Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Don’t miss this half-day seminar on April 13, 2017 that explores a number of things you need to know about the 2017 Amendments to the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act, including how the Act existed prior to the amendments (compared to how it exists after), the critical changes to the provisions of the Act, what affect the amendments will have on operating agreements, and how the amendments change certain mandatory rules. Additional topics include: an explanation of the process of Institute and its LLC Committee; the rights and obligations of transferees, dissociated members, and creditors; changes to third party rights; changes to fiduciary obligations; indemnification and insurance issues; the formation, reporting, dissolution, and termination reporting requirements; how the amendments provide for new drafting considerations and possibilities; electronic records and signatures; annual reports; and much more. The program is available onsite in Chicago or via live webcast. It is presented by the ISBA Business and Securities Law Section and qualifies for 3.75 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

 

 


Leading appellate attorneys review the Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, March 23. The civil cases are The Carle Foundation v. Cunningham Township, In re Marriage of Heroy, and Barr v. Cunningham, and, from the criminal docket, People v. Howard and People v. Pearse.

CIVIL

The Carle Foundation v. Cunningham Township

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

The issues presented in The Carle Foundation v. Cunningham Township will one day provide an important statement about charitable-use tax exemptions for medical care facilities. For now, this opinion provides important lessons on SCR 304(a) jurisdiction, the proper scope of declaratory judgments, and factors touching upon the court’s use of its supervisory authority. 



The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of February 2017, there were 836 referrals. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:


Asked and Answered

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

Q. We have a 14-attorney law firm in San Diego. We handle business transactions and litigation for business firms in the area. I am on the firm’s three-member executive committee. We have been experiencing associate attorney turnover for the past two years and don’t know whether it is due to more opportunities in the job market as the economy has improved or problems at our firm. We appreciate your thoughts.


Chicago attorney Aaron Maduff discusses white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Learn about the unique structure and components of construction contracting with this full-day seminar! Construction law attorneys, general practitioners, and real estate lawyers with basic practice experience who attend this seminar in Chicago on April 7, 2017 will learn: the different delivery methods for construction contract documents; which parties should be listed in a construction project; different compensation models for construction projects; why shop drawings are not considered contract documents; which statutory issues can arise during both a public project and a private project; which obligations belong to the owner, contractor, architect and engineer; which insurance provisions are needed; understanding the rules for communication between all involved parties; protecting the project through the payment process; the different ways a project can come to a close; understanding the process for adjusting the scope, time, and price on a construction contract; and understanding claims processes involved in a construction project.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Construction Law Section and qualifies for 6.50 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

 


The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on March 20, 2017, during the March Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law. 

DISBARRED

  • Joel Mitchell Bell, Chicago

Mr. Bell, who was licensed in 1975, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated over $364,000 in client funds and lied to two of his clients about the status of their respective settlement proceeds. He was suspended on an interim basis on December 2, 2016.

  • Michael David Gerhardt, Forest Park

Mr. Gerhardt, who was licensed in 2003, was disbarred. He neglected two civil cases, resulting in two judgments totaling approximately $500,000 being entered against his clients in one case and $20,000 in settlement funds not being distributed to another client. He also failed to return an unearned fee and made misrepresentations to his client regarding the status of that client’s case. He failed to appear at his own disciplinary hearing.


The Trump Administration’s budget released yesterday proposes to completely eliminate all federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).

This is not in the best interests of the American people and those in need who qualify for legal aid services. Millions of Americans depend on LSC-funded legal representation, including survivors of domestic violence, veterans often struggling with economic and mental health issues after returning home from combat, people displaced by disasters, the elderly, people with disabilities who have been financially exploited and abused, and many other vulnerable Americans.

Last year, more than 67,000 Illinois residents—nearly half of them children—were helped by the three Illinois programs funded by LSC in civil legal cases that included family, housing, and consumer issues. Without LSC funding, the services of such well-respected organizations as the Land of Legal Assistance Foundation, Prairie State Legal Services, and the Legal Assistance Fund would be in jeopardy. Central to American legal and cultural values is the belief that all people should have access to the justice system, regardless of personal financial circumstances.

Since 1981, the number of Americans eligible for legal aid has increased by more than 50 percent to a record of more than 60 million people. Yet now, when adjusted for inflation, Congress allocates 50 percent less in funding for LSC than it did in 1981. Therefore, more than half of people in need of legal aid are turned away due to a lack of resources.


"Lawyers have an ethical obligation to protect their clients' information," and in this day and age that means electronically stored information, observes ISBA Intellectual Property Section Council member Margo Lynn Hablutzel in the March Illinois Bar Journal. With that in mind, she offers 10 cybersecurity tips for lawyers to consider.

1. Change the factory password on a device to something different and uncommon "so hackers don't gain access through factory-installed passwords."

2. Change passwords often.

3. Use strong passwords that include "a combination of letters (sometimes requiring both upper- and lowercase letters), numbers, and symbols."

4. Consider using dual authentication, which "requires two items to confirm a person's right to access your systems, the simplest being an email address and a password."

5. Limit file access to those who need it. "Some firms set up secure areas for major clients which are accessible to only specific persons from both the firm and the client," Hablutzel writes.

6. Disable passwords when someone leaves the firm.

7. Plan for a cyberattack or breakdown as you would for other disasters.

8. Train your team to avoid spoofing and phishing and to "'trust but verify' before clicking on a link or sending out any information."


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a newly appointed managing partner for an 18-attorney firm in Dayton, Ohio. We are an employment law litigation firm that represents plaintiffs on a contingency fee basis. We have been in business for five years and are facing severe cash flow and profitability challenges primarily due to lackluster contingency fee outcomes. Do you have any guidelines or suggestions as to what we should aim for?