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Southern Illinois

The rumor mill is spinning that effective July 1, 2009, Medicare Set-Aside (MSA) trusts are required for liability litigation as is already required in worker’s compensation. (Reimbursement by a plaintiff for previously paid benefits to Medicare is unchanged by the new law.) Although federal research is not my strong suit, I can’t find any support for this proposition. My best guess is that this rumor started because of the new § 111 reporting requirements included in the Medicare, Medicaid & SCHIP Act of 2007. (Public Law 111-173). Section 111 provisions are reporting requirements and do not mention any need for MSAs in liability cases. This new law simply requires those paying  for judgments to report to Medicare payments of settlements, awards, judgments, or other payments. An argument is being posited that the previous law still in effect already requires MSAs in personal-injury cases for future medical expenses. (Medicare Secondary Payer Act). I cannot find any clear authority supporting that proposition.

A Glimpse at Illinois Lawyer Finder Referrals

The ISBA's Illinois Lawyer Finder phone service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays and in a number of areas of law.  For the month of May 2009, ISBA helped 588* people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:
  • administrative law (5)
  • animal law (3)
  • bankruptcy (18)
  • business law (11)
  • civil disputes (67)
  • civil rights (12)
  • collection (15)
  • consumer protection (12)
  • contracts (6)
  • criminal law (50)
  • education law (12)
  • elder law (2)
  • employment law (73)
  • estate/probate law (18)
  • family (103)
  • government benefits (4)
  • health law (2)
  • immigration (1)
  • insurance disputes (5)
  • intellectual property (6)
  • miscellaneous (1)
  • municipal law (12)
  • personal injury (78)
  • real estate (47)
  • social security (3)
  • tax (10)
  • workers compensation (12)
Want to be listed in the ISBA's Illinois Lawyer Finder service?  ISBA members are entitled to a free or a premium (paid) listing, which helps market and build your practice. Call 800.525.8908 and ask for the Legal Department, or click here to sign up today! (Looking for a lawyer through Illinois Lawyer Finder?  Call 800.922.8757 or click here)
The American Constitution Society held its "Sixth Annual Supreme Court Term in Review" Thursday afternoon at Mayer Brown LLP, 71 S. Wacker, Chicago. The panel consisted of Jeffrey W. Sarles, Partner, Mayer Brown; Gary Feinerman, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP and former Solicitor General of Illinois; Colleen Connell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois; and Steven J. Heyman, Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law. The panel was moderated by Steve Sanders, an Associate at Mayor Brown.
As Helen Gunnarsson will report in more detail in the August Illinois Bar Journal, a fresh burden for lawyers is on the horizon, and the ABA, ISBA, and other bar associations are objecting on their members’ behalf. Effective August 1, a new FTC rule will oblige most lawyers to develop written protocols to detect and address the “red flags” of identity theft. As the ABA says in its statement about the rule, applying it to lawyers “would impose an undue burden on law firms, especially solo practitioners, and would accomplish very little.” Rockford lawyer J. Joseph McCoy summarizes the rule and its implications for lawyers nicely in his article “FACTA’s ‘Red Flags’ Rule May Apply To Law Firms,” which appears in the June 2009 issue of the ABA’s GP/Solo Technology eReport. The general FTC site has a helpful page consolidating its Red Flags Rule resources.
In part because of the steadfast efforts of Sen. Richard J. Durbin, $10 million was included in the Senate CJS Appropriations bill for the John R. Justice Prosecutor and Defender Incentive Act. This loan forgiveness program requires balance in awards between prosecutors and public defenders and equitable distribution across the states. This is less than the full $25 million authorized, but it's unusual for a new program to get full funding. It now goes to a joint House-Senate conference committee for final markup.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will announce that she will seek re-election -- and not run for governor or the U.S. Senate, the State Journal-Register is attributing to a report from the Washington Post. Madigan has called a 2 p.m. press conference. More from the Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet Hinsdale lawyer and lawmaker Kirk Dillard will announce his candidacy for Illinois governor later today, according to an AP story.
President O'Brien discusses diversity and the need for Illinois to do a better job of providing legal help for low-income families.
The new president of the Illinois State Bar Association describes himself as "the suburban white Irish guy," but John O'Brien thinks the profession and the association need more diversity.
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As Helen Gunnarsson reports in the July Ilinois Bar Journal, "lawyers with file drawers or boxes of original wills for long-lost clients may rejoice: there’s finally a way to get them out of the office. Assuming a new bill is signed into law, the Illinois Secretary of State will take them off lawyers’ hands – for a small fee, of course." The law was drafted by ISBA Trusts and Estates Section Council member Ray Koenig.