Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman speaks with ABA Past President Laurel Bellows on the importance of court funding.

ISBA President-Elect Richard D. Felice (from left), ISBA President Paula H. Holderman, Rep. Mike Quigley, past ABA President Laurel Bellows, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride and CBF legislative director Jessica Bednarz at an April 9, 2014 dinner honoring Rep. Quigley in Washington, D.C. As part of ABA Days, the Illinois delegation lobbied on Capitol Hill for increased funding for the Legal Services Corporation and against tax reform bill that would negatively impact lawyers and other professional service providers.

Suppose opposing counsel inadvertently reveals your client's social security number in a pending lawsuit despite your request under applicable rules that he not do so. Can you sue for, say, invasion of privacy and negligent infliction of emotional distress?

You can't, George Bellas reports in the latest issue of Trial Briefs, newsletter of the ISBA Civil Practice and Procedure section. "The recent case of Johnson v. Johnson and Bell, Ltd., 2014 IL App (1st) 122677 (February 24, 2014), considered this issue and ruled that the litigation privilege precluded any liability," Bellas wrote. The court reasoned that "attorneys enjoy immunity from defamation actions arising out of a judicial proceeding," relying on Restatement (Second) of Torts § 586. Find out more.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am an associate in a law firm in Akron, Ohio. The firm is an estate planning practice consisting of the owner/founder of the firm, myself, and two legal assistants. I have been with the firm for ten years and this is the only firm that I have worked with since law school. The owner is 67 and has announced that he wishes to retire. He has approached me and provided me with a proposal to buy his practice via an arrangement where I would initially pay him a down payment of 50% of his asking price and after two years the other 50% would be paid over a period of five years. The arrangement would be structured as a partnership and for the two year period we would be 50-50 partners. Compensation would be based upon these ownership percentages. The owner's asking price is two times his average net earnings ($125,000) - $250,000. Average revenues - $210,000. I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Q. I want to share office expenses and space with two other lawyers, but we won’t be partners. Can we call ourselves the “X, Y, and Z” law firm? 

A. Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 7.5(d) provides that lawyers may only state or imply they practice in a partnership or other organization when that is the fact. Comment [2] to that Rule goes to say that “lawyers sharing office facilities, but who are not in fact associated with each other in a law firm, may not denominate themselves as, for example, “Smith and Jones,” for that title suggests that they are practicing law together in a firm. See also, ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion 03-02.

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.

DisclaimerThese questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline.  The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed.  The information provided isn’t legal advice.  Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.

Terrence Truax
Terrence Truax
Jenner & Block LLP today announces that Terrence J. Truax – a 26-year veteran of the firm and co-chair of its Patent Litigation and Counseling Practice – has been elected managing partner, effective May 1, 2014.  He will succeed Susan C. Levy, who leaves the 450-attorney firm at the end of April to assume her new position as executive vice president and general counsel at Northern Trust Corporation.

Mr. Truax served on the firm’s Management Committee starting in January 2007 and subsequently has served on the firm’s Policy Committee since 2009.  Mr. Truax joined Jenner & Block as an associate in 1988 and was promoted to partner in 1997.  Based in the firm’s Chicago office, Mr. Truax has represented clients from around the world and has been involved in some of the firm’s most complex and high-profile matters.

Enhance your understanding of the issues surrounding corporate ethics! Understanding the issues surrounding corporate ethics is vital in today’s climate. This half-day seminar in Normal, Illinois on April 25th offers you the updates you need regarding recent developments in corporate law ethics. The program is designed for a diverse audience with intermediate levels of practice experience, including in-house lawyers, corporate attorneys, and private practitioners. Attorneys attending this seminar will better understand: the ethical considerations for practitioners representing corporate clients; understanding the scope of permissible advice and licensure/practice restrictions in a multijurisdictional practice; the recent developments and future trends in professional responsibility; incorporating the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct into the in-house counsel’s practice; and the ethical considerations for employers regarding the Affordable Care Act requirements and penalties.

The program is presented by the ISBA Corporate Law Departments Section and qualifies for 4.0 hours MCLE credit, including 4.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Marc William Martin to be a Circuit Judge of Cook County, 11th Subcircuit. This appointment fills the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Carol A. Kelly. It is effective May 1, 2014 and terminates on Dec. 5, 2016.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Presumptively Void Transfers in Probate Act (Senate Bill 1048), Condominiums and common-interest communities (House Bill 4204), Business Corporation Act of 1983 (Senate Bill 1098), Business Corporation Act of 1983 (Senate Bill 1099), Parenting time (House Bill 5425) and Parenting time (House Bill 4124). More information on each bill is available below.

The ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law and ISBA President Paula H. Holderman will present "Because You're Worth It! - Achieving Excellent Compensation and Advancement in the Legal Profession" on May 8, 2014, at the ISBA Chicago Office. The program will take place from 1:30-3:30 p.m. with a networking reception from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Cost is $20 for ISBA Members, $25 for non-ISBA Members.

Feeling under paid, underappreciated and unsatisfied at your firm? Not getting the assignments you want? Watching others around you advance while you feel stagnant? It’s time to learn what you are really worth and how to excel in your career path to achieve the compensation you deserve. This interactive panel discussion will provide practical methods to maximize your potential for advancement in your legal career.

Register at

The deadline to register is Monday, May 5, 2014. No refunds will be given after May 5.

MCLE credit is not available for this program.