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Q.  Am I exposed to any civil liability for making a Himmel report or making a complaint to the ARDC about someone engaging in UPL?

A.  Illinois Supreme Court Rule 775 provides that “any person … who communicates a complaint concerning an attorney or allegations regarding the unauthorized practice of law to the ARDC… shall be immune from all civil liability which, except for this rule, might result from such communications or complaint.” 

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

Disclaimer. These 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.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a member of the firm planning committee. We are an 18 attorney firm based in downtown Chicago. We have had planning retreats in the past with mixed results. Some believe that they have been a waste of time. We are planning a retreat for this fall and I would appreciate any ideas that would help us accomplish more from these retreats.


The Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday the appointment of Associate Judge Scott J. Butler of the Eighth Judicial Circuit as a resident circuit judge of Schuyler County.

Judge Butler was appointed to fill the resident Circuit Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Alesia A. McMillen on August 1, 2014. The appointment is effective August 4, 2014 and will expire December 5, 2016 when the position will be filled by the 2016 General Election.



In 1991, Anita Hill told the truth about an unjust workplace reality many women were silently facing and still are today: sexual harassment. Join us for a film screening as we look back twenty-three years to one woman's raw testimony, which ignited a national conversation about gender equality and power in the workplace. Tickets are $20 and ISBA members can use the code below to buy one ticket and get one free (limited availability).

What: "Anita: Speaking Truth to Power" Film Screening and Speak Out

When: Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 5–8 p.m.

Where: Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St., Chicago, IL

Register: womenemployed.force.com/events/CnP_PaaS_EVT__ExternalRegistrationPage?event_id=a0eF0000008APB2

Discount code: ISBABOGO

Come enjoy appetizers, a drink, and a powerful film screening followed by a speak out with other Chicagoland women about the risks and rewards of speaking truth to power.



Patrick Dempsey (center), a retired police officer who is director of the Jeanine Nicarico Children’s Advocacy Center, received a 2014 Law Enforcement Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) on July 24. ISBA President Richard D. Felice (right) presented the award as DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin looks on. Berlin nominated Dempsey for the award.

The ISBA’s Law Enforcement Award was created to recognize sworn law enforcement officers for conduct that promotes justice and to distinguish those individuals whose service to the public brings honor and respect to the entire criminal justice system. It is given to recognize those who truly excel in the field of law enforcement. In addition to Dempsey, four other law enforcement officers from judicial districts throughout Illinois are being honored.


Q.  What are the rules regarding engaging in a sexual relationship with a client?

A.  IRPC 1.8(j) states that a lawyer “shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced.”  For further explanation, see comments [17], [18] and [19] to rule 1.8(j). 

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.


ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers County code of conduct (Public Act 98-779), Dissolution of business entities (Public Act 98-776), The Residential Real Property Disclosure Act (Public Act 98-754) and The Mechanics Lien Act. (Public Act 98-764). More information on the bill is available below the video.

County code of conduct. Public Act 98-779 (Morrison, D-Deerfield; Yingling D-Hainesville) allows a county board for counties more than 300,000 but less than two million population to adopt a code of conduct regarding the fiscal responsibility and procurement authority, as required by State law, local ordinance, or county board policy It may also include additional provisions for the accountability, transparency, and ethical conduct of county appointees. Allows appointees appointed by a county board chairman or county executive to be removed from office for violating the code of conduct by the county board chairman or county executive with concurrence by a 2/3 majority vote of the county board. It requires that reasonable notice of the violation and a hearing before the county board or its designee be provided to the appointee before the vote. Makes similar provisions for appointees appointed by the county. The Act exempts the removal of county superintendent of highways and county engineer from these provisions. Effective January 1, 2015.


Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign an amendment to the Probate Act that will make it easier for estates to establish the impropriety of gifts made in a will or similar instrument to a court-appointed guardian or informal caregiver.

The law is a response to a number of instances in which a senior is persuaded to change his or her will to benefit a caregiver. Such instances occur with court-appointed guardians and with informal caregivers who nose their way into an elderly person's life, elder law experts say. Find out more in the August Illinois Bar Journal.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the Director of Administrator in a 45 attorney law firm in Miami. Twenty of these attorneys are partners and 10 of the partners are in their late fifties and mid to late sixties. While we have a semi-retirement program in place, it is not mandatory and many of our senior attorneys are unwilling to address issues pertaining to succession and transition of their practices. Do you have any thoughts or ideas you can share regarding creating incentives for senior attorneys to address and deal with the issue of retirement?


The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed the Hon. Bradley J. Waller, currently Associate Judge of the 23rd Judicial Circuit, to Resident Circuit Judge of of the 23rd Judicial Circuit, DeKalb County. This appointment is effective July 28, 2014 and terminates on Dec. 5, 2016.