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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 Common Interest Community Association Act and the Condominium Property Act (Senate Bill 2354), Property crimes (Senate Bill 2907), IDVA electronic filing pilot program. (House Bill 6109), Common Interest Community Association Act and the Condominium Property Act (Senate Bill 2358)Condominium Property Act (Senate Bill 2359) and Common Interest Community Association Act (Senate Bill 2741).

More information on each bill is available below the video.

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed the Hon. Robin D. Shoffner, Circuit Judge of Cook County, 5th Subcircuit to a vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit. This vacancy was created by the retirement of the Hon. Candace J. Fabri. It is effective July 1, 2016 and terminates on Dec. 3, 2018.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of a 14-attorney insurance defense practice in Baltimore. I started the firm 20 years ago after leaving behind my partnership at another firm. Of the other 13 attorneys, there are four non-equity partners and the rest are associates. I am 63 and beginning to think about retirement and how I am going to transition out of the practice. Two of the non-equity partners are well seasoned attorneys, have major case responsibility, and have developed solid relationships with clients. I have discussed equity partnership vaguely with them, but their interests seem lackluster and they have been non-committal. I would appreciate your thoughts and advice on what my next steps should be.

The suburban Chicago law firms of Momkus McCluskey LLC, Nyberg & Cassioppi, LLC, and Roberts PC announced today that their owners have agreed to merge their law practices effective July 1, 2016.

This merger creates a combined law firm of 31 lawyers, making it one of the largest law firms in DuPage County. The firm, which will be known as Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC and be headquartered in Lisle, Illinois, will practice across a wide range of highly complementary disciplines, including business and transactional law, commercial and civil litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, family law, lending law and finance, healthcare law, real estate and appellate practice.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Personal Information Protection Act (Public Act 99-503), Cell site simulator device (Senate Bill 2343), Mechanics Lien Act (Senate Bill 2450), Predatory lending database program (Senate Bill 2677), and Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act. (House Bill 4658). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Personal Information Protection Act. Public Act 99-503 (Biss, D-Skokie; Williams, D-Chicago) makes the following changes to the existing Act.

(1) Expands the definition of protected “personal information” to include a person’s first name or first initial and the last name that are encrypted or redacted but the unlocking keys have been breached to allow one of several “data elements” to be unlawfully acquired. 

ARDC Litigation Manager & Senior Counsel Melissa Smart discusses the ethical pitfalls of online reputation management.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has begun an application process for a vacancy in the Third Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of Cook County Circuit Judge Maureen Leahy Delehanty. Judge Delehanty has been a judge since 2009 and is set to retire on July 31, 2016.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced that the 21st Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Joann I. Drew as an associate judge of the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Drew received her undergraduate degree in 1975 from Illinois State University, Normal, IL, and her Juris Doctor in 1982 from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. Ms. Drew is currently affiliated with the Kankakee County Public Defender's Office in Kankakee, IL.


Looking out the windows of his 7th floor corner office in downtown Joliet, ISBA President Vincent F. Cornelius is surrounded by his roots.

Cornelius can stand in one spot and point to Washington Junior High School, which he attended and where his mother taught for 34 years; out another window is the former location of Joliet Catholic High School, where he graduated in 1982 and which has since merged with sister school Saint Francis Academy; and at a slightly different angle is the University of Saint Francis, where he graduated in 1986 as an Academic All-American basketball player.

Cornelius - whose agenda as ISBA president includes working to brighten the future of young lawyers, advocating for diversity and inclusion in the profession, and offering relevant continuing legal education for small-firm members - says he once set foot in his office when it housed another firm and had his eyes on it for awhile.

"I wanted this suite because the space and all of [the surroundings] meant so much to me," he says. "I can kind of walk all around my suite here and see all over town - the neighborhoods that I lived in, the memories that I had."

Read more about President Cornelius and his plans for the coming bar year in the July Illinois Bar Journal.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of a 20-attorney litigation firm in Seattle. The 19 associates are all in the same tier or category and are paid a salary plus bonus. Their time with the firm ranges from 1-15 years. I enjoy sole ownership but I realize that to continue to grow and prosper I must make some changes. I have recently lost several associates that I would have liked to have stayed with the firm. I am also getting stressed having all of the management responsibility since I currently make all of the decisions. Several associates have told me that the morale is low. I welcome your thoughts.