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Liability Minute: Not Only Shareholders Get Pierced

Posted on July 8, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Omittance is no quittance. — Shakespeare

How many lawyers assist a client in forming a corporation, but merely assist in filing the annual reports and do nothing else? Failure to advise of the risk associated with this minimal approach may now more likely result in veil-piercing to reach the client for individual liability.

By Joseph R. Marconi1

Illinois courts have long held that the failure to follow corporate procedure may lead to the individual liability of a shareholder, director, or officer. Now, according to a recent case in the Appellate Court for the First District, even a non-shareholder — who is not an officer, director, or employee of a corporation — may be found individually liable for a judgment against a corporation where he exercises only equitable ownership and control over a corporation, even if there were no allegations that he engaged in any wrongdoing in the underlying case.

Illinois Lawyer Finder makes over 500 referrals in June

Posted on July 7, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of June 2014, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for June 2014:

Illinois Bar Foundation announces over $240,000 in grants

Posted on July 7, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Bar Foundation has approved 30 grants totaling $242,500 which will be distributed to nonprofit legal aid organizations statewide.

Illinois Bar Foundation grant recipients for FY14 are:

Applications being accepted for judicial vacancy in DuPage County

Posted on July 7, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Judge John T. Elsner has announced that the Court is accepting applications to fill a vacancy for the Office of Associate Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court, DuPage County. This vacancy is the result of the retirement of Associate Judge Thomas C. Dudgeon.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on July 31, 2014.

Quick takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court civil opinions Madigan v. Burge and Kanerva v. Weems

Posted on July 3, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases People ex rel. Madigan v. Burge and Kanerva v. Weems.

People ex rel. Madigan v. Burge

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

People ex rel. Madigan v. Burge, which involves great  public interest because of the alleged actions of defendant while supervisor of the Violent Crimes Unit detectives of an area for the Chicago Police Department, ends, as it began in the circuit court, with the conclusion that the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider this case. The reasoning and judgment of the circuit court were affirmed; the appellate court was reversed.

In 1997 Jon Burge applied for and received pension benefits from the policemen’s benefit fund. In 2003, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed by a plaintiff who alleged that he was tortured and abused by officers under Burge’s command. In answers to written interrogatories in that suit, Burge denied under oath having knowledge of, or participating in, the torture or abuse of persons in custody of the Chicago Police Dept. In 2010, Burge was convicted of felonies for making false answers to interrogatories.

Best Practice: Making your marketing dollars work

Posted on July 2, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a 16 attorney firm located in Baltimore, Maryland. Our clients are primarily business firms. I am the chair of our three member marketing committee which was formed three years ago. Our firm is increasing our commitment to marketing and have increased our budget over the past three years. However, we are not sure what we should be spending our money on. Your suggestions would be appreciated.

A. Hopefully, you have developed a marketing plan and a marketing budget tied to the specific objectives outlined in the plan. Here are a few general guidelines, tips, and best practices:

  1. Money spent on good clients is money well spent.
  2. Allocate more money to specific practice areas or niches and individual lawyers than to the firm as a whole.
  3. Tie passive initiatives to active participation.
  4. Stand out as a major contributor to a single or a few campaigns rather than making many small contributors.
  5. Constantly measure and monitor your return on marketing investment. (ROMI)

Click here for our blog on marketing

Click here for articles on other topics

Judge Lisa Holder White appointed to 4th District Appellate Court

Posted on July 1, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Hon. Lisa Holder WhiteThe Illinois Supreme Court has appointed the Hon. Lisa Holder White, Resident Circuit Judge of Macon County, Sixth Judicial Circuit, to the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth Judicial District. White has been assigned to duty with the Fourth District Appellate Court since 2013. This vacancy was created by the death of the Hon. John McCullough. It is effective July 1, 2014, and terminates on Dec. 1, 2014,

CLE: Fred Lane's ISBA Trial Technique Institute

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Improve your trial skills in this "learn-by-doing" program that covers all phases of trial work from both a plaintiff and defendant's viewpoint. The program consists of two semesters and runs approximately four months per semester. (You may start with the semester of your choice.) The program qualifies for a total of 54 hours MCLE credit, including 54* hours PMCLE credit (27 hours MCLE/27 hours PMCLE credit per semester). Class takes place each Tuesday evening from 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. at the Illinois State Bar Association – Chicago Regional Office, 20 South Clark Street, Suite 900.

Fall Semester begins September 9, 2014!

Through this course, you will learn and practice new trial techniques that are most effective and consistent with the Federal Rules of Evidence and the new Illinois Rules of Evidence. Each session is audio-video taped so you can see and hear the improvements in your voice, manner and trial technique. The program has been proven to be of value whether your practice includes trying jury and non-jury cases, administrative hearings, arbitrations, or mediations. The course is taught and coordinated by Fred Lane and Scott Lane.

Click here for more information and to register.

IBF to host reception honoring Paula H. Holderman on July 17

Posted on June 26, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Please join the ISBA Board of Governors and the IBF Board of Directors at a reception honoring ISBA Immediate Past President Paula H. Holderman. The reception will be held on Thursday, July 17, from 5-7 p.m. at the ISBA Chicago Office. Tickets are $50.

Register online or by calling the IBF at 312.726.6072.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

The Illinois Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association and is dedicated to improving access to justice to those most vulnerable, helping attorneys and their families in need, and to providing year-long legal Fellowships to new attorneys working in legal aid clinics.