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

Practice News

A new program at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) will not only eliminate barriers to accessing legal services, but also barriers for attorneys to do pro bono work. Legal Answers, launching this October and made possible through funding by the Illinois Bar Foundation, leverages pro bono attorneys and technology to deliver critical legal advice to people who cannot afford or access an attorney. The innovative website makes it easy for attorneys to volunteer and provide civil legal advice to those in need at any convenient time and place.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Randall B. Rosenbaum as a Circuit Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Rosenbaum has been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Harry Clem. His appointment takes effect on October 3, 2016, and terminates on December 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in Kakos v. Butler, Bayer v. Panduit Corp., Moon v. Rhode, and J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC v. Wild, Inc.

Kakos v. Butler

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

In Kakos v. Butler, the court unanimously affirmed Judge Gomolinski’s judgment in the circuit court that the 6-person jury regime established by Public Act 98-1132 is facially unconstitutional.  Chief Justice Garman wrote for the court.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Hood, People v. Cherry, People v. Reyes, and People v. Valdez.

People v. Hood

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Terry Hood was charged with attempt murder, home invasion, and aggravated battery of a senior citizen against Robert Bishop, Jr.  Prior to trial, the State sought to take Bishop’s evidence deposition due to health concerns. Present at the deposition were Assistant State’s Attorneys and defendant’s attorneys; defendant did not attend.  Subsequently, the evidence deposition was admitted at defendant’s trial upon a finding that Bishop could not testify.

Attorney Tamika R. Walker of Sreenan & Cain, P.C. in Rockford discusses 12 Tips & Tricks for the new family law attorney.

The basics of law firm billing are spelled out in Illinois Supreme Court Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5, which governs fees, says Charles J. Northrup, general counsel for the ISBA. But smart billing requires more than simply knowing the ins and outs of that rule.

For example, attorneys should keep in mind their clients' emotional state and put themselves in the clients' shoes, Northrup says. "I would want a lawyer to understand that for clients, receiving bills can be extremely stressful, and that the lawyer must be prepared to calmly discuss and respond to client questions or criticisms about bills - and make adjustments if necessary."

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride is seeking public comment on three attorneys who have applied to fill a resident Circuit Court vacancy in Whiteside County in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy will be created upon Circuit Judge John L. Hauptman's retirement, effective December 5, 2016. Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Kilbride uses an extensive application, evaluation and interview process to make recommendations to the full Court for judicial vacancies in the Third Judicial District.

The three attorneys who have applied to fill the vacancy are Colleen M. Buckwalter of Morrison, Trish A. Joyce of Sterling, and Associate Judge William S. McNeal of Morrison.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a relatively new attorney. I graduated three years ago from John Marshall Law School in Chicago. After law school I started with a small firm in the northern suburbs. Now with three years under my belt I am considering starting my own firm. I would appreciate your suggestions on how to get started.

Chief Justice-Elect Lloyd A. Karmeier
Chief Justice-Elect Lloyd A. Karmeier
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier will be its next Chief Justice. Justice Karmeier was unanimously elected to the office by his fellow justices and will serve a three-year term commencing October 26, 2016. He succeeds Rita B. Garman, whose tenure as Chief Justice ends October 25, 2016. An installation ceremony honoring Justice Karmeier’s election as Chief Justice will be held at
the Supreme Court Building in Springfield on Monday, October 31. Justice Garman will
administer the oath of office.

Justice Karmeier will be this State’s 120th Chief Justice and the second person from Washington County to hold that office. Justice Byron O. House, for whom Justice Karmeier served as a law clerk, was the first.

“I appreciate the confidence shown by the other members of the court in electing me to this position,” said Justice Karmeier. “Since joining the court in 2004, I have had the privilege of serving under five different chief justices, all of whom have done an outstanding job. I will do my very best to live up to the high standard they have set.”

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) is requesting proposals to provide general legal services to IMRF from law firms that qualify under Illinois law as businesses owned by minorities, females, or persons with a disability.

The RFP is available on the IMRF website at https://www.imrf.org/rfps

Proposals must be received no later than end of business day on October 7, 2016.