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E-filing comes to criminal court

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

The Illinois Supreme Court recently expanded its electronic filing standards to include e-filing in criminal and traffic cases (PDF). Before the amendments, which took effect September 16 but have not yet been implemented by the county courts, electronic filing was only available in civil cases. Ideally, expanding e-filing to criminal matters will increase efficiency in the courts while lowering costs.

Three changes to the electronic filing standards are particularly noteworthy. First, amended paragraph 9(f) provides that documents filed by pro se litigants will be reviewed for acceptance by the court before being rejected by the clerk's office for failure to comply with formatting requirements. Paragraph 9(f) does not specifically limit this requirement to criminal filings, and thus could benefit pro se litigants in civil matters.

Also, multiple traffic (or other) citations can be filed in one transaction under the amended rules. This batch file can be sent directly from the law enforcement agency that issued the citations. Coupled with the provision that exempts partner agencies (state's attorney, public defender, attorney general, and law enforcement) from paying filing or vendor fees, this change could result in significant cost savings. It also allows paper citations not to be filed with the clerk's office.

Profession of Leadership Foundation dinner to benefit Illinois Bar Foundation

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Eighteen extraordinary Illinois judges and lawyers who have practiced law for at least 50 years will be honored by the Profession of Leadership Foundation at a dinner on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel & Conference Center, 701 E. Adams St., in Springfield.

Assembly meeting agenda available online

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Assembly meeting agenda has been posted at www.isba.org/leadership/assembly/minutes. This page is password protected and available only to ISBA members. The Assembly will next meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 during the Joint Midyear Meeting at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.

Best Practice: Reducing family law writeoffs

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner in a eight attorney firm in Nashville, Tennessee. We are exclusively a family law practice and while we charge a few clients on a flat fee basis - most clients are time billed. We ask for a $5000 security retainer up front. After the retainer is used we invoice clients for additional time spent on a monthly basis. We are having problems getting paid and are having to write off a large amount of accounts receivable. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Illinois Supreme Court raises filing fees in reviewing courts

Posted on December 9, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

For the first time in nearly 60 years, filing fees for reviewing courts in Illinois will increase effective January 1, 2015.

On August 12, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law Public Act 98-0324. Under the new law, fees collected by the Clerks of the Supreme and Appellate Courts will be set by Supreme Court Rule, rather than by statute.

In addition, rather than transferring the funds collected into the General Revenue Fund, these fees will be deposited into the newly-created “Supreme Court Special Purposes Fund.” The new fund will be used to support the Supreme Court’s commitment to e-business initiatives, including the streamlining and upgrading of the case management system in the courts of review.

As authorized by the new law, the Supreme Court has amended Rule 313 to provide that, unless excused by law, petitioners and appellants filing cases in the Supreme and Appellate Courts will pay a filing fee of $50 instead of $25. Respondents and appellees will see filing fees increase from $15 to $30.

The Supreme Court Clerk also collects fees for producing official certificates with seals, issuing new law licenses, and performing registration and renewal of registrations for businesses formed for the practice of law. Both the Supreme Court Clerk and the Appellate Court Clerks charge fees for copying of documents, opinions, and orders, although the availability of many such documents at www.illinoiscourts.gov has eliminated much of the demand for copying services. These fees have not been increased.

Fullerton appointed Circuit Judge in DuPage County

Posted on December 9, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that the Hon. Paul M. Fullerton, Associate Judge of the 18th Circuit, has been appointed Circuit Judge at Large for the 18th Circuit, DuPage County.

This vacancy was created by the retirement of the Hon. Rodney Equi. It is effective Jan. 2, 2015 and terminates on Dec. 5, 2016.

Chief Justice Garman announces vacancy in 7th Circuit

Posted on December 8, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for an at-large Circuit Court vacancy in the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy is created by the retirement of Judge Patrick J. Londrigan on December 8, 2014. Judge Londrigan has been a Circuit Judge in the Seventh Circuit since 2004.

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