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ISBA leaders attend judicial merit selection conference

Posted on August 31, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President-elect John E. Thies (left) and ISBA President John G. Locallo spoke with retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at the National Summit on Defending Merit Selection held earlier this week in St. Louis.ISBA President John G. Locallo and ISBA President-elect John E. Thies attended the National Summit on Defending Merit Selection earlier this week in St. Louis. The ISBA has been on record in support of the merit selection of judges since 1987.

The purpose of this conference was for bar leaders from around the country to meet and discuss strategies for advancing and preserving merit selection of judges in their respective states as a way to keep politics out of the courtroom. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was the keynote speaker, and attended one of the plenary sessions.

Best Practice: Improving law firm profits by improving processes

Posted on August 31, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. We are a five attorney firm in Detroit. Our firm does exclusively elder law and estate planning and most of our fees are based upon flat fees. Business has been steady and solid in spite of the recession. In an effort to improve profitability we are considering raising our fees but are concerned about adverse effects that it may have upon our competitiveness. We are already at the high end of the fee scale. Do you have any thoughts?

A. Raising fees is one approach to improving profitability. Clients are starting to push back more and more concerning legal fees. If you are at the high end of the rate scale I suggest that before charging off and raising rates you step back and conduct a process review by using an approach similar to the following:

ARDC: more than 300 financial institutions on trust-account-eligible list

Posted on August 29, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

NOTICE

If your bank does not yet appear on the List of Financial Institutions Eligible to Hold Trust Accounts as of September 1, 2011, do not panic.

There are now more than 300 financial institutions included on the List of Financial Institutions Eligible to Hold Trust Accounts. To date, only one small bank has refused to be included on that list. However, a significant number of banks have not yet submitted an agreement to provide overdraft notification, which is a prerequisite to being included on the list.

The ARDC and the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois are working with banks and other financial institutions to make compliance with the new provisions of Rule 1.15 as easy as possible. Some banking institutions have informed the ARDC that they want to comply with the new trust account rules, cannot meet the deadline, but are hoping to accommodate depositors as soon after September 1, 2011 as is possible. We believe that most of the banks that have not yet submitted an agreement intend to do so, but require additional time do so. There is no immediate need to change banks.

If your bank does not yet appear on the List, there is no need to move your account to a different bank until you know, for a fact, that your bank does not intend to agree to Trust Account Overdraft Notification.

Please continue to monitor the ARDC website, as we receive new Trust Account Overdraft Notification Agreements every day.

Please note that, in light of the problems caused in the wake of Hurricane Irene, certain banks headquartered on the East Coast may not be in compliance with the Rule by the effective date.

"Senior Scams" and "Identity Theft" to air on Illinois Law

Posted on August 29, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Senior Scams – The Wolves Are Out There and Identity Theft – It Can Happen to You, two half-hour programs presented by “Illinois Law,” a cable production of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), will air on Chicago Access Network Television, Channel 21 in Chicago.  Senior Scams will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, August 30 and September 13, and Identity Theft will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, September 6 and 20.

Appearing on the shows are (from left) Det. Sgt. James Hennelly, Financial Crimes/Public Corruption, Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department; program moderator Gilda Hudson-Winfield, Law office of Gilda Hudson-Winfield in Chicago; Eric Salcedo, Community Outreach Coordinator, Illinois Attorney General’s Office; and Katherine Walsh, director, Senior Citizen Law Enforcement Academy, Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Nordic lawyers to honor probate judges

Posted on August 29, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Lynne Ostefeld and Nordic Law Club President David Hirschey invite the judges in the Probate Division to this year's dinner.The Nordic Law Club has invited judges of the Cook County Probate Division to attend the annual Probate Night dinner as guests of honor. The event will take place Monday, Sept. 26, at the Chicago Yacht Club on Monroe Harbor.

A 5 p.m. reception will precede the 6:30 p.m. dinner at which Presiding Judge Mary Ellen Coghlan will speak on behalf of the court. Reservations are $75 for Nordic Law Club members, and $85 for non-members and guests.

Advance reservations with payments must be made by Sept. 21 with Treasurer David G. Clark, Canalia & Clark, Suite C, 419 Ridge Road, Munster, IN 46321. Nametags to serve as admission tickets will be held at the Yacht Club entrance.

For more information, contact Lynne Ostfeld at ostfeld@ostfeldlaw.com.

 

Young Lawyers to host Day at the Races on Sept. 24

Posted on August 26, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division will host a Day at the Races on Saturday, Sept. 24. Admission is only $6 and includes admission to the park, a daily racing guide and a fabulous day of thoroughbred racing.

  • Saturday, Sept. 24, noon-5 p.m.
  • Arlington Park Racecourse, Arlington Heights (The ISBA group will be at picnic tables located by the Rail)
  • Deadline to register is Monday, Sept. 19 - contact jsosin@isba.org

Transfer on Death Instrument Act signed into law

Posted on August 26, 2011 by James R. Covington
Public Act 97-555 (Bradley, D-Marion; Wilhelmi, D-Joliet) creates the Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act. It allows an owner of real estate to transfer residential property on his or her death. The definition of "residential property" is borrowed from the Disclosure Act and the Mortgage Foreclosure Act.

The act requires that the owner (1) sign in front of a notary and two credible witnesses and (2) have the same mental capacity to execute a TODI as is required to make a will. This new Act will take effect January 1, 2012.

You may review the text of this Act here. 

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of August 25

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation of interest to ISBA members in his weekly ISBA Statehouse Review. This week he looks at Adoption forms (PA 97-493), the Illinois Personal Information Act (PA 97-483), Insurers must arbitrate small subrogation damages (PA 97-513), Cook County landlord and tenants (PA 97-470) and Jurors removed PA (97-436).

Illinois Bar Foundation to honor Newton Minow at 2011 Gala

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Newton MinowThe Illinois Bar Foundation will honor former FCC Chair and longtime Sidley Austin managing partner Newton Minow as the 2011 Recipient of the Distinguished Award for Excellence.

The 2011 Gala will be held on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. Raffle tickets are available now at www.illinoisbarfoundation.org for the following great prizes:

First Prize: Barcelona's Paradise -- Trip for two to Barcelona, Spain, for 7 days and 6 nights at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Arts Barcelona with economy class air. $8,000 value.

Second Prize: Broadway Bound -- Trip for two to New York, NY, for 4 days and 3 nights at the Plaza, including the Silver Entertainment Package (Broadway show of your choice), daily complimentary breakfast and economy class air. $5,100 value.

Third Prize: $2,500 Cash

To purchase tickets to this event or become an event sponsor, contact the IBF at (312) 726-6072 or visit www.illinoisbarfoundation.org.

 

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