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Spotlight on Pro Bono: Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network Launches Statewide

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Sara Anderson

By Susan L. Zielke

November marked the official launch of a statewide hotline and network of civil legal services providers for veterans, service members, national guard, reservists, and their spouses and dependents. The hotline, 855-IL-AFLAN (855-452-3526), provides legal information and advice, brief services including the preparation and review of legal documents, and referrals to network partners. The hotline is staffed by attorneys who handle issues of discharge upgrades, benefits appeals, and civil legal problems like housing, consumer, and family.

The statewide network is using uniform eligibility guidelines of 80 percent of the Chicago Area Median Income; for a household of one, that figure is $44,250. Besides the hotline, the network includes CARPLS, Center for Disability & Elder Law, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS), The John Marshall Law School, LAF, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, Loyola Law School, Prairie State Legal Services, and SIU Law School. This network provides coverage for qualified individuals throughout the state.

In Illinois, there are approximately 750,000 veterans, 20,000 active service members, and 13,000 members of the Illinois National Guard. There are over 20,000 dependents of service members deployed between 09/11/01 and 05/31/15 alone. The top civil legal needs include housing, family, and consumer issues, and specialized issues with VA benefits, appeals, and discharge upgrades.

Veto Session Wrap-Up

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

In a veto session conducted under the shadow of sexual harassment allegations by female lobbyists and others, the Illinois General Assembly overrode Governor Rauner's vetoes of many bills. Among the new laws:

Illinois Student Loan Servicing Rights Act. Legislators overrode the veto of Senate Bill 1351, which was championed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Also known as the Illinois Student Loan Servicing Rights Act, the Act introduces licensing requirements for servicing student loans in Illinois.

It also establishes a "Student Loan Bill of Rights," which prohibits certain servicing practices, imposing various requirements upon student loan servicers. The Act allows the Attorney General to enforce violations under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

Criminal justice reform. The General Assembly made more strides towards criminal justice reform during the veto session. In particular, HB 184 has been amended to reduce some burdens placed on parolees and to give courts more latitude in determining sentencing.

Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefit Act. The legislature overrode Governor Rauner's amendatory veto of SB 302, which amends the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefit Act. The bill expanded the Act's scope to include lapsed and terminated life insurance policies. It also requires insurers to compare policies, annuity contracts, and retained asset files to the full Death Master File to determine whether there are unclaimed benefits.

Find out more in the December Illinois Bar Journal.

Prepare Yourself for Mandatory E-Filing

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, electronic filing in civil cases will be mandatory across Illinois. As "E-Day" rapidly approaches, it is important to be prepared for the continued migration of the state's court system to an electronic filing based platform. Practice HQ's dedicated e-filing page hosts the resources every Illinois attorney needs to arm themselves with knowledge and ensure a smooth transition. With Practice HQ, you can...

Get a broad overview.

Use your free online CLE benefit to watch E-Filing in Illinois and read the June Illinois Bar Journal cover story, Countdown to Mandatory E-Filing, for an overview of Illinois' transition to a statewide electronic filing system, from how e-filing works, to what an electronic filing service provider (EFSP) does, to where to turn for support when using the eFileIL system.

Lawyer Referral Service Makes Over 800 Referrals in November

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Sara Anderson

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 November 2017 there were over 800 referrals given. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

CLE: Vulnerable Students: A Review of Student Rights

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Learn how you can help protect the rights of vulnerable students with this half-day seminar in Chicago on Thursday, December 14, 2017! Gain a better understanding of the issues associated with vulnerable students and how to address student rights in the educational and litigation settings. Attorneys representing juveniles, school districts, and families of students with basic practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand: how vulnerable students should be treated within school settings; the unique circumstances surrounding transgender students; how undocumented students can gain access to higher education; the legal issues associated with special education students; how to ensure stability for students in foster care; how “homelessness” is defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); knowing who you represent when your client is a student; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Education Law Section. It qualifies for 3.25 hours MCLE credit, including 0.50 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Read more about the program and register on the ISBA CLE page.

Register Now for the 20th Annual YLD Holiday Party

Posted on December 1, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Registration for the 20th annual ISBA Young Lawyers Division Holiday Party closes on Monday, Dec. 4. Don't miss out on the opportunity to socialize, enjoy food and refreshments, and meet young lawyers from across the state on Dec. 7 from 7-9 p.m. at Exchequer Pub in Chicago.

Proceeds from the holiday party will go to the Illinois Bar Foundation YLD's Children Assistance Fund. Initially created to assist with the opening of children's waiting rooms in courthouses across the State of Illinois, the Children's Assistance Fund has since grown, and now provides funding to organizations across Illinois that provide legal assistance to children, maintain children's waiting rooms in courthouses, work to reduce recidivism of juveniles, and/or work to reduce the incidents of domestic violence in families with children.

Visit the website for more information.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, Nov. 30

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Leading appellate attorneys review Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down on Thursday, Nov. 30. The cases are People v. ColePeople v. RelerfordPeople v. Hunter, People v. Brown, People v. Staake, In re Marriage of GoeselCorbett v. The County of Lake, Citibank, N.A. v. The Illinois Department of Revenue, Lawler v. The University of Chicago Medical Center, Ramsey Herndon LLC v. Whiteside, and In re Benny M.

People v. Cole

By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant the right to conflict-free counsel. Representation of multiple defendants by a single attorney does not represent a per se violation of the constitutional guarantee of the effective assistance of counsel. Within a law firm, multiple lawyers may not represent multiple clients if such representation would be a conflict for any lawyer who practiced alone, per Rule 1.10 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010. Such potential conflicts of interest are common for Public Defenders, which were held to not be a firm in People v. Robinson, 79 Ill.2d 147 (1979).

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Amended Child Support Law in Illinois

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Stephanie L. Tang with Kogut & Wilson discusses the five things every family law attorney should know about the amended child support statute, which took effect on July 1.

Save on ISBA Bookstore Orders Through Dec. 8

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Now through December 8, you can save 20% on all orders placed through the ISBA webstore. The offer includes ISBA books, client brochures, and merchandise. Take advantage of the Bookstore Holiday Sale by visiting the ISBA Storefront and entering the coupon code "HOLIDAY17" at checkout. 

You can use this coupon code to save on our newest book, The Direct Examination of the Plaintiff's Physician: A Handbook for Illinois Personal injury Lawyers, or on our tried-and-true bestsellers, like the 2018 Daily Diary

Start your holiday shopping at the ISBA Store now.

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation Seeks Staff Attorney

Posted on November 29, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals and groups in civil cases, is seeking a staff attorney at the Central Regional Office in East St. Louis.

The position includes representing clients in the areas of foreclosure and landlord/tenant law, and giving presentations to members of client population about their rights.

To be considered for this position, you must be admitted to practice law in Illinois and demonstrate a commitment to the representation of low-income individuals. Prior legal services experience is preferred.

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