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Best Practice Tips: Associate Attorney Compensation – Five Approaches

Posted on September 26, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the owner of a six-attorney firm in the western suburbs of Chicago. There are five full-time associate attorneys working with the firm. Two have been with the firm for more than 15 years, two over 10 years, and one for seven years. All are being paid salaries in excess of $100,000 per year and none are even close to generating $300,000 or more in working attorney fee collections per year. Their billable hours are dismal as well. While I have an expectation of 1,200 annual billable hours, none are meeting that expectation. My income is suffering as a result. In addition to salaries, they sometimes receive a discretionary bonus. I am at my wit’s end. What are your thoughts?

Former ISBA Board Member Sworn in as Member of the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago’s Board

Posted on September 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
(L-R) ISBA Third Vice President Anna Krolikowska, IICLE Board Chair Ben Neiburger, Sonni Choi Williams, ISBA Board member Ava George Stewart 

Sonni Choi Williams, a former member of the ISBA Board of Governors, was sworn in as a member of the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago’s Board on Sept. 21.

Guess Who’s Hosting a Business Dinner?

Posted on September 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Hosting a business dinner is a great way to make a good impression and build rapport with clients. Thinking through the details in advance will go a long way toward a good evening and a good impression of the host – you. In September’s Illinois Bar Journal, Karen Erger, vice president at Lockton Companies, breaks down do’s and don’ts of hosting a business dinner.

CLE: Protect Your Credit, Identity, and Financial Accounts

Posted on September 21, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Learn how to protect your credit and financial assets, avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, and advise your clients on these issues with this online seminar Oct. 10. Attorneys with basic to intermediate practice experience who attend this program will better understand: the importance of monitoring credit; how to use a credit lock/freeze to keep your credit safe; who to contact if you suspect identity theft; the services that are available to safeguard your identity; knowing if your investment accounts are secure; the benefits of private excess insurance; and the importance to passwords.

U.S. Attorney's Office Seeks Assistant U.S. Attorney

Posted on September 21, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois is accepting applications for an assistant United States attorney opening in its Criminal Division in Chicago.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least two years post-J.D. legal experience. U.S. citizenship is required.

Preferred qualifications include excellent academics, significant litigation experience, criminal law experience, strong legal writing skills, and a demonstrated commitment to public service.

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars 10, Suspends 16 in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on September 20, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, September 20

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down seven opinions on Thursday, September 20. The court unanimously upheld a state law that established rules for not-for-profit hospitals to avoid paying property taxes and ruled that law firms bringing qui tam actions against a corporation are entitled to attorney fees for outside counsel, but not fees for work done by the firm’s own attorneys. It also upheld the statutory summary suspension of a man’s driver’s license following his arrest for DUI drugs, dismissed a defendant’s appeal on procedural grounds, affirmed a modified appellate court judgment considering fee assessments, upheld an appellate court’s decision to not award a man additional days of credit against his prison sentence, and upheld a defendant’s conviction of drug-related homicide.

Oswald v. Hamer 

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

Oswald v. Hamer, 2018 IL 122203, holds that Section 15-86(c) of the Property Tax Code, which provides for property tax exemptions for not-for-profit hospitals and their affiliates for specific property, is not unconstitutional on its face. More specifically described, Section 15-86(c) provides that such a hospital “satisfies the conditions for an exemption under this Section with respect to the subject property, and shall be issued a charitable exemption for that property, if the value of services or activities listed in subsection (e) for the hospital year equals or exceeds the relevant hospital entity’s estimated property tax liability....” Whether the word “shall” in the statute is to be regarded as mandatory or permissive was a key issue in the case.  

Illinois Supreme Court Seeking Applications for Five Judicial Positions in Cook County

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court is seeking applications for five judicial positions in Cook County.

The court is seeking applications for the following positions:

  • Two At Large judicial vacancies in the Cook County Judicial Circuit. One vacancy is created by the retirement of Judge Sebastian T. Patti. The other vacancy, effective Dec. 3, is created as a result of Judge Carole Bellows deciding not to seek retention.
  • One judicial vacancy in the 14th Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County. The vacancy is created as a result of the retirement of Judge Robert Bertucci.
  • One judicial vacancy in the 2nd Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County. The vacancy is created as a result of the retirement of Judge Alexander White.
  • One judicial vacancy in the 6th Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County. The vacancy, effective Dec. 3, is created as a result of Judge Mary Nega deciding not to seek retention.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals Updates Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ Committee on Federal Criminal Jury Instruction has updated the pattern criminal jury instructions

The revised instructions are the product of more than three years of work by the judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and academics who served on the committee under the leadership of Judge Bill Bauer. The Judicial Conference authorized the publication of the revisions. 

ISBA Launches Redesigned Section Newsletters

Posted on September 19, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The ISBA has redesigned all section newsletters to improve this valuable member resource. Beginning with September 2018 issues, all newsletters will be delivered straight to section members’ inboxes with a redesigned look.
And back by popular demand, section newsletters again feature downloadable PDF versions, which can be printed for offline reading.