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Illinois Supreme Court Announces Changes to Make Court Costs More Manageable

Posted on February 13, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court announced today several changes to the assessment system by which fees, fines, and other court costs are paid by civil and criminal case litigants.

These changes are a result of Public Act 100-0987, which was passed by the legislature in 2018 in order to simplify the imposition, collection, and distribution of court assessments. The changes include Civil Assessment Schedules as well as fee waivers in amended Rule 298 and new Rule 404.

The changes are effective July 1, and the new assessment structure, not including the waivers, expires Jan. 1, 2021. 

Quick Takes for Your Practice: How to Avoid the ARDC: Four Tips to Better Your Client Communication

Posted on February 13, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Attorney Kristin Olson discusses tips to avoid having to deal with the ARDC through better communications. Tips include writing monthly case status letters, returning phone calls on a timely basis, responding promptly to emails, and explaining a case to a client.

Best Practice Tips: Tools to Improve Communications

Posted on February 13, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. Our firm is a 16-attorney personal injury insurance defense firm located in Dallas, Texas. I am a member of our three-person management committee. We have been experiencing associate attorney and staff turnover. Recently, we had all employees complete confidential surveys concerning their thoughts and feedback concerning the firm. One theme that was central to all was that the firm has poor communications with employees. I would like to hear your thoughts on what we need to do to improve.

CLE: 10th Annual Animal Law Conference

Posted on February 12, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Don’t miss ISBA’s 10th Annual Animal Law Conference, which highlights important animal law updates and examines the advances made in this rapidly-evolving area of practice, on March 1 in Chicago or via live webcast.

Registration is $25. The ISBA would like to offer a special thanks to this program's financial supporter, Brooks McCormick Jr. Trust for Animal Rights Law and Policy, for helping to make this opportunity possible.

Office of the State Appellate Defender Seeks Assistant Appellate Defenders

Posted on February 12, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Office of the State Appellate Defender has openings for the position of assistant appellate defender in Springfield and Mt. Vernon.

The position will provide criminal appellate representation to indigent clients. Responsibilities include reading records, conducting research, drafting briefs and other documents, and presenting oral arguments.

The Malpractice Maze: Bringing a Healing-Arts Malpractice Suit and the Requirements of Section 2-622

Posted on February 11, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

To limit the number of frivolous malpractice claims and thus lower insurance costs, Illinois and 27 other states require attorneys to consult a health-care professional before filing a medical-malpractice suit. But for those bringing a medical-malpractice case, such prelitigation requirements can present a daunting, complex maze. In February’s Illinois Bar Journal, Christopher Michels explores the required steps for bringing a healing-arts malpractice claim in Illinois in his article, “The Malpractice Maze: Bringing a Healing-Arts Malpractice Suit and the Requirements of Section 2-622.”

Practice HQ Resource: Managing Distractions in the 21st Century

Posted on February 11, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Studies show that the average American worker is interrupted every two to three minutes while on the job. At that rate, it’s a wonder anyone can finish daily tasks, let alone major projects.

The ISBA’s whitepaper on managing distractions in a digital age provides four fronts to address distractions and how to overcome them in the workplace. Those fronts include promoting physical and mental health, putting value on workplace and organizational health, creating a time, task and email methodology, and better understanding attention- and distraction-management skills.

Candidate Report for the 2019 ISBA Election

Posted on February 7, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Candidate Report for the 2019 ISBA Election is below. All members of the association (except non-lawyer members) with their dues paid by March 1, 2019 are eligible to vote.

2019 Candidate Report

(N.B.: Pursuant to the Policy and Procedures for Election approved by the ISBA Assembly, in those instances where there are more candidates than positions to be filled, nominees are listed on the ballot by the date of filing. Where two or more people filed on the same date, ballot positions were determined by lot. Ballot positions are listed next to the candidate’s name.)

Third Vice-President (1 to be elected; 1 candidate)

  • Rory T. Weiler

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, February 7

Posted on February 7, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down two opinions on Thursday, Feb. 7. In Beaman v. Freesmeyer, the court clarified the proper test for the “commencement or continuance” prong of the tort of malicious prosecution. In People v. Gawlak, the court reversed the appellate court’s decision in a case involving due process rights and the assistance of counsel.

CLE: Technology at Trial

Posted on February 7, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Learn how to use technology to present evidence or dispute a claim during your next trial. Technology is permeating every aspect of the legal practice – from digital evidence replacing paper to how key components of a case are presented to the jury. Flat screen displays, videotaped testimony, dual screens that present several documents at once, and even personal screens for each juror in the jury box are all ways that technology can simplify and organize the trial presentation process and provide information in a way that is easy to understand. And it’s well established that for a lawyer, competency requires more than just a passing familiarity with technology.