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Proposal to support Uniform Bar Exam goes to ISBA Assembly

Posted on November 15, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

An ISBA committee is recommending to the ISBA Assembly that it support adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination in Illinois. At its October meeting the ISBA Board of Governors approved the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Legal Education, Admission and Competence that Illinois adopt the UBE. The Assembly will consider the committee’s report and recommendations at its December 10 meeting in Chicago.

The report, available here, finds that adopting the UBE will improve the market for job seekers and employers, lower the cost of bar admission, and help produce practice-ready lawyers. It concludes that because the UBE allows jurisdictions to incorporate state-specific requirements for bar admission, adopting it will not compromise Illinois’ ability to ensure candidates are knowledgeable about Illinois law and procedure. 

The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar has recommended to the Illinois Supreme Court that it adopt the UBE, and the board is holding public hearings on the proposal this month. The UBE has been adopted by 24 states.

Have an opinion? Add your comments to this blog post.

Action needed: ISBA service interruption beginning Nov. 18

Posted on November 15, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

In order to serve our members better, we will be taking down our database and website for a short time, resulting in a temporary loss of services. As such,

  • Members will need to create a new website password on or after Monday, November 21.
  • If you need to access Fastcase over the weekend, you'll need to follow the steps below now to ensure continued service.

Starting Friday, November 18 at 5:30 p.m. and running through Sunday, November 20, the ISBA website, including access to Fastcase and free online CLE, will be unavailable.

CLE: Written Discovery Part 1: Interrogatories, Document Requests, and Requests to Admit - What To Ask For and How To Get It – Live Webcast

Posted on November 14, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Discovery is the most important part of the litigation process because it is used as evidence for or against your client. Learn how to get the written discovery that you need to win your next case with this two-hour online seminar on December 1, 2016. Topics include: how to get the discovery you need; knowing what interrogatories and document requests you must propound; knowing how to phrase your discovery request for the best results; the best way to get the compliance you need; knowing when to make (and when not to make) a motion to compel; and how to phrase your motion to compel.

Notice of nomination of ISBA delegates to the ABA House of Delegates

Posted on November 11, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

At the December 10, 2016 meeting of the ISBA Assembly, two delegates to the ABA House of Delegates will be elected, one from Cook County and one from the area outside Cook County. The nominees for these positions must be members of the ISBA in good standing from the appropriate area. The elected delegates will serve for two-year terms commencing June, 2017 and will join the ISBA delegation at the ABA meeting in New York in August, 2017.

ISBA futures report recommends consumer directory, tech training

Posted on November 10, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

An ISBA task force has concluded that licensing nonlawyer legal technicians is not a good way to improve the delivery of legal services. Instead, the group recommends creating a consumer-oriented lawyer directory for ISBA members, providing more technology and practice-management education and resources to members, and establishing an ISBA standing committee on the future of legal services, among other initiatives.

The ISBA Board of Governors is recommending that the ISBA Assembly adopt the report and recommendations of the Task Force on the Future of Legal Services. The Board approved the report in October and the Assembly will consider it at its December 10 meeting in Chicago. Read the report here.

The task force grew out of concern about the move to create court-licensed nonlawyer legal service providers, also know as LLLTs, in Washington and other states (for more, see the September 2015 Illinois Bar Journal cover story). However, the group examined many other, and likely more significant, issues reshaping the practice of law.

They include the rise of internet-based legal service providers, the broader impact of technology on the practice of law, and the increasing number of self-represented litigants. With this report, the ISBA joins a growing number of bar associations across the country seeking to address the transformation underway in the legal services industry. The report and recommendations will be the subject of an article in the January 2017 Illinois Bar Journal.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: What the ARDC Wants You to Know About Succession Planning

Posted on November 10, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Ethics education counsel at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Mary Andreoni discusses what attorneys need to know about succession planning.

Court rejects right-of-publicity claim against Avvo

Posted on November 9, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

A federal district court found that Avvo did not run afoul of the Illinois Right of Publicity Act by creating attorney profile pages without plaintiffs' consent and using them to sell advertising to competing attorneys.

Plaintiff John Vrdolyak relied heavily on the seventh circuit's opinion in Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 743 F.3d 509, 515 (7th Cir. 2014), which set forth a multi-prong test to help determine whether speech is commercial or noncommercial. Vrdolyak argued that, like the advertisement in Jordan, Avvo's advertising is inextricably linked to its attorney profiles, meaning the entire directory is commercial speech and thus protected at a lower level under the First Amendment than noncommercial speech.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois court disagreed. It found that because not every profile contains an advertisement, and because none of the advertisements used the plaintiff's name, "the court views what defendant does as more akin to the yellow pages directory, which receives First Amendment protection, than the advertisement that Jewel placed in Jordan."

Best Practice: Law Firm Retirement - Planning Retirement

Posted on November 9, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a six-attorney firm in downtown Chicago. I am sixty four and starting to think about retirement and would appreciate your thoughts on how where to start.

1,374 new attorneys admitted to practice in Illinois

Posted on November 8, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court administered the attorney’s oath to 1,374 new attorneys on Thursday, November 10, at five separate locations across the state.

The largest group, 1,121, was admitted in the First Judicial District during two ceremonies at Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The ceremonies were at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. 

All of the candidates sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,300.

CLE: Don’t miss these two upcoming live webcasts on November 30, 2016!

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Environmental Law for the General Practitioner: Fundamentals on Handling Hazardous Waste at Your Client's Business

Join us for Part Three of the Environmental Law for the General Practitioner Series, which will be of particular interest to attorneys representing companies disposing of waste.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | 1.0 hour MCLE credit