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Practice News

The Hon. Jeffrey S. MacKay, associate judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, has been appointed circuit judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, at Large, by the Illinois Supreme Court. The appointment will be effective Dec. 1 following the retirement of Hon. Kathryn E. Creswell. 

Hon. MacKay is a graduate of Kent College of Law, Chicago, 1992, and was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1993.  Judge MacKay is currently an associate judge in the Misdemeanor Division of the 18th Judicial Circuit, having been appointed to the bench in April of 2013. He was in private practice for 12 years with the law firm of Ekl, Williams and Provenzale (2001-2013), and also served as an assistant DuPage County state’s attorney (1993-2001).  Judge MacKay is an active member of the DuPage County Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association. 

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on Nov. 21, 2017. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Lance Haddix, Chicago

Mr. Haddix was licensed in Illinois in 1967 and in California in 1989. The Supreme Court of California disbarred him for violating multiple probation conditions after he had been suspended for one year in favor of a five-year period of probation, subject to a 30-day period of actual suspension, and other conditions. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Beth Courtney Otero, Chicago

Ms. Otero, who was licensed in 2005, was disbarred. She misappropriated over $20,000 that she had been holding in escrow from two real estate transactions and engaged in a conflict of interest by representing opposing parties in a real estate transaction. Additionally, Ms. Otero fabricated court pleadings and engaged in the unauthorized practice of law after her name was removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys.

  • Jeffrey Lee Schlapp, Chicago

Mr. Schalpp, who was licensed in 2006, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated more than $600,000 from at least nine different clients who had filed claims against nursing homes.

Jeff Salling of Complete Discovery Source discusses the basics of e-discovery.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a six-attorney estate planning firm in Dallas, Texas. For many years, our primary marketing activity has been seminars that we put on for clients, prospective clients, and referral sources. These seminars have been put on solely by our firm, or in partnership with other organizations such as nursing homes, hospitals, etc. These seminars have been free of charge. We provide a lot of value at these seminars and have been wondering whether we should charge a fee. We would appreciate your thoughts.

Three generations of Illinois lawyers at the 3rd District ceremony
Three generations of Illinois lawyers at the 3rd District ceremony
Last Thursday, Nov. 9, 1,335 new attorneys were admitted to practice law in Illinois after taking the attorney's oath at five separate ceremonies across the state, bringing the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 98,000. Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court justices presided over the ceremonies.

ISBA staff members were in attendance at all five ceremonies to welcome the state's newest attorneys to the profession, take photos, and talk about the benefits of ISBA membership, which is free for one year for new admittees. Member benefits can be activated by filling out the New Admittee Membership Form

The photo galleries of highlights from the ceremonies are listed below:

1st District Admission Ceremony, November 2017

2nd District Admission Ceremony, November 2017

3rd District Admission Ceremony, November 2017

4th District Admission Ceremony, November 2017

A postnuptial agreement is "an important and effective tool in Illinois and should not be forgotten by practitioners," writes Chicago lawyers Joshua S. Singewald and Kellie Rose Bylica in the September ISBA Family Law Section newsletter.

As in the case of any contract, a postnup must be entered into voluntarily by the parties, and the familiar contract-law protections against coercion and mistake apply, Singewald and Bylica note. And Illinois law "require[s] a full disclosure of each party's assets and liabilities for every postnuptial agreement," allowing each "to make an informed decision."

So when would a married couple use one? "[I]f one spouse intends to start a business during the marriage, the business-owning spouse may want to protect his or her business in the event of divorce," Singewald and Bylica write. "Similarly…a spouse [who] makes a substantial non-marital contribution to a marital asset," such as making the down payment on a house, might want to assure reimbursement, they write. Postnups also enable the parties to allocate debt, deal with bequests to children of previous marriages, and even "[r]evise a prenuptial agreement based on current/changed circumstances."

Learn more about postnups in the September Family Law newsletter.

The Kendall County State's Attorney's Office is seeking to hire a full-time assistant state's attorney in the criminal/traffic/DUI division. This is an entry level position, and qualified candidates should have zero (0) to three (3) years of prior work experience. Salary is commensurate with experience. 

Interested candidates should submit a resume, writing sample, and professional references no later than Thursday, Nov. 30, by e-mail or addressed to:

The Office of State's Attorney
Kendall County
807 West John Street
Yorkville, IL
Tel: (630) 553-4157
Fax: (630) 553-4204

The Kendall County State's Attorney's Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Kerry Bryson of the Office of the State Appellate Defender reviews the Illinois Supreme Court ruling in the criminal case In re Jarquan B.

In re Jarquan B

In January 2015, the state filed a delinquency petition alleging that Jarquan B. committed the Class A misdemeanor offense of criminal trespass to a motor vehicle. The minor pled guilty and was sentenced to court supervision and a 30-day detention term that was stayed. Jarquan B. was advised that if he violated the terms of his supervision, he could be placed on probation or taking into custody on the stayed detention term. Due to subsequent violations, the minor was placed on electronic home monitoring and then ordered to serve time in juvenile detention.

In September 2015, the state filed a petition alleging Jarquan B. had again violated the terms of his supervision on multiple occasions after release from detention. The minor admitted the violations and was resentenced to six months of probation. He was admonished that if he violated probation, he could be sentenced to a term of detention. Almost immediately (i.e., on his way back to his residential placement facility), the minor fled from staff thereby violating his probation. Following his admission to the probation violation, the minor was resentenced to a term in the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in April 2016.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm is a 25-attorney firm located in Austin, Texas. I am the firm administrator. We are planning on having a firm retreat in February and are wondering whether we should include the spouses. Some of our partners think we should include spouses while others think that we should not. We have had retreats in the past and have not included spouses. I would appreciate your thoughts.

New attorneys will be admitted to practice in Illinois on Thursday, Nov. 9, with Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court justices presiding and administering the attorney's oath to 1,335 new attorneys at five separate locations across the state. 

All of the candidates set to be sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They will bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 98,000.

The largest group, 1,022, will be admitted in the First Judicial District during two ceremonies at the Arie Crown Theater, located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago. The ceremonies will be at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis will preside over both ceremonies.

Guests of the morning ceremony will include Dartesia Pitts, president of the Cook County Bar Association; Randy K. Johnson of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar; and Hon. Cecilia Horan, president of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association. Judge Stuart E. Palmer will move for admission of the class. Judge Robert W. Bertucci will second the motion.