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Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, June 15

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Leading appellate attorneys review the Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down on Thursday, June 15. The cases are People v. Alexander and People v. Nelson

People v. Alexander

By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In 2011, the Occupy Chicago movement demonstrated in Chicago’s financial district. About three weeks into the protest, the demonstrators were directed to an area known as Congress Plaza in Grant Park, but were then told they would have to leave at 11:00 p.m., pursuant to an ordinance that closes the park overnight, so that park employees could clean and maintain the park, and for safety concerns. Protesters who remained in the park at 1:00 a.m. were arrested for refusing to leave the park.

The circuit court dismissed the charges, finding that the ordinance was unconstitutional on its face and as applied to the defendants, in part because the Chicago Police Department occasionally permitted after-hours assemblage, including President Obama’s election night rally in 2008.

The appellate court, First District, reversed, holding that the ordinance did not violate the defendants’ right to assemble under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Illinois Supreme Court entered a supervisory order, which directed the appellate court to consider whether the Park District Ordinance violated the Illinois Constitution. The appellate court again reversed the circuit court’s judgment.

Congratulations to the Winners of the IllinoisLawyerFinder Giveaway

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Congratulations to our Member Appreciation Month IllinoisLawyerFinder Giveaway Contest winners! Chelsea Hubbard is the grand prize winner of the iPad Pro 12.9". Alan Klein, Judy Steele, and Cheryl Rayner were also randomly chosen as runner-up winners, each taking home a $100 Visa Gift Card. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Judge Russell Hartigan to Be Installed as 141st President of Illinois State Bar Association

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Hon. Russell HartiganHon. Russell W. Hartigan, of Western Springs, arbitrator, lawyer, and retired Cook County judge, will be installed as president of the Illinois State Bar Association at the organization’s 141st Annual Meeting on Friday, June 16 at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wis.

During his year as president, Judge Hartigan will concentrate on several initiatives. He is dedicated to helping lawyers manage their practices. He will assist solo practitioners and small firms with succession planning through programming aimed at lawyers nearing retirement age to help them think about what’s next for their practices and clients. In addition, he plans to expand the association’s law firm management programming and resources, which includes launching the ISBA’s management and technology web portal, PracticeHQ.

To help the legal profession combat gun violence, Judge Hartigan will establish a blue-ribbon committee to recommend an appropriate role for the ISBA in educating others on and addressing the issue.

A third initiative will focus on new and young lawyers. He plans to address law student debt and practice-oriented training in law school by working with the ISBA Council of Illinois Law School Deans. He is also committed to recruiting young attorneys to ISBA membership.

Tell Your Story to Potential Clients Using IllinoisLawyerFinder

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Sara Anderson

If you haven't yet updated your FREE IllinoisLawyerFinder profile, you're missing out on an opportunity to connect with potential clients. Let them know your narrative and why you should handle their legal matter. 

  • Customize your bio and work history
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  • Add a business portrait
  • Select your practice areas
  • Unhide your contact information
  • Add awards and education
  • Include videos and articles
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Get started here

Immigration-Related UPL Is on the Rise, Attorneys Report

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Chicago area immigration attorneys have reportedly seen an uptick in both demand for their services and immigration scams ( Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued a press release warning immigrant communities about potential fraud ( Her office recently sued southwest suburb-based Norma Bonilla, who is accused of immigration fraud ( Bonilla has allegedly defrauded at least four people who were seeking immigration law services. Bonilla is not an attorney.

How do people fall prey to these scams? In some cases, their misunderstanding based on the legal conventions of their native cultures may lead them to fall victim to the unauthorized practice of law.

In some countries, for example, notaries ("notarios") are authorized to provide some basic legal services, while in the U.S. they are merely authorized to witness signatures. As such, it is understandable that some immigrants may assume that a notary can assist them with legal services, including immigration services. According to an FAQ published by the ISBA Task Force on Unauthorized Practice of Law, in addition to licensed attorneys, not-for-profit entities registered with the Board of Immigration Appeals can provide immigration law services (

Find out more in the June Illinois Bar Journal.

Illinois Supreme Court Clerk's Office to Make E-Filing Switch on June 15

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court Clerk's Office will join the eFileIL community on Thursday, June 15. Filers for the state's highest court will need to access the eFileIL filing platform at and become a registered user through one of the authorized service providers. Supreme Court filers will no longer be able to use the i2File platform as of 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14.

On January 22, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court entered Order M.R. 18368 announcing mandatory e-filing for civil cases in the Illinois Supreme, Appellate and Circuit Courts. Consistent with the amendment to this order, entered on May 30, 2017, permissive e-filing may continue in people cases on the Supreme Court's general docket and all cases on the Court's miscellaneous record ("MR") docket. The Supreme Court Order requires e-filing through a single, centralized electronic filing manager (EFM), which will be integrated with each court's case management system. The supreme and appellate courts have a July 1, 2017, deadline to join eFileIL. The Second Appellate District became the first reviewing court to join on May 18.

The Supreme Court Clerk's Office has been e-filing since 2012 on a pilot basis that was expanded to all cases in 2013. In 2016, approximately 48 percent of pleadings filed on the Court's general docket were e-filed and approximately 75 percent of the pleadings on the MR dockets were e-filed.