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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.  

Volunteer for the 2019 High School Mock Trial Invitational

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Volunteers are needed for the 2019 ISBA High School Mock Trial Invitational, which is co-administered by the ISBA and the Illinois Trial Team of the University of Illinois. It will be held March 9-10 at the Public Affairs Center at the University of Springfield. 

 

This program provides an opportunity for students to learn what it is like to prepare and present a legal case before the Illinois courts. Participating students gain a better understanding of the justice system and improve their knowledge, skills, and ability to articulate in a reasoned, thoughtful manner.

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.

CLE: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Intellectual Property Cases

Posted on January 8, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Alternative dispute resolution methods—such as arbitration and mediation—can be very useful in resolving intellectual property disputes by giving parties the flexibility to choose a decision-maker with a technical background, tailor the scope of disclosure to the nature of the case, and have experts communicate with one another. Join the ISBA on Feb. 5 for an online seminar that offers an introductory look at the alternative dispute resolution methods that are available in intellectual property cases. Attorneys working in the intellectual property arena with basic practice experience who attend this program will better understand: the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration; the different approaches to mediation; how alternative dispute resolution methods are currently being used in intellectual property cases; the different programs available outside the courtroom; what to expect during an alternative dispute resolution case from filing through resolution; and how to prepare for this type of case.

Lawyer Referral Service Makes More than 500 Referrals in December

Posted on January 7, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of December 2018 there were more than 500 referrals given.

Here are the results for December 2018:

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.

Practice HQ Resource: A Guide to Marketing Your Law Firm on Facebook

Posted on January 7, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Social media is a valuable tool that can drive traffic to a firm’s website.

For solos and small firms, the goal of social media—and Facebook in particular—is lead generation and business development. To do this, attorneys need to build targeted relationships, create and share valuable content, and consistently add value.

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.

CLE: Valuation and Succession Planning for Intellectual Property—Live Webcast

Posted on January 3, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Whether it’s a copyright, patent, or trademark, intellectual property is an important component to a business’s overall value. Learn how to define and understand these types of assets, as well as how to compute a valuation for them, with this intermediate-level online seminar on Feb. 7. A discussion on how to set up the transfer of these assets during a succession plan is also included.

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