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Practice News

William B. Raines has been appointed as a circuit judge of Cook County, at Large. This position was formerly held by the Hon. Gregory Emmett Ahern, Jr. It is effective Aug. 15, 2014, and terminates on Dec. 1, 2014.

Q.  Am I exposed to any civil liability for making a Himmel report or making a complaint to the ARDC about someone engaging in UPL?

A.  Illinois Supreme Court Rule 775 provides that “any person … who communicates a complaint concerning an attorney or allegations regarding the unauthorized practice of law to the ARDC… shall be immune from all civil liability which, except for this rule, might result from such communications or complaint.” 

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 am a member of the firm planning committee. We are an 18 attorney firm based in downtown Chicago. We have had planning retreats in the past with mixed results. Some believe that they have been a waste of time. We are planning a retreat for this fall and I would appreciate any ideas that would help us accomplish more from these retreats.

Q.  What are the rules regarding engaging in a sexual relationship with a client?

A.  IRPC 1.8(j) states that a lawyer “shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced.”  For further explanation, see comments [17], [18] and [19] to rule 1.8(j). 

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

DisclaimerThese questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline.  The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed.  The information provided isn’t legal advice.  Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers County code of conduct (Public Act 98-779), Dissolution of business entities (Public Act 98-776), The Residential Real Property Disclosure Act (Public Act 98-754) and The Mechanics Lien Act. (Public Act 98-764). More information on the bill is available below the video.

County code of conduct. Public Act 98-779 (Morrison, D-Deerfield; Yingling D-Hainesville) allows a county board for counties more than 300,000 but less than two million population to adopt a code of conduct regarding the fiscal responsibility and procurement authority, as required by State law, local ordinance, or county board policy It may also include additional provisions for the accountability, transparency, and ethical conduct of county appointees. Allows appointees appointed by a county board chairman or county executive to be removed from office for violating the code of conduct by the county board chairman or county executive with concurrence by a 2/3 majority vote of the county board. It requires that reasonable notice of the violation and a hearing before the county board or its designee be provided to the appointee before the vote. Makes similar provisions for appointees appointed by the county. The Act exempts the removal of county superintendent of highways and county engineer from these provisions. Effective January 1, 2015.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the Director of Administrator in a 45 attorney law firm in Miami. Twenty of these attorneys are partners and 10 of the partners are in their late fifties and mid to late sixties. While we have a semi-retirement program in place, it is not mandatory and many of our senior attorneys are unwilling to address issues pertaining to succession and transition of their practices. Do you have any thoughts or ideas you can share regarding creating incentives for senior attorneys to address and deal with the issue of retirement?

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed the Hon. Bradley J. Waller, currently Associate Judge of the 23rd Judicial Circuit, to Resident Circuit Judge of of the 23rd Judicial Circuit, DeKalb County. This appointment is effective July 28, 2014 and terminates on Dec. 5, 2016.

Q. I just sold my private practice, but now a friend wants me to serve on the staff of a legal aid clinic actively representing clients in our area. Can I?

Asked and Answered

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

Q. We are a three attorney personal injury plaintiff firm located in Los Angeles. We started the firm 15 years ago. Two of the three attorneys are equity owners. Our firm is a high volume/low case value practice - we currently have 500 open cases. A high percentage of our cases are settled without a law suit ever being filed. We are an advertising driven practice. While over the years we have effectively used a variety of advertising vehicles, we have never ventured into TV advertising. We are considering venturing into TV and would appreciate your thoughts regarding TV advertising.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman announced Monday the appointment of longtime Associate Judge Timothy J. Steadman to Resident Circuit Judge of Macon County in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.