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Practice News

Wrapping Your Head Around the Illinois Estate Tax

Posted on July 1, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The peculiarities of the Illinois estate tax and the confusing math underlying it require nuanced, cautious approaches to estate planning and gift giving. In his July Illinois Bar Journal article, “Wrapping Your Head Around the Illinois Estate Tax,” Robert J. Kolasa explains the peculiarities of the Illinois estate tax and the subsequent and considerable changes in estate planning strategies. He begins by noting that while the federal and Illinois estate calculations share similarities, they are different in many respects. Illinois’ formula selects the lower of either the “2011 calculation” under former Section 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) or the “hypothetical tax” based on federal estate taxes reckoned with a $4 million estate tax exclusion amount. Also included are several helpful calculation tables showing various estate-planning outcomes.

Illinois Department of Central Management Services Seeks Assistant Labor Counsel

Posted on June 27, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services is seeking an assistant labor counsel in Chicago.

Responsibilities of the position include performing technical  and  legal  work  in  the  areas  of  labor  agreements  and  arbitration;  representing  the  state  in arbitration  hearings  and  before  the Illinois  Labor  Relations  Board;  reviewing  resolutions and  disciplinary  actions; recommending administrative action on labor relations issues; and carrying out public speaking assignments at off-site locations.

ISBA Statehouse Review for June 26, 2019

Posted on June 26, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers toxic torts, the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, special interrogatory, the Equal Pay Act of 2003, and the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. 

Illinois Supreme Court Appoints Walton as Circuit Judge in the First Subcircuit of Cook County

Posted on June 26, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Tyria B. Walton has been appointed as a Cook County circuit judge in the First Judicial Subcircuit.

The appointment is effective June 25 and will conclude on Dec. 7, 2020, following the November 2020 general election.

Walton has served for over 20 years as an assistant public defender in the law office of the Cook County Public Defender, with a primary focus in first-degree murder defense. Over the past year, she has won her clients six not guilty verdicts in murder trials. 

Meet New ISBA President David Sosin, If You Can Keep Up with Him

Posted on June 24, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Read the July 2019 Illinois Bar Journal and get to know new ISBA President David Sosin. Sosin, a partner of the Orland Park firm of Sosin, Arnold & Schoenbeck, practices real estate, land use, and zoning law. He also serves as attorney for the Village of Crestwood just east of Orland Park. He has a long history of bar leadership, including stints as president of the Southwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Bar Foundation prior to entering the leadership track at the ISBA, where his wife, Janet, recently retired as director of bar services after more than 30 years of service.

Sosin sees many needles to move during the 2019-20 bar year. Included among his top priorities are: attorney wellness, law firm succession planning, bar association leadership, and health insurance for lawyers and firms.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, June 20

Posted on June 20, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court issued five opinions on Thursday, June 20. The ISBA's panel of leading civil attorneys reviewed the opinions and provided summaries. In Nichols v. Fahrenkamp, the court took on the question of whether quasi-judicial immunity extends to court-appointed guardians ad litem in the context of the administration of funds from a personal injury lawsuit. The court dismissed a man’s class action lawsuit against Walgreens on the grounds that his claim was precluded under the voluntary payment doctrine in McIntosh v. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. In County of Will v. Pollution Control Board, the court upheld the board’s determination that groundwater monitoring regulations were unnecessary to protect groundwater from clean construction and demolition debris and uncontaminated soil fill operations. In Ward v. Decatur Memorial Hospital, the court weighed in on whether res judicata bars a plaintiff from refiling an action because he voluntarily dismissed the third amended complaint after a circuit court involuntarily dismissed several counts from the original, first, and second amended complaints in the initial action. The court addressed whether a court may impose sanctions in the form of attorney fees under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137(a) against a plaintiff to compensate an attorney defending himself against a frivolous cause of action in McCarthy v. Taylor.

Can You See It? Predicting an Augmented Future for Illinois Attorneys

Posted on June 19, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

In 2016, a new game called Pokémon Go invited players to use their smartphone cameras to find and battle animated creatures the game layered on top of, or near, images of real objects displayed on their smartphone screens. Creatures could be hunted anywhere: on sidewalks, on pets, at restaurants, in parks, and on your neighbor's backyard patio. The game was a massive, worldwide success. But news stories proliferated of Pokémon hunters entering other people's property without permission, causing traffic accidents, and congregating in large groups at random locations.

Read Alexander Porter’s article, “Can You See It? Predicting an Augmented Future for Illinois Attorneys,” in June’s Illinois Bar Journal for an overview of how augmented reality likely will touch upon many legal issues, including trespassing, public and private nuisance, privacy, personal and financial data, terms of use, and intellectual property.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: How to Evaluate Permanency in a Workers' Compensation Case

Posted on June 18, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Attorney Howard Ankin discusses how to evaluate permanency in a workers’ compensation claim.

Land of Lincoln Legal Aid Seeks Staff Attorney

Posted on June 18, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals in central and southern Illinois, is seeking a staff attorney at the Northern Regional Office in Springfield.

The position includes representing victims of domestic violence in a variety of matters, including but not limited to orders of protection, civil no stalking orders, and divorces. The position also includes representation of low-income persons in routine and complex housing and consumer litigation and expungement cases, as well as participation in community legal education and outreach. 

Spotlight on Pro Bono: Statewide Online Access to Free Legal Services

Posted on June 18, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

By Beverly A. Allen

In 2012, Legal Service Corporation awarded a Technology Initiative Grant to Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, now Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, and its project partners, Prairie State Legal Services, Legal Assistance Foundation, Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), and PSTI to develop a statewide online access system, which would serve as a virtual entryway to the Illinois legal services delivery system. Land of Lincoln Legal Aid serves 65 counties in central and southern Illinois. Prairie State Legal Services serves 36 counties throughout northern and central Illinois. Legal Assistance Foundation serves all of Cook County. ILAO developed a statewide legal services website that serves advocates and self-represented litigants in the state of Illinois by providing access to legal information. The award-winning website functions as a search engine for people to find information and assistance related to their legal problems. PSTI is a company that developed the cloud-based case management software program, Legal Server, that is utilized by the three legal service project partners to manage their cases.