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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of February 20, 2014

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers UM/UIM arbitration (House Bill 5575), Probate Act and child's award (Senate Bill 2904), Health Care Services Lien Act (House Bill 5656), Mechanics Lien Act (House Bill 5663), Ticket quotas prohibited (Senate Bill 3411), Presumptions in IMDMA (House Bill 5425) and Regulation of loans to litigants (Senate Bill 3169). More information on each bill is available below the video.

UM/UIM arbitration. House Bill 5575 (Zalewski, D-Chicago) provides that arbitration awards entered on uninsured and underinsured motorist injury claims are binding by removing the trial de novo provision.

Probate Act and child's award. Senate Bill 2904 (Silverstein, D-Chicago) amends the Probate Act of 1975 amending the child’s award. It replaces references to “adult dependent child” with “adult child.”

Health Care Services Lien Act. House Bill 5656 (Schmitz, R-Batavia) changes “verdict, judgment, award, settlement, or compromise” to “gross verdict, judgment, award, settlement, or compromise.” Provides that “gross verdict, judgment, award, settlement, or compromise” means the total gross amount of a verdict, judgment, award, settlement, or compromise prior to any deductions for attorney fees, costs of litigation, or expenses of any kind that were incurred in pursuing the injured person's claim. Provides that the injured person bringing the claim or cause of action, or his or her attorney, shall notify all health care professionals and health care providers who billed for services related to the injuries involved in the claim or cause of action of their right to perfect a lien under the Act. Provides that the person giving notice shall include with the notice complete information relating to the claim or cause of action for all plaintiffs and all defendants, including, but not limited to, the following: the name and location of the court where the claim or cause of action is pending, the docket number, and a list of the parties and their attorneys. Provides that a lien holder may intervene in the claim or cause of action for the sole purpose of protecting the interest as set forth in the lien. Provides that the injured person, or his or her authorized representative, shall provide written notice to a lien holder when a case is dismissed or a judgment is entered against the injured person.

Mechanics Lien Act. House Bill 5663 (Sims, D-Chicago) makes the Act inapplicable unless there is a written and executed contract to improve the lot or tract of land or for the purpose of improving the tract of land or to manage a structure under construction.

Ticket quotas prohibited. Senate Bill 3411 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) prohibits a county or municipality from requiring a law enforcement officer to issue a specific number of citations or warnings within a designated period of time. It also prohibits a county or municipality from using the number of issued citations by an officer as a means to evaluate that officer. Makes it an unfair labor practice to require a peace officer to perform a duty that conflicts with the provisions of this amendatory Act.

Presumptions in IMDMA. House Bill 5425 (Cabello, R-Rockford) Amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. To the list of purposes of the Act, adds: (1) continuing existing child-parent relationships; and (2) recognizing that the involvement of each parent for equal time and not less than 35% of residential parenting time per week is presumptively in the children's best interests. Provides that the court shall allocate parenting time according to the child's best interests and that it is presumed that it is in the child's best interests to award equal time to each parent. Provides that unless the parents present a mutually agreed written and notarized parenting plan within 90 days of both parties filing an appearance, the court shall allocate parenting time. Provides that it is presumed that both parents are fit and the court shall not place any restrictions on parenting time unless it finds by clear and convincing evidence that a parent's exercise of parenting time would seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral, or emotional health. Provides that in cases where the court finds that it is not in the best interests of the child for the parents to have equal time or that it is not possible for both parents to share time equally, a minimum of 35% residential time per week should be ordered for the non-custodial parent. Provides that the non-custodial parent may waive his or her right to a 35% minimum residential time per week. Provides that parents may agree to an alternate parenting schedule, subject to the court's approval. Provides that the term “visitation” includes parenting time. Provides that the parties shall implement an order allocating parenting time no more than 60 days after the entry of the order.

Regulation of loans to litigants. Senate Bill 3169 (Haine, D-Alton) creates the Non-Recourse Civil Litigation Funding Act. Provides that all contracts for non-recourse civil litigation funding shall be written, provide the total funding amount to the customer, itemize one-time fees, allow the customer to cancel contract within 10 business days following receipt of the funding amount without penalty or further obligation, and other specified criteria. Provides that any attorney’s fee, Medicare lien, Medicaid lien, or health care provider lien takes priority over any lien of the non-recourse civil litigation funding company. Contains a provision concerning standards and practices of non-recourse civil litigation companies. Provides criteria for non-recourse civil litigation funding companies to receive and retain licenses, the closing of its business or surrendering of the license, and prohibited acts. Amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to provide that a person who knowingly violates the Non-Recourse Civil Litigation Funding Act commits an unlawful practice.

Posted on February 20, 2014 by Chris Bonjean
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