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Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Thursday changes to a rule that will slightly modify the deadlines to apply to take the Illinois bar examination.

The amendments to Supreme Court Rule 706, which governs the filing deadlines and fees to take the bar exam, will take effect July 1, 2016. The fees will not change under the rule amendment.

Under the amended rule, the on-time deadline to apply to take the February bar exam will be extended by approximately two weeks, from September 1 to September 15, and the final late deadline to apply for the February and July exams will be moved up by two weeks, from December 31 to December 15, and May 31 to May 15, respectively.

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.

DISBARRED

The Illinois Supreme Court hosted a memorial service in honor of the late Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald. Chief Justice Rita B. Garman gave the opening and closing remarks. Tributes were given by Supreme Court Justices Robert R. Thomas and Mary Jane Theis; Umberto Davi, president of the Illinois State Bar Association; and Nicholas J. Motherway, a Chicago attorney and close friend of the late justice.

Video of the event is available at http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Media/Video/Events/2016/Justice_Fitzgerald_Memorial_Service.mp4

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that all 40 recommendations proposed in a report issued two years ago following a comprehensive review of pretrial services in Cook County have been addressed with the commitment of ensuring the sustainability of the changes.

Through the work and monitoring of the report's recommendations by the Supreme Court's Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC), and a partnership among elected officials in Cook County's criminal justice system, progress has been made in improving the county's pretrial services.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have invited Gov. Bruce Rauner and the entire state legislature to attend a special evening session of oral arguments.

The session will be at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Supreme Court Building in Springfield and will mark the second special evening session the Supreme Court has held in recent years.

The Illinois Supreme Court will take its work on the road in May, when it will hear oral arguments at Benedictine University in Lisle.

The one-day change of venue is part of the Court's and Chief Justice Rita B. Garman's initiative to bring the Court to the people it serves and its continuing goal for greater transparency in the judicial process.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases starting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2016, in Benedictine University's Daniel L. Goodwin Hall of Business, located at 5700 College Road in Lisle.

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Jacob H. Jost as the new Reporter of Decisions, a position that ensures opinions issued by the Supreme and Appellate courts are published with accurate case citations and proper style.

Mr. Jost's appointment took effect April 1, 2016. He replaces Urbana resident Amy L. Tomaszewski, who served in the role for two years. Mr. Jost joins the Court's staff from Chief Justice Rita B. Garman's office, where he had worked as a judicial law clerk since 2013.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman announced today the formation of a judicial screening committee for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

The screening committee was formed for the purpose of assessing the qualifications of those persons who have applied for appointment to the Office of Judge of the Circuit Court for the Sixth Judicial Circuit created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Arnold F. Blockman on September 16, 2016. Under the Illinois Constitution, the vacancy will be filled by Supreme Court appointment.