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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of March 12, 2015

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Wills deposited with county recorders (Senate Bill 1596), Insured’s Independent Counsel Act (Senate Bill 1296), Guilty pleas (House Bill 2569), Administrative Review Law (Senate Bill 1447), Wrongful Death Act (House Bill 2713) and Amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (House Bill 2691). More information on each bill is available below the video

Wills deposited with county recorders. Senate Bill 1596 (Kotowski, D-Park Ridge) amends the Counties Code to allow a county recorder to implement a county will depository. If the recorder does create a depository, it must also provide a form affidavit for a depositor of a will to file with the deposited will. States the requirements of the form affidavit. Provides for the duties of the county recorders for acceptance of wills, storage of wills, release of wills, and destruction of wills. Provides for different fees the county recorder may charge. Scheduled for hearing next Tuesday in Senate Judiciary Committee.

Insured’s Independent Counsel Act. Senate Bill 1296 (Mulroe, D-Chicago) applies if an insurer has a duty to defend an insured under a policy of insurance and a significant and actual conflict of interest arises that imposes a duty on the insurer to provide independent counsel to the insured. It requires the insurer to provide independent counsel to the insured unless the insured waives the right to independent counsel in writing. Defines the phrase “significant and actual conflict of interest” to exclude these circumstances: (1) claims or facts in a civil action for which the insurer denies coverage; (2) the mere issuance of a reservation of rights letter by the insurer; (3) a claim of damages in excess of the policy limits; (4) a claim of punitive damages; or (5) any other conflict that is not significant and actual. Scheduled for hearing next Tuesday in Senate Judiciary Committee.

Guilty pleas. House Bill 2569 (Cabello, R-Rockford) prohibits a guilty plea from being taken unless the court explains the following to the defendant: (1) the maximum and minimum penalty provided by law for the offense which may be imposed by the court (rather than the consequences of the plea and the maximum penalty provided by law for the offense which may be imposed by the court); (2) any possible increased sentence by reason of the fact of a prior conviction or future conviction and any possibility of the imposition of consecutive sentences; (3) any registration requirement that accompanies the plea and the restrictions associated with the registration; and (4) the consequences of the plea on a defendant’s ability to: (a) retain or obtain housing in the public or private market; (b) acquire loans for educational or other purposes; (c) enroll in certain degree programs; (d) retain or obtain employment; (e) retain or obtain an occupational or driver's license; (f) possess a firearm; and (g) retain or obtain custody of a child. Scheduled for hearing next Tuesday in House Criminal Law Committee.

Administrative Review Law. Senate Bill 1447 (Kotowski, D-Park Ridge) provides that “parties of record” does not include a private citizen who was not acting in an official capacity or whose participation in the agency proceedings was limited to his or her attendance or testimony at a public hearing. Scheduled for hearing next Tuesday in Senate Judiciary Committee.

Wrongful Death Act. House Bill 2713 (Brady, R-Normal) provides that if it has been proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant’s intoxication contributed to, or proximately caused, the death of the deceased person, the jury may award punitive damages to the surviving spouse and next of kin of the deceased person. In House Rules Committee.

Amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. House Bill 2691 (Breen, R-Lombard) expands this Act for unfair or deceptive patent infringement demand letters to include copyrights. Scheduled for hearing next Wednesday in House Judiciary Committee.

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 by Chris Bonjean | Comments (0)
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