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Southern Illinois

Last week the Supreme Court of Illinois issued new Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct to take effect Jan. 1, 2010. New Rule 3.9 has created quite a buzz among the lawyer-lobbyists as to what it means. It may have broader applicability than those of us who lobby in Springfield to include appearances before other governmental bodies. The Rule states that “A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3(a) through (c), 3.4(a) through (c), and 3.5.” The incorporation of Rule 3.5 creates the buzz. Rule 3.5 prohibits ex parte communication with an official during the proceeding. Can this be construed to prohibit all lobbying by a lawyer-lobbyist unless it is part of a scheduled public hearing? In other words, is all I can do to lobby is testify in committee? No position papers to elected members of the General Assembly? No one-on-one individual lobbying? I can’t imagine that was the intent. Rule 3.5’s title is “Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal.” Key word is “tribunal.” It is defined in Rule 1.0(m) as follows: “Tribunal” denotes a court, an arbitrator in a binding arbitration proceeding or a legislative body, administrative agency or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity.
isbalincolnmosaic1501Chicago Sun-Times Advertising Critic Lew Lazare discussed the Illinois State Bar Association's Lincoln mosaic poster in today's column:
The organization's latest marketing initiative from & Wojdyla is a poster that features a prominent image of Abraham Lincoln, perhaps Illinois' most famous -- and readily recognizable -- attorney. But recently a few other attorneys with strong connections to Illinois also have become almost as famous as Lincoln, and they are included in the dense collage of tiny headshots of past or present ISBA members that are superimposed over the poster's dominant Lincoln image.
ISBA members can also submit their photo to danderson@isba.org to be seen in the next edition of the poster. Click here to read the full story (3rd item) Click here to order the poster

The Power of Peer Discussion

Got substantive law or practice management questions?  Get answers, maybe in minutes. All ISBA members are eligible to join ISBA e-mail discussion groups, where you can pose questions and share information with lawyers from Chicago to Cairo (Illinois that is.)  Available discussion groups include “general discussion” (open to all law-related topics), “ISBAcafe”, “litigation”, “transactional law”, “family law”, and “criminal-DUI-traffic”. Members who sign up for one or more discussion groups can also search those groups’ archived posts. Here’s what your fellow members are saying about the ISBA e-mail discussion groups … “It's like having all the benefits of a partnership without the office politics." Melissa Maye, Yorkville "Thanks for all your quick responses. WOW!!! This list is so great!" Peggy Raddatz, La Grange Click here to join the discussion
isbalincolnmosaic150 The Illinois State Bar Association's Lincoln mosaic poster that includes the faces of ISBA members is available for purchase. ISBA members can also submit their photo to danderson@isba.org to be seen in the next edition of the poster. Click here to order the current Lincoln mosaic poster.
ISBA Immediate Past President Jack Carey (right) thanks Gary Cline of Springfield for his donation.
ISBA Immediate Past President Jack Carey (right) thanks Gary Cline of Springfield for his donation to the Illinois Bar Foundation.
Six Illinois State Bar Association members joined The Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation during the ISBA Annual Meeting last week. Additionally, eight Fellows increased their pledges to IBF. The weekend raised $31,000 for the Illinois Bar Foundation. New Fellows
  • Gary Cline, Springfield
  • Kenya Jenkins-Wright, Chicago
  • Julie Matoesian, Edwardsville
  • Daniel O'Brien, Carlinville
  • Marian E. Perkins, Chicago
  • Michael T. Reagan, Ottawa
Upgrades
  • William Anaya, Chicago
  • Perry Browder, East Alton
  • Thomas A. Else, Wheaton
  • Philip E. Koenig, Rock Island
  • Raquel G. Martinez, Chicago
  • Christine M. Ory, Wheaton
  • Perry Smith, Waukegan
  • Douglas B. Warlick, Geneva
As the charitable affiliate of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Foundation’s mission is to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity.
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.