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Illinois State Bar Association General Counsel Charles Northrup highlights two of what he thinks are the most important changes from today's Illinois Supreme Court adoption of the New Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers:
  • "One of the most significant, if not the most significant, aspect of the adopted Rules is that they contain official comments. The comments give attorneys a readily accessible interpretation and explanation of the intent of the Rules. It will be an additional and important guide for lawyers when they are determining what their ethical obligations are."
  • "Another important aspect of the new Rules is the treatment of the Dowling case and the issue of flat or fixed fees. Many practioners were concerned about the treatment of these types of fees under Dowling and whether they fell within the definition of 'advanced payment retainers.' The new Rules clarify that flat or fixed fees are not advanced payment retainers, a position that was advocated by the ISBA."
More highlights from the Supreme Court's New Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers Announcement for the New Rules of Professional Conduct
A press release from the Illinois Supreme Court highlights some of the most important changes wrought by the new Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. For example, the new rules "clarif[y] the earlier law and eliminate certain restrictions on the reasons for sale" of a law practice, "prohibit a lawyer from having sexual relations with a client unless a prior sexual relationship existed," and "[f]or the first time ... explicitly govern electronic [lawyer advertising] communications such as e-mail and websites." Here are the full highlights from the Illinois Supreme Court: 1. New Rules The Supreme Court of Illinois has adopted a number of ethics rules that have not appeared in any previously enacted conduct code. The new rules include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • a) New Rule 1.18. Describes important duties that lawyers owe to a prospective client arising from preliminary discussions before the creation of a formal lawyer-client relationship;
  • b) New Rule 2.4. Defines the duties of a lawyer who serves as a third-party neutral, such as a mediator or arbitrator;
  • c) New Rule 3.9. Articulates the duties of an advocate in a nonadjudicative proceeding, such as before a legislative body or an administrative agency;
  • d) New Rule 4.4(b). Addresses how a lawyer should respond when the lawyer receives a document that was inadvertently submitted to the lawyer;
2. Comments to the New Rules The new ethics rules contain comments that attempt to explain the rules, refer to court decisions relating to the rules and assist the lawyer in complying with the rules. The rules are authoritative; the comments serve as a guide.
Administer Justice will hold its annual Community Justice Fun Fair on Saturday, July 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Randall Oaks Park in West Dundee.  The theme this year is a star-spangled fun fair.  The event is free and open to the public.  The family-friendly event offers activities for all ages, including 5-cent children’s games, bouncy house, huge inflated slide, and Bingo tent.  Free activities include puppet shows, face-painting, and story time.  Food is available at a low cost. The event is designed to allow the low-income families served by Administer Justice to enjoy an affordable day out and to inform the public of the services offered by Administer Justice and is sponsored by local businesses.  Randall Oaks Park is located on Randall Road just north of Route 72 in West Dundee. Administer Justice is a charitable non-profit organization representing low-income individuals in legal and tax matters.  The organization has assisted more than 3,600 clients this year with the help of more than 90 volunteers who have donated thousands of hours to serve those in need. For more information, call (847) 844-1100 or visit their website.
Chief Judge Stephen J. Culliton announced June 25 that applications for the Office of Associate Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit of Illinois, DuPage County, have been received from the following people:
  • Terrence J. Benshoof, Glen Ellyn
  • Alan J. Brinkmeier, Elmhurst
  • Brenda M. Carroll, Winfield
  • Anthony V. Coco, Glen Ellyn
  • Kimberly A. Davis, Winfield
  • Robert E. Douglas, Carol Stream
  • Scott M. Hardek, Elmhurst
  • Michael R. Konewko, Winfield
  • Jeffrey N. Kowalkowski, Glen Ellyn
  • Paul A. Marchese, Wheaton
  • Frank J. Markov, Jr., Lombard
  • Sean M. McCumber, Warrenville
  • Robert S. McDonough, Wheaton
  • Ronald D. Menna, Jr., Wheaton
  • Robert A. Miller, West Chicago
  • Michelle L. Moore, Glen Ellyn
  • Michael A. O'Brien, Wheaton
  • James D. Orel, Westmont
  • John J. Pcolinski, Jr., Naperville
  • David E. Schwartz, Glen Ellyn
  • Alfred A. Spitzzeri, Naperville
  • Linda L. Stinauer, Hinsdale
  • Neal F. Thompson, Naperville
The vacancy is the result of the retirement of Associate Judge Kenneth A. Abraham. As part of the review process conducted by the Circuit Judges, Chief Judge Culliton invites public comment by letter before July 6, 2009:

Chief Judge Stephen J. Culliton 18th Judicial Circuit Court 505 N. County Farm Road, Room 2015 Wheaton, IL 60187

The Center for Disability and Elder Law will be hosting its largest-ever Senior Center Initiative on July 1 in Chicago. The event begins at 1 p.m. at the 7th District Police Station, 1438 W. 63rd. Lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis will be available on a pro-bono basis to counsel elderly clients on power of attorney for property and health care. The attorneys will explain and assist with documentation, which will then be witnessed, notarized, copied and presented to the clients on-site. The Center for Disability and Elder Law in a nonprofit organization that protects and advances the legal rights of low-income people with disabilities and senior citizens in Cook County. Visit the CDEL website.
Former ISBA Assembly member Georgia Lee Lipke recently passed away. She was born on May 6, 1925, in Chicago. Ms. Lipke attended Lawrence University and Chicago Kent College of Law. Ms. Lipke was an Assistant States Attorney for Cook County before entering private practice. She was president of the Women's Bar Association, a member of several committees of the Illinois and American Bar associations and the Chicago Bar Association.
09annualassembly-badges1The ISBA Assembly convened on Saturday, June 27, at the Abbey in Lake Geneva. Key debate was over the ISBA's 2009-2010 budget, which the Assembly passed. The new budget includes a change in reimbursement policy. These changes are:
  • The creation of a 75-mile radius threshold for the reimbursement of travel and lodging related to council and committee meetings. Those traveling from within that radius will not be reimbursed, those outside that radius will receive a 90% reimbursement. The Annual and Midyear meetings are excluded from this change.
  • Section council and committee members attending their meetings at the Annual and Midyear Meetings will receive a 90% reimbursement of their travel and lodging expenses.
  • Board of Governors members attending Board Meetings will be reimbursed at the rate of 90% of actual expenditures.
The Assembly also approved a number of election bylaw changes originally presented at the May 22, 2009, Board of Governors Meeting.

Para. 2.12

Candidates and persons supporting or endorsing candidates shall not use ISBA titles, or local or specialized bar association titles in ISBA mailings or publications or promotional materials developed by, or at the special request of, candidates. This exclusion includes affiliation, firm name, office, or title (including Honorable, Judge, or Past President and similar titles) of such candidate's committee or list of supporters.
It is tradition that longtime ISBA member John W. Damisch (John the Farmer) provides his personal recap from annual meetings. Here's hist take of the 2009 Annual Meeting at The Abbey in Lake Geneva. A preview: Again everyone at the party were dressed fit too kill....especially our leaders...all in tuxes. As I said I put my 53 year old tux on in the men's room....I had to spend about 10 minutes "sucking it in" and finally got the pants buttoned at the top. I had skipped lunch hoping that would help but it didn't.

15% discount on ABA books for ISBA members

If you’re an ISBA member, you’re entitled to a 15% discount on ABA books, including their great titles like How to Start and Build a Law Practice, 5th Ed; The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law; A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, 2nd Ed; How to Build and Manage an Estates Practice, 2nd Ed; Letters for Divorce Lawyers: Essential Communications for Clients, Opposing Counsel, and Others; The Criminal Lawyer's Job: A Survival Guide Visit the ISBA store for details. ISBA Membership Mondays is a regular feature on Illinois Lawyer Now.