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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of Jan. 19, 2017

Posted on January 19, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers the Illinois Vehicle CodeLandlord and Tenant ActValue After Rehabilitation Appraisal Act, domestic violence, and mortgage foreclosure

More information on each bill is available below the video.

CLE: Hot Topics in Agricultural Law - 2017

Posted on January 19, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

Don’t miss this annual event that updates you on a number of key agricultural law issues! Get the information you need on several hot topic areas in the agricultural law area, including recent developments and anticipated changes to Illinois and federal estate and income tax law. Attorneys with intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar in Springfield on February 3, 2017 will better understand: mineral law surveys and updates involving the Severed Mineral Interest Act; the environmental laws that may affect farming businesses; the agricultural-related legislation involving agro-environmental issues; how to create a succession plan for family-owned farms; farm lease forms and current leasing trends; key ethics issues to be aware of, including confidentiality and conflicts of interest; and much more!

Illinois associate judge appointed in the First Judicial Circuit

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced that the First Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Michael A. Fiello as an associate judge of the First Judicial Circuit.

Illinois associate judge appointed in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Charles E. Petersen as an associate judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit.

Quick Takes for Your Practice - Presenting Expert Testimony: Standards & Medical Literature

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Illinois attorney Kurt Lloyd of Lloyd Law Group, Ltd., shares tips about using standards and medical literature when presenting expert witness testimony.

Halting of overtime rule puts employers in wait-and-see mode

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

On December 1, 2016 the Department of Labor's new overtime rule, which raised the wage threshold for workers who are exempt from overtime, was supposed to take effect. However, on November 22, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction against the implementation of the rule.

Chicago attorney Alisa Arnoff says the injunction has created a tricky situation for some employers who are already complying with the rule. They risk serious morale problems if they change employee titles, exemption status, and/or compensation back to pre-rule levels. Those problems may be on top of morale problems caused when employers initially complied with the rule. Some employees may have been disappointed to lose overtime compensation by being given a raise in pay and presumably duties qualifying them as exempt. Others might have been disappointed that they are no longer exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees, and are now simply "hourly," regardless of the potential for overtime pay. Right now, employers are in a "wait and see" position, she notes. Read more about the injunction in the January Illinois Bar Journal.

Illinois Supreme Court disbars 4, suspends 8 in latest disciplinary filing

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on January 13, 2017, during the January Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Sean Patrick Fleming, Barrington

Mr. Fleming, who was licensed in 2007, was disbarred. He neglected ten different bankruptcy matters, misappropriated over $3,000 in filing fees, made misrepresentations to his clients about the status of their legal matters, and failed to return unearned fees.

Best Practice: Law Firm Structure - Sole Owner vs Having Partners

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of an eight-attorney insurance defense firm in San Antonio, Texas. I have been practicing fifteen years. I am forty-five years old. Many of my peers in firms my size are in partnerships. Is my situation unusual? Should I consider having partners?

Nominations being accepted for ISBA Laureates

Posted on January 13, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

Nominations are being accepted for the 2017 class of Laureates of the ISBA Academy of Illinois Lawyers. ISBA members may submit nominations of colleagues through February 17, 2017.

A class of Laureates is selected by the Academy Board of Regents. Nominees must be ISBA members who personify the values, standards and ideals of the best of the legal profession.

Is it time to get rid of Rule 23 orders?

Posted on January 12, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

With the public domain citation system firmly in place in Illinois, there's no reason for Rule 23(e) nonprecedential, noncitable orders to exist - and plenty of reasons for them to go, argues Mount Vernon lawyer Morris Lane Harvey in the January Illinois Bar Journal.

Rule 23 allows a reviewing court to issue a decision as an unpublished order if the ruling does not make law. The Illinois Supreme Court adopted Rule 23 decades ago as part of a move to reduce the number of appellate opinions when shelves were groaning under the many volumes of print reporters. But now that the official opinions appear on the supreme court's website, not in print - and Rule 23 orders are archived and publicly available there as well - the principal rationale for allowing unpublished orders has vanished, Harvey argues. 

And a look at supreme court stats reveals that many Rule 23 orders are hardly routine dispositions, he writes. "According to statistics published in Kirk Jenkins' Illinois Supreme Court Review blog in March 2015, 42.31 percent of the cases reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court in the year 2014 were Rule 23(b) orders," he says. "If a central rationale for limiting Rule 23(b) is to 'curtail the publication of unnecessary opinions,' why have so many of them found their way onto the supreme court's docket?" Read Harvey's IBJ article to find out more.