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Practice News

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Client Level vs. Matter Level Client Origination Credit

Posted on February 6, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the owner of an eight-attorney insurance defense law firm in the greater Chicago area. All of the other attorneys in the firm are associates. They are currently paid a salary plus a bonus for billable hours that exceed certain thresholds. I am in the process of establishing a non-equity partner tier and for this tier I want to set up a different compensation system with the focus on collected revenues rather than billable hours. I will continue to pay non-equity partners a salary with a bonus for collected working attorney fees. I will also pay responsible attorney fees for other timekeepers' work over the target threshold. I have given some thought to client origination of business, but since we have a small universe of insurance company clients, I'm not sure how this would play out. I would appreciate your thoughts.

ISBA Statehouse Review for February 5, 2019

Posted on February 5, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers perjury, interest on child support, the Disposition of Remains Act, the Condominium Property Act, foreclosure in cities of more than two million residents, post-judgment changes,and the Open Meetings Act.

Perjury. House Bill 914 (Bennett, R-Pontiac) extends the statute of limitations for perjury to seven years. Current law is three years. House Bill 914 was assigned to House Criminal Law Committee.

Three Cook County Circuit Court Judicial Vacancies Announced

Posted on February 4, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Applications are now being accepted for judicial vacancies in the Thirteenth Subcircuit, Seventh Subcircuit, and First Subcircuit of Cook County, according to an announcement made by the Illinois Supreme Court.

The vacancy of the Thirteenth Subcircuit judicial position was created by the resignation of Circuit Judge Margarita Kulys Hoffman. Judge Kulys Hoffman had served as a judge since 2006. Her resignation took effect Dec. 31, 2017. 

The vacancy of the Seventh Subcircuit judicial position was created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Marianne Jackson. Judge Jackson had served as a judge since 1997. Her resignation took effect Dec. 31, 2018. 

The vacancy of the First Subcircuit judicial position was created by the death of Rhonda Crawford on April 26, 2018.

18 Quick and Easy Tech Tips for 2019

Posted on February 4, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Research suggests we tap only a small fraction of our brain’s cognitive powers. Same with our computers and the internet. If only we could exploit more of the immense computing power of our laptops and smartphones. But who has the time to explore all the features buried deep in our manuals and menus? The February Illinois Bar Journal’s cover story gets you started by providing easy-to-use tips for getting more out of the technology at your fingertips. The story, “18 Quick and Easy Tech Tips for 2019,” also is a sneak preview of a larger set of tips provided by Affinity Consulting partner Barron Henley’s one-hour ISBA CLE webinar available in ISBA's Free On-Demand CLE catalog.

Illinois Supreme Court Amends Order on Criminal and Juvenile E-filing

Posted on February 1, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

On Thursday, Jan. 31, the Illinois Supreme Court amended its order on criminal and juvenile e-filling through eFileIL. The amendment reiterates the court’s approval for permissive e-filing of criminal case types (CF, CM, DT) and juvenile case types (J, JA, JD) through eFileIL, but now also provides for the initial case initiation to be e-filed through eFileIL at such a time as each court chooses. The previous order only provided for subsequent e-filing of criminal and juvenile cases through eFileIL after the case had been initiated and been assigned a case number.

PILI Announces Spring Semester Law Student Interns

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) has announced the names of eight law student interns who will work at public interest law agencies in Chicago during the spring semester.

Interns work 200 hours part-time during the semester, with PILI providing a living stipend, as well as ensuring quality supervision by experienced attorneys and providing extra educational, networking, and advising opportunities.  

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Structure and Growth

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the administrator with a firm in Buffalo, New York. We have 14 attorneys – seven partners and seven associates. We are an eat-what-you-kill law firm. All the partners have to weigh in and agree on any and all management decisions. Our management team consists of “all partners.” While I have been hired as the administrator for management the firm, I have very little authority to do anything. The partners all have the freedom to do as they please, and there is very little accountability to each other. Recently we have been discussing the pros and cons of why we might want to change our governance and overall structure. I would be interested in your thoughts.

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars 7, Suspends 10 in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on January 29, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on January 29, 2019. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

General and Boilerplate Objections: Curbing Routine Abuse of the Discovery Process

Posted on January 29, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

February’s Illinois Bar Journal includes the winning article of 2019’s Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest. The article, “General and Boilerplate Objections: Curbing Routine Abuse of the Discovery Process” by Gregory R. Jones, an associate at Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C., in Edwardsville, examines distasteful discovery tactics that can directly conflict with the spirit of discovery and the concept of “full disclosure.”