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Illinois Supreme Court Appoints Sutton as Circuit Judge in Ninth Circuit

Posted on July 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Emily S. Sutton has been appointed as an at-large circuit judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

The appointment is effective Aug. 12 and will conclude Dec. 6, 2020, when the position will be filled by the November 2020 general election.

Sutton has worked in private practice since 2008, first as an associate with Scholz, Loos, Palmer, Siebers & Duesterhaus, LLP, and most recently as a partner at Lucie, Scalf, Sutton & Bougher, Attorneys at Law, P.C. From 2012 to 2015, she was also a contract author for Thomson Reuters Corporation, and served as co-author of the Illinois Civil Trial Handbook. Sutton was a law clerk to Fourth District Appellate Justice Robert W. Cook from 2004-2008 and has also served on the adjunct faculty at Quincy University.

Can You Record Me Now? The Illinois Eavesdropping Act and Its Effect on Attorneys, Employers, and Individuals

Posted on July 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Illinois attorneys, employers, and individuals routinely face issues involving the legality of recording conversations. Whether it’s an Uber driver recording passengers, a player recording a coach, or a bystander recording a police officer, problems involving recorded conversations regularly appear in the news. In his July Illinois Bar Journal article, “Can You Record Me Now? The Illinois Eavesdropping Act and Its Effect on Attorneys, Employers, and Individuals,” Daniel Katzman traces the history of the Illinois Eavesdropping Act—amongst the strictest in the country—and its criminal, civil, and ethical implications.  

Illinois Bar Foundation Elects New Officers for 2019-20

Posted on July 11, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) has elected its officers for the organization’s 2019-20 fiscal year. They are: Deane B. Brown, shareholder at Hughes Socol Piers Resnik Dym, Ltd., president; William A. Peithmann, principal of The Peithmann Law Office, first vice president; and Lisa M. Nyuli, partner at Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel P.C., second vice president. Sandra Crawford, principal of Law Crawford, P.C., was elected third vice president. Mark L. Karno, principal of Mark L. Karno & Associates, L.L.C., was elected as treasurer and Lauren Tuckey Murray, attorney at Bellows Law Group, was elected as secretary.

Practice HQ Resource: How to Manage Leads and Convert Prospects into Paying Clients

Posted on July 9, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Many attorneys spend their time and resources focusing on getting more leads but fail to realize that what they do with those leads is just as important as generating them.

The ISBA’s whitepaper on managing leads and converting prospects into paying clients highlights four major components of improving conversion rates, which include training for your front office and intake staff; specific tactics and strategies to maximize conversion at each stage; an intake customer relationship management software; and tracking and measuring key metrics.  

Responding to Affirmative Defense

Posted on July 8, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

In his July 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “Responding to Affirmative Defense,” Jake Crabbs, a law clerk for Justice Mathias W. Delort in the Illinois Appellate Court (First District), lays out a plan for responding to affirmative defenses in the early stages of litigation. To set the stage, he asks you to “[i]magine you have filed a civil complaint for breach of a simple personal-loan contract. Predictably, the defendant responds with a section 2-619.1 combined motion to dismiss and throws everything into it. After a tedious round of briefing and even oral arguments, the judge denies the motion entirely and orders the defendant to answer the complaint. Finally, you assume, this simple, little case can get moving. But you are wrong. When the defendant files her answer, she also raises 11 affirmative defenses. Eleven! Some of the defenses are merely one-sentence denials of your well-pleaded allegations and several were already raised in her motion to dismiss. Does opposing counsel even know what affirmative defenses are? Regardless, you are now in for another round of time-consuming motion practice.”

Lawyer Referral Service Makes More than 800 Referrals in June

Posted on July 8, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of June 2019 there were more than 800 referrals given.

Here are the results for June 2019:

American Bar Endowment Opens 2020 Opportunity Grants Cycle

Posted on July 2, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The American Bar Endowment (ABE) announced today that it is now accepting applications for its 2020 Opportunity Grant Program cycle. 

ABE Opportunity Grants will be awarded to "boots-on-the-ground" initiatives and innovative projects that:

  • Enhance access to justice through innovative legal services delivery;
  • Promote the rule of law and improve the justice system; and
  • Increase the public’s understanding of the law and the legal system and increase civic engagement.

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.