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Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner with a fourteen attorney business litigation defense firm in Los Angeles. I am the member on our three member executive committee that is responsible for financial oversight. This year we put in place an 1800 annual (150 hours per month) billable hour expectation for associate attorneys. No one has ever reached 150 hours. Are our expectations unrealistic? What is our problem? I would appreciate your thoughts.


In 1897, Scott Bibb, an African-American father of two school-age children, resisted the newly-imposed racial segregation in the Alton, Illinois schools. Join us in Chicago on December 9, 2016 for a look at the family’s persistent legal efforts over the next 11 years and a panel discussion regarding how the case might have unfolded under current laws and rules. The program includes a video replay of the DePaul University Theater School production chronicling the events surrounding this case.


The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the certification of three new problem-solving courts in Kendall, Peoria and Tazewell counties. These problem-solving courts – the Kendall County Drug Court, the Peoria DUI Court and the Tazewell County Mental Health Court – are the first to go through the Supreme Court's application and certification process. The more than 100 problem-solving courts already in operation will also go through the process.

In November 2015, the Supreme Court adopted statewide Standards to bring uniformity, accountability and administrative oversight to problem-solving courts in Illinois.

Also known as specialty or therapeutic courts, problem-solving courts provide an alternative forum for certain individuals in the criminal justice system, such as those with mental illness or substance abuse disorders. Problem-solving courts utilize a collaborative, therapeutic approach with justice professionals partnering with community treatment providers to address an individual's underlying behavioral health issues.



The holidays are here and ISBA is giving the gift of savings! Take advantage of your membership with these exclusive offers:


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

DISBARRED

  • James Ryan Crowley, Northbrook

Mr. Crowley, who was licensed in 2005, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted in state court of possessing child pornography. He was suspended on an interim basis on July 6, 2016.

SUSPENDED

  • James Francis Bishop, Crystal Lake

Mr. Bishop, who was licensed in 1966, was suspended for thirty days. While representing the sellers in a commercial real estate transaction, he mismanaged $1,282.31 in funds that he had agreed to hold as an escrowee. The suspension is effective on December 9, 2016.


Introduction

Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County Illinois, hereinafter referred to as the Authority, is located in Moline, Illinois. Its staff consists of approximately 80 regular full-time and part-time employees of the Authority and its wholly owned subsidiary, QCIA Airport Services, L.L.C.  Additional seasonal workers are employed during the summer and winter months. There is one bargaining unit representing public safety and non-public safety employees. Further information about the Authority’s government can be found at http://www.qcairport.com.

The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to obtain proposals from qualified law firms to provide employment and labor relations legal services for the Authority. The firm must have substantial experience in the area of employment law, including labor contract negotiation experience with public sector entities in Illinois.


Chief Circuit Judge Kathryn E. Creswell is pleased to announce that following a tabulation of ballots by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts in Springfield, the Circuit Judges of the Eighteenth Judicial Court, DuPage County, Illinois have appointed Joshua J. Dieden to the position of Associate Judge.

Mr. Dieden fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Judge Mary E. O’Connor.


There are many reasons why lawyers might want to research judges. They might want to learn how a judge rules or runs the courtroom to gain a tactical advantage in litigation - or to decide whether to file a motion for substitution of judge before any substantive rulings are made. Attorneys seeking to fill a vacancy in one of Illinois' circuit courts might want to learn more about, and get in contact with, the judges who will select the new jurist. But what resources exist for these purposes?

There are familiar legal research tools like Westlaw, Lexis, or Fastcase for reading published opinions. While this might be useful for learning about federal judges, where even trial courts have published opinions, it is less so for learning about state judges.

The Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law publishes a website that contains biographical and professional data for all of the judges sitting on the bench in 2015. It is located at http://illinoisjudges.law.northwestern.edu/. The site has gathered data from several sources including the Illinois Supreme Court website, Sullivan's Judicial Profiles, individual judges' websites, and other sources.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the partner recently put in charge of marketing in our eight lawyer general practice firm. For years we have simply relied on referrals from past clients, lawyers, and other referral sources as our sole means of client development. A few years ago we invested in a website. We are now considering whether we should invest in social media. I welcome your thoughts.


An ISBA committee is recommending to the ISBA Assembly that it support adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination in Illinois. At its October meeting the ISBA Board of Governors approved the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Legal Education, Admission and Competence that Illinois adopt the UBE. The Assembly will consider the committee’s report and recommendations at its December 10 meeting in Chicago.

The report, available here, finds that adopting the UBE will improve the market for job seekers and employers, lower the cost of bar admission, and help produce practice-ready lawyers. It concludes that because the UBE allows jurisdictions to incorporate state-specific requirements for bar admission, adopting it will not compromise Illinois’ ability to ensure candidates are knowledgeable about Illinois law and procedure. 

The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar has recommended to the Illinois Supreme Court that it adopt the UBE, and the board is holding public hearings on the proposal this month. The UBE has been adopted by 24 states.

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