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President Holderman attends Indian American Bar Association Installation Ceremony

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman attended the Indian American Bar Association Installation Ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 23. On hand for the installation were (from left) President Holderman, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride, new president of the Indian American Bar Association Tejas Shah, a member of the ISBA New Lawyer Task Force, Aurora N. Abella-Austriaco and speaker 1st District Appellate Justice Jesse Reyes.

Best Practice: Partner compensation - how to share profits with separate silos

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. We are a 9-attorney firm in Orlando, Florida. We have three equity partners and six associates. Currently partners are compensated in accordance with their ownership interest percentages which are 35%, 35%, and 30% respectively for the newest partner. There is growing discontent with this arrangement. We have already evaluated several alternative approaches to compensation and do not believe that they would work for us. Two of the partners share common goals for the firm, have compatible practices and clients, and use almost all of the associate attorney's time and other firm resources. The other partner has a transactional practice (the other two of us are litigators) and operates more as a lone ranger and a separate silo. We are considering creating two profit pies for each of these two silos. I would appreciate your thoughts concerning such an approach.

Appellate filing fees to double

Posted on January 28, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court issued amended Rule 313 on Monday, doubling filing fees in appellate cases. The fee for appellants and petitioners will be $50 and the fee for all other parties will be $30. The rule change takes effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Read the full text at Rule 313.

CLE: Crowd Funding 101 – Live Webcast!

Posted on January 27, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Crowd funding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Join us from the comfort of your home or office for this one-hour live webcast on Thursday, February 13th that examines the various aspects of crowd funding, including the practical and strategic considerations for raising money through crowd funding while maintaining valuable intellectual property rights. Business lawyers, technology attorneys, securities practitioners, and intellectual property counsel – with basic to intermediate practice experience – who attend this online seminar will: learn about the SEC’s recently proposed rules for crowd funding; understand how to identify when SEC and state security laws apply; know who can invest and the limitations on investments; know how to comply with the proposed rules; be able to identify potential pitfalls, including risks to intellectual property rights; and much more!

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Intellectual Property Section and qualifies for 1.0 hour MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Quick takes on Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on January 25, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil case Gillespie Community Unit School District No. 7 v. Wight & Co. and the criminal cases People v. Elliott, People v. Hommerson and People v. McChriston.


Gillespie Community Unit School District No. 7 v. Wight & Co.

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

The Illinois Supreme Court applied a five-year statute of limitations to bar a school district’s lawsuit alleging that an architect’s misrepresentations resulted in the district’s decision to build an elementary school that was condemned less than seven years after it was built. A history of coal mining activity in the Benld/Gillespie area of the state prompted the plaintiff, Gillespie Community Unit School District No. 7, to contract with  defendant, Wight & Company, to perform, among other architectural services, a “site mine investigation” before determining to go forward with the project. Based on the analysis provided regarding the risk of mine “subsidence,” that is, collapse, the school district went ahead at the site selected. Unfortunately, in March, 2009, a coal mine subsided beneath the new building, which was severely damaged.

Sen. Kirk announces formation of non-partisan, statewide judicial search committee

Posted on January 24, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Panel of 16 Lawyers and Former Judges to Recommend Candidates

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today announced formation of a statewide, non-partisan Judicial Search Committee. The Committee will recommend a nominee for the vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which was created when Judge James F. Holderman became a senior judge at the end of last year.

"I am confident that these 16 panelists will conduct a productive, non-partisan and satisfactory review of the applicants as they work to fill the judicial vacancy for the Northern District of Illinois," Senator Kirk said. "With their combined experience and knowledge, I am certain that we will submit the strongest applicant possible for review by the President and the U.S. Senate."

ISBA network to be down evening of Friday, Jan. 24 - here's how to access Fastcase

Posted on January 23, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

All ISBA systems will be down for equipment upgrades beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 24, until about 8 p.m. that night. During this downtime the ISBA website and email lists will not be available. You will also not be able to log into Fastcase or FastCLE. If you will need to access Fastcase during this time, please follow the instructions below.

Practice-launching tips for solos and small firms

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

Time to strike out on your own? Veteran practitioners help you get off to a good start - and avoid common missteps - with tips on marketing, billing, technology, retainers, client management, and more in the February Illinois Bar Journal.

Illinois Supreme Court disbars 2, suspends 17 in latest disciplinary filing

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on January 17, 2014, during the January Term of Court (unless noted). Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Lonnie L. Lutz, Charleston

Mr. Lutz, who was licensed to practice in 1977, was disbarred on consent. He committed a criminal act, battery, when he inappropriately touched three different female clients when he was serving as their assigned public defender.

  • Gary Evan Peel, Glen Carbon

Mr. Peel, who was licensed in 1968, was disbarred after a federal conviction for bankruptcy fraud and possession of child pornography. He was suspended on an interim basis on January 11, 2008.


  • Jeremy Scott Brenman, Merrillville, Ind.

Mr. Brenman, who was licensed in 1997, was suspended for three years and until further order of the Court. He committed the criminal acts of domestic battery, driving under the influence, failing to stop at an accident scene, unlawful possession of firearms, harassment, intimidation, criminal trespass, invasion of privacy and battery. Further, he failed to notify the ARDC of criminal convictions in California and Indiana and then failed to cooperate with the ARDC investigation into his misconduct.

CLE: Advanced Workers’ Compensation – 2014

Posted on January 21, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Get the updates you need to practice with confidence with this full-day seminar that examines a broad spectrum of advanced workers’ compensation issues! Join us in Chicago OR Fairview Heights on Monday, Feb. 17for a discussion on the pitfalls to avoid throughout the Appellate process, how the Commission uses impairment ratings, and the ins-and-outs of a Section 12 examination, as well as a look at the updates to current case law. Labor/employment attorneys and workers’ compensation practitioners with advanced levels of practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand: the deadlines for a proceeding before the Arbitrator and Commission; how to apply the new AMA guidelines; how to avoid dismissal by the Appellate Court for failing to perfect your appeal; interlocutory orders from the Commission and Circuit Court; how a physician performs an impairment rating examination and how the impairment rating affects the permanency awards at the Commission; the various ethical issues workers’ compensation attorneys may face; and much more!

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Workers’ Compensation Section and qualifies for 5.75 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.