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Best Practice Tips: Hiring an Associate Attorney as a Solo’s Exit Strategy

Posted on December 6, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q.  I am a solo practitioner in central Illinois. I have been in practice for more than 30 years and I just turned 60. I have two staff members and no other attorneys in the firm other than myself. I plan on working another five years and then I would like to gradually exit from my practice and then retire. I want to have a home for my clients and employees, and I would prefer to be able to sell my interest to an associate attorney working for the firm. I think we have the work to justify hiring an associate and this is the route I would like to go. I have never had an associate, so I am not sure what I should look for. Your thoughts would be most appreciated.

Practice HQ Resource: Winter Weather Preparedness Checklist

Posted on December 5, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Severe winter weather can cause property damage, lead to employee illness or injury, and in some cases force attorneys to temporarily close their law offices.

The ISBA’s winter weather preparedness checklist helps attorneys identify the areas of their business that are the most vulnerable to winter hazards. Developing a winter preparedness plan can help lawyers minimize damage and recover more quickly after the storm has passed.

ISBA Past President Vincent Cornelius Sworn in as Will County Circuit Court Judge

Posted on December 3, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Joliet attorney Vincent F. Cornelius was sworn in today as circuit judge for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court of Will County. 

The ceremony took place in the Joliet City Council Chamber, 150 W. Jefferson St., in Joliet. 

Cornelius is the founder and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Vincent F. Cornelius in Joliet and Wheaton. He has tried hundreds of cases during his career as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and civil litigator.

ISBA Receives Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership Training Academy’s Trailblazers Award

Posted on December 3, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
(L-R) ISBA Member Emily Masalski, ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington, ISBA President James F. McCluskey, ISBA Women and the Law Committee Chair Lori Levin, ISBA Board of Governors Member Julie Johnson, ISBA Women and the Law Committee Ex-Officio Melissa Olivero, ISBA Women and the Law Vice Chair Kelly Bennett, ISBA Member David P. Eldridge.  

The Illinois State Bar Association was among several groups that recently received the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership Training Academy’s Trailblazers Award.

The recipients of this year’s awards were organizations that helped pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution in Illinois. The amendment, which outlaws discrimination based on gender nationwide, was ratified in May.

Breaking Up Is Harder to Do

Posted on December 3, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

For the past 70 years, family law attorneys have utilized the alimony deduction to help ease the financial burden divorcing families face as they transition to two households. The elimination of the alimony-payments deduction is a major casualty of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This change will be costly for divorcing couples and may make settling divorce cases more difficult. In December’s Illinois Bar Journal, family law attorneys Nancy Chausow Shafer and Margaret A. Bennett provide a guide to the new maintenance formula, the repeal of the alimony deduction, and other changes that divorcing couples and their attorneys need to know.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, November 29

Posted on November 29, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down nine opinions on Thursday, Nov. 29. The court determined that amendments to Supreme Court Rule 604(d) do not apply retroactively in People v. Easton, confronted whether a defendant who is able to retain counsel to prepare and file his post-conviction petition is entitled to any guaranteed level of assistance from that counsel in People v. Johnson, and articulated the contours of “waiver by conduct” in regard to appointed counsel for post-conviction petitions in People v. Lesley. The supreme court also determined that two corporate defendants were both liable in tort and their relative culpability was equal in Sperl v. Henry, opined that “transactional test” for res judicata should also be applied to the separate doctrine of the single refiling rule to determine whether two or more lawsuits assert the same cause of action in First Midwest Bank v. Cobo, and held that an injured worker was barred from intervening in her employer’s subrogation action brought against third-party tortfeasors in A&R Janitorial v. Pepper Construction Co. The supreme court also weighed in on statutory changes to the Illinois Pension Code and their impacts upon affected employees in Carmichael v. Laborers & Retirement Board Employees’ Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago, discussed the court’s jurisdiction, supervisory authority, and the framework for a circuit court to address the constitutionality of an Illinois statute in Gonzalez v. Union Health Service, Inc., and addressed judicial review of executive power in Gregg v. Rauner.

CLE: Technology and Business Planning for a Law Firm (Live Webinar)

Posted on November 29, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Simply fixing or replacing technology that breaks will never improve your practice. Most lawyers often feel technologically adrift although they have a general idea of problems they need to fix and new initiatives they want to launch. This lack of direction can be remedied with a technology plan. Don’t miss this online program on Dec. 18 that shows how to build a technology plan that identifies problems, addresses inefficiencies, and proactively improves your practice. A business plan also provides direction and continuity for your overall business objectives. Find out why every law firm needs a business plan and how to build one yourself.

Best Practice Tips: Providing Meaningful Feedback to Associate Attorneys

Posted on November 28, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the owner of an elder law firm in Jackson, Mississippi. There are three associate attorneys who have been with me less than five years. All three were hired directly out of law school. While I try to mentor and train each of the associates as needed in “real time,” I also conduct annual performance reviews with each associate and provide them with a written performance evaluation. I am getting frustrated as it seems that the feedback that I provide does not stick and they continue to make the same errors. I welcome any thoughts that you may have.

Famous Abraham Lincoln Portrait Unveiled at Daley Center in Chicago

Posted on November 28, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

A high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph was unveiled Tuesday at the Daley Center in honor of the state’s bicentennial.

ISBA President James F. McCluskey participated in the ceremony, which was presided over by Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans. The ceremony was part of a statewide initiative to place framed photographs of the 16th U.S. president in courthouses in each of Illinois' 102 counties.

CLE: Family Law Update 2019—A French Quarter Festival

Posted on November 26, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The ISBA’s Family Law Update in the French Quarter is back. The conference is open to ISBA members and limited to the first 150 registrants.

Join us in New Orleans April 4-5, 2019, for this highly popular biennial event featuring two days of premium family law presentations, a complimentary reception to network with friends and colleagues, 12.25 hours of MCLE credit, and many opportunity to enjoy the area’s food and fun. Family law attorneys, general practitioners, and lawyers working in the child law area who attend this conference will better understand: the rights of unmarried people living together in Illinois; how to secure your fees as a family law practitioner; the caselaw updates and changes you need to be aware of; how to analyze a forensic mental health report; how judgment and bias are used throughout the decision-making process; the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act; how family law issues are impacted when individuals file for bankruptcy; how the newly revised IRC affects the practice of family law; how maintenance is calculated and what impacts the bottom line; the necessary evidence in presenting a child support hearing; and the science behind relocation. The conference closes with an interactive segment that lets you show off how well you know the Illinois Rules of Evidence and the Code of Civil Procedure.