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Volunteer for the 2018 High School Mock Trial Invitational

Posted on January 24, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Volunteers are needed for the 2018 ISBA High School Mock Trial Invitational, which is co-administered by the ISBA and the Illinois Trial Team of the University of Illinois. It will be held at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign on March 24-25.


This program provides an opportunity for students to learn what it is like to prepare and present a legal case before the Illinois Courts. Participating students gain a better understanding of the justice system and improve their knowledge, skills, and ability to articulate in a reasoned, thoughtful manner.

CLE: 2018 Federal Tax Conference

Posted on January 23, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Don’t miss ISBA’s annual Federal Tax Conference in Chicago or via live webcast on February 2, 2018, which features a wealth of information and updates for tax lawyers, business law attorneys, and trusts and estates practitioners. Attorneys with basic practice experience who attend this conference will obtain a better understanding of: the tax issues to be aware of for non-profit organizations and tax exempt entities; the statutory and regulatory changes to individual tax laws; the ethical issues to consider when representing clients during an IRS inquiry; how a plan structure within an estate can impact income and estate taxation; how to spot potential tax protesters prior to accepting them as clients (and the hazards you may face if you are retained by this type of client); changes to the partnership audit regulations; corporate and partnership tax issues; and much more!

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Jan. 19

Posted on January 22, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down four opinions on Friday, Jan. 19, including the highly-anticipated Bogenberger v. Pi Kappa Alpha Corp., in which the court considered who can be held liable for a fraternity pledge's alcohol-related death during an initiation ritual. The court also addressed the deadline to timely file a motion to quash service in a residential mortgage foreclosure action in Bank of New York Mellon v. Laskowski, reversed and remanded the appellate court's decision to overturn a defendant's first degree murder conviction in People v. Carey, and determined whether the one-act, one-crime rule prohibits multiple convictions arising out of the defendant's single act of gun possession in People v. Coats. Leading appellate attorneys review these cases below.

Bogenberger v. Pi Kappa Alpha Corporation, Inc.

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC
Here the Illinois Supreme Court addressed the civil liability ramifications of excessive alcohol consumption at a fraternity pledging event. The court addressed whether the national organizations of a fraternity, a local chapter of the fraternity, its officers, pledge board members and active members, along with non-member sorority women, owed a legal duty to a prospective pledge who died from alcohol poisoning during a pledge event. The court ruled that all but the national entities owed a duty on the allegations of the complaint.  

Fully Automated Estate Planning Forms Now Available

Posted on January 22, 2018 by Sara Anderson

ISBA has added fully-automated estate plan drafting system to IllinoisBarDocs, the document assembly system  built around a library of Illinois-specific legal forms. You can create will- or trust-based plans or, if you are unsure what is best for your client, run the complete system to be guided through questions that result in a custom plan.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: The Two Most Important Evidence Rules When Litigating Criminal Cases

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Attorney Brittany B. Kimble discusses the rules of evidence that could make the difference between winning and losing your case.

An Ethics Roadmap for Referrals

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson

As the January Illinois Bar Journal cover story makes clear, good referrals serve the interests of lawyers and clients alike. In her column in the January issue, ISBA assistant counsel Bailey Felts enumerates the key ethics rules you'll need to consult before heading down the referral road.

Illinois Supreme Court Responds to E-Filing Extension Requests from DeKalb, DuPage, Madison, and McHenry Counties

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Supreme Court of Illinois has issued four orders in response to mandatory e-filing extension requests from DeKalb, DuPage, Madison, and McHenry counties. DuPage County was granted an additional year to transition to the state's new electronic filing system.

CLE: Environmental Law for the General Practitioner

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Join us from the comfort of your home or office on Feb. 1 for two live webcasts that were developed for general practitioners who do not ordinarily advise clients on issues involving environmental law, but who need an introductory look at these topics.

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.