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Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Hosts “Sound of Summer” Showcase at House of Blues Chicago

Posted on June 4, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Entertainment and Media Law Practice will host its fourth annual client music showcase on June 21 at the House of Blues Chicago. 

Sound of Summer will feature performances by four client artists, including: 

  • Trapo: This singer and rapper developed a distinct songwriting voice to go with a sonic palette that's instantly and identifiably his. Trapo performs with a mix of rawness and ache, often lending a growl to his delivery that can sound tender, desperate, or angry.
  • Carly and Martina: This pop duo began their music career at 13. The now 16-year-old twins from Chicago carry strong vocals, bold harmonies and sweet versatility to their sound. 
  • Todd Kessler: The rising folk-rock star is the consummate storyteller, with a remarkable ability to take listeners on a winding, wonderful, and introspective journey through the depths of the human experience. 
  • Hiber: Chicago's own Hiber is an emerging pop-rock band, nodding to influences in electronic music, indie rock, and R&B. The group's name plays off the inevitable hibernation of Windy City-dwellers every winter. 

CLE: The Ethics of Technology

Posted on June 1, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Join us in Fontana, Wis., on June 15 during ISBA’s Annual Meeting as we examine information security, the ethics of technology, and how to communicate with clients about their private data. The Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct now recognize that part of the lawyer’s duty to maintain competence includes keeping abreast of the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. This program explores this ethics requirement and provides an overview of what you need to do in order to comply. All attorneys – regardless of practice experience or practice area – who attend this program will better understand: the necessary processes and procedures to avoid a data breach; computer security, cloud technology, and other major risks associated with the use of technology in the practice of law; the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and ISBA’s Professional Conduct Advisory Opinions regarding electronic information and security; and how to interpret the standard of “reasonability” under these rules and opinions.

U.S. Attorney's Office Seeks Assistant U.S. Attorney

Posted on June 1, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The U.S. Attorney's Office Central District of Illinois is accepting applications for an assistant United States attorney opening in its Criminal Division.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least three years post-J.D. legal experience. U.S. citizenship is required.

Preferred qualifications: At least five years post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience, strong advocacy skills, academic credentials, superior legal research and writing skills, quick analytical ability to accurately and precisely articulate critical case-related issues, criminal prosecutorial courtroom experience, good interpersonal skills, the ability to work in a supportive and professional team environment with client agencies, support staff, and other attorneys, and a demonstrated instances of sound legal and ethical judgment.

PILI Announces 2018 Class of Law Student Interns and Graduate Fellows

Posted on May 31, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) has announced the 2018 class of summer interns and fellows. This year, 49 summer law student interns and 76 graduate fellows will provide 42,400 hours of legal services at any of PILI’s 57 participating agencies. 

PILI’s Law Student Internship Program connects law students from across the country with public interest law agencies in Illinois and pays them for their work. Summer 2018 PILI interns come from 19 law schools and include rising 2Ls and 3Ls. They will each provide 400 hours of legal services at 28 legal service agencies, for a total of 19,600 hours served. See a full list of the 2018 law student interns. 

Congratulations to the Winner of the ISBA's 2018 Social Media Contest

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Congratulations to Fiona McEntee for winning an Amazon gift card in the ISBA's 2018 Member Appreciation Month Social Media Contest! 

As part of Member Appreciation Month, we asked members to post photographs of something that inspired them to become attorneys or something that inspired them to practice law each day on their Instagram accounts. 

Depositions Under Illinois Law: The Federal Example

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Yes, you can depose a corporation. While Illinois courts have said little about obtaining deposition testimony from representatives of a corporation, several federal decisions are instructive. Corporations can designate a person to speak as the corporation — and not only regarding facts. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b) also extends testifying to subjective beliefs and opinions. 

Corporate designees may be held to a high standard when speaking on behalf of a corporation. Answers such as “I don’t know” may not only bind the corporation to the deponent’s ignorance but may also result in sanctions for failing to produce a witness with responsive knowledge. This places a burden on corporations to ensure individuals speaking on their behalf are adequately prepared. 

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Ethically and Profitably Referring Personal Injury Cases

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Attorney Daniel Breen discusses ethically and profitably referring personal injury cases, including best practices as well as potential risks and pitfalls.

CLE: Post-Conviction Remedies, Part 2 (Live Webcast)

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Do you represent clients seeking post-appellate relief? Do your clients complain about a lack of relief after conviction? Are you looking for alternative outcomes in correctional relief of sentences? Then don’t miss this continued intermediate online discussion on June 22, 2018, regarding post-conviction remedies for Illinois prisoners that covers direct appeals, motions for reduction of sentences, sentencing credits, parole (mandatory supervised release), and detainers, as well as federal action.

Best Practice Tips: Outsourcing Appellate Work

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. We have a six-attorney insurance defense firm in Kansas City. For the last few years, our associate attorney costs have gotten out of control and in some cases, revenues generated by particular attorneys are not even close to where they should be considering their costs. We have one associate attorney who we pay a base salary who only does appellate brief work. He does not like litigation and does a poor job doing our “bread-and-butter” litigation work. We simply don’t have enough appeals to keep him busy. We are paying him a base salary of $100,000 a year. Last year his working attorney fees collected were $110,000. I welcome your thoughts.

Sleuthing the ‘Net

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Investigative avenues have opened up considerably in the past quarter-century thanks to the internet and, more recently, social media. 

Half of all divorce cases use evidence obtained from social media, according to a study conducted three years ago by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. The internet and social media platforms contain a treasure trove of invaluable personal information that investigators and attorneys can use to disqualify jurors, confirm or question alibis, validate or disprove workers’ compensation claims, and generally smoke out the truth.

But getting a hold of this information depends not only on your knowledge of free and paid online resources, but also the creativity and thoroughness of your search strategies.