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Practice News

Death and Taxes and the Five Wishes

Posted on June 18, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
Joel A. Schoenmeyer, author of the popular Death and Taxes blog, has joined the back and forth over a recent IBJ article. The May article, by Ray J. Koenig III and MacKenzie Hyde, advises against using the Five Wishes advance directive in place of the Illinois statutory living will and health care POA forms. That admonition inspired a letter to the editor from Paul Malley, president of Aging with Dignity, the organization that offers the Five Wishes documents. Malley takes issue with Koenig and Hyde. Read the letter and what Joel has to say about it.

New trust law will discourage lawsuits

Posted on June 17, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
Illinois' new virtual representation law, effective next January 1, "encourages private settlement of disputes," according to Chicago lawyer Lyman Welch. The law originated with and was championed by ISBA's Trusts and Estates Section Council. Find out more in the June Trusts and Estate newsletter.

Expungements explained

Posted on June 15, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
A helpful and very how-to oriented article on expungements appears in the June issue of the ISBA Goverment Lawyers newsletter. Of course, the coauthors have every reason to know their subject. Lt. Kathleen deGrasse is the Illinois State Police Privacy Officer. Wil Nagel, now transportation counsel with the Illinois Commerce Commission, was an integration analyst with the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

ISBA career development resources

Posted on June 15, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
In case you missed it in the May IBJ, here's a list of career-planning and job-hunting resources for ISBA members.

Facebook "username" deadline looms

Posted on June 12, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
Does your firm have a presence on Facebook? Or maybe a key client's firm or business? If so, check out this article in the National Law Journal to learn about some important -- and imminent -- deadlines. Here's a quote: "Starting Saturday, at 12:01 a.m. EST, Facebook will allow an estimated 200 million users to select any 'usernames,' which can include a trademark, brand name or personal name. And if the owner hasn't registered the trademark first with Facebook, it's up for grabs."

Firms expanding in Chicago, hiring

Posted on June 11, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Several law firms are looking to add partners and associates as they expand offices in Chicago. These firms include Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Nixon Peabody and Cozen O'Connor. has the story.

Mr. (or Ms.) Solo Takes a Vacation...

Posted on June 11, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
Yes, sole practitioners, you can take time off. But you have to lay the groundwork. Here are tips from Solo in Chicago's Peter Olsen.

Booming legal field: health care

Posted on June 11, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
The anticipated federal overhaul of the nation's health care system has law firms looking to add attorneys with health care expertise. has the story.

Say 'bye to the CTA notice provision

Posted on June 11, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
Trial lawyers like Chicago blawgger Mark P. Loftus are cheering the demise of the much-loathed requirement that p.i. plaintiffs provide special notice to the Chicago Transit Authority before filing suit. The change took effect June 1 and applies to causes of action accruing on or after that date.