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Substitute service of process - like father, like son?

Posted on June 19, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

Is substitute service of process valid if it's on the defendant's father, in the defendant's driveway? You can make a good argument that the answer is "yes." Find out more in the June Illinois Bar Journal.

Quick takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court civil opinions

Posted on June 19, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases In re the Estate of Powell, In re N.C., a Minor, and In re Marrigate of Turk.

In re the Estate of Powell

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan, Ottawa

In re Estate of Powell, 2014 IL 115997, holds that an attorney who brings a wrongful death action owes a legal duty to the decedent’s beneficiaries at the distribution of funds phase of that action.  The court rejected the contentions of the defendant attorneys in this legal malpractice case that an attorney engaged to prosecute a wrongful death action only owes a duty to the personal representative of the estate and not to the beneficiaries of the action.  The court also rejected a defense contention that the potential, unpled here, of a conflict among beneficiaries should negate the imposition of a duty to the beneficiaries.  The court stated it was making no determination as to the scope of duty when a conflict among the beneficiaries is specifically alleged.

Cook County justice system leaders to tour DC area courts

Posted on June 19, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

A task force of principal stakeholders summoned by the Illinois Supreme Court will be visiting Washington D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland next week to study firsthand pretrial release and detention procedures in those courts as a way to enhance the administration of justice in Cook County and Illinois. The site visit is being coordinated with the assistance of the Washington-based Pretrial Justice Institute.

Those scheduled to make the trip are Cook County State’s Atty. Anita Alvarez; Clerk Dorothy Brown of the Cook County Circuit Court; Cook County Public Defender A.C. Cunningham; Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans of Cook County Circuit Court; President Toni Preckwinkle of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County; Ret. Chief Justice Ben K. Miller of the Illinois Supreme Court; Ret. U.S. District Court Judge David Coar; and Director Michael Tardy of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.

Those principals, as well as Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County, were assembled by the Supreme Court last November for a continuing discussion on the systemic management of criminal pretrial matters, focusing on strategies to improve the effective administration of justice in Cook County and throughout Illinois.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of June 19, 2014

Posted on June 19, 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 Strict foreclosure of an omitted subordinate interest (Senate Bill 2730), Ticket quotas banned (Public Act 98-650), Expungement of juvenile records (Public Act 98-637), Victims’ rights (HJRCA 1), Procedures in lineup identifications (House Bill 802), Search warrants sought electronically (House Bill 4594), Unfitness issues in criminal cases (Senate Bill 2801) and Traffic offenses and appearance (Senate Bill 2583). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Ethics Question of the Week: Are criminal defense attorneys required to give clients copies of discovery?

Posted on June 18, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q.  As a criminal defense attorney, do I have to give my client copies of the discovery?

A. Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4 imposes an ethical obligation on an attorney to maintain reasonable communication between an attorney and a client to keep the client informed and able to participate in representation. However, in People v. Davidson, 292 Ill. App. 3d 981, 686 N.E.2d 1231 (4th Dist. 1997) the Court determined that the defendant has no Constitutional right to read discovery. For further discussion, see ISBA Professional Opinion 13-10

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.

Richard D. Felice installed as 138th ISBA President

Posted on June 18, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Richard D. FeliceRichard D. Felice, a lawyer in private practice in Wheaton, was installed as president of the Illinois State Bar Association at the organization’s 138th Annual Meeting on Friday, June 20 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis. View photo galleries from the Annual Reception and the Annual Installation Dinner.

During his year as president, Felice will place special emphasis on three projects. The first is the formation of a Task Force on the Impact of Law School Debt on the Future of the Profession to address the tremendous challenges facing new lawyers, including staggering law school debt and a stifling job market. The task force “will study in depth the concept of practice-ready new lawyers and consider constructive changes to law school curricula,” he said.  Second district appellate Justice Ann Jorgensen will chair the committee.

The second initiative is the formation of a Solo and Small Firm Practice Institute Series, offering educational programs to solo and small firm practitioners in five settings throughout the state. Working with other stakeholders in the practice of law, the institute will provide a variety of programming to help lawyers enhance their practices.

ISBA Awards to be presented at 138th Annual Meeting

Posted on June 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association will present several awards recognizing individuals for their commitment and service to the profession and their communities at an Awards Luncheon on Friday, June 20, at the organization’s 138th Annual Meeting at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis. Award recipients are: