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Illinois Supreme Court to hold public hearing on proposals to amend rules on discovery, juror questions and interlocutory appeals

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will seek comment at a public hearing Friday, April 4 in Chicago on a proposed change to address the scope of electronically stored information, limitations on its use, production, and how such information is managed.

Proposal 14-01 is presented in the form of amendments to Supreme Court Rules 201, 204, 214, 216, 218 and 219. A copy of this and other proposals are available on the Supreme Court website at:

Feeney appointed circuit judge of Woodford County

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Hon. Charles M. Feeney IIIThe Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday the appointment of Associate Judge Charles M. Feeney III of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit as a resident circuit judge of Woodford County.

Judge Feeney was appointed to fill the resident Circuit Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John B. Huschen. The appointment is effective April 1, 2014 and will expire December 5, 2016 when the position will be filled by the 2016 General Election.

CLE: Social Media and Litigation

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Learn how to admit social media into evidence with this half-day seminar! The social media landscape is dynamic and complex – and is often accompanied by privacy concerns and ethical issues. Join us in Chicago or via live webcast on Friday, April 4th for the opportunity to update your knowledge on social media and the law! Attorneys with all levels of practice experience attending this seminar will gain a better understanding of: What social media is and how to use it; how social media differs from other forms of communication; privacy and security settings; how to use social media as a news outlet; how to preserve social media evidence; the ethical issues that emerge with the use of social media; and how to argue for (or against!) allowing social media into evidence during litigation.

The program is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Technology and qualifies for 4.0 hours MCLE credit, including 3.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Illinois Supreme Court issues operational review of pretrial services in Cook County

Posted on March 22, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have given approval to a comprehensive analysis of the Cook County pretrial services program, statutorily established to provide guidance to judges setting bond for felony and misdemeanor defendants.

The report identifies systemic shortcomings in areas of echnology, automation, leadership, and management. It said the pretrial services operation also lacks the authenticity of verified reports on defendants. As a result, the program has fallen into disuse by judges, prosecutors, public defenders and the sheriff's office in setting bond or determining eligibility for electronic monitoring devices.

Illinois Supreme Court announces changes in where motions are filed

Posted on March 21, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced changes to Supreme Court Rules 361, 381, and 383 dealing with where attorneys or parties file motions with the Court.

If a case arises out of the Second, Third, Fourth, or Fifth Judicial Districts and is a motion to be heard by the full Court, an original and eight copies shall be filed with the Clerk's office in Springfield. If the mo-tion may be heard by a single Justice, an original and one copy shall be filed with the Clerk's office in Springfield, directed to the Justice from the Judicial District where the case originated. Responses to mo-tions shall be filed within the allowed time frames in the same manner along with the requisite copies.

In cases arising out of the First Judicial District (Cook County), motions for a single Justice will continue to be filed, along with one copy, in the Clerk's satellite office in Chicago. If the motion in a case from the First District is a matter for the full Court, the changes require an original and eight copies to be filed with the Clerk's Chicago office. Responses to motions shall be filed within the allowed timeframes in the same manner along with the requisite copies.

This applies whether motions and responses are filed electronically or not.

Quick takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court criminal opinions

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the criminal cases People v. Clark, People v. Melongo, People v. Fernandez, People v. Easley, People v. Davis and People v. Cummings. In People v. Clark and People v. Melongo the Court unanimously held that the current eavesdropping statute is unconstitutional.

People v. Clark and People v. Melongo

By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Quick takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court civil opinions

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court civil opinions in the civil cases BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP v. Mitchell, In re Marriage of Tiballi, Spanish Court Two Condominium Association v. Carlson and Home Star Bank and Financial Services, etc. v. Emergency Care and Health Organization, Ltd.

BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP v. Mitchell  (PDF)

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan, Ottawa

In the context of a motion attacking foreclosure proceedings for lack of proper service filed after confirmation of the report of sale, BAC Home Loans Servicing v. Mitchell “reaffirms the longstanding rule that ‘a party who submits to the court’s jurisdiction does so only prospectively and the appearance does not retroactively validate orders entered prior to that date.’”  The court resolved a conflict among appellate panels on the issue of whether a waiver of personal jurisdiction operated prospectively only, or whether it served to retroactively validate previous orders of the court entered without personal jurisdiction. 

The source of the controversy is the amendment of section 2-301 in 2000 which both eliminated the need for a special appearance and specified the manner of objecting to a court’s jurisdiction.  The court held that in context the amendment was ambiguous, and should therefore not be interpreted to contradict In re Marriage of Verdung, 126 Ill.2d 542 (1989), which applied the prospectively-only rule. 

Medical marijuana comes to Illinois

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

What will the Medical Cannabis Act mean for patients? For employers, especially those with zero-tolerance drug policies? Others? Are you ready to advise clients about what some are calling the most restrictive medical marijuana law in the country? Learn more in the April Illinois Bar Journal.

Ethics Question of the Week: Hiring suspended or disbarred lawyers for client intake

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q. Can I hire a suspended or disbarred lawyer to do simple client intake forms in my office under my supervision?

A. In In re Discipio, 163 Ill.Dec. 515, 645 N.E.2d 906 (1994), an Illinois lawyer was found to have violated the ethical prohibition on aiding the unauthorized practice of law for hiring a disbarred lawyer to gather information from clients and complete forms on their behalf. The applicable RPC is 5.5(a), which provides that “a lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.”

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.

Disclaimer. These questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline. The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed. The information provided isn’t legal advice. Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.

City of Lincoln seeks Administrative Hearing Officer

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The City of Lincoln is seeking responses to the Request for Proposals for the position of Administrative Hearing Officer. The Administrative Hearing Officer is appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the Council, and provides adjudication in matters including, but not limited to towing/impounds, parking, and building regulations within the City of Lincoln.