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Practice News

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, April 18

Posted on April 18, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court issued three opinions on Thursday, April 18. The ISBA's panel of leading appellate and civil attorneys reviewed the opinions and provided summaries. In People v. Buffer, the court upheld an appellate court’s decision to vacate a defendant’s 50-year prison sentence imposed for a crime he committed when he was 16 years old and remanded the case for resentencing. In People v. Kimble, the court denied a man’s motion to bar his reprosecution on double jeopardy grounds where the trial judge declared a mistrial after the jury was deadlocked. Fillmore v. Taylor addresses whether an inmate can seek relief against the Department of Corrections pursuant to mandamus or a common-law writ of certiorari based on allegations that the Department failed to follow relevant regulations.

Illinois Supreme Court Assigns Circuit Judge Boie to Fifth District Appellate Court

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court has assigned Circuit Judge Mark M. Boie of the First Judicial Circuit as an appellate court justice in the Fifth District. 

Judge Boie was assigned to fill the vacancy created by the election of Justice David K. Overstreet to the Fifth District Appellate Court. The assignment of Judge Boie takes effect on May 1, and will remain in effect until further order of the court. 

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Merger/Acquisition–Should We Merge or Acquire?

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am the managing partner of an eight-attorney firm in Dayton, Ohio. We have two equity partners (both in our early 50s), two non-equity partners, and four associates. Our practice is a very niche-specific practice and there are only three or four other practices in the state that do the work that we do. There is another firm in Cleveland, Ohio, that has approached us regarding possible merger or acquisition. The firm does similar work that our firm does. However, this firm also handles some areas we would like to get into that fall within our niche area. There are two founding partners in the firm—one in his late 60s and the other in her early 70s, one associate attorney, and four staff members. The two partners are planning on moving toward retirement and are looking for a succession strategy. They have not shared with us their timeline or any financial information. We have had one face-to-face meeting and several phone calls. We would appreciate your take on this, next steps, and whether we should pursue this matter further.

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.”

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices to Host Public Hearings

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices will host a series of public hearings as it works toward its final report and recommendations in December.

The commission recently released its preliminary report concerning pretrial reform in the Illinois criminal justice system. A final report with recommendations regarding the administration of pretrial justice in Illinois will be released in December.

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.

U.S. Attorney's Office Seeks Assistant U.S. Attorneys

Posted on April 5, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District of Illinois is accepting applications for assistant United States attorney openings in its Criminal Division in Benton and Fairview Heights.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least one year of post-J.D. legal experience. U.S. citizenship is required.

Preferred qualifications include admission to the Illinois bar and three years of post-J.D. litigation experience.

Illinois Supreme Court Appoints John L. McGehee as Resident Judge in Fourteenth Judicial Circuit

Posted on April 5, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed John L. McGehee as a resident circuit judge in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

McGehee was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Lori R. Lefstein on Jan. 30. The appointment is effective May 1, and will conclude Dec. 6, 2020, when the position will be filled by the November 2020 General Election.

Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, April 4

Posted on April 4, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, April 4. In Piccioli v. The Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System et al., the court ruled that a union lobbyist qualified for a public pension under a repealed law by spending one day as a substitute teacher.

Piccioli v. The Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System et al.

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan