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Practice News

A New Day for LLCs in Illinois

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

In his January 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “A New Day for LLCs in Illinois,” Matthew Misichko, an associate in the corporate department at Barnes & Thornburg, discusses new strategic opportunities for clients who are forming businesses in Illinois thanks to recent amendments to the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act. Significant amendments to the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act took effect on July 1, 2017, and brought the Act into conformity with the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act already followed by most states. With the changes come new recommendations for reviewing a current LLC operating agreement or drafting a new one. For starters, LLCs now have appointment power, bringing LLCs into alignment with corporations, which have had such authority for a long time. Also, LLC managers can now be designated rather than elected.

ISBA Statehouse Review for January 10, 2019

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers presumption of equal parenting time, bill of particulars, bail reform change, concealed carry for judges and prosecutors, grand jury proceedings, and condos and common interest community associations.  

Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit Seeks Applicants for Bankruptcy Judge

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit is seeking applicants for a bankruptcy judge position for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with duty station in Chicago.

Applicants must also be willing to travel to other locations in the Seventh Circuit to handle cases. Interested applicants may obtain an application by accessing the Court of Appeals website.

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Management—Held Hostage by Office Manager or Bookkeeper

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am a partner is a small family law firm in Tucson, Arizona. There are two partners in the firm and two associates. We have an office manager/bookkeeper, a receptionist, and two legal assistants. The office manager was hired one year ago. The other partner is retiring next year, and I am purchasing the practice from him. I became a partner last year. I am new to the management side of the practice and have been relying on the office manager who also serves as our bookkeeper. I am at my wit’s ends with our office manager and I believe that she is not suited for the position. She has no organizational skills, she misses deadlines, vendor bills are not paid on time, and client bills are not sent out accurately and timely. I have counseled her on numerous occasions to no avail. I believe we need to replace her, but I am reluctant since no one else here knows what she does or how she does it. A new billing and accounting system was implemented last year and she was the only one trained to use the system. What do we do if we terminate her or she quits? We are hostages. I would appreciate any ideas or thoughts that you may have.

Taming the Guessing Game: Child Support and Variable Income

Posted on January 7, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Finding an agreed-upon methodology to calculate child support can become litigious when a supporting spouse’s income is variable. But basing support calculations on gross income and percentages of income is a good start. In his January 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “Taming the Guessing Game: Child Support and Variable Income,” Bryan D. Sullivan explores the benefits of using predetermined percentages of gross income for additional child-support orders under the income shares model and provides practical advice for legal practitioners when drafting such orders. Sullivan’s article also includes links to extensive tables that show how various child-support calculations discussed in his article play out.

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Non-Equity Partner Subjective Compensation Factors

Posted on January 3, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. Our firm is a 17-attorney commercial litigation firm in Atlanta, Georgia. I am a member of our firm’s management committee that decides raises and bonuses for non-equity partners and associates. Currently our non-equity partners are paid a salary and a discretionary bonus. We would like to stay with this approach; however, we have had complaints that our system is totally arbitrary. We would like to be able to provide more transparency— a general list of the items that we consider when making our decisions on salary and bonuses. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Property Tax Appeal Board Withdraws Proposed Rule to Prohibit Lawyer-Legislators from Practice Before the Board

Posted on January 2, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Property Tax Appeal Board has withdrawn a proposed rule that would have prohibited lawyer-legislators from practicing before the board.

At its Nov. 13, 2018 meeting, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted to object to the rulemaking and prohibit its filing with the Secretary of State. The committee's reasoning is that since the Property Tax Appeal Board has no statutory authority to take the action embodied in this rulemaking, such rulemaking represents a threat to the public interest.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Three Easy and Low-Cost Steps Every Attorney Should Take to Protect Their Client Data

Posted on January 2, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Ruth Schneider, an attorney with RCJ Law, LLC, discusses three low-cost steps attorneys should take to protect client data. Tips include using long, unique passwords for accounts, utilizing two-factor authentication, and sending important documents securely.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Friday, December 28

Posted on January 2, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down four opinions on Friday, Dec. 28. In Sienna Court Condominium Ass'n v. Champion Aluminum Corp., the court addressed the question of whether a purchaser of a newly constructed home could assert a claim for breach of an implied warranty of habitability against a subcontractor that had no contractual relationship with the purchaser. In Stanphill v. Ortberg, the court reviewed a jury verdict hinging on the foreseeability of a depressed person’s suicide. The court considered whether five monetary charges were fines or fees in People v. Clark and determined there was no probable cause to execute a search warrant in People v. Manzo.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: How to Handle a Mediation

Posted on December 19, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Michael Alkaraki, an attorney at Leahy & Hoste, LLC, discusses how to handle a mediation.