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Quick Takes for Your Practice: What the ARDC Wants You to Know About Succession Planning

Posted on November 10, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Ethics education counsel at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Mary Andreoni discusses what attorneys need to know about succession planning.

Court rejects right-of-publicity claim against Avvo

Posted on November 9, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

A federal district court found that Avvo did not run afoul of the Illinois Right of Publicity Act by creating attorney profile pages without plaintiffs' consent and using them to sell advertising to competing attorneys.

Plaintiff John Vrdolyak relied heavily on the seventh circuit's opinion in Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 743 F.3d 509, 515 (7th Cir. 2014), which set forth a multi-prong test to help determine whether speech is commercial or noncommercial. Vrdolyak argued that, like the advertisement in Jordan, Avvo's advertising is inextricably linked to its attorney profiles, meaning the entire directory is commercial speech and thus protected at a lower level under the First Amendment than noncommercial speech.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois court disagreed. It found that because not every profile contains an advertisement, and because none of the advertisements used the plaintiff's name, "the court views what defendant does as more akin to the yellow pages directory, which receives First Amendment protection, than the advertisement that Jewel placed in Jordan."

Best Practice: Law Firm Retirement - Planning Retirement

Posted on November 9, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a six-attorney firm in downtown Chicago. I am sixty four and starting to think about retirement and would appreciate your thoughts on how where to start.

1,374 new attorneys admitted to practice in Illinois

Posted on November 8, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court administered the attorney’s oath to 1,374 new attorneys on Thursday, November 10, at five separate locations across the state.

The largest group, 1,121, was admitted in the First Judicial District during two ceremonies at Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The ceremonies were at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. 

All of the candidates sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,300.

CLE: Don’t miss these two upcoming live webcasts on November 30, 2016!

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Environmental Law for the General Practitioner: Fundamentals on Handling Hazardous Waste at Your Client's Business

Join us for Part Three of the Environmental Law for the General Practitioner Series, which will be of particular interest to attorneys representing companies disposing of waste.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | 1.0 hour MCLE credit

Illinois Lawyer Finder makes over 800 referrals in October

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Douglas Knapp

The Illinois State Bar Association's Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of October 2016, there were 867 referrals. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis announces vacancy in Eleventh Subcircuit of Cook County

Posted on November 4, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has begun an application process for a vacancy in the Eleventh Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of the Hon. Kathleen Kennedy, effective Nov. 30, 2016.

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled on an interim basis by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Theis will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court after applicants for the position undergo a screening and evaluation process.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Reforms and initiatives targeted at stopping wrongful convictions

Posted on November 3, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg from the Illinois Innocence Project discusses current reforms and initiatives targeted at stopping wrongful convictions.

You be the judge: Ratings for Illinois judicial candidates

Posted on November 3, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

View the Illinois State Bar Association's judicial ratings by county for Tuesday's election.

Methods ISBA uses to rate candidates

For most judicial offices, ISBA will provide either an evaluation or a poll rating; in the case of Supreme and Appellate court candidates outside of Cook County, ISBA will provide both an evaluation rating and poll results. NOTE: Evaluation ratings, which are the result of an in-depth review of candidates, are the opinion of the Illinois State Bar Association; the Judicial Advisory Poll ratings do not reflect the opinion of ISBA, but rather the opinion of those attorneys who participated in the poll.

Illinois Appellate Court overturns forfeiture on Eighth Amendment grounds

Posted on November 2, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

 A recent ruling from the Illinois fifth appellate district has taken what is apparently a first-time approach to civil forfeiture in Illinois by invalidating a seizure based on the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause.

In People v. 2010 Harley-Davidson, 2016 IL App (5th) 150035, the fifth district held that the civil forfeiture of a $35,000 Harley-Davidson trike was a violation of the Eighth Amendment. The vehicle's owner, Petra Henderson, was a passenger when her husband, Mark, was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI while driving the vehicle.

Petra raised two issues on appeal: 1) whether she had consented to the use of the motorcycle and 2) whether the forfeiture violated the excessive fines clause. If an individual can demonstrate that a vehicle was used without the knowledge and consent of the owner, then it may not be subject to forfeiture.

In this case, the fifth district found that the weight of the evidence demonstrated that Petra had consented to Mark driving the vehicle. Most observers, however, find the Eight Amendment analysis to be the most compelling aspect of the opinion.

DuPage County attorney Donald J. Ramsell says that the fifth district's ruling is a "breakthrough case" and, to his knowledge, the first in Illinois to find a forfeiture excessive under the Eighth Amendment's excessive fine clause. Ramsell says that there is no "innocent owner defense" to a forfeiture action - even the owner of a stolen car may risk forfeiture if that car is used to commit a crime.