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Illinois associate judge appointed in the Fourth Judicial Circuit

Posted on December 2, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Fourth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Amanda S. Ade-Harlow as associate judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Ade-Harlow received her undergraduate degree in 2001 from the University of Illinois-Springfield in Springfield, Illinois and her Juris Doctor in 2003 from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Ms. Ade-Harlow is currently affiliated with the Shelby County Public Defender's Office in Shelbyville, Illinois.

CLE: Senate Bill 100: Sweeping Changes to Student Discipline in Illinois in 2016 – Live Webcast

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Are you ready to advise your clients on the changes to student discipline in Illinois? Illinois schools were required to implement the new student discipline changes no later than September 15, 2016, and attorneys representing families, students, and/or school districts need to understand how these changes may affect their clients. Join us via the Internet on December 15, 2016 for an in-depth look at these changes, including: how a group of Chicago students urged state lawmakers to support Senate Bill 100; what students and families can expect from the new revisions; which protections will be provided by the new law; how school districts will adopted these changes; the limitations of student discipline policies; and the ethical considerations that attorneys need to be aware of.

Quick Takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in In re M.M.Bueker v. Madison County Illinois,  Beggs v. The Board of Education of Murphysboro Community Unit School District No. 186, Blanchard v. Berrios, Murphy-Hylton v. Lieberman Management Services, Inc. and Zahn v. North American Power & Gas, LLC.

In re M.M.

By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde Law Offices LLP

This case raises the procedural question of whether, in the adjudication of an abuse and neglect petition, the court has the authority to appoint a guardian for the minor when there has been no finding that a parent is unfit, unable or unwilling to care for the child.  Answering the question “no,” the Illinois Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, repudiated and overruled several cases that were in conflict.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: 3 Tips on How To Avoid Fee Disputes in Criminal Cases

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Peter Rotskoff of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission shares tips on how to avoid fee disputes in criminal cases.

Quick Takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Matthews and People ex rel. Alvarez v. Gaughan.

People v. Matthews

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Following an unsuccessful direct appeal and post-conviction petition, Jerrell Matthews filed a petition for relief from judgment pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, alleging that a State witness had committed perjury at his trial.  The circuit court dismissed the petition on the basis that it was untimely.

The proof of service that Matthews filed with the petition said that the petition was mailed to the State with “proper first-class postage”

Well grounded: Lloyd Karmeier takes the helm at the high court

Posted on November 30, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

Decades before he wrote the opinion that invalidated Illinois' 2013 pension reform law and faced tough election battles, newly installed Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier grew up on a dairy farm and attended a one-room grammar school in rural downstate Washington County.

The valedictorian of Okawville High School, where he lettered in basketball and baseball, Karmeier, 76, stood out among his classmates for a variety of reasons, says lifelong friend and Illinois State Senator Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville.

"One thing I knew for sure: I would never be the valedictorian of the class," Luechtefeld says. "He always has been [smart], was popular, was a nice athlete and was the kind of person who, if I had to say how he stands out, he seemed to never, ever let peer pressure bother him. He simply tried to do what was right."

When Illinois Supreme Court Justice Byron O. House offered Karmeier a clerkship out of law school, he took it. Then his law firm boss subsequently surprised him with a job offer, but Karmeier already had committed to House. He told his third-year boss, "If you had just offered me a job earlier, I would have taken it!"

Learn more about the new chief's background and his plans for the court in the December Illinois Bar Journal.


Best Practice: Law Firm Retainer Management - Replenishment

Posted on November 30, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm is a five attorney estate planning/administration practice located in Kansas City. Our estate planning work is handled on a flat fee basis for our clients. We collect one half of the fee upon acceptance of the signed engagement letter and the other half upon signing of the estate planning documents. This has worked well for us. However, we are not doing so well with our estate administration work. This work is time billed against a retainer. We do a good job collecting the initial retainer but then we fail to ask for replenishment retainers and when we bill for the remaining work we have collections problems. We have over six hundred and fifty thousand dollars in accounts receivable over 120 days old. We would appreciate your thoughts.

Reminder: Please update your ISBA website password

Posted on November 29, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Thank you for your patience as we upgraded our system. Your password on the ISBA website was reset November 19. If you have not already done so, please update your ISBA website password.


  1. Go to the login page by clicking ‘ISBA Member Login’ in the upper right-hand corner of the ISBA website.
  2. Click the link that says ‘Forgot my password’ (below the ‘Sign In’ button).
  3. Enter your username and hit submit. (Your username hasn’t changed, but if you don’t remember it, click the link to get your username emailed to you first)
  4. An email with a link to change your password will be sent to the email address we have on file for you.
  5. If you have any trouble, please call the ISBA at 800-252-8908

Best Practice: Law Firm Billable Hours - Attorneys Not Meeting Expectations

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner with a fourteen attorney business litigation defense firm in Los Angeles. I am the member on our three member executive committee that is responsible for financial oversight. This year we put in place an 1800 annual (150 hours per month) billable hour expectation for associate attorneys. No one has ever reached 150 hours. Are our expectations unrealistic? What is our problem? I would appreciate your thoughts.