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Ethics Question of the Week: What are my duties as receiver of deceased lawyer's files?

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q.  I was appointed as the receiver of a recently deceased lawyer’s files. What are my duties?

A.  IRPC 1.3, Comment [5] suggests that lawyers prepare a plan that designates another competent lawyer to review their files in case of death or disability. If no other lawyer is appointed, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 775 allows the presiding judge in the judicial circuit to appoint a receiver. The duties of the receiver include taking custody and making an inventory of files; contacting clients; take steps to sequester funds; and take whatever action necessary to protect the interests of the attorney, his clients, and other parties.

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

Tim Bertschy named Heyl Royster’s Managing Partner

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Tim BertschyHeyl Royster announces that ISBA Past President Tim Bertschy has succeeded Gary Nelson as the firm’s Managing Partner. Mr. Nelson will continue at the firm as a shareholder and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

“Tim and I have worked closely together during the past few years, and I have great confidence that he will succeed in his new role,” said Mr. Nelson. “His vision for the firm has made it a seamless transition.”

Mr. Bertschy, who also serves as the chair of the firm’s Governmental and Business & Commercial Practices, said, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve Heyl Royster and its wonderful, hardworking team of attorneys during this period of unprecedented growth for the firm.”

Richard Felice, president of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) said “Tim is well deserving of this opportunity. When he served as ISBA president, he did a great job. Two things I must say about Tim is that he has a reputation as a great attorney and he is an advocate for his clients. He also has a wonderful way with people.”

Best Practice: Setting standards for client service

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a 14 attorney business law firm in Baltimore, Maryland. Our marketing committee has been discussing marketing initiatives and is planning on a client service initiative. Where do you suggest that we start?

Justinian Society DuPage Chapter to hold annual Charity Ball on Oct. 24

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The DuPage Chapter of the Justinian Society of Lawyers is hosting its annual Charity Ball on Friday, Oct. 24. The fundraiser will benefit the Ronald McDonald House currently under construction on the Central DuPage Hospital campus in Winfield.

Tickets are $125 each. The event will be begin at 6 p.m. at Ashton Place Banquets, 341 75th Street in Willowbrook. Costume or Black tie optional.

For more information, please contact Ginger Stevenson at (630) 910-6400 or or Maria T. Mack at (630) 852-1100 or

Illinois Supreme Court OKs e-filing for traffic and criminal cases

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that its standards and principles on electronic filing have been amended and expanded to allow trial courts in Illinois to begin electronic filing of court documents in criminal and traffic cases.

"I wholeheartedly support the increased use of technology in our courthouses and courtrooms," Chief Justice Rita B. Garman said. "Amending our electronic filing standards will streamline the system and increase its efficiency by expanding the types of cases that can be e-filed, generating savings to the taxpayer and conserving environmental resources."

This e-filing expansion also will greatly benefit counties that would implement an e-Traffic Citation program along with e-filing, allowing participating counties to eliminate the need to transmit the paper copy of the e-Citation, which makes up the highest volume of filed documents.

Originally, electronic filing in Illinois circuit courts began in September 2002, when the Supreme Court approved e-filing of civil case court documents as a pilot program. That program took effect January 1, 2003. During that time, a total of five counties were approved to operate e-filing pilots: Cook, DuPage, Madison, St. Clair, and Will.

In October 2012, the Supreme Court announced new statewide standards and principles that completed the pilot stage of civil case e-filing in Illinois' circuit courts. The new standards and principles permit and encourage all circuit court clerks, in partnership with the chief circuit judge, to apply for approval for permanent and on-going e-filing procedures.

Montgomery, Voiland appointed associate judges in 23rd Circuit

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Philip G. Montgomery and Joseph R. Voiland as associate judges of the Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Montgomery received his undergraduate degree in 1984 from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, and his Juris Doctor in 1987 from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Montgomery is currently affiliated with the DeKalb County State's Attorney's Office in Sycamore.

Mr. Voiland received his undergraduate degree in 1974 from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington and his Juris Doctor in 1977 from Loyola University in Chicago. Mr. Voiland is currently engaged in solo practice in Yorkville and as a bankruptcy trustee with the U.S. Department of Justice in Chicago.

ISBA co-hosts Human Trafficking seminar

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

See a photo gallery from the event at

CLE: Construction Contracts: The Boiler Plate That Gives You Fits

Posted on October 13, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Join us in DeKalb on Friday, Oct. 24 for a look at the common construction contact terms that require close attention to detail, as well as the often-recurring construction issues that can have significant consequences. Construction law practitioners, real estate lawyers, and attorneys providing legal advice to project owners, architects, engineers, subcontractors, and contractors – with basic to intermediate practice experience – who attend this seminar will better understand: the various issues that can arise during the performance of a construction contract, including warranty, insurance, and changed conditions; the implications of terminating a contractor or subcontractor; the common damage provisions of construction projects; the importance of paying attention to the details when making compensation claims; change order provisions and the issues that can arise; the contract provisions found in public construction contracts; and how to make your disputed contracts easier to understand and enforce.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Construction Law Section and co-sponsored by the ISBA Commercial Banking, Collections and Bankruptcy Section and the ISBA Real Estate Law Section. It qualifies for 6.0 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.