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Illinois Bar Journal

It's Okay, I'm a Lawyer! How the Expansion of the Attorney-Litigation Privilege is Changing the Game

Posted on March 18, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

In 2015, the first district significantly expanded the attorney-litigation privilege, finding that it immunized attorneys from claims in addition to defamation and, in addition to an attorney's communications, protected an attorney's conduct. While it is axiomatic that "with great power comes great responsibility," Amanda Hamilton notes in March's Illinois Bar Journal that "recent expansions of the attorney-litigation privilege demonstrate why attorneys must be increasingly vigilant in their commitment to ethical principles to ensure they do not abuse their power."

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Plea Bargaining in Illinois

Posted on March 11, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Recent plea-bargaining related decisions in the U.S. and Illinois Supreme Courts have complicated the landscape for ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims brought in the state. With various tests for ineffective assistance now in tension, questions may become more difficult to resolve when such tests can be applied to the same case. In his March 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Plea Bargaining in Illinois,” Nate Niemann traces the developments leading to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lee v. United States and the Illinois Supreme Court’s in People v. Brown.

To Pay or Not To Pay: The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act

Posted on March 4, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, Illinois employers are required to reimburse employees for expenses incurred while performing their jobs. This new requirement is an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. Failure to comply with the new law can result in damages equal to the reimbursement amount, a 2-percent penalty for each month the expenses were not paid, and attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the employee. In her article, “To Pay or Not to Pay: Should You Reimburse Your Employee’s Expenses?,” business and employment law attorney Helen Bloch provides practical takeaways and advice for ensuring you and your clients are complying with the new requirement. 

Manage Your Time, or It Will Manage You

Posted on February 25, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

No time-management system magically, and overnight, turns you into a lean, mean, efficiency machine. But becoming more productive also doesn’t require mastering every page of a two-inch-thick time-management manual. Instead, try acquiring a single new skill and developing it over time, says Affinity Consulting partner Paul Unger in the Illinois Bar Journal’s March cover story, “Manage Your Time, or It Will Manage You.” In the article, Unger, who will be the featured speaker at the ISBA Solo & Small Firm Practice Institute on March 15 in Springfield, where he will present on time management, declutters the topic and also recommends his favorite best practices and methods.

Problems Blockchain Doesn’t Solve

Posted on February 19, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Blockchain may dramatically reduce the cost of processing mortgage applications and provide for transparent, secure transactions and efficient recordkeeping. But the strengths and limitations of blockchain should be better understood before replacing a title system that has been in place for more than 140 years in Illinois, argues Paul Peterson in his February 2019 article, “Problems Blockchain Doesn’t Solve,” for the Illinois Bar Journal. Peterson, vice president and senior underwriter for the Fidelity Family of Title Insurers, vice-chair of ISBA's Construction Law Section Council, and a member of ISBA's Real Estate Law Section Council, outlines record-validating problems that blockchain technology has yet to crack.

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.”

18 Quick and Easy Tech Tips for 2019

Posted on February 4, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Research suggests we tap only a small fraction of our brain’s cognitive powers. Same with our computers and the internet. If only we could exploit more of the immense computing power of our laptops and smartphones. But who has the time to explore all the features buried deep in our manuals and menus? The February Illinois Bar Journal’s cover story gets you started by providing easy-to-use tips for getting more out of the technology at your fingertips. The story, “18 Quick and Easy Tech Tips for 2019,” also is a sneak preview of a larger set of tips provided by Affinity Consulting partner Barron Henley’s one-hour ISBA CLE webinar available in ISBA's Free On-Demand CLE catalog.

General and Boilerplate Objections: Curbing Routine Abuse of the Discovery Process

Posted on January 29, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

February’s Illinois Bar Journal includes the winning article of 2019’s Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest. The article, “General and Boilerplate Objections: Curbing Routine Abuse of the Discovery Process” by Gregory R. Jones, an associate at Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C., in Edwardsville, examines distasteful discovery tactics that can directly conflict with the spirit of discovery and the concept of “full disclosure.”

2019 Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest Winners Announced

Posted on January 24, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Gregory R. Jones, an associate at Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C., from Edwardsville, is winner of first place and $2,000 in the ISBA’s 2019 Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest. His article, “General and Boilerplate Objections: Curbing Routine Abuse of the Discovery Process,” appears in the February issue of the Illinois Bar Journal.

Second place winner is Daniel C. Katzman, a partner at Katzman & Sugden, LLC, in Belleville. His article is “Can You Record Me Now? Tapping into the Illinois Eavesdropping Act and its Effect on Attorneys, Employers, and Individuals.” Daniel won $1,000.

Third place and $500 goes to Chicagoan Jake Crabbs, for “Responding to Affirmative Defenses.”

What You Might Have Forgotten About Billing Clients

Posted on January 18, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Ensuring you get paid for your efforts on behalf of your client requires more than getting retained, performing legal services, and sending a bill. When a client disputes a fee or simply refuses to pay, how do you put yourself in the best position to obtain payment? It starts with your initial retention and lasts beyond your representation. In his January Illinois Bar Journal article, “What You Might Have Forgotten About Billing Clients,” David M. Neff revisits essential steps for billing clients and offers guidance from retention to collection.

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