Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Ethics

Coming January 1: New Rules of Professional Conduct By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2009 LawPulse, Page 386 Among other things, the new rules clarify that flat fees do not constitute frowned-upon "advance payment retainers," which is good news for most lawyers.
Lawyers, Guns and Money: Pop Songs and Legal Ethics By Karen Erger April 2009 Column, Page 208 A musical lesson in malpractice prevention.
Did Pat Fitzgerald say too much? By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 LawPulse, Page 116 Lawyers disagree about whether prosecutor Fitzgerald crossed the line when he said Rod Blagojevich’s conduct “would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.”
Attorney censured for not disclosing “controlled business arrangement” By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2009 LawPulse, Page 10 The ARDC Hearing Board found that a Mundelein lawyer/title agent didn't make disclosures to clients required by the Title Insurance Act.
Real estate lawyers fear “law related services” definition By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2009 LawPulse, Page 10  Defining "law related services" in Illinois' ethics rules could encourage UPL, pose malpractice risks, and cause other problems, real estate lawyers tell the supreme court.
Court upholds per se conflict doctrine By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2008 LawPulse, Page 606  A conflict exists whenever an attorney represents both a criminal defendant and the alleged victim, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
Talking About You By Karen Erger December 2008 Column, Page 644 Make sure your ads and other communications to the public don't violate ethics rules.
Professional Responsibility in Illinois: Rules, and MCLE By Tom Gaylord September 2008 Column, Page 474 There's a wealth of legal-ethics information online if you know where to look.
My Mother, My Client By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2008 Article, Page 344 Should you do legal work for family and close friends? Probably not, ethics experts and seasoned lawyers say.
The conscience of a lawyer, Part II By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2008 LawPulse, Page 230 The public and the legal community continue to wrestle with the alton logan case. But the legal ethicists we spoke to defend andrew Wilson's lawyers and the choice they made.
Engagement Letters, Fees and the Dowling Case By David A. Berek and Fred R. McMorris May 2008 Column, Page 262 Consult Dowling for guidance on fee arrangements and how to describe them in engagement letters.
The conscience of a lawyer By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2008 LawPulse, Page 118 Your client admits he committed murder. What should you do? What can you do? For two Illinois lawyers, these aren't hypothetical questions.
Ethics and the Attorney / Title Agent By Michael J. Rooney March 2008 Article, Page 132 This author argues that attorneys can serve as title agents, provided they make necessary disclosures and get corresponding consents.
A Proposed Makeover for the Rules of Professional Conduct By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2008 Article, Page 128 A joint ISBA-CBA proposal seeks to bring the RPC up to date and align them more closely with the ABA Model Rules.
Estate attorneys disqualified from representation of deceased client’s son February 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 On December 3, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Du-Page County granting in part Northern Trust Company's motion to disqualify counsel for Peter Wright. 
Contacting, deposing employees of opposing parties: a how-to By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2008 LawPulse, Page 10 Don’t just call up your opponent’s employees, even if they’re working elsewhere. Consider first whether doing so might violate legal or ethical rules.
No conflict of interest in representing codefendant November 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 576 On September 12, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the theft conviction of Janet Turner in the Circuit Court of Knox County. 
E-mail Ethics: An Audience with the Wizard By Karen Erger October 2007 Column, Page 552 Find out what to do if you misdirect an e-mail or reveal embarrassing metadata.
Time to update the Rules of Professional Conduct? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2007 LawPulse, Page 510 The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee is considering a proposal to do just that.
Asked and Answered September 2007 Column, Page 496 What do you do with uncooperative opposing counsel?
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.
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?
What’s Your Duty Under Himmel? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2007 Article, Page 296 What kind of misconduct by your fellow lawyers should be reported to ARDC? What if you make the wrong call?
Asked and Answered May 2007 Column, Page 266 Can a disbarred lawyer be a paralegal?
Correspondence from Our Readers May 2007 Column, Page 226 Report ARDC letters to your malpractice carrier
Ethical Challenges When Lawyers Sell Non-Legal Services By Jennifer E. Smiley and Michael L. Shakman May 2007 Article, Page 258 A review of the ethical rules that apply when lawyers seek to broaden their practices by offering non-legal services.
Hire Laterally, Think Ethically By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2007 Article, Page 240 Some things Illinois lawyers and law firms should think about before making a lateral move or hire.
IOLTA change allows trust accounts to earn highest rate By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2007 LawPulse, Page 118 Amended RPC 1.15, effective June 1, requires lawyers to place nominal or short-term client funds with banks that pay the same return on IOLTA as on non-IOLTA accounts.
Please, Mr. Postman, Don’t Bring Me a Letter from the ARDC By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2007 Article, Page 128 Odds are you'll be on the receiving end of an ARDC complaint. How should you respond?
Correspondence from Our Readers December 2006 Column, Page 638 Defending the attorney-client privilege