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

Legislation

Senate Bill 3322 (Harmon, D-Oak Park; Lang, D-Chicago) creates the Non-Recourse Civil Litigation Funding Act to regulate entities that loan money to consumers in exchange for an assignment of an amount of the potential proceeds of the consumer’s legal action. Scheduled for hearing Tuesday afternoon in House Judiciary I.
If you do any estate planning or have older family members, you may want to read this post. Your world may be dramatically changed if the proposed rules implementing the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 are approved. These rules are being proposed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and drastically change Medicaid eligibility. HFS characterizes them simply as an effort to "close loopholes." Read on; you be the judge. Our Elder Law Section Council thinks that these proposed rules are unfair and unjust to seniors, people with disabilities, and their families. The Section presented testimony in opposition to these proposed rules at the hearing conducted by HFS this morning. To summarize, the Section believes that HFS' proposed rules are more restrictive and punitive than what is required by federal law. An example is the part that makes these changes retroactive -- changing the rules late in a senior's life. HFS stated that they were interested in hearing from people to better evaluate their proposed rules and plans to hold another hearing in Springfield on Sept. 28. HFS does have the legal authority to amend these rules before final submission to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. The 12 legislators appointed to serve on JCAR have the final say on proposed rules.
The State of Illinois is proposing rules to implement the federal Deficit Reduction Act. If you do any estate planning at all, you need to click on the August 13, 2010 Flinn Report here and review the Department of Health and Family Services proposed rules. HFS has scheduled a hearing in Chicago on September 13 to take testimony before the proposed rules are submitted to JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) for JCAR's approval.
SJRCA 120 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) requires minimum periods as a licensed attorney before he or she is eligible to serve as a circuit, appellate, or supreme court judge. Associate judges are not included in this amendment. As introduced, it required 10 years for a circuit, 12 years for an appellate, and 15 years for a supreme court judge. SJRCA 120 was amended so that circuit judges serving in subcircuits must be licensed for five years. It is on third reading in the Senate.
The Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty is having a lobby day in Springfield on Thursday, March 11. They are inviting supporters to register and participate at the State House to lobby individual legislators. More information may be found hereHouse Bill 5687 (Yarbrough, D-Maywood) and Senate Bill 3569 (Delgado, D-Chicago) have been filed to do this.
Senate Bill 2514 (Silverstein, D-Chicago) requires an attorney who withdraws from representing a representative to file a petition for fees and costs within 30 days after the withdrawal is approved by the court. Senate Bill 2514 was introduced Jan. 12. Senate Bill 2514 may be found at this link
Public Act 96-835 was signed into law yesterday and took effect the same day. It restores a tax deduction that had been repealed in this spring’s budget bill. The repeal changed tax policy effective for tax years after Dec. 31, 2009 by limiting partnerships’ deduction to “guaranteed payments” instead of “reasonable compensation” for the Personal Property Replacement Tax. That change generally limits the deduction to income partners because equity partners’ income is based on their share of the distributable income of the partnership. It may be found at this link.
Today the Supreme Court of Illinois amended Rule 1.15 and 3.9 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. Both changes are effective Jan. 1, 2010. Rule 1.15 is amended to change the definition of "safe harbor," which is a yield that if paid by the financial institution on IOLTA accounts is deemed as a comparable return in compliance with this Rule. It now provides that the yield may be calculated as 70% of the Federal Funds Target Rate on the first business day of the calendar month "or 1%, whichever is higher." (New text in quotation marks.) The second change deletes the recent incorporation of Rule 3.5 (ex parte prohibitions) into Rule 3.9, which regulates advocates in nonadjudicative proceedings. It clarifies that Rule 3.9 applies only when a lawyer represents a client in an official hearing or meeting of a governmental agency or legislative body to which the lawyer or the lawyer's client is presenting evidence or argument. It does not apply to representation of a client in otherwise permitted lobbying activities.
There is federal legislation pending affecting disclosing information about state business entities such as LLCs and partnerships. S. 569 (Levin, D-MI) is entitled the "Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act of 2009." This Act is supposed to combat money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing. It requires states to maintain beneficial ownership information and make it available to law enforcement. Other requirements include making lawyers "formation agents" if they are involved in forming a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, trust or other legal entity. This bill is in the Senate Homeland Security Committee where it has had two hearings. If it passes out of this Committee, it will still have to be sent to the Senate Banking Committee. Thanks to the American Bar Association Government Affairs Office for alerting us to this bill.
This spring's budget bill, Public Act 96-45, changed tax policy effective for tax years ending Dec. 31, 2009 by limiting partnerships’ deduction to “guaranteed payments” instead of “reasonable compensation” for the Personal Property Replacement Tax. That change generally limits the deduction to income partners because equity partners’ income is based on their share of the distributable income of the partnership. House Bill 2239 (Currie, D-Chicago; Harmon, D-Oak Park) restores this deduction.  It has passed both chambers today and will be sent to the Governor within 30 days for his signature, amendatory  veto, or veto.