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Practice News

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Municipalities and bankruptcy (House Bill 298), FOIA (House Bill 303), Notice and change of addresses (House Bill 304), DUI imprisonment (House Bill 340), Wills and presumptions (Senate Bill 90) and State’s Attorneys’ and debt collection (Senate Bill 86). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Q. Can a lawyer avoid disciplinary proceedings by changing his or her registration status to inactive or retired?

A. Supreme Court Rule 756(i) provides that changing registration status will have no effect on disciplinary proceedings.  However, in some cases and with the consent of the ARDC, a lawyer facing certain disciplinary charges can seek to be placed on “permanent retired status” under Supreme Court Rule 756(a)(8) resulting in the closure of any pending disciplinary investigation or dismissal of any pending disciplinary proceeding.  

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I came across your firm while researching law partnerships. The short story is as follows: I am a sole practitioner and have been practicing for over 35 years. I have a high volume practice and employ 7-8 people. Business is good and actually on the rise. I have a great office manager and outstanding loyal staff. The practice is on semi-autopilot for me. I have a young associate lawyer in my office that shares space and is learning my practice but actually seems to be making his own way in a different practice area. He wants to buy into my practice.

Nominations due by Feb. 2!

By Umberto S. Davi, ISBA President-Elect

Looking for a chance to lead? To grow? To make a difference in the Illinois State Bar Association and the legal profession? Then consider nominating yourself for one of our many section councils and committees for 2015-16.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Fourth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Kevin S. Parker as associate judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Ferris, Thompson & Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito, Williams v. BNSF Railway Company, Lutkauskas v. Ricker and Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star of the State of Illinois v. Topinka and the criminal cases People v. Simpson, People v. Chenoweth and People v. Taylor.

CIVIL

Ferris, Thompson and Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.

This case involves the question of subject matter jurisdiction as between the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the circuit court.  The Court held that an attorney fee dispute based upon referral agreements wherein the plaintiff referred workers’ compensation claims to the defendant fell within the circuit court’s jurisdiction.

Plaintiff sued defendant in circuit court, asserting that, pursuant to written agreements, plaintiff agreed to act as co-counsel in representing two women who had workers’ compensation claims.  After the cases settled, defendant refused to pay plaintiff its share of fees. 

Chief Circuit Judge Kathryn E. Creswell is pleased to announce that following a January 21, 2015 meeting of the Circuit Judges of the 18th Circuit Court, two finalists for the Office of Associate Judge have been selected and certified to the Illinois Supreme Court. The finalists are seeking to fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Liam C. Brennan to Circuit Judge. From these names, the Circuit Judges will select one appointee by secret ballot.

Q.  May I wear a shirt with my firm’s logo on it during a television appearance?

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers The Attorney Act and citizenship (Senate Bill 23), Juror fees (Senate Bill 59), Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (Senate Bill 45), Open Meetings Act (House Bill 175), Respondents in discovery (House Bill 96) and Discovery and depositions (House Bill 95 ). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman announced Wednesday the formation of a judicial screening committee for the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

Chief Justice Garman established the screening committee to assess the qualifications of those persons who have applied for appointment to the at-large Circuit Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Patrick J. Londrigan on December 8, 2014. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court holds the authority to fill interim judicial vacancies until the next General Election.