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Ethics Question of the Week: Can I charge a client for making copies?

Posted on June 5, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q. Can I charge a client for services such as making copies?

A. IRPC 1.5 addresses fees and expenses. Comment [1] states that “lawyer may seek reimbursement for the cost of services performed in-house, such as copying, or for other expenses incurred in-house, such as telephone charges, either by charging a reasonable amount to which the client has agreed in advance or by charging an amount that reasonably reflects the cost incurred by the lawyer.”  1.5(b) also notes that fees should be communicated to the client before representation. See the full text of 1.5 for further explanation.

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

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of June 5, 2014

Posted on June 5, 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 Administrative review and attorney’s fees (Senate Bill 2829), Condominium Property Act (House Bill 4783), Presumptively void transfers (Senate Bill 1048), FOIA (House Bill 3796), The Residential Real Property Disclosure Act (Senate Bill 2597), Common Interest Community Association Act (Senate Bill 3057) and Service of process. (Senate Bill 3286). More information on each bill is available below the video.

For Illinois legislation, Fastcase just got faster

Posted on June 5, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

Beginning with public acts from the spring legislative session, Fastcase is updating its version of Illinois Compiled Statutes in real time. In other words, as soon as the governor signs a bill into law, Fastcase updates its version of the ILCS to reflect the new act. “That way you’re always looking at the most up-to-date version of statutes,” says Fastcase CEO Ed Walters.

As a Fastcase user, you’ll be seeing red – in a good way. When an ILCS provision is affected by a new act, Fastcase includes a notice in red font on the top of the page. They also underline the new language and set it off in red.

Fastcase is free to ISBA members. If you haven't already done so, click on the Fastcase icon on the upper right of the ISBA homepage and take it for a test drive.

Deadline for Annual Meeting advanced registration is June 13

Posted on June 4, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Join us as we reflect on our accomplishments and outline initiatives for the coming bar year.

Deadline for advanced registration is June 13!

Register at

The 2014-15 standing committees and section councils will hold their organizational business meetings at various times during the Annual Meeting. A schedule of business meetings being conducted may be viewed closer to the date.

ISBA's own professional liability insurance company, ISBA Mutual Insurance Company, will be an important participant in the Annual Meeting. Be sure to learn about the company, loss prevention, and programs from senior executives at their exhibit.

Why are women lawyers perpetually under the sartorial microscope?

Posted on June 4, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

"Some 25 years ago, Mirabella magazine tolled the death knell for 'laughable dress-for-success suits and even more laughable floppy bow ties' and declared that working women could fly 'their own personal flag,'" Karen Erger writes in the June Illinois Bar Journal. "But here we are, still scrutinizing women lawyers and what comes out of their closets. Let's figure out why this is happening, and how (and whether) to talk about this in a way that doesn't denigrate the professionalism of women lawyers." Read her clever article. And don't skip the footnotes, where so much of the good stuff is.

Best Practice: Law firm policies and procedures

Posted on June 4, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a solo practitioner in Central Illinois. As my staff seems to expand, I feel a need to become more formal.  I have a question about nondisclosure agreements with staff? Also office procedures or rules? Also, in hiring, I am finding fewer candidates who have experience in a legal setting. The Illinois State Bar Association Law Practice Management Section may want to consider a half day program that is internet based to acquaint staff who have office experience but no legal experience with some of the basic issues including nomenclature, confidentiality, basic legal drafting, etc.

2014 ISBA Compensation & Benefits Survey

Posted on June 4, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Beginning today, the ISBA is conducting an online survey to gather information on economic trends in the legal profession.  The survey is being conducted by Readex Research, on a secure website, and all identifying information of respondents will be kept confidential.

Email invitations will be sent to all in-state members who are engaged in private practice.  When you receive your invitation, please take a moment to participate in this important survey.

The ISBA will use the results of the survey to better serve its membership and the profession.  Additionally, the results will be made available to ISBA sections and committees to assist in their work.

After completing the survey, participants will be able to enter a drawing to win one of three $250 Visa gift cards. 

Webber appointed associate judge in 6th Circuit

Posted on June 3, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Sixth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Roger B. Webber as an associate judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Webber received his undergraduate degree in 1980 from Illinois State University in Normal, and his Juris Doctor in 1983 from DePaul University in Chicago.

Mr. Webber is currently affiliated with Beckett & Webber, PC in Urbana and Tuscola.

Illinois Lawyer Finder results for May 2014

Posted on June 3, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

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 May 2014, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for May 2014:

CLE: Reel MCLE Series: How Many Ethical Dilemmas Can You Spot?

Posted on June 3, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Join us in Lake Geneva on June 20th (during ISBA’s Annual Meeting) for this unique program in which the hit TV show “Boston Legal” (Season 1, Episode 4)** and two additional videos containing ethical legal scenarios are used as a sounding board for identifying, understanding, and analyzing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct – making this the perfect educational tool for learning about professional responsibility.