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Practice News

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a six-attorney firm in downtown Chicago. I am sixty four and starting to think about retirement and would appreciate your thoughts on how where to start.

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court administered the attorney’s oath to 1,374 new attorneys on Thursday, November 10, at five separate locations across the state.

The largest group, 1,121, was admitted in the First Judicial District during two ceremonies at Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The ceremonies were at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. 

All of the candidates sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,300.

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

The vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of the Hon. Kathleen Kennedy, effective Nov. 30, 2016.

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled on an interim basis by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Theis will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court after applicants for the position undergo a screening and evaluation process.

Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg from the Illinois Innocence Project discusses current reforms and initiatives targeted at stopping wrongful convictions.

Chief Circuit Judge Kathryn E. Creswell is pleased to announce that following an October 31, 2016 meeting of the Circuit Judges of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court, two finalists for the Office of Associate Judge have been selected and certified to the Illinois Supreme Court. The finalists are seeking to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Judge Mary E. O’Connor. From these names, the Circuit Judges will select one appointee by secret ballot.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a twelve attorney defense litigation firm in Santa Monica, California. We have four partners and eight associates. Associates are paid a salary. We have several associates that are being overpaid - they are being paid $150,000 - $180,000 and just barely generating $300,000 in working attorney fee receipts. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for an At-Large Circuit Court vacancy in the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Claudia Anderson on November 30, 2016. Judge Anderson has been a Circuit Judge since 1998.

By Teri Ross, Program Director / Attorney, Illinois Legal Aid Online

Every year, tens of thousands of people in Illinois are forced to resolve their legal issues unassisted. On the one hand, they are unable to afford private legal counsel; on the other hand, they are unable to get help from the overburdened, underfunded legal aid system.

Pro bono is an important solution to this problem. October was national pro bono month, focused on recognizing the impactful contributions of pro bono attorneys and engaging more attorneys to help. Although there are more than 90,000 attorneys registered in Illinois, studies show that 60% or more of lower-income Illinoisans are forced to resolve their legal problems alone. Why the gap? Pro bono opportunities are limited by when, where, what and how they operate:

Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier
Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier
The Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier was installed Monday as Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court in a ceremony at the Supreme Court Building in Springfield.

Justice Rita B. Garman administered the oath of office. Speakers included Supreme Court Justices Anne M. Burke, Robert R. Thomas and retired Justice Philip J. Rarick.

Chief Justice Karmeier's brother, Del Karmeier, gave the invocation and the Karmeier grandchildren led the pledge of allegiance.

Chief Justice Karmeier, of Nashville, Illinois, is this State’s 120th Chief Justice and the second person from Washington County to hold that office. Justice Byron O. House, for whom Chief Justice Karmeier served as a law clerk, was the first.

John W. Sanders
John W. Sanders
Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Marion attorney John W. Sanders as the Resident Circuit Judge of Williamson County in the First Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Sanders was appointed Thursday to fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of resident Circuit Judge Carolyn Smoot, effective November 30, 2016.

The appointment of Mr. Sanders takes effect on December 1, 2016, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2018 general election.

"I'm honored that Chief Justice Karmeier and the Supreme Court have the confidence in me to serve as a Circuit Judge," Sanders said. "I've had the pleasure to represent clients throughout Southern Illinois for the past 28 years. I now look forward to working with the other judges to serve the people of Williamson County and the First Judicial Circuit."