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Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis announces vacancy in Eleventh Subcircuit of Cook County

Posted on November 4, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has begun an application process for a vacancy in the Eleventh Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of the Hon. Kathleen Kennedy, effective Nov. 30, 2016.

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled on an interim basis by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Theis will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court after applicants for the position undergo a screening and evaluation process.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Reforms and initiatives targeted at stopping wrongful convictions

Posted on November 3, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg from the Illinois Innocence Project discusses current reforms and initiatives targeted at stopping wrongful convictions.

You be the judge: Ratings for Illinois judicial candidates

Posted on November 3, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

View the Illinois State Bar Association's judicial ratings by county for Tuesday's election.

Methods ISBA uses to rate candidates

For most judicial offices, ISBA will provide either an evaluation or a poll rating; in the case of Supreme and Appellate court candidates outside of Cook County, ISBA will provide both an evaluation rating and poll results. NOTE: Evaluation ratings, which are the result of an in-depth review of candidates, are the opinion of the Illinois State Bar Association; the Judicial Advisory Poll ratings do not reflect the opinion of ISBA, but rather the opinion of those attorneys who participated in the poll.

Illinois Appellate Court overturns forfeiture on Eighth Amendment grounds

Posted on November 2, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

 A recent ruling from the Illinois fifth appellate district has taken what is apparently a first-time approach to civil forfeiture in Illinois by invalidating a seizure based on the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause.

In People v. 2010 Harley-Davidson, 2016 IL App (5th) 150035, the fifth district held that the civil forfeiture of a $35,000 Harley-Davidson trike was a violation of the Eighth Amendment. The vehicle's owner, Petra Henderson, was a passenger when her husband, Mark, was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI while driving the vehicle.

Petra raised two issues on appeal: 1) whether she had consented to the use of the motorcycle and 2) whether the forfeiture violated the excessive fines clause. If an individual can demonstrate that a vehicle was used without the knowledge and consent of the owner, then it may not be subject to forfeiture.

In this case, the fifth district found that the weight of the evidence demonstrated that Petra had consented to Mark driving the vehicle. Most observers, however, find the Eight Amendment analysis to be the most compelling aspect of the opinion.

DuPage County attorney Donald J. Ramsell says that the fifth district's ruling is a "breakthrough case" and, to his knowledge, the first in Illinois to find a forfeiture excessive under the Eighth Amendment's excessive fine clause. Ramsell says that there is no "innocent owner defense" to a forfeiture action - even the owner of a stolen car may risk forfeiture if that car is used to commit a crime.

Chief judge announces two finalists for associate judge vacancy

Posted on November 2, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Chief Circuit Judge Kathryn E. Creswell is pleased to announce that following an October 31, 2016 meeting of the Circuit Judges of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court, two finalists for the Office of Associate Judge have been selected and certified to the Illinois Supreme Court. The finalists are seeking to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Judge Mary E. O’Connor. From these names, the Circuit Judges will select one appointee by secret ballot.

Best Practice: Law Firm Associate Compensation - How to Deal With Overpaid Associates

Posted on November 2, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a twelve attorney defense litigation firm in Santa Monica, California. We have four partners and eight associates. Associates are paid a salary. We have several associates that are being overpaid - they are being paid $150,000 - $180,000 and just barely generating $300,000 in working attorney fee receipts. I would appreciate your thoughts.

YLD to host Holiday Party on December 8

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Please join us at the 19th Annual ISBA YLD Holiday Party. This year's party is in conjunction with the ISBA's Midyear Meeting. Not only will there be warm appetizers, an open bar, and an opportunity to meet young lawyers from across the state, the event benefits a great cause: the Children’s Assistance Fund.

Initially created to assist with the opening of children's waiting rooms in courthouses across the State of Illinois, the IBF/YLD Children's Assistance Fund has since grown, and now provides funding to organizations across the State of Illinois that provide legal assistance to children, maintain children's waiting rooms in courthouses, work to reduce recidivism of juveniles, and/or work to reduce the incidents of domestic violence in families with children.

Supreme Court Justice Garman announces vacancy in Fifth Judicial Circuit

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for an At-Large Circuit Court vacancy in the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Claudia Anderson on November 30, 2016. Judge Anderson has been a Circuit Judge since 1998.

CLE: Open Meetings Act: Conducting the Public’s Business Properly

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

This lively program in Springfield on November 17, 2016 is comprised of scenarios, skits, and group discussions, allowing participants to gather information on how to recognize and resolve violations of the Open Meetings Act. The program demonstrates and discusses the requirements of the Open Meetings Act, as well as how to apply the Act to real world situations. Government attorneys, public officials, and private counsel who attend this seminar will better understand: how to prepare for a meeting; the importance of meeting locations; how to handle the virtual attendance of board members; the issues with meeting minutes and board member voting; public access issues, including virtual access; board member communication concerns, including texting between members; how to handle closed meetings; the limitations on public comments; and much more!

ISBA 2nd Vice President McCluskey featured on WLS 890 AM

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

James F. McCluskeyIllinois State Bar Association 2nd Vice President James F. McCluskey was a guest on Stephanie Trussell's show on WLS 890 AM on October 30, 2016 to discuss using judicial evaluations to become informed on judicial candidates prior to the November 8 election. 

Find 2nd Vice President James F. McCluskey's interview with Stephanie Trussell here.

Find the judicial evaluations here.