“Inquiry,” Naotake Murayama, licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0 by Jim Doppke Because many ARDC procedures are subject to the confidentiality requirements of Supreme Court Rule 766, the structures that support those procedures often seem opaque. Many Illinois lawyers don’t know exactly how a confidential investigation becomes a formal, and public, disciplinary complaint. This post will examine the body that authorizes the filing of formal cases: the Inquiry Board. Like a Grand Jury Supreme Court Rule 753(a), which authorizes the creation of the Inquiry Board, provides that “[t]he Board shall inquire into and investigate matters referred to it by the Administrator,” and…
  Friday, July 19, 2019     Planners, lawyers, and land use professionals won’t want to miss this upcoming webinar hosted by the American Planning Association’s Planning & Law Division on the recent Supreme Court’s takings decision in Knick.  See below for details: What the Supreme Court’s Knick Decision Did and Did Not Change Tuesday, July 30, 2019 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Eastern Timenoon – 1:30 p.m. Central Time CM I 1.50 I LawCLE 1.50 through Illinois State Bar In June, a divided Supreme Court overturned part of a longstanding precedent that generally required plaintiffs alleging unconstitutional takings to first try…
It’s a Friday in the middle of summer. So, approximately half of your workforce called off today due to an FMLA-related absence. [Well, not really, but I’m not that far off, amirite?] Take heart. At least you’re not the City of Chicago. As reported this week by the City’s Inspector General, three employees in the City’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications all took FMLA leave at the same time for various co-called ailments. Instead of laying up on the couch and recuperating, however, the employees took the first plane they could out of Chicago and headed down to…
It has become increasingly common over the past few years for employers to include non-compete agreements in their employment contracts. In most cases, they are required to have geographic and time limits, meaning they can only be enforced in a certain geographical area for a certain period of time (usually six months to a year after termination of employment). The restrictions on non-compete agreements vary from state to state, with a few states, such as California, refusing to recognize any non-compete agreements, even those signed in states that do recognize such contracts. In one recent case against a realtor in…
Heat exhaustion can cause a number of symptoms, from headaches and fatigue to nausea, dizziness, and heavy sweating. These symptoms can lead to a car accident in various ways, whether they result in drowsy driving or distracted driving, so prevention is the best action you can take. Here we have listed the best foods to keep you cool during even the hottest of summer days in Chicago. Watermelon: A seasonal summer fruit comes for a reason. As it contains 91.45 per cent water, it helps in fulfilling your body’s water requirement. Also, loaded with anti-oxidants properties, watermelon gives you a…
The Fourth Amendment guarantees citizens the right to be free from unlawful searches. Therefore, an officer cannot enter your home without a warrant unless some exception to the warrant requirement—such as consent—exists. Court have also recognized that a certain area around your home, known as the curtilage, is protected from police intrusion. Your front porch would be one example but what about the hallway of an unlocked apartment building? An Illinois court says yes. In People v Bonilla, an officer used a narcotics dog to sniff the hallway outside defendant’s apartment. The court held that the police officer’s actions…
Earlier this week, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice approved a new Order of Protection (OP) form suite. The forms, which are intended to simplify and standardize the OP filing process for pro se litigants statewide, are available on the Court’s website. We spoke to three people who were instrumental in the development of the new form suite about its significance. Alison Spanner, Assistant Director, Access to Justice Division at the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts Matt Newsted, Automated Documents Producer at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) and a member of the OP Subcommittee Margaret Duval,…
Do lawyer ethics rules prohibit innovation in the delivery of legal services and contribute to the access to justice gap? Yes, according to a task force on lawyer regulation formed last summer by the California State Bar’s Board of Trustees. The task force has recommended changing some key lawyer ethics rules. California isn’t alone in exploring this issue. Arizona and Utah have also convened task forces. Illinois has been studying similar issues for some time. In addition, there are national organizations attuned to lawyer regulation issues. Whether new ethical rules are adopted by one or more states, indicators point to …
[embedded content] The SAFE Banking Act will be in a Senate Committee on Banking.  It will be an open session and titled: Challenges for Cannabis and Banking: Outside Perspectives. Numerous senators and witnesses will be available & the Senate will live stream the Proceedings.  Click the image below to find the page where the live stream will be on the SAFE Banking Act in Senate committee.   Cannabis News Roundup for June 19, 2019 Jack Herer Turns 80 June 18, 2019, would have been Jack Herer’s 80th birthday had the legend not passed on about 10 years ago after a…
The appellant in People v. Dixon, 2019 IL App (1st) 160443 appealed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County to deny him access to his trial attorney’s file, after moving to represent himself, on the grounds that denial of access to those files rendered his waiver of post-conviction counsel invalid. The Appellate Court of Illinois First District ultimately reversed and remanded for new second-stage postconviction proceedings. Following a conviction at jury trial for first degree murder and aggravated battery, appellant Charles Dixon, expressing dissatisfaction with his representation, filed motions to discharge his attorney. Id. at ¶ 8.…
General Electric Company (GE) v. United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Docket No. 2017-2497 (IPR2016-00531) REYNA, TARANTO, HUGHES July 10, 2019 Brief Summary: GE appealed Board IPR finding claims 7-11 of UTC’s US 8,511,605 relating to gear fan gas turbine engines not invalid for obviousness (UTC disclaimed claims 1 and 2 which were challenged for anticipation). On Dec. 29, 2017, UTC argued that GE lacked standing to appeal the Board decision “because it failed to demonstrate a sufficient injury in fact”. GE argued in the “First Long Declaration” “that the ‘605 patent impedes its ability to use its 1970s geared-fan engine design…and…
Nursing Home litigation has increased significantly in Illinois in recent years in large part due to the failure of Illinois to institute damages caps and eliminate attorney’s fees from their nursing home statute. Attorneys’ fees are recoverable under the Nursing Home Care Act. In fact, the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides for fee shifting and specifically states that “The licensee shall pay the actual damages and costs and attorney’s fees to a facility resident whose rights, as specified in Part 1 of Article II of this Act, are violated.” 210 ILCS 45/3-602. An attorney’s fees in a matter worked…
If a veteran has a service-connected disability, the VA will rate it according to the “Schedule for Rating Disabilities.” In this document, which is in the Code of Federal Regulations, the VA listed every disability or condition they could think of that might affect a veteran.  If a veteran’s disability is not listed, the VA will rate it by using a comparable disability.  The ratings range from 0% to 100% and are meant to compensate the veteran for how much the disability affects her ability to work.  The rating corresponds to how much compensation she will get each month.  For…
A lot of people who suffer an injury while on the job can collect workers’ compensation benefits. Under Illinois law, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees in the event they are injured on the job. In certain industries, a worker may develop an ailment over time due to repeated exposure to toxic substances. A person can suffer permanent physical and/or neurological damage from contact with chemicals, dust, fumes, mold, or radiation. Those employees are also entitled to compensation if the occupational disease or illness was due to continuous employment in that profession. The Illinois Occupational…
Question:  I am a sole practitioner in San Diego, California. My practice is mostly general practice with some emphasis on commercial real estate. I am 64 years old and am looking for a way to transition and exit my practice in the next three to five years. I am the only attorney in the firm however there are three legal assistants that work for me. I have been considering hiring an associate so that I have someone to sell my interests to in the next three to five years. I have never had an associate so I would appreciate your…
The owners of law firms may consider merger options as part of their succession planning. While periodically reviewing merger options can be an effective part of long-range strategic plans, it’s important that firms do not rely on mergers as a life raft. Instead, mergers should incorporate a well-thought business strategy and create greater client value. The ISBA’s Merging Law Firms Checklist helps attorneys plan for a successful merger, and includes formation, compensation, accounting, and billing considerations. The checklist is one of many member resources available at Practice HQ, the ISBA’s one-stop microsite for practice management and technology information. Organized…