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Illinois Supreme Court declines to extend marriage-like property rights to unmarried partners

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

In 2010, two women who had been domestic partners since 1981 became involved in litigation related to the end of their relationship. In particular, Jane Blumenthal sought a partition of the residence that both women jointly owned. Her former partner, Eileen Brewer, filed a counterclaim that sought the restitution of funds that Blumenthal had used from the couple's joint account to purchase a medical practice.

The Circuit Court of Cook County dismissed Brewer's restitution claim, citing the Illinois Supreme Court's ruling in Hewitt v. Hewitt, 77 Ill.2d 49 (1979), which held that Illinois public policy precludes unmarried cohabitants from bringing claims designed to enforce mutual property rights based on a marriage-like relationship. The Illinois Appellate Court, First District reversed, finding that the public policy discussed in Hewitt has changed since 1979 because the public's attitudes towards marriage have changed significantly.

Late this summer, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the first district in Blumenthal v. Brewer. The high court held that Hewitt remains good law and scolded the first district for violating the principle of stare decisis

Best Practice: Law Firm Marketing - Client Development for an Insurance Defense Firm

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a thirty attorney insurance defense firm in Arlington, Texas. While we are still in our first generation - several of our partners are approaching retirement and some of our relationships in our insurance company clients are also retiring. We are looking for ways to shore up and expand our client base. We would appreciate your suggestions.

Perry County Deputies presented with ISBA Law Enforcement Award

Posted on September 27, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Illinois State Bar Association Board Treasurer Angelica W. Wawrzynek (far left) and Perry County Assistant State’s Attorney David Searby (far right) presented an ISBA Law Enforcement Award to Perry County Sheriff Deputies Jeremy Gothard, Reid Bastien, and Sergeant William Reagan on Sept. 26 at Pinckneyville City Hall.Perry County Sheriff’s Deputies William Reagan, Reid Bastien, and Jeremy Gothard received a 2016 Law Enforcement Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) on September 26 at the Pinckneyville City Hall/Council Chambers.

The ISBA’s Law Enforcement Award was created to recognize sworn law enforcement officers for conduct that promotes justice and to distinguish those individuals whose service to the public brings honor and respect to the entire criminal justice system. It recognizes those who excel in law enforcement. ISBA Board Treasurer Angelica W. Wawrzynek of Tapella & Eberspacher LLC in Mattoon presented the award.

Illinois Supreme Court appoints Canton attorney as Circuit Judge in Ninth Judicial Circuit

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Canton attorney Bruce C. Beal as a Resident Circuit Judge in Fulton County in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Beal was appointed by the Court to fill the vacancy created by Judge William C. Davis, who retired on September 5, 2016. His appointment takes effect October 17, 2016, and will terminate on December 3, 2018, when the position is filled by the 2018 General Election.

CLE: Computer Basics 2016: Is This Thing On?

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Competent representation not only requires legal knowledge, skill, and preparation, but also requires you to keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with technology. Don’t miss this program in Glen Ellyn on October 14, 2016 that’s designed to give you the individualized, personal, hands-on computer training you need that’s directly applicable to the practice of law! Attorneys lacking basic computer skills who attend this seminar will better understand: how to use computer hardware, including the keyboard and mouse; how to create documents in Microsoft Word; how to create an email account and what to do with it once it’s created; the dangers of opening attachments and spam; using the Internet for your online legal research; the importance of converting documents to PDF; how to safeguard yourself and your practice against the dangers of advanced technology; and much more! Register Early; Space is Limited to 24 Attendees!

Comments sought on applicants for DuPage County associate judge vacancy

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Judge Kathryn E. Creswell announced Friday that applications for the Office of Associate Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois, DuPage County, have been received from those on the attached list.

The vacancy is the result of the retirement of Associate Judge Mary E. O'Connor.

As part of the review process conducted by the Circuit Judges, Chief Judge Creswell invites public comment by letter before October 7, 2016:

  • Chief Judge Kathryn E. Creswell
  • 18th Judicial Circuit Court
  • 505 N. County Farm Road, Room 2015
  • Wheaton, IL 60187

Illinois Supreme Court appoints Christopher Bonjean as Director of Communications

Posted on September 23, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Christopher BonjeanThe Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Christopher Bonjean as Director of the Office of Communications and Public Information, effective October 3, 2016. He will head a newly reorganized communications operation, which has been charged with developing strategies to inform and educate a diverse public about the judicial branch of state government and promote public confidence in the administration of justice.

Chief Justice Rita Garman explained that the impetus to expand and emphasize the public information function came, in part, from the results of a survey conducted in the spring of 2015. Under the leadership of Fourth District Appellate Justice Carol Pope, chairperson of the Court’s Strategic Planning Committee, the survey was carried out in every courthouse in the state. Questionnaires were distributed to all users of the court facility including parties, witnesses, jurors, and other visitors.

ILAO Legal Answers: New Online Program Increases Access to Legal Help

Posted on September 23, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

A new program at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) will not only eliminate barriers to accessing legal services, but also barriers for attorneys to do pro bono work. Legal Answers, launching this October and made possible through funding by the Illinois Bar Foundation, leverages pro bono attorneys and technology to deliver critical legal advice to people who cannot afford or access an attorney. The innovative website makes it easy for attorneys to volunteer and provide civil legal advice to those in need at any convenient time and place.

Rosenbaum appointed as circuit judge in 6th Circuit

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Randall B. Rosenbaum as a Circuit Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Rosenbaum has been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Harry Clem. His appointment takes effect on October 3, 2016, and terminates on December 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.