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Practice News


Beginning with the N-Z reporting period ending June 30, 2019, Illinois attorneys must complete at least one our of diversity and inclusion CLE and one hour of mental health and substance abuse CLE during each two-year reporting period, or participate in a yearlong Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program (S. Ct. Rule 795(d)).

The rule changes reflect an effort to address the impact of the legal profession's diversity challenges on the justice system. Additionally, the new rules seek to encourage lawyers to explore ways to increase their health and well-being because statistics show that judges and lawyers suffer from mental health and substance abuse issues at a significantly higher rate than does the general population.

ISBA has several courses to help you satisfy the requirements under the new MCLE rule change, including:

Robert F. Harris has been appointed a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 5th Subcircuit by Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court. 

Mr. Harris was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Edward Washington.
The appointment takes effect September 21, 2017, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

"I'm deeply honored to be chosen from a field of accomplished and talented people to be selected as a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County," Harris said. "I look forward to this new path as a servant to the public and I will work hard to become an exemplary member of the judiciary."

Charles S. Beach was appointed as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 6th Subcircuit by Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court.

Mr. Beach was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Hon. Richard C. Cooke. The appointment takes effect Sept. 15, 2017 and will conclude on Dec. 3, 2018, when the position is filled by the November 2018 General Election.

Jeff Salling, e-discovery counsel and director of business development at Complete Discovery Source, discusses how the ISBA Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program helped bridge the gap between law school and the practice of law. 


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a newly-elected managing partner of a 14-lawyer firm in San Diego. Although I was elected to this position, I feel disadvantaged because I don’t have a financial background. What metrics/measurements should I be looking at?

In the August Illinois Bar Journal, ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington summarizes legislation of particular interest to lawyers. In the weeks since the article first appeared, most of the bills described there have been acted on by Governor Rauner. Which did he sign? Which did he veto? Read the updated version, which includes links to the public acts and veto statements.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a non-equity partner in a four-attorney personal injury plaintiff law firm in Newport Beach, California consisting of the firm owner, two associates, and myself. The owner is planning on retiring and has provided me with a proposal to sell me his practice. How do I determine whether this is an opportunity or a potential curse? Your advice would be appreciated.

Justin C. Strane, partner at Ansari & Shapiro, LLC, provides three tips for handling residential real estate contracts and representing home purchasers.


When the Trump Administration published its executive orders regarding immigrants and refugees in January, attorneys became first responders, fanning out to the nation's airports to triage the legal needs of those ensnared in the travel ban. Shortly thereafter, the American Bar Association set up the website www.immigrationjustice.us to help coordinate pro bono service offers from the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Enterprising attorneys built www.airportlawyer.org, a site that tracks and registers immigrants' travel information and connects them with volunteer attorneys at their local airport if need be.

"These types of efforts are great examples of what lawyers can do with technology," said Chase Hertel, director of business development & partnerships at Chicago-based Road to Status (www.roadtostatus.com), a website that provides document-assembly-style federal forms and attorney referrals for immigrants. "Technology can be used to triage the legal needs of clients, connect with clients where they are - at the airport, or on the internet - deliver services in unique ways, and, most importantly, bridge the legal services gap."


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a 12-attorney firm in Houston. The firm has five partners and seven associates. We are a first-generation firm and we, the partners, have never practiced in other law firms. Currently, the partners have equal ownership interests and are compensated equally. We are experiencing issues with the present method of partner compensation and we are giving some thought to considering other approaches. One of the issues that we are trying to wrap our heads around is how to measure each partner's performance, value, and overall contribution to the firm. Do you have any suggestions?