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Practice News

An Ethics Roadmap for Referrals

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson

As the January Illinois Bar Journal cover story makes clear, good referrals serve the interests of lawyers and clients alike. In her column in the January issue, ISBA assistant counsel Bailey Felts enumerates the key ethics rules you'll need to consult before heading down the referral road.

Illinois Supreme Court Responds to E-Filing Extension Requests from DeKalb, DuPage, Madison, and McHenry Counties

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Supreme Court of Illinois has issued four orders in response to mandatory e-filing extension requests from DeKalb, DuPage, Madison, and McHenry counties. DuPage County was granted an additional year to transition to the state's new electronic filing system.

Best Practice Tips: Attorney and Staff Performance Compensation

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the firm administrator for a 22-attorney firm — 12 partners and 10 associates — in downtown Chicago. I have been with the firm for seven years. The firm pays associates and staff a base salary plus a year-end discretionary bonus, which is the same for all staff and associate attorneys. The firm does not do performance reviews and honestly, I believe the raises are simply an annual cost of living adjustment and the year-end bonuses a gift. Many of our associates and staff have been here for many years and salaries are getting out of control. We would welcome your thoughts.

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Three, Suspends Five, Censures Two in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on Jan. 12, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Mary Katherine Burgess, Oak Brook

Ms. Burgess, who was licensed in 1993, was disbarred on consent. She misappropriated $32,849.34 in settlement funds that she was holding in her trust account pending distribution to the heirs of an estate. She also falsely advised the estate's prior attorney that she continued to hold the funds in her account.

  • Rajesh Kanuru, Chicago

Mr. Kanuru, who was licensed in 2005, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated at least $700,000 belonging to multiple clients. Mr. Kanuru also falsely informed an attorney with whom he shared office space that he had paid her office rent on her behalf, and he accepted "reimbursement" from her in the amount of $5,400. In reality, he never paid her rent.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Due Diligence Before Writing Real Estate Attorney Reviews

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Erica Minchella, real estate attorney at Minchella & Associates, talks about the due diligence attorneys should be doing before writing attorney and inspection review letters in residential and commercial real estate transactions. 

Indecent Exposure

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson

When people think about the jobs of public defenders, they may think about the immense workloads that some PDs take on. They may think about the risks of defending a dangerous individual - and losing.

One workplace hazard that most of us probably don't realize is that some inmates in Cook County Jail have been exposing themselves to, and sometimes masturbating in front of, female public defenders and correctional officers. The problem has led to six female public defenders filing an equal protection lawsuit late last year in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Female correctional officers filed a similar lawsuit.

Best Practice Tips: Increasing Case Volume in a Personal Injury Law Firm

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a two-partner personal injury firm in Tampa, Florida. We do not have any associate attorneys. Our firm only handles personal injury work. We have been in practice for 35 years and have been very successful over the years. However, the last few years have been terrible. Adjusters are not settling cases and the days of three-times specials is over. Our case volume is down, the quality of cases that we have in our inventory is far below what we had in previous years, and our revenues are down substantially. Cash flow is awful. We have had to live off of our credit line for the past year. Our main source of business over the years has been referrals from past clients and other lawyers, yellow pages, and our very basic website. We would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions that you may have.

ISBA Seeks Managing Editor

Posted on January 9, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) seeks a motivated professional to manage the production of the Illinois Bar Journal, the Association’s flagship publication. The Managing Editor will also oversee the production of ISBA section newsletters, the IBJ advertising program, and the Illinois Courts Bulletin. The Managing Editor position will preferably be based in the Springfield, Illinois headquarters of the ISBA, but candidates desiring to work in the ISBA’s Chicago Office are also invited to apply.

USAO Central District of Illinois Seeks Assistant U.S. Attorney

Posted on January 8, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The U.S. Attorneys Office Central District of Illinois seeks a criminal assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) in Urbana to prosecute federal criminal cases in the district. Criminal AUSAs advise federal law enforcement agents on criminal investigations, present criminal cases to the grand jury, try criminal cases before the United States District Court, and may represent the United States in criminal appeals before the Circuit Court of Appeals.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Evaluating Damages in a Personal Injury Claim

Posted on January 4, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Pamela L. Pierro, partner at Spyratos Davis, LLC, discusses how to evaluate damages in a personal injury claim.

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