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Which E-Filing Service Provider Is Right for You?

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Mandatory e-filing goes into effect across Illinois on January 1 (you knew that, right?), and one task that belongs at the top of every law firm's to-do list is choosing from among the "electronic filing service providers" who are the pathways to the e-filing system. No service provider, no e-filing. It is not a DIY project.

The service providers, also known as EFSPs, offer a myriad of features that lawyers will need to compare and contrast in making their decision: prices and payment options, support features like call center hours and web browsers served, and additional services like document conversion, extended document storage, detailed or simpler reporting, and proof of service to other parties.

By mid-September, the vast majority of those in Illinois who had signed up, about 93 percent, had chosen Odyssey eFileIL, a free service provided by Tyler Technologies, the vendor hired by the Illinois courts to implement e-filing statewide.That sign-up pattern is typical of other states in which Tyler Technologies has worked, at least at the outset, says Terry Derrick, senior director of e-solutions for the Texas-based company. He notes that in Texas, where Tyler has provided services for a few years, 79 percent of filers currently use Odyssey.

"The majority of the filing community will start with a free solution to see if that will meet their needs," he says. "If it doesn't…they will venture out and look at value-added services offered by the other EFSPs."

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Equity Partner Succession

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am an equity partner in a 36-attorney firm in Miami. We have seven equity partners, eight non-equity partners, and 21 associates. Our practice is limited to civil litigation defense and our clients are institutional clients consisting of business firms, governmental agencies, and insurance companies. The ages of our equity-partners are: 64 62, 60, 58, 54, 48, and 44. The firm does not have a succession plan for the senior partners and has not discussed the matter. I am not sure what the partnership agreement provides. I am concerned about our future if we don’t start addressing this. I would appreciate your thoughts.

IBF Honors Senator Durbin at Gala

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Sara Anderson

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, past IBF President James Lestikow and current IBF President Perry Browder

The Illinois Bar Foundation hosted its 19th Annual Gala on Friday, October 20 at the Four Seasons in Chicago. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin was honored with the Distinguished Award of Excellence.

Photo credit: Ralph Greenslade

CLE: Anatomy of a Medical Negligence Trial

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Join us for this full-day seminar in Chicago on November 1, 2017 that gives you the information you need to handle your next medical negligence trial from start to finish. Each segment is presented from the perspective of both a plaintiff and defense attorney (giving you a well-rounded look at each topic) and offers you plenty of interactive opportunities to have your questions answered. Health care attorneys, personal injury lawyers, wrongful death practitioners, workers’ compensation attorneys, and those involved in the medical negligence practice who attend this seminar will better understand: how to limit or prevent evidence from being presented by opposing counsel; the importance of choosing the right jurors for your case; how to use the opening statement to make an impression; how direct and cross examinations can both help and hurt your case; the important roles of experts and treating physicians in this type of trial; and the necessity of creating a compelling closing argument. The program closes with an in-depth look at the trial process through the lens of the judiciary.

The program is presented by the ISBA Tort Law Section. It qualifies for 7.0 hours MCLE credit, including 7.0 hours Professional, Civility, or Legal Ethics PMCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Black Friday Preview Sale from Tickets At Work

Posted on October 23, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Save up to 42% on select Lenovo PCs and more with the Black Friday preview sale, going on now. Shop these deals now using the code TXTATWORK (code is case sensitive). 

These offers are provided to you through the Illinois State Bar Association’s Member Marketplace.

Online Guide to E-Filing and IOLTA

Posted on October 23, 2017 by Sara Anderson

To help Illinois lawyers prepare for mandatory e‐filing, the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois has published an online Guide to E‐Filing and IOLTA. Developed in collaboration with the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, the guide provides lawyers with practical information about making electronic payments from client funds held in IOLTA and other client trust accounts.

By order of the Illinois Supreme Court, e‐filing in all Illinois civil cases will become mandatory on January 1, 2018. The e‐filing system, eFileIL, will accept payments for filing fees and other costs only through electronic payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, and e‐checks. The Guide to E‐Filing and IOLTA anticipates questions and ethics considerations some lawyers may have as they adapt their trust accounting
practices to accommodate electronic payments.

E‐filing does not fundamentally change how lawyers should manage client funds held in IOLTA accounts. Electronic payments are permissible under the safekeeping of property rule (Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15), and lawyers’ duties under the rule remain the same. But for some lawyers, these new payment methods may raise questions about how to properly make electronic payments.

The guide seeks to clarify how and when the electronic payment methods are permitted under Rule 1.15, and offers additional tips for lawyers about using these methods in connection with their IOLTA accounts.

The Guide to E‐Filing and IOLTA is published online. Lawyers are urged to consult the guide. If they have questions they are encouraged to contact LTF.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, Oct. 19

Posted on October 19, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Leading appellate attorneys review the Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down on Thursday, October 19. The cases are People v. Reese, In re Destiny P., and Rozsavolgyi v. The City of Aurora.

People v. Reese

By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In People v. Reese, 2017 IL 120011, the Illinois Supreme Court considered several issues, the most prominent of which was whether the offense of aggravated vehicular hijacking requires proof that the defendant took actual physical possession of a vehicle from the driver. In a 6-1 decision, the court held that the “offense encompasses taking actual possession of a vehicle but may also be committed when a defendant exercises control of the vehicle by use of force or threat of force with the victim still present.”

Tickets Now Available for 20th Annual YLD Holiday Party

Posted on October 19, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Mark your calendars for Thursday, December 7, to join us at the 20th annual ISBA Young Lawyers Division Holiday Party at Exchequer Pub in Chicago from 7:00-9:00 p.m.! This event is an opportunity to socialize, enjoy food and refreshments, and meet young lawyers from across the state while supporting a great cause. Proceeds from the holiday party will go to the Illinois Bar Foundation YLD's Children Assistance Fund. 

Initially created to assist with the opening of children's waiting rooms in courthouses across the State of Illinois, the Children's Assistance Fund has since grown, and now provides funding to organizations across Illinois that provide legal assistance to children, maintain children's waiting rooms in courthouses, work to reduce recidivism of juveniles, and/or work to reduce the incidents of domestic violence in families with children.

Tickets are now available online for $30, but may also be purchased at the door for $35. 

Visit the website for more information.

IBF Gala Silent Auction Now Open

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Even if you can't attend this year's Illinois Bar Foundation Gala, you can still support the work of the IBF and this year's honoree, Senator Dick Durbin, by participating in the online silent auction.

This year's packages include tickets to your favorite Chicago sporting events, luxurious hotel stays and getaways, fabulous adventures like exclusive dinner parties, wine and beer tasting events, date night ideas in downtown Chicago and beyond, and so much more.

Visit the IBF website for online bidding instructions, tips, and tricks, and place your bids now. The auction closes at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, October 20. 
 

Privacy and Information Security Section Holds First Meeting

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The newly-created ISBA Privacy and Information Security Section held its first meeting at the Chicago Regional Office on October 17, 2017. The meeting kicked off with President Hon. Russell Hartigan delivering remarks to the section before moving to member introductions, mission statement discussion, and business items.

The 35-member section, initially proposed by Ari Scharg, partner at Edelson PC in Chicago and section chair, and approved by the ISBA Board of Governors earlier this year, was created in recognition that the field of privacy law is evolving at an exponential rate. Its purpose is to serve as a comprehensive resource for lawyers who practice in or are interested in the privacy and information security space to learn about information sharing practices. It will also provide a forum to discuss global developments and emerging technologies that will disrupt current business practices; learn best practices and debate issues; and review, monitor, and propose relevant legislation.

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