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Practice News

Sleuthing the ‘Net

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Investigative avenues have opened up considerably in the past quarter-century thanks to the internet and, more recently, social media. 

Half of all divorce cases use evidence obtained from social media, according to a study conducted three years ago by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. The internet and social media platforms contain a treasure trove of invaluable personal information that investigators and attorneys can use to disqualify jurors, confirm or question alibis, validate or disprove workers’ compensation claims, and generally smoke out the truth.

But getting a hold of this information depends not only on your knowledge of free and paid online resources, but also the creativity and thoroughness of your search strategies.  

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Two, Suspends 13 in Latest Disciplinary Filing

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on May 24, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Benjamin William Meyer, Wheaton

Mr. Meyer, who was licensed in 2011, was disbarred on consent. He pleaded guilty to three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in Ogle County and was sentenced to serve ten years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for each count, 30 years in total, to be served consecutively, with 85 days credit based on his actual time in custody. The sentencing judge also ordered him to provide a DNA sample, submit to sexually transmitted disease and HIV testing, pay fees and costs and, once released, register as a sex offender for the duration of his natural life.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, May 24

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down three opinions on Thursday, May 24. The court upheld the constitutionality of the Vehicle Code’s definition of "low-speed gas bicycle" in People v. Plank, considered the application of the officer suit exception to sovereign immunity in Parmar v. Madigan, and determined whether statutory changes apply retroactively to two Freedom of Information Act requests in Perry v. Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

U.S. Attorney's Office Seeks Assistant U.S. Attorney

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The U.S. Attorney's Office Central District of Illinois is accepting applications for an assistant United States attorney opening in its Criminal Division.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least three years post-J.D. legal experience. U.S. citizenship is required.

Preferred qualifications: At least five years post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience, strong advocacy skills, academic credentials, superior legal research and writing skills, quick analytical ability to accurately and precisely articulate critical case-related issues, criminal prosecutorial courtroom experience, good interpersonal skills, the ability to work in a supportive and professional team environment with client agencies, support staff, and other attorneys, and a demonstrated instances of sound legal and ethical judgment.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Marketing Tips for a New Law Practice

Posted on May 23, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Attorney Barry Zlotowicz discusses marketing tips attorneys can use when opening a new practice. 

Law Firm Financial Management: Using Credit Line to Purchase Equipment

Posted on May 23, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the financial partner with our 16-attorney firm in Indianapolis. The firm has had a rough couple of years. We had several partners leave the firm and they took several corporate clients with them. Unfortunately, this was consistent retainer and time bill work. While we still have some retainer and time bill corporate work, a much larger mix of our work is now contingency fee work. As a result, we have had some cash flow challenges and for the first three months of this year there was no money to pay partner draws. We have a credit line with the bank of $125,000 that we have not used. We only use our credit line for long-term equipment purchases. We would appreciate any suggestions that you have.

Sixteen New Associate Judges Appointed in Cook County

Posted on May 21, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The names of 16 new associate judges, selected in a vote of Cook County Circuit Court judges, were announced today by Marcia M. Meis, director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. With respect to the 17th vacancy, a tie prevents a winner from being declared. As such, a runoff is necessary.

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 39, "[where] a tie prevents a winner from being declared, reballoting shall proceed in the manner provided above for the first balloting except that ballots shall include only the names of those candidates whose tied voted prevented a winner from being declared." Consistent with the rule, the following candidates will be placed on the runoff ballot:

  • Levander Smith Jr. 
  • James Adolph Wright

Ballots listing the names of 34 finalists, chosen from 272 candidates, were distributed to 252 circuit judges. Ballots were due May 16, 2018.

Law Firm Client Surveys: How to Collect and Report the Data

Posted on May 16, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. We have a 16-attorney firm in Chicago. Our marketing committee has been discussing implementing a client survey program. We are not sure where to start or how best to collect and report the data. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

More than 400 New Illinois Lawyers Admitted on May 10

Posted on May 14, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

New attorneys were admitted to practice in Illinois on May 10, with Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court justices presiding and administering the attorney's oath to 401 new attorneys at five separate locations across the state. 

All of the candidates 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 96,500.

The largest group, 275, was admitted in the First Judicial District during three ceremonies at the James R. Thompson Center Assembly Hall, located at 100 W. Randolph St., in Chicago. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke presided over the first ceremony, Illinois Appellate Justice Cynthia Y. Cobbs presided over the second ceremony, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis presided over the last ceremony.  

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Emergency Planning for Your Practice

Posted on May 10, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Lisa M. Nyuli, partner at Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel P.C., discusses how to plan for when a practicing attorney with your firm becomes disabled or dies.

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