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Practice News

Illinois attorney Michael Zink of Starr, Bejgiert, Zink and Rowells, discusses the basics of landlord tenant law.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm is a twenty two lawyer insurance defense firm in Seattle. Over the years we have told our associates that they were hired to work on firm business and there was no requirement for them to develop or bring in client business. In fact we specifically asked them not to bring in business. Now we are rethinking that policy. Many of our equity partners are retiring and we are finding we have a group of grinders - with very few minders or finders capable of either retaining existing clients or bringing in new clients. What are your thoughts?

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Trish Joyce as a Resident Circuit Judge in Whiteside County in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Joyce was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. John L. Hauptman on December 5, 2016. Her appointment is effective December 21, 2016, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

Justice Kilbride recommended Ms. Joyce's appointment to the Supreme Court after an extensive application, evaluation and interview process that included the formation of a special judicial screening committee.

Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Patrick T. Stanton as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 3rd Subcircuit.

Mr. Stanton was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Maureen Delehanty.

The appointment takes effect Jan. 1, 2017 and will conclude on Dec. 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman announced today the formation of a judicial screening committee for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

The screening committee was formed for the purpose of assessing the qualifications of those persons who have applied for appointment to the Office of Judge of the Circuit Court for the Fifth Judicial Circuit created by the resignation of Judge Claudia Anderson on November 30, 2016. Under the Illinois Constitution, the vacancy will be filled by Supreme Court appointment.

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

Ms. Ade-Harlow received her undergraduate degree in 2001 from the University of Illinois-Springfield in Springfield, Illinois and her Juris Doctor in 2003 from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Ms. Ade-Harlow is currently affiliated with the Shelby County Public Defender's Office in Shelbyville, Illinois.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in In re M.M.Bueker v. Madison County Illinois,  Beggs v. The Board of Education of Murphysboro Community Unit School District No. 186, Blanchard v. Berrios, Murphy-Hylton v. Lieberman Management Services, Inc. and Zahn v. North American Power & Gas, LLC.

In re M.M.

By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde Law Offices LLP

This case raises the procedural question of whether, in the adjudication of an abuse and neglect petition, the court has the authority to appoint a guardian for the minor when there has been no finding that a parent is unfit, unable or unwilling to care for the child.  Answering the question “no,” the Illinois Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, repudiated and overruled several cases that were in conflict.

Peter Rotskoff of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission shares tips on how to avoid fee disputes in criminal cases.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Matthews and People ex rel. Alvarez v. Gaughan.

People v. Matthews

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

Following an unsuccessful direct appeal and post-conviction petition, Jerrell Matthews filed a petition for relief from judgment pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, alleging that a State witness had committed perjury at his trial.  The circuit court dismissed the petition on the basis that it was untimely.

The proof of service that Matthews filed with the petition said that the petition was mailed to the State with “proper first-class postage”

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm is a five attorney estate planning/administration practice located in Kansas City. Our estate planning work is handled on a flat fee basis for our clients. We collect one half of the fee upon acceptance of the signed engagement letter and the other half upon signing of the estate planning documents. This has worked well for us. However, we are not doing so well with our estate administration work. This work is time billed against a retainer. We do a good job collecting the initial retainer but then we fail to ask for replenishment retainers and when we bill for the remaining work we have collections problems. We have over six hundred and fifty thousand dollars in accounts receivable over 120 days old. We would appreciate your thoughts.