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New Illinois Supreme Court Rule Requires Specific Language for All Civil Summons

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Effective July 1, a new Illinois Supreme Court Rule requires the following language to be added to all civil summons:

“E-filing is now mandatory for documents in civil cases with limited exemptions. To e-file, you must first create an account with an e-filing service provider. Visit to learn more and to select a service provider. If you need additional help or have trouble e-filing, visit”

ISBA Offices to Close July 4-5

Posted on June 26, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The ISBA Springfield and Chicago offices will be closed for the holiday beginning Wednesday, July 4. They will reopen on Friday, July 6. During this time, members can expect the following:

  • E-Clips will not be delivered for the duration of this period.
  • Illinois Lawyer Now Weekly will not be delivered on Thursday, July 5. Instead, it will be delivered on Friday, July 6.

All business and e-newsletter distribution will resume as usual on Friday, July 6.

Think Twice Before Responding to Negative Online Reviews

Posted on June 25, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

More than nine out of every 10 consumers use reviews to make decisions. Nearly as many trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Regarding the legal profession, of the 58 million people who sought a lawyer in 2012, more than 75 percent used online resources in their search.

Good online reviews can be a great thing for your firm; they essentially translate into cheap and effective advertising. But what happens when a negative review of your services lands online? How do you react? Should you react at all? 

ISBA Wins Summary Judgment in Lawsuit against IDFPR

Posted on June 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Cook County Circuit Court today issued an order finding that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) cannot prosecute Illinois property tax attorneys on charges they offered appraisal services without a proper state license when they argue valuations before tax assessment appeal tribunals.

The court found that “the comparison of properties or an income approach valuation presented by a licensed Illinois attorney on behalf of a client in real estate tax assessment proceedings does not entail the development or submission of an appraisal or constitute the unlicensed practice of real estate appraisal.”

ISBA and IBF 2018 President's Reception Announced

Posted on June 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
Hon. Russell W. Hartigan (ret.)

Hon. Russell W. Hartigan, Ret., the Illinois State Bar Association’s immediate past president and partner at Goldstine, Skroszki, Russian, Nemec and Hoff, Ltd., will be honored at a reception hosted by the Illinois State Bar Association and Illinois Bar Foundation at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, 2105 Spring Road, Oak Brook on Thursday, July 19 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased online.

A former Cook County Circuit Court judge, Hartigan now focuses his practice on litigation. In addition to serving as ISBA president from 2017-2018, Hartigan served as president of the West Suburban Bar Association and is a current member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates and Illinois Judges Association. He is an IBF Gold Fellow and member of the IBF’s Lincoln Legacy Society, and he serves on the IBF’s Lawyers Care Fund and Finance & Investment Committees.

Best Practice Tips: Associate Attorney Compensation and Motivation

Posted on June 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. Our firm is based in Springfield, Ill. We have four partners and four associates. We are a general practice firm. All of our associates have been with the firm for more than 10 years, and they receive $100,000 base salaries plus discretionary bonuses. Our associates are excellent attorneys; however, none of them bring in any business and their production numbers are low. Annual billable hours are below 1,200 and working attorney fee collections are below $300,000. We have not given raises or bonuses for the last several years. We are losing money on some of our associates and not even covering our overhead, alone making any profit from our associates. We are at a loss at what to do. Please share any thoughts or ideas that you might have.

The Folly of Overemphasizing Emphasis

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Justice Michael B. Hyman of the Illinois Appellate Court – and one of the Illinois Bar Journal’s regular columnists – has had enough of bold, underlined, italicized, and ALL-CAPPED words and phrases. Don’t even get him started on redundant exclamation points!!! 

We all may agree that such stylizations are all too common in our emails, texts, and social media posts. But Justice Hyman says such bad habits are making their way into legal documents meant to sway his opinion. In his June "Judging Your Writing" column, the justice – in no uncertain terms – says this isn’t a good idea. 

Illinois State Bar Association Assembly Approves Proposed Rule on Succession Planning

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association Assembly approved a proposed rule on succession planning for lawyers during the 2018 Annual Meeting. 

It would require all Illinois licensed private practice lawyers to name a designated representative on their ARDC registration documents or certify that they have made a similar designation in a succession plan or other valid document. The designated representative would have the authority to take limited fiduciary action in the event that the designating attorney dies, becomes disabled, disappears, or abandons the practice.