Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Fourth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Kevin S. Parker as associate judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Ferris, Thompson & Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito, Williams v. BNSF Railway Company, Lutkauskas v. Ricker and Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star of the State of Illinois v. Topinka and the criminal cases People v. Simpson, People v. Chenoweth and People v. Taylor.


Ferris, Thompson and Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.

This case involves the question of subject matter jurisdiction as between the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the circuit court.  The Court held that an attorney fee dispute based upon referral agreements wherein the plaintiff referred workers’ compensation claims to the defendant fell within the circuit court’s jurisdiction.

Plaintiff sued defendant in circuit court, asserting that, pursuant to written agreements, plaintiff agreed to act as co-counsel in representing two women who had workers’ compensation claims.  After the cases settled, defendant refused to pay plaintiff its share of fees. 

What can the professional sports industry teach us about ethics and racial discrimination? During the 2013-14 season, the sports industry dealt with a number of controversial issues that impacted members of diverse communities – from the disparaging remarks made by the L.A. Clippers owner, to the locker room harassment experienced by several members of the Miami Dolphins, to the anger over the derogatory name of the Washington Redskins – to name a few. Join us via the Internet on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 for this one-hour live webcast that uses the legal issues surrounding these events as a springboard for discussion on First Amendment rights, workplace discrimination, the private ordering of an entity and its power to remove stakeholders or managers, employee harassment, and much more!

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and qualifies for 1.0 hour MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Indulge your wanderlust in 2016 with ISBA 2015-2016 President and First Lady, Umberto and Jan Davi in Sicily, Italy from April 22-30, 2016. Take in the stunning cities of Palermo and Taormina where Sicily is waiting for you. Yes, you. Keep this in mind:

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

Sharing the ISBA travel experience with family and friends is one way to spread the wealth. Make your plans for the 2016 trip with them now.

We will delight in an exclusive wine tasting and tour of the Principi di Carleone Winery, enjoy dinner at the exquisite Art Nouveau style Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes in Palermo, savor the splendid views of the Sicilian countryside and explore the charming coastal town of Taormina from the San Domenico Palace Hotel, plus so much more. The hotels selected are among the finest and, most importantly, occupy enviable addresses.

In July 2014, candidate Bruce Rauner proposed expanding Illinois' sales tax to selected businesses and occupations that provide services. Legal services are among those Rauner named in his proposal, which exempts accountants, financial advisors, and other professionals. The Illinois State Bar Association objects to a service tax on legal services because, among other reasons, it is a regressive tax ultimately paid by those who purchase legal services, not the attorney. Find out more in the February Illinois Bar Journal.

Chief Circuit Judge Kathryn E. Creswell is pleased to announce that following a January 21, 2015 meeting of the Circuit Judges of the 18th Circuit Court, two finalists for the Office of Associate Judge have been selected and certified to the Illinois Supreme Court. The finalists are seeking to fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Liam C. Brennan to Circuit Judge. From these names, the Circuit Judges will select one appointee by secret ballot.

Q.  May I wear a shirt with my firm’s logo on it during a television appearance?

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers The Attorney Act and citizenship (Senate Bill 23), Juror fees (Senate Bill 59), Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (Senate Bill 45), Open Meetings Act (House Bill 175), Respondents in discovery (House Bill 96) and Discovery and depositions (House Bill 95 ). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman announced Wednesday the formation of a judicial screening committee for the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

Chief Justice Garman established the screening committee to assess the qualifications of those persons who have applied for appointment to the at-large Circuit Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Patrick J. Londrigan on December 8, 2014. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court holds the authority to fill interim judicial vacancies until the next General Election.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a four partner firm located in Houston. We have three associates in the firm. One of our partners has a son just finishing law school and he would like him to join the firm. We have never had children of partners work in the firm before and I am concerned about setting a precedent. We have a good relationship among all of the attorneys and I do not want to see our relationship tarnished. I would appreciate your thoughts.