Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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CLE: ISBA Solo & Small Firm Practice Institute Series—Reaching the Summit (Taking Your Technology to the Top)

Posted on February 21, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Don’t miss this full-day seminar on March 15 in Springfield that gives you all the information you need to take your technology to the top. Topics include: how to build your social media presence to bring in more clients and enhance your reputation; how to better manage your staff; the correct way to use encryption, email, passwords, and more; how to make the most of your technology budget; how to avoid being overloaded by technology and create a better system for communicating with staff and clients; the need for civility in the legal profession; how to move beyond your limits of liability; which iPad apps you need in your practice; and the necessary fundamentals for your website.

Practice HQ Resource: The Case for Adding Document Assembly Technology to Your Templates

Posted on February 21, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

It’s no secret that a document assembly system is a cure-all for document-intensive areas of practice.

Attorneys in practices such as estate planning, real estate, contracts, banking, and employee benefits can greatly benefit from automating their document production process. It’s one of the few technologies that can actually revolutionize the way you work.

ISBA Statehouse Review for February 20, 2019

Posted on February 20, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers special interrogatories, appearances by corporate officers, evictions, experts in adult guardianship reports, relocation in the IMDMA, condos and community associations, condos, public guardian fees, maintenance and veterans’ benefits, Cook County subcircuit judgeships, and Cook County associate judgeships.

Special interrogatories. House Bill 2233 (Thapedi, D-Chicago) repeals Section 2-1108 of the Code of Civil Procedure allowing special interrogatories in verdicts. House Bill 2233 is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Best Practice Tips: Is Growth Always the Best Strategy?

Posted on February 20, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the sole owner of a five-attorney litigation firm in Mesa, Arizona. I started the firm 12 years ago after leaving a large firm. I was an income partner in that firm. For a few years I operated as a solo with a legal assistant. Then I began adding associates and staff. Now we have four associates, an office manager/bookkeeper, two paralegals, and two legal assistants. Our annual gross fee revenues are around $1.2 million, the overhead is high, and my net income is not all that much more than what I was making as a solo. My associates aren’t willing to put in the time to generate the billable hours that we need. Then there is the time and stress of managing all of this. Is growth a good thing?

Spotlight on Pro Bono: First Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Family Mediation Program

Posted on February 19, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

By Missy Greathouse

Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc. (DRI) has provided pro bono family mediation services to the first judicial circuit for the last nine years and is the only pro bono mediation organization available to the courts and families in southern Illinois.

Problems Blockchain Doesn’t Solve

Posted on February 19, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Blockchain may dramatically reduce the cost of processing mortgage applications and provide for transparent, secure transactions and efficient recordkeeping. But the strengths and limitations of blockchain should be better understood before replacing a title system that has been in place for more than 140 years in Illinois, argues Paul Peterson in his February 2019 article, “Problems Blockchain Doesn’t Solve,” for the Illinois Bar Journal. Peterson, vice president and senior underwriter for the Fidelity Family of Title Insurers, vice-chair of ISBA's Construction Law Section Council, and a member of ISBA's Real Estate Law Section Council, outlines record-validating problems that blockchain technology has yet to crack.

Illinois Supreme Court Appoints Joel Powless as Resident Judge in Fourth Judicial Circuit

Posted on February 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Joel J.C. Powless as a resident circuit judge in the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

Powless is being appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Wm. Robin Todd on Jan. 18. The appointment takes effect on March 1 and will conclude on Dec. 7, 2020, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2020 general election.

CLE: Bankruptcy from A to Z

Posted on February 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Do you know how to determine which chapter of bankruptcy your client needs? Are you familiar with the rights of both a landlord and a tenant in a bankruptcy case? Do you understand the interplay between a divorce and a simultaneous bankruptcy?

Join us March 8 in Chicago or via live webcast for a look at the current developments and cutting-edge issues that you need to be aware of to effectively advise your client on all aspects of their bankruptcy case.

Represent ISBA at the 2019 West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Posted on February 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

You are invited to represent the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) alongside the DuPage County Bar Association by marching in the 2019 West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Naperville on Saturday, March 16. An annual tradition for ISBA, participating in the parade is a great opportunity to represent the association and our lawyers to the public.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Naperville North High School. Members interested in participating can meet at the high school between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. The ISBA parade number will be released the week of the parade and will be updated here.

Contact Rhys Saunders at rsaunders@isba.org if you would like to participate or for additional information.

Illinois Supreme Court Announces Changes to Make Court Costs More Manageable

Posted on February 13, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court announced today several changes to the assessment system by which fees, fines, and other court costs are paid by civil and criminal case litigants.

These changes are a result of Public Act 100-0987, which was passed by the legislature in 2018 in order to simplify the imposition, collection, and distribution of court assessments. The changes include Civil Assessment Schedules as well as fee waivers in amended Rule 298 and new Rule 404.

The changes are effective July 1, and the new assessment structure, not including the waivers, expires Jan. 1, 2021. 

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