipps December 2009 In these troubled economic times it is easy to overlook the vast amount of free legal resources available to Illinois lawyers. The Chair’s Column by Brian L. McPheters and the following article by Robert Brunn and Bennie E. Martin discuss a number of such resources.  
Editor’s Column: Fee Agreement Essentials By John T. Phipps May 2009 The author believes there needs to be a clause to address what happens on the unavailability of the attorney; a clause to deal with client expectations; and a clause that deals with the client’s fee expectations.
Establishing actual damages in legal malpractice cases By Kenneth J. Ashman and Neal D. Kitterlin July 2009 What happens when the attorney has been retained to defend a lawsuit and, due to malpractice, misses a defense that results in a judgment being entered against the client? Assuming the client does not have the funds to pay the judgment, has the client suffered actual damages as a result of the attorney’s malpractice? A look at the recent case of Fox v. Seiden.
Ethics and Judicial Independence By Hon. Thomas R. Fitzgerald December 2009 I would like to talk to you today about a topic that is important to me, as a judge, and important to all of you as citizens of this State and this Country.
Fee agreement essentials By John T. Phipps September 2009 With the adoption of the rule approving the sale of a solo practice, it became appropriate, especially for senior lawyers and solo practitioners, to insert a provision in fee agreements to cover what happens in the event of the unavailability of the attorney. Such a provision obtains the client’s consent to temporary substitution of an attorney and a limited confidentiality waiver.
Free tools from the ISBA can keep you on top of legal developments By Joe Giamanco October 2009 Learn about some of the practice tools the ISBA has to offer.
General Practice Section Continuing Legal Education By Timothy J. Storm May 2009 An update on General Practice, Solo & Small Firm CLE activity.
In re Parentage of G.E.M.: Pro se perils under the Parentage Act By Peter R. Olson October 2009 Who is the legal father, the man who voluntarily acknowledged paternity or the biological father? A look at In re Parentage of G.E.M.
In re Sophia G.L.: A review of the UCCJEA in the State of Illinois By Michelle L. Blackburn January 2009 What is the status of the UCCJEA in the State of Illinois? According the Illinois Supreme Court, the UCCJEA is alive and well. The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled on the case In re Sophia G.L., No. 104603, and in doing so overturned the decision of the 4th District Appellate Court, reversing the ruling of the Greene County Circuit Court.  
It’s not a lot of work: Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award—Nominate a deserving lawyer By Hon. Brian L. McPheters March 2009 A call for applicants for the Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award.
Legal and tax issues for franchisees By William A. Price January 2009 Buying and operating a franchise is different than most of the other purchase or investment decisions your client will make in the course of your lifetime. Your client is getting a business that they will run using a more-or-less established system, not purchasing something physical like a car or a house.  
Lincoln … A license to practice and a legacy to remember By Michele M. Jochner March 2009 As we celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, we are reminded of his course-altering actions as President of a Civil War-ravaged nation.
Matt Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award nominations By Michael K. Goldberg December 2009 Matt Maloney was an attorney’s attorney. Those of us who knew him were amused by his quick wit, challenged by his sharp legal mind and humbled by his dedication to practicing the law as a profession and not just a business.
Order for possession improper as court sanction for tenants’ failure to tender ongoing use & occupancy By Michael Zink March 2009 A Circuit Court may not properly enter an Order for Possession as a sanction against a tenant who fails to tender use and occupancy payments pursuant to a court order. Such a sanction not only improperly relieves a landlord of its statutory burden but also exceeds the appropriate punitive degree warranted.    
Practice Note: What do you need to know about the Line of Duty Compensation Act when representing an individual in the military? By Michelle L. Blackburn May 2009 This change to the statute in June 2006 has caused immense problems for the survivors of military personnel killed in the line of duty. Specifically, if you were deployed prior to June 2006, it appears that you were never informed of this change and given the opportunity to designate a beneficiary. Furthermore, military personnel who were deployed after June 2006 were never presented with a document to designate beneficiaries of the line of duty compensation.
Practice tip: Vital information at your fingertips—A tour of the Daley Center Law Library By Robert F. Brunn and Bennie E. Martin December 2009 The law is always changing, and lawyers and their staffs need to be able to continually research in order to stay on top of critical developments in the law. Local and state legislatures and the U.S. Congress are constantly adding or modifying statutes; administrative agencies regularly adjust their guidelines; and courts routinely write opinions that provide or revise precedents.