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

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a 17 attorney law firm located in Rockford. While we have an active business law practice representing small companies we are planning on beginning to work more with entrepreneurial and startup companies. How can we go about finding and identifying these companies earlier in their development - possibly even before they have actually launched their businesses?


Q. Can I represent a client in a matter after I first met with the opposing party about representing her in the same matter but was not hired?

A. Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.18(c) prohibits a lawyer from representing a client with interests materially adverse to a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information that could be significantly harmful to that person in that matter unless the conditions of 1.18(d) are met. This rule only applies to individuals who are genuinely seeking legal representation, not those who may be attempting to disqualify a lawyer. For a further discussion of this issue, see ISBA Professional Advisory Opinion 12-18.

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.



The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of March 2014, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for March 2014:


Within the next decade, the aging population will explode due to the wave of baby boomers reaching retirement age, making it imperative that attorneys be prepared to assist and counsel both the elderly client and their children. Don’t miss this first annual elder law bootcamp in Chicago on April 24-25th that offers you the guidance and information you need to effectively represent an aging client! Attorneys with all levels of practice experience who attend this two-day seminar will gain a better understanding of: how to communicate with clients of diminished capacity; how to handle the cognitively impaired attorney; the new Elder Justice Center in Cook County; the alternatives to guardianship; wills vs. trusts; estate planning for families with a special needs member; guardianship litigation; grandparents raising grandchildren; important case law and statutory developments; preventing and prosecuting financial exploitation against elders; Long Term Care and the costs associated with it; and much more!

The program qualifies for 13.25 hours MCLE credit, including 2.5 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.


Brian F. Telander was sworn in as Circuit Court Judge for the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in Wheaton on Friday by Justice Robert R. Thomas of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Telander received his J.D. from the John Marshall Law School in 1976 and was admitted to practice that same year. He was a partner in the law firm of Telander and Telander from 1991-2014, specializing in criminal law. . He served as an associate judge in the 18th Circuit Court from 1988-1991.



The ISBA Young Lawyers will host the annual Soiree on April 25 at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. The evening will include an Open Bar, Hors d'oeuvres, Dancing, Casino Games, and Raffle. Proceeds benefit the YLD Children's Assistance Fund.

WHEN: Friday, April 25, 2014, 8–11 p.m.

WHERE: Hard Rock Hotel, 230 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

WHAT: Event will include open bar, hors d’ oeuvres, dancing, and raffle.  This year the Soiree will also feature blackjack, craps, and roulette casino games for guests to enjoy.  Cocktail/Semi-formal attire preferred.


In a recent ruling that inspired a strongly worded dissent, the Illinois Supreme Court held that police did not violate a suspect's Fourth Amendment rights by searching a small piece of luggage by his side after he was arrested and handcuffed on a civil warrant for failure to pay child support. Find out what search-and-seizure scholars say about the ruling in the April Illinois Bar Journal.


Q. I’m moving offices and would like to get rid of a bunch of old financial records and billing sheets. Can I?

A. Supreme Court Rule 769 requires that it is the duty of every lawyer to maintain for a minimum of seven years originals, copies, or computer generated images of: all financial records related to an attorney’s practice including bank statements, time and billing records, checks, check stubs, journals, ledgers, audits, financial statements, tax returns and tax reports. See also ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion 12-06. That Opinion presents a number of other considerations that might suggest keeping records even longer than seven years.

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 Young Lawyer of the Year Award: Nominate a young lawyer to be honored by the ISBA for their contribution to the advancement of the Bar of Illinois and participation in the ISBA.  To be eligible, the nominee must be under the age of 36 and an ISBA member.  One award will be given to a young lawyer practicing outside Cook County, and one to a young lawyer practicing within Cook County. Fill out the nomination form at www.isba.org/awards/yld. Forms are due on April 4, 2014.

ISBA Law Student Public Service Award: Nominate an Illinois law student to be honored by the ISBA for their participation in activities that enhance professional responsibility and provide service to the public.  The award is based on extracurricular accomplishments and service related activities during the law school career.  The ISBA will award one $250 donation in the name of the final winner to a non-profit organization of the winner’s choice. Fill out the nomination form at www.isba.org/awards/lawstudent. Forms are due on April 4, 2014.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a nine-attorney firm in Topeka, Kansas. There are three active partners in the firm. For years, day to day management has been the responsibility of a managing partner that we appoint from time to time. We have just hired our first firm administrator, who is experienced and has worked in other law firms. Should we continue to have a managing partner or consider a different structure?