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Practice News

The Illinois Supreme Court announced rule amendments today that make Illinois the first state to adopt so-called “proactive management-based regulation” (PMBR), a system designed to prevent ethical missteps by requiring lawyers without malpractice insurance to review their operations. For the text of the changes, see Amended Rule 756(e).  

Beginning in 2018, Illinois attorneys in private practice who do not have malpractice insurance must complete a four-hour interactive, online self-assessment regarding the operation of their law firm. This self-assessment will require lawyers to demonstrate that they have reviewed the operations of their firm based upon both lawyer ethics rules and best business practices. The program will be administered by the ARDC.

Following a lawyer’s self-assessment, the ARDC will provide him or her with a list of resources to address issues identified during the self-assessment process, according to a supreme court press release. All information gathered in a lawyer’s online self-assessment is confidential, although the ARDC may report data in the aggregate.

Lawyers who do not maintain malpractice insurance are required to complete a self-assessment every two years. Other lawyers are encouraged to self-assess. Lawyers who participate in the PMBR self-assessment will earn free MCLE credits.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of a personal injury plaintiff practice in downtown Chicago. I am the only attorney in the firm. I have two legal assistants. I am 66 years old and am starting to think about retirement and how to exit my practice. I would like to sell the practice to another law firm or practitioner. Does my practice have any value and can it even be sold?

Woodstock attorney Michael Cortina offers tips for documenting commercial construction loans.

 

Consumers go online to rate restaurants, hotels, retail businesses, and home services. Specialized sites have sprung up to rate teachers, professors, doctors, and other professionals. So why should lawyers be an exception?

In fact they're not, and for that reason they need to promote - and defend - their reputation online much as they do in physical space, although the specific concerns and methods may differ. To begin with, attorneys need to claim and populate their page on the legal website Avvo, while promoting themselves elsewhere on other social media, says Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute.

"It's better to play offense than defense," he says. "It is not a matter of if you will get a negative review, it is a matter of when. Eventually, someone is not going to like what you did. It's better to take a proactive approach. We are in the consumer review economy. You can't get away from it. It is what it is. Let's deal with it." Find out how to respond to negative reviews in the February Illinois Bar Journal.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Friday, January 20. The cases are The Hertz Corporation v. City of Chicago, Board of Education of Springfield School Dist. No. 186 v. Attorney General of Illinois, Village of Bartonville v. Lopez, and People v. Johnson.

CIVIL

The Hertz Corporation v. City of Chicago

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers the Illinois Vehicle CodeLandlord and Tenant ActValue After Rehabilitation Appraisal Act, domestic violence, and mortgage foreclosure

More information on each bill is available below the video.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced that the First Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Michael A. Fiello as an associate judge of the First Judicial Circuit.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Charles E. Petersen as an associate judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit.

Illinois attorney Kurt Lloyd of Lloyd Law Group, Ltd., shares tips about using standards and medical literature when presenting expert witness testimony.