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Practice News

Chief Judge Kathryn E. Creswell has announced that as of March 2, 2015, the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in DuPage County has dedicated Courtroom 3005 as a full time Pro Se (self-represented) courtroom for Domestic Relations matters. Judge Elizabeth Sexton will be presiding. The Pro Se Courtroom will focus on families of married or previously married couples. The Hon. Blanche Hill Fawell, Presiding Judge of Domestic Relations states "This program fits seamlessly with the Illinois Supreme Court mandate for access to justice for self-represented litigants."

ISBA member John Ahern of Chicago recently posted this query to the ISBA Trusts and Estates Section discussion group: "Client has no family and few friends. Client asks her attorney to be the agent on her powers of attorney and trustee on her trust and he agrees. Attorney creates the documents and discloses that he prepared them. He is not a beneficiary. Is there any specific prohibition that anyone is aware of for the attorney?"

Timothy S. Midura of Wheaton responded, saying this in part: "[There's no] 'prohibition.' [But have] your 'eyes wide open' for 1) any estate/beneficiary disputes that [the lawyer] might become a lightning rod for and 2) even higher (or highest) standards of fiduciary conduct/capability due to [being a member of the] legal profession. Bottom line: Be ready and able to do a superb job." Find out more in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

David Clark, a legal consultant and member of the ISBA's Standing Committee on Legal Technology, shows what gadgets every attorney should have when presenting demonstrable evidence.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Eleventh Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Pablo A. Eves as associate judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Eves received his undergraduate degree in 1994 from the University of Missouri, and his Juris Doctor in 1998 from the University of Illinois. Mr. Eves is currently affiliated with the McLean County State's Attorney's Office in Bloomington.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of a solo practice located in the western Boston suburbs. I have been considering selling my practice. Do you see many practitioners selling their practices?

Chief Circuit Judge Kathryn E. Creswell is pleased to announce that following a Feb. 25, 2015 meeting of the Circuit Judges of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court, two finalists for the office of Associate Judge have been selected and certified to the Supreme Court. The finalists are seeking to fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Paul M. Fullerton to Circuit Judge. From these names, the Circuit Judges will select one appointee by secret ballot.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Guardianship of a disabled adult (House Bills 2504, 2505 and 2506), Municipalities and bankruptcy (House Bill 298), The Probate Act of 1975 (House Bill 1332), Court-appointed counsel (House Bill 1417), The Security Deposit Interest Act (House Bill 1319) and IMDMA and dissipation (House Bill 1520). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Q. My client wishes to pursue a course of action that, although it is perfectly legal, may not be in their best interest. Do I have a duty to advise them of this?

A. Rule 2.1 states: “In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice. In rendering advice, a lawyer may refer not only to law but to other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors, that may be relevant to the client’s situation.” Comment 5 to that rule goes further and states: “In general, a lawyer is not expected to give advice until asked by the client.  However, when a lawyer knows that a client proposes a course of action that is likely to result in substantial adverse legal consequences to the client, the lawyer’s duty to the client under Rule 1.4 may require that the lawyer offer advice if the client’s course of action is related to the representation. A lawyer ordinarily has no duty to initiate investigation of a client’s affairs or to give advice that the client has indicated is unwanted, but a lawyer may initiate advice to a client when doing so appears to be in the client’s interest.”

Asked and Answered

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

Q.  I am a partner and a member of the Executive Committee of a 250 attorney firm in the midwest. We have had a succession plan in place for several years for our senior partners. Several have completed their phasedowns successfully and others are struggling. One of our challenges is many of our mid-career partners are simply not ready. I would appreciate your thoughts.

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Published February 2015; 80 pages