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

Hon. Russell Hartigan (ret.), Hon. Clare E. McWilliams, and Hon. Thomas V. Lyons
Hon. Russell Hartigan (ret.), Hon. Clare E. McWilliams, and Hon. Thomas V. Lyons
ISBA hosted its CLE program, Anatomy of a Medical Negligence Trial, on Wedenesday, Nov. 1, at the Chicago Regional Office. This full-day seminar, moderated by Brian Murphy of Hofeld and Schaffner, offered the dual perspectives of plaintiff and defense attorneys for all stages of a medical negligence trial. ISBA President Hon. Russell Hartigan (ret.), Hon. Clare E. McWilliams of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, and Hon. Thomas V. Lyons of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago delivered the final presentation as a panel offering an in-depth look at the trial process through the lens of the judiciary. 


On September 22, 2017, HB 2537 became Public Act 100-0520. It makes changes to the Code of Civil Procedure and the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), which has been the subject of a major overhaul in the past few years. The law takes effect June 1, 2018.

One major change during the Act's first overhaul was to make it gender-neutral to better include same-sex marriages within the language of the statute. Some portions of the new law seem geared towards cleaning up remaining language that wasn't gender neutral. It also streamlines the process for name changes, rewrites the calculation for the duration of spousal maintenance, and raises the combined income ceiling for couples to whom the maintenance guidelines apply from $250,000 to $500,000.

Perhaps the biggest change in the new law appears in 750 ILCS 5/504, which involves the calculation of spousal maintenance and its duration. It also increases the gross-income ceiling for cases to which the guidelines apply from $250,000 per year to $500,000 per year.

Under the current math, the duration of maintenance is calculated based on five-year chunks of time. For instance, a marriage that lasted five years or less receives different treatment than one that lasted more than five but less than 10 years. Under the new law, calculating the duration of maintenance takes a more granular approach that seems more logical. For instance, it seems arbitrary that a one-day difference in filing for divorce can result in a doubling of the modifier used to determine how long a spouse will receive maintenance.

Find out more about P.A. 100-0520 in the November Illinois Bar Journal



Most attorneys face multi-party representation at some point in their careers, either by joinders, class actions, or collective actions. These situations host a myriad of potential conflicts – making it essential that you are familiar with the necessary steps for preserving privilege and avoiding the minefield that could erupt. Any attorney involved in litigation or multi-party representation with intermediate to advanced practice experience who attend this online seminar on November 28, 2017 will gain a clearer understanding of how to comply with the ethical rules in class action, collective action, and multi-party representation, including such things as conflict waivers, joint privileges, dealing with conflicts that arise, and the necessary paperwork involved.

The program is presented by the ISBA Labor & Employment Law Section. It qualifies for 2.0 hours MCLE credit, including 2.0 hours Professionalism, Civility or Legal Ethics Professional Responsibility MCLE (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

 

 



Asked and Answered

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

Q. We are an Oklahoma City law firm of 17 attorneys, 10 of whom are partners. Our firm does a little of everything. We have a three-member management committee of which I am a member. The firm was founded by four of the present partners 22 years ago. For many years, the firm was very successful; however, for the last five years, we have been financially hard-pressed and stagnant. We have been discussing what to do about the situation. One of our partners suggested marketing and another suggested that we needed a new strategy. We do not have a marketing plan and I didn’t know we have a strategy in place. I would appreciate your thoughts.



Three seminars. Three topics. Everything you need to enhance your technology skills.

Are you as tech savvy as you should be? Do you know how to fix legal draft problems in Word? Create billing summaries, produce payment schedules, or perform date calculations in Excel? Protect your PDF with encryption, reduce paper in your office, or redact sensitive information in Adobe Acrobat? Don’t miss this Technology Competency Series (designed by attorneys, for attorney) that teaches you everything you need to know to take your technology skills to the next level.  

Microsoft Word in the Law Office

Most lawyers find Microsoft Word to be a constant source of frustration. It’s the primary tool used to produce work product, yet it so often seems to be working against you. If you want to master Word, there are techniques you must learn and rules to follow.This seminar teaches you exactly how to fix the common legal drafting problems plaguing you now, and avoid them in the future.

Microsoft Excel in the Law Office



The Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Judges Association are pleased to invite you to celebrate the profession and consider issues of mutual interest to the bench and bar during our annual Midyear Meeting, which will be held Dec. 7-9, 2017, at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago

Hotel reservations may be made online through Monday, Nov.13.

The advanced registration deadline is Friday, Dec. 1. 

This year's highlights include:


John L. Nisivaco speaks to attendees
John L. Nisivaco speaks to attendees
The Illinois State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division hosted a brown bag lunch on Thursday, Oct. 26. Panelists spoke to new lawyers and law students about life as a lawyer. Topics included how and why the panelists became involved in ISBA, as well how to build relationships, improve a resume, and gain experience in the field.



Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Meetup. The list goes on and on with much of our life being consumed by our social media interactions. Whether it’s a personal injury claim, a family law dispute, a pending bankruptcy, an employment law case, a disability claim, or a criminal justice issue – it’s no surprise that our online presence can make or break a case. Learn how to obtain social media evidence, the ethical implications to be aware of, and the basic requirements for admitting social media into evidence at trial with this online seminar on November 17, 2017. Topics include: why social media evidence is important today; searching for social media evidence and the issues to be aware of; the Illinois Supreme Court Rules that are applicable to the discovery of social media evidence; and the admissibility of social media evidence at trial and laying the proper foundation.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Young Lawyers Division. It qualifies for 1.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.50 hours Professionalism, Civility or Legal Ethics Professional Responsibility MCLE (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.


Anisa Jordan of the Jordan Law Firm talks about the petition to rescind a statutory summary of suspension when a client is arrested for a DUI.



Mandatory e-filing goes into effect across Illinois on January 1 (you knew that, right?), and one task that belongs at the top of every law firm's to-do list is choosing from among the "electronic filing service providers" who are the pathways to the e-filing system. No service provider, no e-filing. It is not a DIY project.

The service providers, also known as EFSPs, offer a myriad of features that lawyers will need to compare and contrast in making their decision: prices and payment options, support features like call center hours and web browsers served, and additional services like document conversion, extended document storage, detailed or simpler reporting, and proof of service to other parties.

By mid-September, the vast majority of those in Illinois who had signed up, about 93 percent, had chosen Odyssey eFileIL, a free service provided by Tyler Technologies, the vendor hired by the Illinois courts to implement e-filing statewide.That sign-up pattern is typical of other states in which Tyler Technologies has worked, at least at the outset, says Terry Derrick, senior director of e-solutions for the Texas-based company. He notes that in Texas, where Tyler has provided services for a few years, 79 percent of filers currently use Odyssey.

"The majority of the filing community will start with a free solution to see if that will meet their needs," he says. "If it doesn't…they will venture out and look at value-added services offered by the other EFSPs."