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Practice News

Stop Putting That IRS Circular 230 Disclaimer on Email

Posted on March 8, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson

It seems that every attorney appends boilerplate disclaimers — sometimes lengthy ones — at the bottom of emails. For many, it may be a standard footer the entire firm uses. For others, it might be something borrowed from another lawyer. Whatever the value of these disclaimers in general, many still contain some language that is not only unnecessary but inaccurate in its most familiar form — the IRS Circular 230 disclaimer.

Best Practice Tips: Demonstrating Expertise Through Marketing

Posted on March 7, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a new non-equity partner in a 16-attorney firm in Phoenix, Arizona. My equity partners are telling me that I have to do more than generate billable hours and perform quality work for clients. They now expect me to bring in clients. Where do I start?

A. I often advise attorneys that while what you know is important what you want to be known for is more important. Just having your name known is pretty useless unless it is known for something. For example, it is best to be known as an outstanding personal injury plaintiff lawyer – not just a good lawyer. In law firms it is the reputation for expertise that matters, not just the reputation. Therefore, a successful marketing program must project and demonstrate expertise. This can be accomplished in the following ways:

ISBA Judicial Ratings Available for March 20 Primary Election

Posted on March 7, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Illinois voters are responsible for electing and retaining judges. To assist them in making informed decisions, ISBA provides information about the qualifications of judicial candidates and judges seeking retention. Lawyers who practice alongside candidates and judges are in a unique position to assess the professional qualities that are necessary for good judges. 

In anticipation of the March 20 primary election, judicial evaluations, poll results, candidate biographies, and information about Cook County's 15 subcircuits are now available.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Helping Your Client Buy or Sell a Business

Posted on March 1, 2018 by Sara Anderson

William A. Price of GrowthLaw.com discusses how to help your client buy or sell a business.

Decades-Old Maintenance Deduction Eliminated By New Tax Law

Posted on March 1, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson

Late last year, President Trump signed the GOP's tax bill into law. While it has been lauded in some circles as a welcome tax break for American workers and businesses, changes to the tax code will make getting divorced more expensive for maintenance payors by removing a deduction in place since 1942.

Beginning on January 1, 2019, former spouses that pay maintenance will not be able to deduct the payments from their taxes. This change only applies to orders or settlements signed after January 1, 2019.

Under the new tax law, not only will maintenance payors be unable to deduct the payments from their taxes, payees will not have to report the money as income. This will change the calculations under Illinois's new maintenance statute, which are based on the gross incomes of both spouses.

Best Practice Tips: Selling My Law Practice to My Associate

Posted on February 28, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of a general practice firm in Chicago’s west suburbs. My firm has three associate attorneys and three staff members. I am 64 and contemplating my retirement and exit from the practice. I would like to start phasing back over the next three years and be out of the practice by December 31, 2021. There is one associate in the firm to whom I would like to sell the practice and he has expressed an interest as well. What are your thoughts as to how I approach this?

USAO Southern District of Illinois Seeks AUSA

Posted on February 23, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The United States Attorney's Office (USAO) for the Southern District of Illinois has one criminal assistant united states attorney (AUSA) position available in the Fairview Heights office. The Criminal Division is divided into three units: Fraud and Corruption, Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement, and Violent Crimes. Over two-thirds of  the criminal case load consists of drug trafficking crimes and crimes of violence, including child exploitation offenses. Approximately 15 percent of our criminal cases are white collar crimes, including official corruption and theft.

Illinois Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Urbana

Posted on February 23, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, March 15, at 10:30 a.m.

The court periodically holds oral arguments at various locations throughout Illinois to better inform the public on the work it does. According to statements made by Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier in a press release issued by the court, inviting community residents to attend helps demystify the the appellate process, which is often poorly understood — sometimes even by lawyers. He also noted that holding arguments outside of the Illinois Supreme Court Building in Springfield reminds court members that rulings have a direct and real impact on the state's citizens.

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Staff Work Distribution Analysis

Posted on February 21, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a new firm administrator with a 35-attorney litigation firm in Los Angeles, California. The accounting department has seven staff members handling a variety of tasks. My partners are concerned that we are inefficient and over-staffed. I am having a hard time finding where to start so to get a handle on this issue. Please provide any information that you are willing to share.

Athanikar Appointed as Associate Judge

Posted on February 20, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The circuit judges of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, DuPage County, Illinois, have appointed Kavita Athanikar to the position of association judge. Ms. Athanikar fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Jeffrey S. MacKay to circuit judge.

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