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Practice News

Injured, Insured, but not Protected

Posted on November 19, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Health Care Services Lien Act can complicate situations that involve injured patients, their insurance policies, hospital bills, and settlements. In November’s Illinois Bar Journal, Belleville attorney Daniel C. Katzman, who practices in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, and medical/nursing home malpractice, provides an analysis of common scenarios involving the Lien Act and strategies for attorneys to pursue their injured client’s best interests.

For example, the Lien Act does not require health-care providers to bill health-insurance companies. But providers may do so through a contract known as a provider agreement. The terms of provider agreements are negotiated by the parties and can vary on a case-to-case basis. In a provider agreement, a health-care provider agrees to accept full payment from a health-insurance company for any covered service rendered to the company's insured. While the provider may receive pennies on the dollar in reimbursement, provider agreements benefit both parties in the form of reduced rates in exchange for increased patient volume. When evaluating a health-care provider's obligations, an attorney should examine the provider agreement to determine whether a health-care provider is required to bill the health-insurance company.

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars 3, Suspends 9 in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on November 15, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on November 15, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

Become an Illinois Bar Journal Author and Receive CLE Credit

Posted on November 15, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association is inviting members to submit articles for publication in the Illinois Bar Journal (IBJ), our award-winning monthly publication that is sent to 28,000 attorneys throughout the state.

When you become an author for the IBJ, you not only establish yourself as an authoritative subject matter expert, but you can also claim CLE credit for your work.

Illinois Supreme Court Announces Appointments to Committee on Juvenile Courts

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the appointments of Illinois judges to the newly formed Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts.

The Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts is tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on matters affecting juvenile law and juvenile courts, including child protection and delinquency systems. The committee will review, analyze, and examine the impact of legislation and caselaw as it relates to juvenile law and procedures and any aspect of the juvenile court process.

Illinois Supreme Court Oral Arguments to be Streamed Online Tuesday, Nov. 20

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court will livestream oral arguments in two cases on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

The court will hear arguments in the cases of Stacy Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation and JoAnn Smith v. The Vanguard Group, Inc. The livestream will begin at 9 a.m.

In the case of Stacy Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., Rosenbach alleged that Six Flags violated the law when it scanned her 14-year-old son’s thumbprint as part of his season pass entry into Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, without written consent. A state appeals court determined that she didn’t have standing because she didn’t show injury or adverse effect under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act. The supreme court will determine whether she has to show harm to sue under that law.

Best Practice Tips: What Does it Cost to Operate a Law Firm?

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. Our firm is a four-attorney personal injury plaintiff law firm with three partners and two associates located in upstate New York. Could you advise us what the expected cost range is per year for an attorney to practice? Assume the attorney generates gross revenue of $500,000 per year. What should that attorney expect to earn as gross income based on that revenue?

What’s Not to ‘Like’?

Posted on November 12, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

New amendments to Rule 902 of the Illinois Rules of Evidence, which became effective on Sept. 28, 2018, are explored by Dustin Karrison in his article, “What’s Not to ‘Like’?” in the November 2018 Illinois Bar Journal. The amendments ease the burden and expense of authenticating electronically stored evidence for trial, including content from social media sites.

While the amendments ease the burden and expense of authenticating social media content for trial, Karrison warns the amendments only go so far: Compliance with Rule 902 does not establish the original source of social media content. In other words, if a social media site is admitted into evidence, this does not necessarily confirm the content posted on the account was authored or posted by the owner of the account. Karrison provides attorneys on both sides of an authentication challenge with advice based on what the new amendments can and cannot do.

Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Seeking Part-Time Law Clerk

Posted on November 9, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) is seeking a part-time law clerk beginning January 2019.

The law clerk’s responsibilities include conducting legal research and preparing memoranda/pleadings regarding all areas of law for the litigation division of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. There is potential for a third-year law student with a 711 license to assist in presenting evidence during hearing matters, including depositions and witness testimony, under the supervision of an attorney.

November 2018 Bar Admission Ceremony Highlights

Posted on November 9, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court justices welcomed 1,283 new attorneys to the legal profession on Nov. 8 during admissions ceremonies held at five different locations across the state. 

ISBA staff members were in attendance at all five ceremonies to welcome the state's newest attorneys to the profession, take photos, and talk about the benefits of ISBA membership, which is free for one year for new admittees. Member benefits can be activated by filling out the New Admittee Membership Form

All of those who were sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 98,000.

Best Practice Tips: Gradually Selling a Law Practice to an Associate

Posted on November 8, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the owner of an elder law firm in Phoenix, Arizona. I have one full-time associate, one part-time associate, and three staff members. I am earning around $300,000 a year from the practice and my full-time associate’s salary is $100,000 a year. I am 60 years old and would like to retire and be out of the practice in five years. I would like to begin phasing down and working part time in the next year or two. My full-time associate has been with the firm for 10 years. I feel that I should be entitled to some sweat equity from the practice in the form of retirement compensation or buy-out. With this said I would prefer that my practice “stay in the family” and be sold to my associate rather than selling my practice to an outside buyer. I would appreciate your suggestions.