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Illinois Supreme Court appoints Christopher Bonjean as Director of Communications

Posted on September 23, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Christopher BonjeanThe Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Christopher Bonjean as Director of the Office of Communications and Public Information, effective October 3, 2016. He will head a newly reorganized communications operation, which has been charged with developing strategies to inform and educate a diverse public about the judicial branch of state government and promote public confidence in the administration of justice.

Chief Justice Rita Garman explained that the impetus to expand and emphasize the public information function came, in part, from the results of a survey conducted in the spring of 2015. Under the leadership of Fourth District Appellate Justice Carol Pope, chairperson of the Court’s Strategic Planning Committee, the survey was carried out in every courthouse in the state. Questionnaires were distributed to all users of the court facility including parties, witnesses, jurors, and other visitors.

ILAO Legal Answers: New Online Program Increases Access to Legal Help

Posted on September 23, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

A new program at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) will not only eliminate barriers to accessing legal services, but also barriers for attorneys to do pro bono work. Legal Answers, launching this October and made possible through funding by the Illinois Bar Foundation, leverages pro bono attorneys and technology to deliver critical legal advice to people who cannot afford or access an attorney. The innovative website makes it easy for attorneys to volunteer and provide civil legal advice to those in need at any convenient time and place.

Rosenbaum appointed as circuit judge in 6th Circuit

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Randall B. Rosenbaum as a Circuit Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Rosenbaum has been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Harry Clem. His appointment takes effect on October 3, 2016, and terminates on December 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

Illinois Supreme Court disbars 13, suspends 16 in latest disciplinary filing

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on September 22, 2016, during the September Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Joel S. Alpert, Buffalo Grove

Mr. Alpert, who was licensed in 1987, was disbarred. He engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by agreeing to represent a client while still serving a two-year suspension for previous misconduct. He also fabricated court documents in order to mislead his client into believing that she was represented by a law firm not involved in the matter. 

Quick Takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in Kakos v. Butler, Bayer v. Panduit Corp., Moon v. Rhode, and J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC v. Wild, Inc.

Kakos v. Butler

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

In Kakos v. Butler, the court unanimously affirmed Judge Gomolinski’s judgment in the circuit court that the 6-person jury regime established by Public Act 98-1132 is facially unconstitutional.  Chief Justice Garman wrote for the court.

Quick Takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Hood, People v. Cherry, People v. Reyes, and People v. Valdez.

People v. Hood

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Terry Hood was charged with attempt murder, home invasion, and aggravated battery of a senior citizen against Robert Bishop, Jr.  Prior to trial, the State sought to take Bishop’s evidence deposition due to health concerns. Present at the deposition were Assistant State’s Attorneys and defendant’s attorneys; defendant did not attend.  Subsequently, the evidence deposition was admitted at defendant’s trial upon a finding that Bishop could not testify.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: 12 Tips & Tricks for the New Family Law Attorney

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Attorney Tamika R. Walker of Sreenan & Cain, P.C. in Rockford discusses 12 Tips & Tricks for the new family law attorney.

Be a smart biller and boost your bottom line, avoid dangers

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

The basics of law firm billing are spelled out in Illinois Supreme Court Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5, which governs fees, says Charles J. Northrup, general counsel for the ISBA. But smart billing requires more than simply knowing the ins and outs of that rule.

For example, attorneys should keep in mind their clients' emotional state and put themselves in the clients' shoes, Northrup says. "I would want a lawyer to understand that for clients, receiving bills can be extremely stressful, and that the lawyer must be prepared to calmly discuss and respond to client questions or criticisms about bills - and make adjustments if necessary."

Justice Kilbride seeks comment on applicants for 14th Circuit vacancy

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride is seeking public comment on three attorneys who have applied to fill a resident Circuit Court vacancy in Whiteside County in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy will be created upon Circuit Judge John L. Hauptman's retirement, effective December 5, 2016. Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Kilbride uses an extensive application, evaluation and interview process to make recommendations to the full Court for judicial vacancies in the Third Judicial District.

The three attorneys who have applied to fill the vacancy are Colleen M. Buckwalter of Morrison, Trish A. Joyce of Sterling, and Associate Judge William S. McNeal of Morrison.