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Congratulations to the ISBA Midyear Meeting Prize Winners

Posted on December 8, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Congratulations to the following prize winners at the ISBA Midyear Meeting:

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card - Daniel Kegan
  • 3 months of service ($1,287 value) - Sarah Taylor
  • $100 Visa Gift Card - Laura Kern
  • $100 Amazon Gift Card - Margaret A. Bennett
  • TENS unit - Melissa Greathouse
  • Bottle of champagne in a wine cooler bottle holder - Haskell M. Pitluck
  • $50 gift card - Bridget L. Schott
  • $25 Starbucks gift card - Alice Sackett
  • Amazon Echo Dot - Jan Strzalka
  • $100 Amex Gift Card - Roza Gossop
  • Amazon Echo - Melissa Olivers
  • $100 Amex Gift Card - Donald Shriver
  • $100 Amex Gift Card - John Voorn
  • Microsoft Home - Andy Scheifer
  • Student Microsoft Office 365 - Kim Dugan
  • Spa gift certificate - Bernard Peter
  • Amazon Echo show - Joan Amuda
  • IBF tickets to Illinois Lawyers Rock - Douglas Olivers

Winners can pick up their prizes at the registration desk on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

ISBA Bookstore Sale Ends Today

Posted on December 8, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Today is the last day to save 20% on all orders placed through the ISBA webstore! Our special holiday offer includes ISBA books, client brochures, and merchandise. Take advantage of the Bookstore Holiday Sale by visiting the ISBA Storefront and entering the coupon code "HOLIDAY17" at checkout. 

You can use this coupon code to save on our newest book, The Direct Examination of the Plaintiff's Physician: A Handbook for Illinois Personal injury Lawyers, or on our tried-and-true bestsellers, like the 2018 Daily Diary

Shop the ISBA Bookstore now.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Mitigating the Risk of Underfunded Pension Plan Withdrawal Liability

Posted on December 7, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Douglas A. Darch, a partner of Baker & McKenzie LLP's Labor & Employment Practice, discusses the withdrawal liability embedded in multi-employer pension plans, the threat withdrawal liability poses to financial well-being, and the steps you can take to mitigate risk.

Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Tuesday, Dec. 5

Posted on December 7, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Kerry Bryson of the Office of the State Appellate Defender reviews the Illinois Supreme Court ruling in the criminal case People v. Casas.

People v. Casas

In 1996, Fernando Casas, Jr., posted bond in a drug case and was released from custody. He regularly appeared at scheduled court dates until June 1998. His bond was forfeited and a bench warrant was issued.  Casas was ultimately tried in absentia and a 20-year prison sentence was imposed.

In April 2014, a traffic stop revealed Casas’s outstanding warrant. Casas was taken into custody and began serving the 20-year sentence.  Then, in December 2014, Casas was indicted for violating his bail bond. Casas moved to dismiss on the basis that the general three-year statute of limitations had expired in 2001 and the state had not alleged any facts to toll or extend the limitations period. The state then filed an amended information alleging that the bond violation was a continuing offense and the limitations period did not begin to run until Casas’s April 2014 arrest.

The circuit court dismissed, relying on People v. Grogan, 197 Ill. App. 3d 18 (1st Dist. 1990), which held that violation of bail bond is not a continuing offense. The state appealed, and the appellate court agreed with the state's assertion that Grogan was wrongly decided and concluded that it should no longer be followed.

Early Booking Promotion for ISBA Mediterranean Cruise Available Through Dec. 10

Posted on December 6, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The deadline to receive your early booking promotion for the ISBA Mediterranean Cruise with President Russell W. Hartigan has been extended. Now through Sunday, Dec. 10, you will receive a $500 per person airline credit when you book your cruise and airfare.

The cruise is a nine-night voyage aboard the Amazara Quest, departing from Barcelona, Spain, on May 15 and arriving in Nice, France on May 24.

Additional details about the cruise and its itinerary are available through the Member Marketplace. To take advantage of the early booking promotion, fill out the Mediterranean Cruise Registration Form (PDF) and follow the submission instructions.

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Partner Compensation

Posted on December 6, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a founding partner of a two-partner firm. We have been in business for three years. We have six associates and our practice focuses on health care law. My partner and I each have a 50 percent interest in the firm and our compensation is based on our ownership percentages. We split firm profits 50/50. Since starting the firm, I have been bringing in substantially more fees that my partner. This year I will bring in 65 percent of firm fees. I am getting frustrated and feel that our compensation system is unfair and needs to be changed. I would appreciate your thoughts.

CLE: How To Handle A Construction Case Mediation

Posted on December 6, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Don’t miss this full-day mock demonstration based on an actual multi-party construction case mediation! Watch and listen as seasoned lawyers demonstrate a construction case from the pre-mediation stage to the settlement agreement and learn which methods and techniques are most useful in a construction mediation case. Attorneys with basic or intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar on January 12, 2018 – either in Chicago or via Live Webcast – will better understand: the procedures, methods, and techniques common to all mediations; the unique problems and issues in a construction case mediation; the issues that you need to be prepared to deal with during the pre-mediation conference; how to handle the pre-mediation position paper; the issues that you should expect to arise in a group opening session; how the parties should interact during the breakout session for an effective mediation; how to deal with the Settlement Agreement in concluding the mediation; how to manage the ethical issues that can arise during the confidential process of mediation; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Construction Law Section and co-sponsored by the ISBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. It qualifies for 7.25 hours MCLE credit, including 7.25 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Get more information and register on our CLE page.

Spotlight on Pro Bono: Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network Launches Statewide

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Sara Anderson

By Susan L. Zielke

November marked the official launch of a statewide hotline and network of civil legal services providers for veterans, service members, national guard, reservists, and their spouses and dependents. The hotline, 855-IL-AFLAN (855-452-3526), provides legal information and advice, brief services including the preparation and review of legal documents, and referrals to network partners. The hotline is staffed by attorneys who handle issues of discharge upgrades, benefits appeals, and civil legal problems like housing, consumer, and family.

The statewide network is using uniform eligibility guidelines of 80 percent of the Chicago Area Median Income; for a household of one, that figure is $44,250. Besides the hotline, the network includes CARPLS, Center for Disability & Elder Law, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS), The John Marshall Law School, LAF, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, Loyola Law School, Prairie State Legal Services, and SIU Law School. This network provides coverage for qualified individuals throughout the state.

In Illinois, there are approximately 750,000 veterans, 20,000 active service members, and 13,000 members of the Illinois National Guard. There are over 20,000 dependents of service members deployed between 09/11/01 and 05/31/15 alone. The top civil legal needs include housing, family, and consumer issues, and specialized issues with VA benefits, appeals, and discharge upgrades.

Veto Session Wrap-Up

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

In a veto session conducted under the shadow of sexual harassment allegations by female lobbyists and others, the Illinois General Assembly overrode Governor Rauner's vetoes of many bills. Among the new laws:

Illinois Student Loan Servicing Rights Act. Legislators overrode the veto of Senate Bill 1351, which was championed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Also known as the Illinois Student Loan Servicing Rights Act, the Act introduces licensing requirements for servicing student loans in Illinois.

It also establishes a "Student Loan Bill of Rights," which prohibits certain servicing practices, imposing various requirements upon student loan servicers. The Act allows the Attorney General to enforce violations under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

Criminal justice reform. The General Assembly made more strides towards criminal justice reform during the veto session. In particular, HB 184 has been amended to reduce some burdens placed on parolees and to give courts more latitude in determining sentencing.

Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefit Act. The legislature overrode Governor Rauner's amendatory veto of SB 302, which amends the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefit Act. The bill expanded the Act's scope to include lapsed and terminated life insurance policies. It also requires insurers to compare policies, annuity contracts, and retained asset files to the full Death Master File to determine whether there are unclaimed benefits.

Find out more in the December Illinois Bar Journal.

Prepare Yourself for Mandatory E-Filing

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, electronic filing in civil cases will be mandatory across Illinois. As "E-Day" rapidly approaches, it is important to be prepared for the continued migration of the state's court system to an electronic filing based platform. Practice HQ's dedicated e-filing page hosts the resources every Illinois attorney needs to arm themselves with knowledge and ensure a smooth transition. With Practice HQ, you can...

Get a broad overview.

Use your free online CLE benefit to watch E-Filing in Illinois and read the June Illinois Bar Journal cover story, Countdown to Mandatory E-Filing, for an overview of Illinois' transition to a statewide electronic filing system, from how e-filing works, to what an electronic filing service provider (EFSP) does, to where to turn for support when using the eFileIL system.