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2 Minutes with the President: Paula H. Holderman interviews ISBA Mutual Chair John O'Brien

Posted on March 27, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman interviews ISBA Past President and current Chair of ISBA Mutual John G. O'Brien about the company's history and activities to celebrate its 25th anniversary year.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of March 27, 2014

Posted on March 27, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Parenting time (House Bill 5425), Parenting time (House Bill 1452), Constitutional amendment and victims’ rights. (HJRCA 1), Workers’ Compensation Act (Senate Bill 3287) and Sale of distressed condominium units (Senate Bill 2664). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Ethics Question of the Week: Do I have an obligation to report lawyer misconduct when acting as a mediator?

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q. While acting as a mediator, I know that a lawyer appearing before me has committed acts of misrepresentation. Do I have to report that misconduct?

A. Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 8.3(a) states that “(a) lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of Rule 8.4(b) or Rule 8.4(c) shall inform the appropriate professional authority.”  Rule 8.4(c) makes engaging in misrepresentation a violation of the Rules. ISBA Advisory Opinion 11-01 further explores this issue and concludes that nothing about a mediator’s role, and particularly the absence of any attorney-client privilege between the mediator and any party, extinguishes a reporting obligation.

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.

DisclaimerThese questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline.  The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed.  The information provided isn’t legal advice.  Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.    

Best Practice: At what point does associate and non-equity partner compensation max out?

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a 16 attorney insurance defense law firm in Kansas City. We have two equity partners, four non-equity partners, and 10 associates. Only the two equity partners bring in client business. Since our clients are insurance companies, most of our work is new business from existing clients. Unlike other firms doing insurance defense work our billing rates are low and we have to put in a lot of billable hours and maintain a high ratio of associates and non-equity partners to equity partners.

In the past our associates stayed for a while and left after several years. By the time they reached the higher compensation levels they left and we replaced them with lower cost associates. In the last few years - with the economy and the oversupply of lawyers - they are staying much longer. We are concerned about our reducing profit margins and at what point an associate or non-equity partner's compensation is "maxed out." We would appreciate your thoughts.

ISBA Intellectual Property Law Section to host "Become a Professional Writer: Industry Tips & Tricks"

Posted on March 25, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The ISBA Intellectual Property Law Section will host "Become a Professional Writer: Industry Tips & Tricks," a networking event on April 23, 2014 at the ISBA Chicago Office, 20 S. Clark, Ste. 900. The event begins with registration and sign in from noon-12:15 and luncheon and panel from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Cost is $10 for ISBA members/$20 for non-members. Register at

Illinois Supreme Court to hold public hearing on proposals to amend rules on discovery, juror questions and interlocutory appeals

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will seek comment at a public hearing Friday, April 4 in Chicago on a proposed change to address the scope of electronically stored information, limitations on its use, production, and how such information is managed.

Proposal 14-01 is presented in the form of amendments to Supreme Court Rules 201, 204, 214, 216, 218 and 219. A copy of this and other proposals are available on the Supreme Court website at:

Feeney appointed circuit judge of Woodford County

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Hon. Charles M. Feeney IIIThe Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday the appointment of Associate Judge Charles M. Feeney III of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit as a resident circuit judge of Woodford County.

Judge Feeney was appointed to fill the resident Circuit Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John B. Huschen. The appointment is effective April 1, 2014 and will expire December 5, 2016 when the position will be filled by the 2016 General Election.

CLE: Social Media and Litigation

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Learn how to admit social media into evidence with this half-day seminar! The social media landscape is dynamic and complex – and is often accompanied by privacy concerns and ethical issues. Join us in Chicago or via live webcast on Friday, April 4th for the opportunity to update your knowledge on social media and the law! Attorneys with all levels of practice experience attending this seminar will gain a better understanding of: What social media is and how to use it; how social media differs from other forms of communication; privacy and security settings; how to use social media as a news outlet; how to preserve social media evidence; the ethical issues that emerge with the use of social media; and how to argue for (or against!) allowing social media into evidence during litigation.

The program is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Technology and qualifies for 4.0 hours MCLE credit, including 3.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Illinois Supreme Court issues operational review of pretrial services in Cook County

Posted on March 22, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have given approval to a comprehensive analysis of the Cook County pretrial services program, statutorily established to provide guidance to judges setting bond for felony and misdemeanor defendants.

The report identifies systemic shortcomings in areas of echnology, automation, leadership, and management. It said the pretrial services operation also lacks the authenticity of verified reports on defendants. As a result, the program has fallen into disuse by judges, prosecutors, public defenders and the sheriff's office in setting bond or determining eligibility for electronic monitoring devices.