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Continuing our D4S Office Wellness Week, today we're looking at a very 21st century work problem — Computer Vision Syndrome — and ways to prevent or alleviate related symptoms.


What is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)? According to the American Optometric Association, CVS (also referred to as Digital Eye Strain) describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and smartphone use. Research shows that between 50 and 90 percent of people who work at a computer screen experience some symptoms.

The most common symptoms include eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, double vision, dry red eyes, and neck/shoulder/back pain.

What causes CVS? CVS is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in that both are repetitive motion injuries you can get at work. When you spend the majority of your day on the computer, your eyes follow the same path over and over, constantly focusing and refocusing every time they move across the screen or you look away from your screen and back.



Welcome to D4S Week 4 - Office Wellness! Lawyers tend to work long hours and experience significant amounts of stress. This week we're looking at ways to help you cope with that stress and make your office environment healthier too. Let's get started...

Chances are you spend much of your day sitting in front of a computer. (You're likely there now.) If you are seated (or the next your are,) check your posture. Are you hunched over? Is your breathing inhibited? Does your lower back or neck hurt? When was the last time you stretched?

We've asked Health and Relaxation Coach Liv Ryan — daughter of (proud) mom Jeanne Heaton, ISBA Director of CLE — for an encore of her 'DIY Physio for Stress Reduction' techniques, recently given at an ISBA Solo & Small Firm Institute.

In the video, Liv shares a few stretches you can do seated at your desk, or standing nearby, that will reinvigorate you, work out some of your tension, and get the blood flowing again for better alertness and posture throughout the rest of your day. Watch it before you go get your morning coffee or whenever you find yourself needing a short break.




Please enjoy this gift from our malpractice insurance partner, ISBA Mutual!

At ISBA Mutual, your success is ours, and we're recognizing that fact throughout ISBA Member Appreciation Month. To help you build upon your present success and flourish in an uncertain future, we are providing another e-book to help you make your practice the best law practice it can be.

Tomorrow is Today: A Day in the Life of a Technology Oriented Law Firm is the companion piece from our 2015 Risk Management Conference, an event that is only available to lawyers we insure.

Here is what you can expect to discover in this e-book:


DISBARRED

  • Francis Joseph Coyle, Jr., Rock Island

Mr. Coyle, who was licensed in 1974, was disbarred. He intentionally misappropriated $100,000 in funds that he was supposed to be holding in escrow in connection with a real estate transaction. In addition, on two occasions, he falsely represented to the buyer’s attorney that he was still holding all of the funds in escrow.

  • Laird James Heal, Sterling, Massachusetts

Mr. Heal was licensed in Massachusetts in 1989 and in Illinois in 1991. The Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts disbarred him for misusing over $13,000 of funds held in escrow in connection with a bankruptcy case. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Richard Carl Moenning, Chicago

Mr. Moenning, who was licensed in 1962, was disbarred. While serving as both trustee and trust counsel to several trusts created by two elderly sisters, he paid himself over $360,000 in purported fees without performing sufficient services to justify the payment of the funds. He also took years to notify or pay some of the trust beneficiaries, failed to disburse any funds to one beneficiary as of the time of the disciplinary hearing, failed to timely notify some of the beneficiaries of their interests under the trusts, and never provided an accounting to any of the beneficiaries or to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. He was suspended on an interim basis on June 15, 2016.



Our final challenge this week is to uncover some best practices for creating better passwords and learn how to properly store them.

'The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.' –Aristotle

Faster hardware and new tech used by password crackers have made passwords less secure than in years past. Your best bet for creating a password that is more difficult for online predators to crack is to employ multiple methods. Our favorites are outlined below. Alone, each is better than doing nothing, but together our 1-2-3-punch makes for a stronger deterrent.

Randomizing. By definition, to randomize is to make unpredictable. Humans are notorious for creating predictable passwords. If you Google 'random password,' a number of online random password generators will turn up in your results. Great, right? Wrong. According to our IT guru Tim, 'If it's online, it's not recommended. Sacrifice convenience for security.' Your results and IP address can potentially be discovered by the wrong people. With that in mind, go old school. Find a favorite book or pick up a dictionary, close your eyes, point to a word...you know the drill. In fact, you'll want to do that a few times because our next tip is to use...

Phrases/Multiple Words. Another best practice is to use a string of words instead of a single word. Here, more is better; use as many words/characters as you are comfortable using, and again, try to randomize and make sure they have no relationship to one another.



Leading appellate attorneys review the Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, May 18. The cases are Better Government Ass'n v. Illinois High School Ass'n, In re Estate of Shelton, Ferris, Thompson & Zweig, Ltd v. Esposito, Chultem v. Ticor Title Insurance Co., and People v. Veach.

CIVIL

Better Government Ass'n v. Illinois High School Ass'n

By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde Law Offices LLP

In the ongoing battle involving public records requests made of governmental agencies, the supreme court was asked to define the term “subsidiary bod[y]” as used in the definition of “public body” in the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/2(a) (West 2014)) and then to determine whether the Illinois High School Association (“IHSA”) is subject to the FOIA.  The IHSA governs and coordinates interscholastic athletic competitions for public and private secondary schools in Illinois.


Marilyn Longwell with Marilyn Longwell & Associates P.C. discusses how to use your client's story to direct and control litigation.



We're back today with Tim and Brandt to get more information about how to protect your hardware and data, this time looking at your mobile devices.

5 Best Practices for Keeping Your Mobile Devices Secure

1. Install protection software such as AVG (Android) or Avast (Android | iPhone+iPad).

2. Not to sound like a broken record, but back up your device. Make regular backups of your iPhone and iPad using iTunes/iCloud. Make regular backups of your Android device using the built in 'Backup and Reset' feature for contacts and passwords, and Dropbox, Google+, and Microsoft OneDrive for photos. You can also backup your entire Android device with Helium, MyBackup Pro, or manually by connecting to your computer. Mac users will need the Android File Transfer Tool.


Chief Justice Karmeier, portrait artist Greg McNair, Emily Schnitker, Mary Karmeier, and Karianne Schnitker
Chief Justice Karmeier, portrait artist Greg McNair, Emily Schnitker, Mary Karmeier, and Karianne Schnitker
An oil portrait of Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier was unveiled on Tuesday, May 16, at the historic Illinois Supreme Court building in Springfield. The painting hangs in the second floor hallway with the portraits of nine other chief justices, with additional portraits hanging in Chicago's Bilandic Building. The painting was done by artist Greg McNair of St. Louis. Chief Justices in Illinois are selected by their colleagues on the Supreme Court bench in a rotational pattern and serve for three years as the administrative head of the judicial branch. Chief Justice Karmeier's granddaughter, Emily Schnitker, performed the unveiling. She was on a Springfield visit with her 7th and 8th grade class from Trinity Lutheran School in Hoyleton. The class also heard the day's third oral argument, People v. Byron Boykins

Among those attending from Washington County were Circuit Judge Daniel Emge, Circuit Clerk Cynthia Barczewski and Court Reporter Brenda Engele along with Chief Justice Karmeier's wife, Mary, daughter, Karianne Schnitker and office staff.



Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a 16-attorney insurance defense firm in Kansas City. Several of our insurance company clients have advised us that they are willing to send us cases in Texas. We have decided that we would like to establish an office in Texas. Our plan is to hire three lateral attorneys with seven to 12 years of experience with Texas-based insurance defense firms. We are not certain as to the best city to establish this office. We are thinking it should be a central location. We would appreciate your thoughts.

A. Unlike many states that have one or two major cities, Texas has several, including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Ft. Worth, El Paso, Corpus Christi, and others. Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston are all desirable locations for branch offices. Austin is more centrally located if your goal is to service the entire state.