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Practice News

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.

May 2019 Bar Admission Ceremony Highlights

Posted on May 9, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Illinois Supreme Court justices welcomed 335 new attorneys to the legal profession on May 9 during admissions ceremonies held at four different locations across the state. 

ISBA staff members were in attendance at all five ceremonies to welcome the state's newest attorneys to the profession, take photos, and talk about the benefits of ISBA membership, which is free for one year for new admittees. Member benefits can be activated by filling out the New Admittee Membership Form

All of those who were sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,300.

Over 300 New Illinois Lawyers to Be Admitted on Thursday

Posted on May 6, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

New attorneys will be admitted to practice in Illinois on Thursday, May 9, with Illinois Supreme Court justices presiding and administering the attorney's oath to 335 new attorneys across the state. 

All of the candidates set to be sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They will bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,300.

The largest group, 245, will be admitted in the First Judicial District during three ceremonies at the James R. Thompson Center Assembly Hall, located at 100 W. Randolph St., in Chicago. The ceremonies will be at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2 p.m. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke will preside over the 9 a.m. ceremony, Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr. will preside over the 11:30 a.m. ceremony, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis will preside over the 2 p.m. ceremony.  

(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.

Public Interest Law Initiative Seeks Managing Attorney

Posted on May 2, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

PILI seeks a managing attorney, who will serve as a member of PILI’s Programs Team, with primary responsibility for overseeing PILI’s statewide efforts to expand and enhance pro bono outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. This is a dynamic position that requires both the ability to organize and manage at a high level, while also being actively engaged in administration and implementation. The ability to do regular and significant statewide travel, and limited national travel, is required.  

ARDC Releases 2018 Annual Report

Posted on May 1, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), the administrative agency that regulates licensed Illinois lawyers, has filed its year 2018 Annual Report with the Supreme Court of Illinois. The report was released to the public this morning when a copy was posted on the ARDC website.

A summary of the annual report is available at Highlights of the 2018 Annual Report 

The ARDC annually evaluates the effectiveness of the disciplinary system.  Complete and comprehensive statistics concerning the disciplinary caseload are submitted to the Illinois Supreme Court and are published in the Annual Report. Few professions account for their regulatory activity in such detail.

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.

Best Practice Tips: Documentation of Processes and Procedures in Firm Procedural Manuals

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the sole owner of a six-attorney personal injury firm in San Francisco with five support staff. My father started the firm 25 years ago and has since retired from practice. I took over the practice five years ago. At the time I took over the practice, we had just my dad, myself, a couple legal assistants, and no technology. Since then I have done a lot to grow the practice, including adding attorneys and staff as well as implementing technology. My biggest problem is training new attorneys and staff. We have no written documentation as to how we do things, so training has to be done orally by myself or others every time a new attorney or staff member joins the firm. Can you offer any suggestions?

ISBA Statehouse Review for April 24, 2019

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers condos and associations, special interrogatory, the Home Repair and Remodeling Act, the Condominium Property Act, consumer debt and collections, DUI, and student interrogation. 

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