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CLE: Illinois Animal Law Conference—2019

Posted on January 18, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA’s Illinois Animal Law Conference is back again, giving you the updates you need to effectively advise your clients on a number of important animal law topics. Criminal law attorneys, animal law practitioners, environmental lawyers, general practitioners, and counsel for municipalities and government entities who attend this seminar Feb. 14-15 in Carbondale will better understand: how “forensic veterinary medicine” can be used in all aspects of animal law litigation; how data is being collected and used to proactively address animal-related community concerns; what is being done to protect horses and how horse rescue organizations are regulated; the most common conservation violations and the enforcement process; the Illinois Herptiles-Herps Act and what Illinois is doing to protect amphibians and reptiles; the recent issues that have arisen in the pet food industry; how to help your client with their pet planning needs; how coyotes are being targeted in killing contests, and the efforts that are being made to outlaw these type of events; the recent case law, legislation, and regulations affecting the animal law arena; and how mindfulness practices can improve our wellbeing.

Best Practice Tips: Improving Productivity and Profitability in an Insurance Defense Law Firm

Posted on January 16, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the owner of a six-attorney insurance defense firm. I started the practice 12 years ago with a paralegal and have grown the firm to where it is today – six attorneys, two paralegals, and two other staff members. While I have done well and am taking home around $350,000 a year, I am not sure if we are attaining the numbers that we should be. I have a 1,500-billable hour expectation with a per-hour bonus payable for each billable hour exceeding 1,500. I do not have any attorneys who have reached this expectation. Our billing rates average around $150 per hour. I am wanting to put in place a partnership track and am not sure where to start. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Illinois Supreme Court Receives Famous Lincoln Portrait in Commemoration of State’s Bicentennial

Posted on January 16, 2019 by Rhys Saunders
Pictured are ISBA 3rd Vice President Anna Krolikowska, ISBA President James McCluskey, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier, and ISBA President Elect David Sosin. 

The Illinois Supreme Court received a high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph on Jan. 15 during a ceremony held in Springfield.

The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. Historians consider Hesler’s portrait one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.

CLE: Starting and Running Your Own Practice

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

As with any significant business venture, there is a certain amount of planning that must go into organizing a law practice in order for it to be successful. Get the guidance you need on organizing, marketing, protecting, and profiting from a solo practice with this full-day seminar Feb. 8 in O’Fallon. Attorneys with all levels of practice experience who are interested in starting a solo practice and who attend this seminar will better understand: how to name your law firm and register it with the required agencies; how to safeguard your investment through malpractice insurance and other options; how having a website and advertising through social media can help your practice; the legal forms you need to get started, including sample contracts, petitions, and engagement letters; the challenges facing solo practitioners (from the judicial perspective); and how to manage the stress and demands of the profession.

Practice HQ Resource: Crisis Communications Planning Checklist

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Having a crisis communications plan in place is imperative for all businesses—and especially so for law firms.

Such plans should incorporate both internal and external communications, so that employees are kept abreast of what is happening and to ensure that firms can control the public conversation.

Martin Sinclair Named Chair of the Commission on Professionalism

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Supreme Court of Illinois has appointed Martin Sinclair as chair of the Commission on Professionalism, effective Jan. 1.

Sinclair, an attorney at Sperling & Slater, P.C. in Chicago, previously served as the commission's vice-chair. His term as chair will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

In addition, Commissioner James DeAno, managing partner at DeAno & Scarry, LLC in Chicago, has been designated vice-chair for a term expiring Dec. 31. John Kim, counsel at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. in Bloomington, has been appointed as a new commissioner for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2021. Kim replaces Jeffrey Jackson, who retired from the commission as of Dec. 31, 2018.

Illinois Supreme Court Oral Arguments to be Streamed Online Wednesday, Jan. 23

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court will livestream oral arguments in four cases on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

The court will hear arguments in the cases of Van Dyke v. WhiteCounty of Will v. Illinois Pollution Control BoardLMP Services, Inc. v. City of Chicago, and Doe v. The First Congregational Church of Dundee. The livestream will begin at 9:30 a.m.

The case of Van Dyke v. White concerns whether the Illinois Secretary of State or the Illinois Department of Insurance have the authority to regulate the sale of indexed annuities. County of Will v. Illinois Pollution Control Board involves the defendant's new regulations regarding the prevention of groundwater contamination from waste disposal sites that use construction materials. 

A New Day for LLCs in Illinois

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

In his January 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “A New Day for LLCs in Illinois,” Matthew Misichko, an associate in the corporate department at Barnes & Thornburg, discusses new strategic opportunities for clients who are forming businesses in Illinois thanks to recent amendments to the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act. Significant amendments to the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act took effect on July 1, 2017, and brought the Act into conformity with the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act already followed by most states. With the changes come new recommendations for reviewing a current LLC operating agreement or drafting a new one. For starters, LLCs now have appointment power, bringing LLCs into alignment with corporations, which have had such authority for a long time. Also, LLC managers can now be designated rather than elected.

New and Upgraded Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation thank our latest new and upgraded Fellows for their commitment to supporting the mission of the Illinois Bar Foundation. Funds from the Fellows program make a direct impact on the lives of those in need, including our colleagues and their families during times of crisis and those who cannot otherwise afford legal representation. Fellows’ pledges are payable over 10 years and start at just $100 per year, or less than $9 per month. 

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.