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Illinois Supreme Court

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the 10th Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Suzanne L. Patton as an associate judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Patton received her undergraduate degree in 1996 from Illinois State University in Normal and her Juris Doctor in 1999 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Ms. Patton is currently affiliated with the Peoria County State's Attorney's Office in Peoria.

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the creation of uniform standards and a certification and application process for problem-solving courts across the state.

Statewide standards will bring uniformity, accountability, and administrative oversight to problem-solving courts in Illinois, where there are already more than 100 in operation and more in the planning stages.

For the first time in nearly a century, the fees to obtain an Illinois law license and to certify documents will increase next year.

The Illinois Supreme Court approved these fee increases and other amendments to Rule 313 during its November Term. The increases will take effect July 1, 2016.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases 1010 Lake Shore Association v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company and DG Enterprises v. Cornelius. and the criminal cases People v. Carter, People v. Schweihs, People v. Thompson and People v. Espinoza.

CIVIL

1010 Lake Shore Association v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

A condominium association won summary judgment in a lawsuit it brought against a bank in a fight over whether the bank had extinguished the association’s lien rights following purchase of the unit at a judicial foreclosure sale. Interpreting two statutes, section 9(g)(3) of the Condominium Property Act and section 15-1509(c) of the Mortgage Foreclosure Law, the Illinois Supreme Court determined that a lien for unpaid assessments by a previous owner is not fully extinguished at a judicial foreclosure and sale unless the new owner “confirms the extinguishment” of the lien by paying assessments incurred after the sale. The lien is statutorily created upon a unit owner’s failure to pay common expenses when due. Even assuming that the condominium association was included as a party to the prior foreclosure action, the bank still was required to take the additional step to confirm the extinguishment by paying post sale assessments.  

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a new rule to protect against identity theft and the disclosure of personal information in cases before the state's reviewing courts.

During its November Term, the Supreme Court approved Rule 364. It will take effect July 1, 2016, and affect all documents and exhibits filed by paper or electronically in criminal and civil cases before the Illinois Appellate and Supreme courts.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., v. Heritage Bank of Central Illinois and In re A.A. and the criminal cases People v. Wiliams, People v. Guzman and People v. Castleberry.

CIVIL

Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd v. Heritage Bank of Central Illinois

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smith LLC

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday announced changes to a rule that will require attorneys to go online to report their compliance with Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements.

Under Amended Supreme Court Rule 796, the agency that oversees the Court's MCLE program will also be able to send notices electronically. The amended rule takes effect February 1, 2016.

The changes mark the latest example of the Court's ongoing efforts to utilize technology to make the judicial process and legal profession more efficient.

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on November 17, 2015, during the November Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Lee Samuel Fainman, Evanston

Mr. Fainman, who was licensed in 2008, was disbarred and ordered to make certain specific restitution as a condition of future reinstatement. Due to his neglect, a federal suit in which he represented five teachers against their employer was dismissed. He misrepresented to the teachers that the case had been dismissed due to factors beyond his control, and the teachers were forced to retain replacement counsel who unsuccessfully attempted to have their suit reinstated. A subsequent malpractice suit brought by the teachers resulted in a $560,612 judgment against Mr. Fainman, who has yet to pay any portion of that obligation. He also neglected an unrelated client matter, failed to return unused funds advanced by the client, and converted approximately $4,000 in settlement funds belonging to the client. Finally, he made misrepresentations to the ARDC in order to impede the disciplinary investigation.

The oral argument in the Chicago municipal and laborers pension law matter will be heard by the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 17, 2015.

Mary J. Jones, et al. v. Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, et al. is the third of four cases set for argument on November 17 at the Supreme Court Building at 200 East Capitol Avenue in Springfield. The first argument will begin at 9 a.m.

The argument in Jones will be captured by multiple high-definition cameras installed in the Courtroom and streamed live by Advanced Digital Media, Inc./ Blueroomstream.com.

Under Supreme Court rules, Advanced Digital Media applied for and was granted permission to serve as the media pool for the argument.
The live stream will be available at https://livestream.com/blueroomstream/events/4484348.

Audio and video of the argument will also be available later on November 17 on the Illinois Supreme Court's website at www.illinoiscourts.gov/Media/On_Demand.asp.

For members of the media who plan to attend the argument in person, please be aware that seating within the Courtroom is limited and there is no reserved seating. Auxiliary seating is available in a room adjacent to the second floor Courtroom, where the argument will be streamed on a monitor for viewing.

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the results of a court user survey that measured public perceptions and experiences with trial courts across the state. Overall, the results show that court users have a very positive view of the courts in Illinois.

"My colleagues and I on the Illinois Supreme Court are gratified to learn that so many of our fellow Illinoisans have a positive opinion of the justice system," Chief Justice Rita B. Garman said. "We want to thank those who assisted the court with conducting the study and, in particular, the individual court users who took the time to provide thoughtful answers to the survey questions."

"The survey provides us with valuable information we can use to improve not only public perception of our court system, but also its efficiency and effectiveness. We plan to conduct a thorough analysis of the survey results to determine what actions we can take to increase public confidence in our legal system even further. Then, with the assistance the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) and the Strategic Planning Committee, and with the involvement of judges and court administrators throughout the state, we will take action to implement changes that address the needs and concerns of the public we all serve."

The recommendation to conduct a survey designed to evaluate the perception and experience of court users came out of the Supreme Court's Future of the Courts Conference in 2013. The Strategic Planning Committee of the Illinois Judicial Conference, in coordination with the AOIC and under the Supreme Court's leadership, developed the survey.