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Practice News

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. 

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars 3, Suspends 13 in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on March 19, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on March 19, 2019. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

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."

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds

Posted on March 17, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Cook County Circuit Court granted the Illinois Land Title Association’s motion for summary judgment for its writ of mandamus to require the Cook County Recorder of Deeds to record heirship deeds and affidavits without first requiring a certified probate court order.

The court made its ruling March 15.

ISBA Statehouse Review for March 13, 2019

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers IMDMA, guardian ad litems, home warranty, FOIA, BAIID and DUIs, judicial review and permitting decisions, the Condominium Property Act, and statutory summary suspension.

IMDMA. House Bill 185 (Ford, D-Chicago) makes three changes to the IMDMA in House Amendment No. 1.

Best Practice Tips: Choosing the Best Form of Communication

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the owner of a four-attorney firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has three associate attorneys, three paralegals, and three other staff members. One of my attorneys recently advised me that he wanted to do more work remotely. The next day I emailed him my thoughts and advised him that I would not let him work remotely. He then emailed me that he was giving me his two weeks’ notice. What should I have done differently?

Illinois Supreme Court Issues Substantial Rule Changes Regarding State’s Bail and Bond System

Posted on March 11, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court issued substantial rule changes on March 8 to implement the state’s recently overhauled cash bail and bond system.

The new and amended rules go into effect July 1. They include amended Rules 501, 503, 526, 527, 528, 529, 551, 553, 554, 555, and 556. Rule 530 is renumbered as Rule 532, and new Rules 530 and 531 are adopted.