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Illinois Supreme Court

Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Rules for Debt Collection Civil Suits, Identity Theft Recourse

Posted on August 7, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court recently adopted new rules that establish a more stringent process for debt collection companies to file civil cases, allow the court to more easily dismiss cases filed by those companies, and establish a process for purported victims of identity theft to contest liability. 

Illinois Supreme Court Rules 280-280.5 go into effect Oct. 1.

Rules 280 and 280.1 define applicability and definitions of legal terms for civil action. Rule 280.2 establishes a uniform affidavit that courts will accept to identify basic information in civil complaints filed by debt collection companies.

Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Rule on Collaborative Process

Posted on July 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a rule that allows divorcing couples to work with lawyers on a limited-scope basis to try to reach an amicable settlement and avoid litigation.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 294 was adopted June 8 and went into effect July 1. It was an important companion rule to ISBA-sponsored legislation establishing the practice of the collaborative process in dissolution cases. That legislation became effective on Jan. 1.

The new rule, also proposed by the ISBA, disqualifies attorneys serving in a collaborative process from representing clients if the process fails and the case goes to litigation. The rule also stipulates that when an attorney is discharged from a collaborative process, that lawyer’s entire law firm is also disqualified from representing the client. 

Amended Illinois Supreme Court Rule Requires Additional Phrase for All Civil Summons

Posted on July 19, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

A recently-amended Illinois Supreme Court Rule requires the following language to be added to all civil summons:

“E-filing is now mandatory for documents in civil cases with limited exemptions. To e-file, you must first create an account with an e-filing service provider. Visit https://efile.illinoiscourts.gov/service-providers.htm to learn more and to select a service provider. If you need additional help or have trouble e-filing, visit http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/FAQ/gethelp.asp or talk with your local circuit clerk's office.”

The language, "or talk with your local circuit clerk's office" was added to the Rule on July 19. The amended Rule takes effect immediately. 

New Illinois Supreme Court Rule Requires Specific Language for All Civil Summons

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Effective July 1, a new Illinois Supreme Court Rule requires the following language to be added to all civil summons:

“E-filing is now mandatory for documents in civil cases with limited exemptions. To e-file, you must first create an account with an e-filing service provider. Visit https://efile.illinoiscourts.gov/service-providers.htm to learn more and to select a service provider. If you need additional help or have trouble e-filing, visit http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/FAQ/gethelp.asp.”

Illinois State Bar Association Assembly Approves Proposed Rule on Succession Planning

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association Assembly approved a proposed rule on succession planning for lawyers during the 2018 Annual Meeting. 

It would require all Illinois licensed private practice lawyers to name a designated representative on their ARDC registration documents or certify that they have made a similar designation in a succession plan or other valid document. The designated representative would have the authority to take limited fiduciary action in the event that the designating attorney dies, becomes disabled, disappears, or abandons the practice.

P. Scott Neville, Jr. Sworn in as Illinois Supreme Court Justice

Posted on June 15, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr.
Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr.

The Honorable P. Scott Neville, Jr. was sworn in to the Illinois Supreme Court today during an installation ceremony at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. 

He is filling the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Freeman. Justice Neville’s appointment is effective today through Dec. 7, 2020. He said he plans to seek reelection.

A graduate of Washington University’s School of Law, Justice Neville has practiced law in Illinois since 1974, when he became a law clerk for Illinois Appellate Court Justice Glenn T. Johnson. Throughout his career as an attorney, Justice Neville has specialized in appellate, employment, civil rights issues, and complex litigation.

Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Uniform Bar Exam

Posted on June 8, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Illinois became the 30th state to adopt the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) June 8 when the Illinois Supreme Court approved it to be the main component for bar admission. 

The UBE is a nationwide test that allows test takers to transfer scores between states, which improves mobility of Illinois attorneys. It will be given for the first time in Illinois in July 2019. 

The Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar held public hearings in Springfield, Carbondale, and Chicago in 2016 to provide information on the UBE and to seek comments regarding its potential adoption. The comments received were overwhelmingly supportive of the change. That same year, the Illinois State Bar Association Board and Assembly issued recommendations that the supreme court should adopt the UBE. 

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Two, Suspends 13 in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on May 24, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Benjamin William Meyer, Wheaton

Mr. Meyer, who was licensed in 2011, was disbarred on consent. He pleaded guilty to three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in Ogle County and was sentenced to serve ten years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for each count, 30 years in total, to be served consecutively, with 85 days credit based on his actual time in custody. The sentencing judge also ordered him to provide a DNA sample, submit to sexually transmitted disease and HIV testing, pay fees and costs and, once released, register as a sex offender for the duration of his natural life.

Justice Charles E. Freeman Announces Retirement

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
Justice Charles Freeman
Justice Charles Freeman
Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr.
Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr.

Justice Charles E. Freeman, the first African-American to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court and as Chief Justice, will retire June 14.

Justice Freeman, 84, is the fifth-longest serving justice in Illinois Supreme Court history at 27 years, six months.

The Supreme Court has constitutional authority to fill interim judicial vacancies and has appointed Appellate Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr., to fill Justice Freeman's seat, effective June 15 through Dec. 7, 2020. Justice Neville has been a member of the First District Appellate Court since 2004, and a judge since 2000. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Carl Anthony Walker has been assigned to the First District Appellate Court until further order of the Court. Appellate Court Justice Michael B. Hyman was also reassigned to an Appellate Court seat effective until Dec. 7, 2020.

Born in Richmond, Va., Justice Freeman descended from slaves freed by Quakers before the American Civil War. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Union University in 1954 and a law degree from the John Marshall Law School in 1962. 

He also served as an Illinois assistant attorney general, Cook County assistant state's attorney, and assistant attorney for the County Board of Election Commissioners. He was an arbitrator with the Illinois Industrial Commission and he later served on the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Four, Suspends Nine in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on March 16, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on March 16, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • John F. Dziedziak, Chicago

Mr. Dziedziak, who was licensed in 1982, was disbarred. He misappropriated a total of approximately $20,000 in settlement proceeds from three separate client matters, neglected two client matters, failed to keep a client informed of the status of their case, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law after he was removed from the Master Roll, and failed to participate in the disciplinary proceeding.

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