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Umberto S. Davi
Umberto S. Davi
Umberto S. Davi, of Willowbrook, a principal in the Western Springs law firm of Davi and Associates, has been elected third vice president of the Illinois State Bar Association. He will serve one year in each of three vice presidential offices and become president in 2015.

Davi, whose law practice concentrates in family law and real estate, was first elected to the ISBA Board of Governors in 1998 and was re-elected in 2004, 2008 and again in 2011. He has served on the ISBA’s 201-member Assembly and has been active on numerous committees.

A past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, Davi has served as president of the Willowbrook Police Pension Board for more than 10 years and is a Willowbrook Village trustee. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of The John Marshall Law School. A native of Italy, he helped establish the Sicilian American Cultural Association.

Davi received his law degree from The John Marshall Law School, with Distinction, in 1982. A member of its alumni board, he was its president in 2005-06. He received his undergraduate degree in 1976 from Western Illinois University, in Macomb, where he was a member of the National Honor Society.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers House Bill 3944 (eavesdropping), House bill 1205 (residential burglary), House Bill 2886 (statute of limitations and sex offenses), House Bill 281 (judgement debtors) and House Bills 4460 and 4461 (domestic violence orders). More information on each bill is available below the video:

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the criminal cases People v. Wrice and People v. Torres and civil cases Innovative Modular Solutions v. Hazel Crest School District 152.5 and Citizens Opposing Pollution v. Exxonmobil Coal U.S.A.


People v. Wrice

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender


The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in Reliable Fire Equip. Co. v. Arredondo, 2011 Ill. LEXIS 1836 (Ill. Dec. 1, 2011). The opinion enforced prior precedent that an employer’s legitimate business interest should be considered in deciding whether a restrictive covenant should be enforced, but it rejected the previously set “tests” and “formulas” employed by Illinois appellate courts in determining whether a legitimate business interest exists. Illinois lawyers should carefully consider the Supreme Court’s decision and reconsider their previous opinions to clients regarding the enforceability of certain covenants.

Lawyers Should Reevaluate Advice to Clients Regarding the Enforceability of Restrictive Covenants in Light of New Illinois Supreme Court Case

By: Joseph R. Marconi and Victor J. Pioli, For ISBA Mutual

Ever since the Fourth District Appellate Court’s opinion in Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, 394 Ill.App.3d 421, 915 N.E.2d 862 (4th Dist. 2009), uncertainty has been pervasive regarding what factors a court should consider and what test(s) a court should apply in determining the enforceability of a restrictive covenant under Illinois law. On December 1, 2011, the Illinois Supreme Court rendered its opinion in Reliable Fire Equip. Co. v. Arredondo, 2011 Ill. LEXIS 1836 (Ill. Dec. 1, 2011) to lend some clarity to the issues.

Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) President John G. Locallo (right) presented an oversize copy of the cover of the 100th anniversary edition of the Illinois Bar Journal, the monthly magazine of the ISBA, to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, in his capacity as State Librarian, on Tuesday, Jan. 31. An actual copy of the magazine was donated to the library for its archives and will be made available to the public. 

The 100th anniversary issue features an eight-page overview of how the publication has evolved over the years, both in appearance and content. It was authored by Thomas Hunter, a member of the Illinois Bar Journal Editorial Board and a clerk in the chambers of Hon. Richard P. Goldenhersh, Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District.

(Photo credit: John Wheeler)

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm has been struggling for the past couple years. We have lost three key institutional clients, had partner defections to other law firm, and have suffered financially. We were a 40 attorney firm- six years later we are ten. We simply must improve profitability. What areas of our overhead should we attack first?

A. Many law firms waste considerable time trying to find ways to cut a pie that is too small up differently by implementation of new compensation systems or increasing the size of the pie by decreasing costs. While unnecessary expenses should be reduced - once they are reduced a repeated effort to slash costs proves fruitless as a strategy to increase the firm pie. The vast majority of law firm expenses are fixed or production-related. The percentage of costs that are discretionary is low, typically in the 20-30 percent range, and the number of dollars available for savings is small. The available dollars available for reduction disappear after a year or two of cost-cutting, leaving the firm with dealing with the effects of further cuts on production capacity. For example:

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride announced on Tuesday that the Illinois Supreme Court has approved the application from the 14th Judicial Circuit in northwestern Illinois to allow news media cameras in trial courtrooms in the state for the first time.

Chief Judge Jeffrey W. O’Connor of the 14th Circuit applied to the Supreme Court for approval last week, one day after Chief Justice Kilbride announced that an experimental program was unanimously approved by the seven justices on the Court.

The 14th Circuit is comprised of Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties.

"Today's Order is a historic one," said Chief Justice Kilbride. "For the first time in state history, citizens not physically present will be able to see and hear proceedings in our trial courts. My colleagues and I an-nounced this change in policy hoping to promote greater openness and accountability. But we must carefully balance the goal of openness with the rights of defendants and parties to have fair trials.

"This pilot project will allow us to test the policy we have put in place and see if it is workable in Illinois, or if any changes need to be made before moving toward a full statewide policy. My colleagues and I are thankful for the 14th Circuit and Chief Judge O'Connor's willingness to serve in this pilot project. We look forward to their results."

In his formal request to the Court for approval, Chief Judge O’Connor noted that the news media in the area are already familiar with broadcasting trial proceedings because Iowa, just across the Mississippi River, has allowed cameras in courtrooms since 1979, and media have aired court coverage in the Quad Cities area, which includes Illinois communities.

The attorney general's office and a circuit court judge describe steps they're taking to help prevent debtors from being unfairly jailed for failure to pay. Find out more in the February Illinois Bar Journal.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers: House bill 4077 (New crime), House Bill 4129 (Administrative support orders), House Bill 3943 (Eavesdropping) and House Bill 4098 (Judicial campaigns and disqualification). More information on each bill is available below the video.