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You negotiate every day. In fact, your ability to effectively negotiate may be the most critical skill you possess, yet most negotiate instinctively or intuitively. Don’t miss this Master Series seminar in Chicago on June 22, 2016 that trains you to approach negotiations with a strategic mindset, allowing you to become a more effective lawyer. And make no mistake – no matter how much you’ve negotiated, you can still learn. Adding that one new tactic may be the difference between winning and walking away empty-handed. Topics include: the golden rules of negotiation; gaining leverage with alternatives; using objective criteria and timing to your advantage; techniques for gathering information; generating creative solutions; dealing with “negotiation games”; ethical considerations; and much more.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a six attorney boutique estate planning practice located in Madison, Wisconsin. We had a great year last year financially as we have the last several years. However, this year (2016) we are off to a terrible start. Our new matter intakes are down by twenty-five percent. We have a very proactive marketing program - print advertisements, directory listings, top notch website, and we do seminars for prospective clients. I know other estate planning attorneys that do more seminars than we do. Should we be doing more seminars? I would appreciate your insight. 

Like most state agencies of its ilk, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission traditionally has taken a reactive approach. Someone brings a complaint against an attorney and if it's found to be warranted, punishment is meted out-ranging from reprimand to disbarment.

Given the legal profession's challenging times in the 2010s, and based on successful models in jurisdictions including New South Wales, Australia, the Illinois ARDC is among the state-level attorney disciplinary agencies that are considering retooling their regulatory approach to make it more proactive.

This approach was dubbed Proactive Management-Based Regulation (PMBR) in a widely circulated 2013 Hofstra Law Review article written by University of Arizona law professor Theodore Schneyer. Proponents say it gives attorney-regulators the leeway and wherewithal to design self-assessment tools to prompt attorneys to evaluate their practices and improve them as needed. "You have the lawyer sit down with checklists: Have you thought about this? Have you thought about that?" says Jim Grogan, deputy administrator and chief counsel at ARDC.

Find out more about PMBR and how it's being used in other jurisdictions in the June Illinois Bar Journal.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in Valfer v. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Fattah v. BimRichter v. Prairie Farms Dairy and Commonwealth Edison Company v. Illinois Commerce Commission.

Valfer v. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare

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

This case explored the breadth of a hospital’s immunity under the Illinois Hospital Licensing Act. Following a peer review, the hospital revoked Dr. Valfer’s privileges to practice at the hospital. After Dr. Valfer sued, the hospital obtained summary judgment. The trial court agreed that the hospital was immune from damages under the Licensing Act and that it had complied with its bylaws and had not engaged in any willful and wanton conduct.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Hernandez, People v. Cotto and People v. Grant.

People v. Hernandez

By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In People v. Hernandez, 2016 IL 118672, the Illinois Supreme Court built upon its recent decision in People v. Ligon, 2016 118023, and determined that the elements of armed robbery are not identical to the elements of armed violence.  Because armed robbery does not have the same elements as the lesser Class 2 offense of armed violence with a Category III weapon, which carried a lesser penalty, the Class X sentence for armed robbery imposed upon Hernandez did not violate the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution.

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on May 18, 2016, during the May Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


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"The Animal League Defense Fund ranked Illinois as the top jurisdiction in the United States for animal protection for the eighth consecutive year in 2015," Chicago lawyer Ken Stalkfleet reports in the May issue of Animal Law, newsletter of the ISBA Animal Law Section. Other top states are Oregon, Maine, California, and Michigan.

Which is not to say there isn't room for improvement. "Illinois was the only state in the top five without an affirmative duty for police officers to enforce animal protection laws," Stalkfleet wrote. "The report also listed several potential improvements, including stronger felony provisions for neglect and abandonment, mandatory forfeiture of animals following conviction, and the institution of an animal abuser registry." Read his article to learn about animal protective legislation introduced in this session.