Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Attorney Fees

Initial consultations - satisfaction or your money back?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2007
LawPulse
Page 398
Should lawyers provide free consultations to prospective clients? Discounts to new clients? Refunds of a consult fee to clients who ask for one? ISBA lawyers offer their opinions.

Validity of advance payment retainers for attorneys upheld

July
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 348
On May 3, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirming the Circuit Court of Cook County's judgment ordering DLA Piper to turn over funds from an advance payment retainer paid by defendant Michael Davis.

The Illinois Supreme Court OKs advance payment retainers

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
The court last month approved lawyers' use of the advance payment retainer, cautioning that more familiar retainer agreements will be the preferred option in most cases.

It’s official - you can’t collect fees for collecting your own fees

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
As a matter of public policy, "lawyers representing themselves simply do not incur legal fees," the third district ruled recently.

The trouble with hourly billing

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
Does the tradition of billing by the hour push lawyers to pad bills and thus engage in the kind of "dishonest" behavior forbidden by the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct?

Bad faith needed for defendant to receive attorney fees under the Consumer Fraud Act

March
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On December 21, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and the Circuit Court of Cook County, striking the defendants' petition for fees.

Extra fees for extra effort - a win in the appellate court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2007
LawPulse
Page 66
The appellate court reversed the trial court's rejection of a plaintiff's firm's argument that its extraordinary effort justified fees that exceeded the statutory med-mal limit.

Accepting Payment by Credit Card: Priceless?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2007
Cover Story
Page 18
Setting yourself up to accept credit card payments has its advantages - and its risks. 

Billing Gallantly

By Karen Erger
December
2006
Column
Page 684

Legislature overturns one-year limit on family-law fee suits

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2006
LawPulse
Page 458
    Family law practitioners now have 10 years to sue clients in an independent action for unpaid fees. 

Reasonable Fees in Dissolution of Marriage Cases

By Donald C. Schiller
September
2006
Article
Page 474
A look at what the cases say about what constitutes a "reasonable" attorney fee in a divorce proceeding.

Trial Lawyers’ Top Opinions of 2005

By Hon. James P. Flannery Jr.
March
2006
Article
Page 122
From pre-trial notice requirements to spoliation of evidence, 2005 produced an array of Illinois cases of special interest to the trial bar.

Attorney’s fees are not recoverable absent express statutory or contractual language

February
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
On December 1, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Menard County, which held that a contract provision stipulating that the defendant management company would be responsible for "all collection costs" allowed recovery for attorney's fees.

Attorney has no right to contingency agreement fees if client does not appeal unfavorable decision

November
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 564
On August 5, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissing the plaintiff's complaint. 

Fees, Part 1: Budgeting required for Capital Litigators

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2005
LawPulse
Page 438
Appointed criminal defense counsel must now submit budget estimates under the amended Capital Crimes Litigation Act.
 

Fees, Part 2: Higher ceilings for court-appointed attorneys?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2005
LawPulse
Page 438
Fees, Part 2: Higher ceilings for court-appointed attorneys?

Law firm’s failure to register under Rule 721 not UPL

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2005
LawPulse
Page 330
And that means an unregistered firm can collect its attorney fee award, the supreme court holds.

Failure to register under Supreme Court Rule 721(c) does not amount to the unauthorized practice of law

June
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 280
On March 24, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the orders of both the appellate and circuit courts, which vacated an attorney fees award. 

Fee arrangements made prior to a client’s death will remain in tact, absent proof of intent to change the fee arrangement

June
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 280
On March 18, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's decision denying a motion for declaratory judgment by the defendants. 

Fee Not-So-Simple: Referral Fee Dos and Don’ts

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2005
Cover Story
Page 236
It's permissible to refer cases to other lawyers and share in the fee, as long as you meet the requirements.

Maximum hourly amount for attorney’s fees increased for contested unemployment insurance matters

April
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 170
The Illinois Department of Employment Security recently amended 56 Ill Adm Code 2720.20. These changes became effective on January 24, 2005.

Highlights of the 2004 ISBA Law Firm Economic Benchmarking Survey

By Virginia Grant
December
2004
Cover Story
Page 624
How well are ISBA lawyers doing economically? Our recent economic survey provides answers to this and other questions.

Disbursement, within the meaning of section 14 of the Arbitration Act, does not include an award of attorney’s fees

September
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 456
On June 14, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's denial of a petition for attorney's fees.

Recovering Attorney Fees From the Opposing Party in Illinois Divorce Cases

By Alison G. Turoff
September
2004
Article
Page 462
A guide through the steps required under IMDMA to recover fees from the other side.

Accepting fee payments by credit card; priceless?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2004
LawPulse
Page 236
Charging interest on late accounts and accepting fee payments by credit card are a carrot-and-stick approach to getting paid on time.

Attorney fees, family law and In re Marriage of King

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2004
LawPulse
Page 118
The Illinois Supreme Court has given divorce lawyers one more reason to get as much of their fee up front as possible.

Getting paid, part 1: demand bankruptcy fees up front

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
Thanks to a new seventh circuit case, it's more important than ever for attorneys who represent debtors in Chapter 7 to get all of their fees up front.

Getting paid, part 2: A new probate pitfall to avoid

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
If your client is seeking payment from an estate, make sure you file a claim with the probate court even if the estate representative knows about the debt; that knowledge might not put the estate on the hook, according to a new appellate court ruling.

Is your firm registered with the supreme court?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
News flash: many law firms, not just lawyers, must register, and those who don't could see their fee awards invalidated.

When Can You Retain Client Files for Failure to Pay Fees?

By Patrick Sean Ginty
February
2004
Article
Page 97
While retaining liens can be effective, you should understand their scope and effect before you use them.

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