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Illinois Bar Journal

Sports Gambling: Will Illinois Bet on It?

Posted on May 20, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

A hot topic in Illinois, legalized sports gambling is a possibility now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that the federal ban on the activity is unconstitutional. While Congress has yet to act, states are free to legalize sports gambling on their own. In Zachary Bock’s May 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “Sports Gambling: Will Illinois Bet on It?,” Bock provides an overview of recent efforts to legislate gambling in Illinois and elsewhere. He also summarizes the wide range of decisions that need to be made before bets are placed in Illinois. Among his takeaways: Illinois should monitor states such as Pennsylvania, where high sports-gambling fees and taxes have been imposed.

Branching Out

Posted on May 13, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

A survey of more than 40,000 people in 22 countries conducted jointly by the University of Southern California, the London Business School, and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) found that 80 percent of millennials and members of Generation X prefer face-to-face meetings with colleagues. Also, 80 percent said in-person interactions, more than any other individual form of communication, are critically important to maintaining relationships and 96 percent preferred face-to-face meetings with their supervisors regarding professional growth. In “Branching Out,” the cover story for the May 2019 Illinois Bar Journal, we note that while traditional face-to-face interactions at bar association events (e.g., golf outings) remain part of the culture, social media and online interactions have become increasingly important and have altered expectations and preferences for networking in general. Granted that networking preferences may differ across generations, the IBJ asks whether meaningfully connecting with colleagues in person remains a high priority for attorneys of all ages.

(Why) I Object!

Posted on May 6, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Trial practice is a fast-moving endeavor; practitioners must make frequent decisions, often without access to all the facts. At the end of all that preparation and hard work, a judge or jury inevitably anoints a winner and a loser. But the trial outcome need not be the final word on the matter. In her May 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “(Why) I Object!,” Ruth Masters, who has practiced appellate law for the past 20 years and is the principle attorney at MastersLaw, provides 10 tips to preserve some commonly occurring issues for appeal in Illinois courts. One takeaway: Parties often get into trouble on appeal because they didn't specify the basis of an objection during trial or they raise new arguments for exclusion on appeal.

Zombie Settlements

Posted on April 29, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The typical settlement occurs at the end of a long day of mediation. The exhausted parties pen the basic terms in a memorandum of agreement. But unless the attorneys are careful to create an enforceable settlement agreement, a case that appears to be settled can unexpectedly spring back to life. Can a “settled” case come alive again? Sadly, yes. Failing to pound the last nail into a case’s coffin can leave enough of an opening to allow an apparently settled case to rise from the dead. Read Hon. Geraldine Soat Brown’s (ret.) and Lorence H. Slutzky’s article, “Zombie Settlements,” in May’s Illinois Bar Journal.

GE May Bring Good Things to Life, but It Does Not Bring Personal Jurisdiction in Illinois

Posted on April 23, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

If it’s been a few years since a personal jurisdiction issue has come across your desk, you may want to take note of a recent decision by the first district involving General Electric Co. (GE). The case of Campbell v. Acme Insulations, Inc. powerfully illustrates how Illinois courts are continuing a clear legal trend in limiting the availability of general or “all-purpose” personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants who are sued in Illinois courts. In Eric Muñoz’s April Illinois Bar Journal article, “GE May Bring Good Things to Life, but It Does Not Bring Personal Jurisdiction in Illinois, ” Muñoz, a partner at Scandaglia Ryan, shows, in light of Campbell, how non-Illinois-based companies, with significant and longstanding business and financial contacts in Illinois, like GE, may be unamenable to general jurisdiction in the state. Counsel on both sides of potential litigation would be well-served to appreciate the implications of this important legal trend in personal jurisdiction caselaw and to be prepared to aggressively incorporate these developments into their litigation and defense practices.

How to Appeal Final Judgments in Ongoing Litigation

Posted on April 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

A judgment is entered as to part of your case, but other matters still remain. Can you appeal? The answer is “yes” under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 304(a), but only if you follow the guidelines set forth in Don Sampen’s April Illinois Bar Journal article, “How to Appeal Final Judgments in Ongoing Litigation.”

Sampen, a partner at Clausen, Miller P.C., has argued cases in the Illinois Supreme Court and all appellate districts, appellate courts in four other states, and in six U.S. courts of appeal. He cautions that while “Illinois Supreme Court Rule 301 begins: ‘Every final judgment of a circuit court in a civil case is appealable as of right,’ the statement is deceptively simple. While final judgments may be appealable as of right, in Illinois they are not necessarily immediately appealable upon entry. Where a final judgment is entered as to fewer than all parties or claims, one must look to Rule 304(a) to determine appealability.”

It’s Not All About Death and Taxes: Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation Through Estate Planning

Posted on April 8, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

As financial exploitation of the elderly becomes a growing social concern, estate planners have a responsibility to address the issue. In their April Illinois Bar Journal article, “It’s Not All About Death and Taxes: Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation Through Estate Planning,” Darcy J. Chamberlin and Janna S. Dutton review trust and estate issues involved in exploitation of the elderly and suggest provisions that can be used to protect clients whose quality of judgment may be declining. Chamberlin and Dutton look beyond our role as document creators and provide practical guidance on how best to protect our impaired clients from con artists, bad trustees, and untrustworthy relatives.

Defusing the Courtroom

Posted on March 25, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

In a profession that requires people to argue all day, in an era when arguing easily turns to shouting, it’s time for some self-reflection. April’s Illinois Bar Journal asks judges throughout the state and at all levels whether we’re all doing enough to keep calm. It turns out things aren’t all that bad, even if we can always do better.

It's Okay, I'm a Lawyer! How the Expansion of the Attorney-Litigation Privilege is Changing the Game

Posted on March 18, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

In 2015, the first district significantly expanded the attorney-litigation privilege, finding that it immunized attorneys from claims in addition to defamation and, in addition to an attorney's communications, protected an attorney's conduct. While it is axiomatic that "with great power comes great responsibility," Amanda Hamilton notes in March's Illinois Bar Journal that "recent expansions of the attorney-litigation privilege demonstrate why attorneys must be increasingly vigilant in their commitment to ethical principles to ensure they do not abuse their power."

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Plea Bargaining in Illinois

Posted on March 11, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Recent plea-bargaining related decisions in the U.S. and Illinois Supreme Courts have complicated the landscape for ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims brought in the state. With various tests for ineffective assistance now in tension, questions may become more difficult to resolve when such tests can be applied to the same case. In his March 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Plea Bargaining in Illinois,” Nate Niemann traces the developments leading to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lee v. United States and the Illinois Supreme Court’s in People v. Brown.

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