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

Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Gerald V. Cleary as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 10th Subcircuit.

Judge Cleary was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Donald J. Suriano, who is retiring on Nov. 2, 2016.

The appointment takes effect Nov. 3, 2016 and will terminate on Dec. 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursdays's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the Civil case Carney v. Union Pacific R.R. Co. and the criminal cases People v. Jones and People v. Minnis.


Carney v. Union Pacific R.R. Co.

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

In affirming the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant Union Pacific, and reversing the appellate court, which had decided this case with a Rule 23 Order, the supreme court significantly examined three sections of the Restatement (Second) of Torts which are frequently invoked in cases involving injuries during construction.  Justice Theis wrote for the court.  Justice Kilbride dissented.

Illinois elder law attorney Kerry Peck discusses what you should know about temporary guardianship.

At its October 14 meeting, the ISBA Board of Governors adopted an ethics opinion that expressly authorizes storage of confidential client information in the cloud and approved the recommendations of the ISBA Task Force on the Future of Legal Services.

Futures report, recommendations. The Board approved the report and recommendations of the legal services task force. They now go to the ISBA Assembly, which will take them up at its December meeting. Recommendations include creating a consumer-oriented lawyer directory, providing technology and practice-management education and resources to members, and establishing a standing committee on the future of legal services.

Ethics opinions on the cloud, conflicts, of-counsel fee division. The Board approved three ethics advisory opinions, including one that specifically allows online “cloud” storage of client data. Opinion 16-06 says lawyers may use a cloud-based service to store confidential client information as long as they take reasonable care to assure its security. Opinion 16-05 says it’s not a conflict for a law firm to represent a city while a paralegal from the firm serves on the city council. Opinion 16-04 concludes that the fee-division restrictions imposed by Illinois ethics rule 1.5(e) on lawyers from different firms do not apply to “of counsel” relationships.

In other action, the Board

● Approved allowing the chief judge of a circuit to make judicial advisory polls about candidates for associate judgeships either public or private. This reversed a Board policy adopted last February to make all associate judgeship polls public.

How are state's attorneys and judges handling cases for possession of small amounts of cannabis that are pending after the new cannabis decriminalization law took effect?

Peoria lawyer Jeffrey R. Hall, one of the drafters of the law, summarizes his experience in the October Illinois Bar Journal.

"The issues revolve around the interpretation of the Statute on Statutes under 5 ILCS 70/4 as it applies a law that repeals or changes the sentence or punishment of a statute," Hall writes. "When a criminal case is pending while a statute is repealed or amended, one must ask whether the change to the statute was substantive (changing the elements of a crime) or procedural (changing or mitigating a sentence).

"With SB 2228's decriminalization of possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis and drug paraphernalia, the legislature made a procedural amendment by changing the severity of the sentence as well as the category of offense," Hall writes. "No longer is possession a criminal act. It is now a civil violation with 'civil fees,' since cannabis possession is still 'unlawful' for all intents and purposes."

How many times have you heard “this is a standard settlement term”? Don’t miss this online seminar on November 3, 2016 that helps you determine which non-monetary provisions you need in settlement and severance agreements … and which you can accept from opposing counsel without much fear. Practitioners with intermediate to advanced practice skills working in the litigation environment – whether as an attorney or in-house counsel – who attend this seminar will better understand: what most attorneys define as the “standard” settlement term; which provisions are a necessary component in settlement agreements; how to ensure that you’ve included all of the provisions you need; and how to avoid missing something in the settlement agreement.

Illinois State Bar Association 2nd Vice President James F. McCluskey (far right) presented an ISBA Law Enforcement Award to Illinois Department of Conservation Officer Hank Frazier (second from left) on Oct. 18 at JJ’s Pub in Ottawa. (Also pictured: James T. Reilly [far left] and LaSalle County Bar Association President Michelle A. Vescogni [second from right]).
Illinois State Bar Association 2nd Vice President James F. McCluskey (far right) presented an ISBA Law Enforcement Award to Illinois Department of Conservation Officer Hank Frazier (second from left) on Oct. 18 at JJ’s Pub in Ottawa. (Also pictured: James T. Reilly [far left] and LaSalle County Bar Association President Michelle A. Vescogni [second from right]).
Illinois Department of Conservation Officer Hank Frazier, of Utica, received a 2016 Law Enforcement Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) on October 18 during a LaSalle County Bar Association meeting at JJ’s Pub in Ottawa.

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 recognizes those who excel in law enforcement. ISBA 2nd Vice President James F. McCluskey presented the award.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm is a fourteen attorney firm in Orlando, Florida. We have Two equity members, five non-equity members, and seven associates. We are currently managed by the managing member. In order to be more inclusive we are thinking about eliminating the managing member position and moving to a three member executive committee with one of the three members being a non-equity member. I would appreciate your thoughts?

The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is a multistate bar examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which has been adopted in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Administered over two days, the UBE consists of: (a) the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) - a 200- question multiple-choice test; (b) the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) - six essay questions on general principles of law; and (c) the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) - two hypothetical legal assignments requiring examinees to complete the tasks in writing. Persons who take the UBE receive a portable score, which, if high enough, will be accepted by any UBE jurisdiction as a passing score on its bar exam for a specific time period.

The ISBA Springfield office is closed Monday, October 17, while workers repair water damage from a weekend storm.  Website, phone and email services were interrupted Monday morning but should now be back to normal. However, Springfield staff members are away from the office today to make way for repair crews. The Chicago office remains open.