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Practice News

Two Cook County Circuit Court Judicial Vacancies Announced

Posted on April 1, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Applications are now being accepted for judicial vacancies in the Tenth and Eighth Subcircuits of Cook County, according to an announcement made by the Illinois Supreme Court.

The vacancy of the Tenth Subcircuit judicial position was created by the retirement of Judge Thomas Allen. The vacancy of the Eighth Subcircuit judicial position was created by the retirement of Judge John Fleming.

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices Releases Preliminary Report

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices released its preliminary report concerning pretrial reform in the Illinois criminal justice system today.

A final report with recommendations regarding the administration of pretrial justice in Illinois will be released in December. The commission also announced that public hearings regarding pretrial justice will be held throughout the state in the coming months.

Best Practice Tips: Hiring Lawyers Who are Children of Law Firm Partners

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am an associate attorney in a nine-attorney firm in Orlando, Florida. There are five partners and four associates in the firm. I have been with the firm for four years and I am the senior associate. I am concerned about my future. Recently one of the partners announced that he was bringing his son, who recently graduated from law school, into the firm as an associate. Other partners have children in law school. I have hopes of becoming a partner in the firm in the next few years. I am afraid that with partners’ children in the firm, this may not happen. What are your thoughts on this matter?

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Five Things Lawyers Can Do to Improve Their Social Media Presence

Posted on March 26, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Attorney Marie Sarantakis discusses five things lawyers can do to improve their social media presence. Tips include creating shareable content, posting early and often, asking for reviews, taking advantage of existing networks, and finding what works for you.  

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.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, March 21

Posted on March 22, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down opinions in six cases on Thursday, March 21. In People v. Webb, the court held that the unlawful use of weapons statute that provides that it is unlawful to possess or carry a stun gun in public is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, and in People v. Drake, remanded a defendant’s appealed aggravated battery conviction to the circuit court for a retrial. In City of Chicago v. City of Kankakee, the court held that the Illinois Department of Revenue has the exclusive authority to audit disputed sales transactions and to distribute or redistribute resulting tax revenues due to any error. In 1550 MP Road LLC v. Teamsters Local Union No. 700, the court held that a union’s lease and purchase agreement that was in violation of the Property of Unincorporated Associations Act and the union’s bylaws was unenforceable. The court issued three opinions in Wingert v. Hradisky. In Van Dyke v. White, the court addressed whether the Illinois Secretary of State Securities Department has the authority to bring an administrative action against someone also subject to regulation by the Department of Insurance.

Illinois Supreme Court Issues New Rule Regarding Use of Restraints in Mental Health and Disability Cases

Posted on March 21, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court has issued Supreme Court Rule 296, which requires that trial courts not use restraints on individuals involved in Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code proceedings unless the court conducts a separate hearing on the record as to the necessity for restraints.

The new rule is effective immediately. 

Rule 296, proposed by the 24-member Special Supreme Court Advisory Committee for Justice and Mental Health Planning, was adopted to ensure that a dignified judicial process is maintained for the respectful treatment of persons in mental health cases who are subjects of the court proceedings. 

Best Practice Tips: Associate Attorney and Non-Equity Partner Compensation

Posted on March 20, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the owner of a seven-lawyer insurance defense firm in downtown Chicago. Two of the lawyers are non-equity partners and four are associates. Currently I pay the associates a set salary and a performance bonus based upon annual billable hours over 1,800. Until last year, non-equity partners were paid in the same fashion, however non-equity partners received a few additional perks such as a firm credit card and a country club membership. Last year I changed the non-equity partner compensation system to focus on collected receipts rather than billable hours. Non-equity partners receive a salary and a performance bonus based upon working-attorney-collected-received above an established threshold and a delegation bonus.

Spotlight on Pro Bono: Pro Bono Programs in Alternative Dispute Resolution in Illinois

Posted on March 20, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

By Sandra Crawford

Did you know…

1. McHenry County Bar Association (MCBA) in 2001 started training and supplying volunteers to mediate pro se cases in the small claims court. Since it was established “our program has been successful beyond our wildest dreams, has eliminated untold small claims trial hours, has provided training and experience to a number of aspiring mediators, and most importantly, has sent more than a thousand small claims litigants home feeling satisfied that they had been fairly treated by the court system,” says the program’s founding member and full-time mediator, H. Case Ellis of Crystal Lake.

Illinois Supreme Court Holds "Law School for Legislators"

Posted on March 20, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court hosted "Law School for Legislators" on March 13, with all seven justices, leadership, and new members of the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate in attendance.  

The event, held at the Illinois Supreme Court Building in Springfield, was intended to familiarize the legislative branch with court operations and to foster dialogue of communication, cooperation, and coordination between the legislative and judicial branches.