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Best Practice Tips: Attorney and Staff Performance Compensation

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the firm administrator for a 22-attorney firm — 12 partners and 10 associates — in downtown Chicago. I have been with the firm for seven years. The firm pays associates and staff a base salary plus a year-end discretionary bonus, which is the same for all staff and associate attorneys. The firm does not do performance reviews and honestly, I believe the raises are simply an annual cost of living adjustment and the year-end bonuses a gift. Many of our associates and staff have been here for many years and salaries are getting out of control. We would welcome your thoughts.

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Three, Suspends Five, Censures Two in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on Jan. 12, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Mary Katherine Burgess, Oak Brook

Ms. Burgess, who was licensed in 1993, was disbarred on consent. She misappropriated $32,849.34 in settlement funds that she was holding in her trust account pending distribution to the heirs of an estate. She also falsely advised the estate's prior attorney that she continued to hold the funds in her account.

  • Rajesh Kanuru, Chicago

Mr. Kanuru, who was licensed in 2005, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated at least $700,000 belonging to multiple clients. Mr. Kanuru also falsely informed an attorney with whom he shared office space that he had paid her office rent on her behalf, and he accepted "reimbursement" from her in the amount of $5,400. In reality, he never paid her rent.

ISBA-IBF to Host Professional Achievement Reception Honoring Jeanne Heaton & Robert Craghead

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Join the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation for the Professional Achievement Reception honoring Jeanne B. Heaton, ISBA director of continuing legal education, and Robert E. Craghead, ISBA executive director, in recognition of their professional achievements.

Presented by the Illinois State Bar Association
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
ISBA Mutual Meeting Space
20 S. Clark St., 8th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603

Updated Illinois Rules of Evidence Package Now Available

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The fully updated Illinois Rules of Evidence: A Color-Coded Guide and pocket-sized Illinois Rules of Evidence are now available for purchase. These reference guides reflect all rule changes through Jan. 1, 2018. The guide, authored by former appellate justice Gino L. DiVito, includes a color-coded reference guide, insightful commentary, and side-by-side comparison of the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Illinois Rules of Evidence.

Concerted Activity in the Age of Social Media and Online Systems: Employee Rights, Employer Pitfalls, Remedies, and Penalties [LIVE WEBCAST]

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The term working conditions is very broad, and the language with or without a union means that it applies to any workplace. As a result, employees have the right to work in concert with other employees regarding employment issues — and any employer who interferes with this right is violating the National Labor Relations Act. In the age of social media and online application, issues relating to concerted activity are multiplied. Don’t miss this intermediate to advanced level online program on January 30, 2018 that discusses the various ways employees can act in concert in the social media age, how this benefits the employees, and the pitfalls it creates for employers.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Due Diligence Before Writing Real Estate Attorney Reviews

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Erica Minchella, real estate attorney at Minchella & Associates, talks about the due diligence attorneys should be doing before writing attorney and inspection review letters in residential and commercial real estate transactions. 

Indecent Exposure

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson

When people think about the jobs of public defenders, they may think about the immense workloads that some PDs take on. They may think about the risks of defending a dangerous individual - and losing.

One workplace hazard that most of us probably don't realize is that some inmates in Cook County Jail have been exposing themselves to, and sometimes masturbating in front of, female public defenders and correctional officers. The problem has led to six female public defenders filing an equal protection lawsuit late last year in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Female correctional officers filed a similar lawsuit.

Best Practice Tips: Increasing Case Volume in a Personal Injury Law Firm

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a two-partner personal injury firm in Tampa, Florida. We do not have any associate attorneys. Our firm only handles personal injury work. We have been in practice for 35 years and have been very successful over the years. However, the last few years have been terrible. Adjusters are not settling cases and the days of three-times specials is over. Our case volume is down, the quality of cases that we have in our inventory is far below what we had in previous years, and our revenues are down substantially. Cash flow is awful. We have had to live off of our credit line for the past year. Our main source of business over the years has been referrals from past clients and other lawyers, yellow pages, and our very basic website. We would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions that you may have.

Rock Out for Justice on March 8

Posted on January 9, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 8, to join the Illinois Bar Foundation at the hottest show around. Lawyer-led bands will be rocking out for justice at Illinois Lawyers Rock, a fundraiser event that raises money to ensure access to justice to support juvenile justice initiatives through the Foundation's M. Denny Hassakis Fund. Doors at Lincoln Hall in Chicago open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6:00 p.m.

Visit the Illinois Bar Foundation website for tickets and sponsorship opportunities. 

ISBA Seeks Managing Editor

Posted on January 9, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) seeks a motivated professional to manage the production of the Illinois Bar Journal, the Association’s flagship publication. The Managing Editor will also oversee the production of ISBA section newsletters, the IBJ advertising program, and the Illinois Courts Bulletin. The Managing Editor position will preferably be based in the Springfield, Illinois headquarters of the ISBA, but candidates desiring to work in the ISBA’s Chicago Office are also invited to apply.