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CLE: Tips of the Trade: A Federal Civil Practice Seminar for Downstate Illinois

Posted on June 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Join us in Collinsville on Friday, June 27 for a comprehensive overview of the federal civil practice addresses the most common issues faced by practitioners and offers advice from the bench and experienced lawyers on how to handle them! Attorneys with all levels of experience who practice law in federal court will gain a better understanding of: the issues that can arise while pleading in federal court, including jurisdiction issues, venue concerns, and removal/remand issues; disclosing electronically stored information during discovery; how to prepare for and conduct successful settlement conferences; the recent developments in admissibility of fact; how to effectively present testimony during the trial; current trends in mass tort and class action practices; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Federal Civil Practice Section and qualifies for 4.0 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

President Holderman's farewell message

Posted on June 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman says goodbye and looks back on her presidential year.

Assembly meeting agenda now available

Posted on June 16, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Assembly meeting agenda has been posted at This page is password protected and available only to ISBA members. The Assembly will next meet on Saturday, June 21 at the 138th Annual Meeting at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wis.

Former federal judge Michael McCuskey appointed as Resident Circuit Judge of Marshall County

Posted on June 16, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday the assignment of Retired U.S. District Court Judge Michael McCuskey to fill a Circuit Court vacancy as Resident Circuit Judge of Marshall County in the 10th Judicial Circuit.

His appointment is effective July 3, 2014 and will terminate December 5, 2016, when the position will be filled by election. Judge McCuskey will fill the vacancy created by the announced retirement of Judge Kevin Galley, which is effective at midnight July 2.

Best Practice: Selling a personal injury practice

Posted on June 16, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the founder and owner of a personal injury plaintiff practice located in Lexington, Ky. I have two associates and four support staff members. All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis and our swings in fee collections from year to year can be substantial. I am 64 and would like to transition my practice and retire within the next three years. Both of my associates would like to take over my practice. I believe I am entitled to compensation for my practice and am desiring a fair buyout. I would appreciate hearing your ideas concerning a buyout approach.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of June 12, 2014

Posted on June 12, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Statutes of limitation (House Bill 5512), Pregnancy and discrimination (House Bill 8), Power of attorney for health care (Senate Bill 3228), Dissolution of business entities (Senate Bill 1098) and Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (Senate Bill 1941). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Rule changes make e-discovery more efficient

Posted on June 12, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

On May 29, and effective July 1, the Illinois Supreme Court amended Supreme Court Rules 201 and 214 to make discovery of electronically stored information, or ESI, more efficient. Among other things, the changes empower courts to deny ESI discovery requests that are too burdensome, and they remove the outdated (and often ignored) requirement that ESI be produced in print form.

Rule 201 as amended expressly discourages discovery requests that are “disproportionate in terms of burden or expense” and specifies that a “court may determine whether the likely burden or expense of the proposed discovery, including electronically stored information, outweighs the likely benefit”….The amendments also add a definition of ESI to the court’s discovery rules for the first time.

Rule 214 was revised to provide that “if a request does not specify a form for producing electronically stored information, a party must produce it in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms.” It also eliminates the requirement that ESI be “produce[d]…in printed form”….

Timothy Chorvat of Jenner & Block, chair of the ISBA’s Civil Practice and Procedure Section, said the amendments are “important and welcome reforms to the procedures governing discovery of ESI. Computer data makes up an ever-increasing proportion of the information that parties exchange in discovery, and the new rules will assist parties to effectively manage the production of electronically stored information while at the same time providing protections against disproportionate burdens and costs.”

Lori Levin to receive Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award

Posted on June 11, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Lori G. LevinLori G. Levin, a Chicago criminal defense lawyer in private practice, will receive the 2014 Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award presented by the ISBA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section Council at the organization’s 138th Annual Meeting on Friday, June 20, at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis.

For 23 years, Levin was a prosecutor in the Cook County State Attorney’s Office where she tried many felony and civil cases before juries. In 2003, she was appointed by the Governor and served six years as executive director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, an agency dedicated to improving Illinois criminal justice. She also chaired the Illinois Integrated Justice Information Implementation Board and the Task Force to Update the Model Domestic Violence Protocol.

Within the ISBA, she has chaired two standing committees and been an officer on others. She is committed to continuing legal education for lawyers and is a sought-after educator and lecturer on topics that include criminal justice, juvenile justice, child visitation, elder rights and mental health issues. In addition, she was on the governing council of the American Jewish Congress.

In her nomination, Melissa Olivero, member of the ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law, wrote that Levin “sets the standard in delivering high quality legal services as a solo practitioner” and that she “embodies the very qualities of Matthew Maloney himself: professionalism, excellence and service.”


Ethics Question of the Week: Can I block opposing counsel from representing other claimants?

Posted on June 11, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q. I’m settling a case with plaintiff’s counsel in a matter that I know involves other potential claimants. Can I include a provision in the settlement agreement that precludes plaintiff’s counsel from soliciting, or representing, other claimants?

A. RPC 5.6(b) provides that a lawyer may not offer or make an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer’s right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy. Comment [2] to that Rule clarifies that it “prohibits a lawyer from agreeing not to represent other persons in connection with settling a claim on behalf of a client.”

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.]