Rhys Saunders

Latest Articles

The Illinois Supreme Court on May 23 announced amendments to Rules 767 and 773, which are effective July 1. Amendments to both rules pertain to costs associated with attorney reinstatement following disbarment or suspension. Amended Rule 767 now requires a petition of reinstatement to be accompanied by a $1,500 deposit to be applied against costs. Amended Rule 773 in part raises the maximum amount of costs the court may order an attorney to pay for disciplinary matters and proceedings.…
The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hear comments June 19 at a public hearing in Chicago on six proposals, including a proposal to establish a protective order for the release of medical information and a proposal involving the use of deposition testimony by a party. The committee will also consider proposed changes to Supreme Court rules involving petitions for leave to appeal, amicus curiae briefs, and an appendix to briefs filed by appellants. All the proposals, which must be approved by the Illinois Supreme Court before they could take effect, will be aired at a hearing before the Rules…
The Illinois Supreme Court on May 17 announced amendments to Rules 68, 472, and 558. The changes are effective immediately. Supreme Court Rule 68 requires judges to file a written statement of economic interests and relationships of the judge and members of the judge’s immediate family with the Supreme Court’s clerk. The amendment requires the clerk to redact the judge’s email address contained in any statement filed pursuant to the Rule. Rules 472 and 558 pertain to corrections of sentencing errors in criminal cases and traffic, conservation and ordinance violation cases, respectively. In both Rules, the amendment requires that in…
The Secretary of State’s office receives many types of civil documents/orders from courts and attorneys regarding judgments arising from uninsured motor vehicle crashes. These documents need to be read, interpreted, and processed by employees of the Secretary of State (SOS) to determine what, if any, action should be taken against a person’s driver’s license. Because the SOS employees processing these documents are not attorneys and because these documents vary by county and by attorney, reading and understanding the content of the submitted documentation can be difficult. Understanding the documents is of utmost importance since action taken based on those documents…
Revamped “Illinois Lawyer Now” to highlight member blogs, ISBA content The ISBA is excited to announce the launch of a new blog aggregation site, the newly minted Illinois Lawyer Now. Powered by LexBlog, the site hosts original ISBA substantive legal news, as well as content from members’ legal blogs. By aggregating ISBA and members’ legal blogs, Illinois Lawyer Now will be the preeminent site for up-to-date, Illinois-specific legal content. Do you have a legal blog? Legal blogs are eligible for inclusion if the author of the blog is an ISBA member or the blog is associated with a firm…
The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), the administrative agency that regulates licensed Illinois lawyers, has filed its year 2018 Annual Report with the Supreme Court of Illinois. The report was released to the public this morning when a copy was posted on the ARDC website. A summary of the annual report is available at Highlights of the 2018 Annual Report.   The ARDC annually evaluates the effectiveness of the disciplinary system.  Complete and comprehensive statistics concerning the disciplinary caseload are submitted to the Illinois Supreme Court and are published in the Annual Report. Few professions account for their…
For many law firms, referrals are an integral part of obtaining new clients. But it takes time to build a referral base, which must be cultivated through meaningful relationships with reliable sources. The ISBA’s whitepaper on increasing a firm’s referrals provides five fundamental keys to accomplishing that goal. They include tips such as not trying to be a generalist, actively building relationships with five to 10 new referral sources each year, keeping in touch on a regular basis, rewarding people for referring clients, and not relying on just other attorneys for referrals. The whitepaper is one of many member resources…
Closing a law firm can be a daunting task. There are many considerations attorneys must take into account, and the process itself takes time due to obligations to protect client information as well as the interest of the clients. The ISBA’s Closing a Law Firm Consideration Checklist provides a breakdown of the basic framework and issues to consider when closing a firm, including the following: Client lists Firm’s files and records retention information Insurance policies Designating another attorney to close the practice in the event of death or incapacitation. The checklist is one of many member resources available at Practice
The Illinois Supreme Court issued three opinions on Thursday, April 18. The ISBA’s panel of leading appellate and civil attorneys reviewed the opinions and provided summaries. In People v. Buffer, the court upheld an appellate court’s decision to vacate a defendant’s 50-year prison sentence imposed for a crime he committed when he was 16 years old and remanded the case for resentencing. In People v. Kimble, the court denied a man’s motion to bar his reprosecution on double jeopardy grounds where the trial judge declared a mistrial after the jury was deadlocked. Fillmore v. Taylor addresses whether an inmate can…
In the digital age, technology is the cornerstone of any law firm. With a myriad of options on the table, it’s important to ensure that you don’t forget anything when opening a new practice. The ISBA’s New Firm Technology Checklist provides a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need to budget for, including hardware, software, security, and other technological services. 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 by the life cycle of a law practice, Practice HQ can help you start a firm, build,…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices will host a series of public hearings as it works toward its final report and recommendations in December. The commission recently released its preliminary report concerning pretrial reform in the Illinois criminal justice system. A final report with recommendations regarding the administration of pretrial justice in Illinois will be released in December. The commission would like to gather input from Illinois stakeholders regarding pretrial reform. Public hearings will take place in Springfield, Champaign/Urbana, and Chicago as follows: Springfield – Monday, April 22, at noon Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts 3101 Old…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, April 4. In Piccioli v. The Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System et al., the court ruled that a union lobbyist qualified for a public pension under a repealed law by spending one day as a substitute teacher. Piccioli v. The Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System et al. By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan This case, like Carmichael v. Laborers’ & Retirement Board, 2018 IL 122793, deals with pension issues which have arisen involving public union employees seeking pension benefits from…
With nearly 75 percent of consumers searching for an attorney online, it is important to make your website the hub of a successful legal marketing strategy. What makes the difference between a great website and an ineffective one? It starts with planning. The ISBA’s whitepaper on using a website as the heart of an online marketing strategy covers important topics such as search engine optimization, creating and promoting exciting content, creating an appealing website design, and more. The whitepaper is one of many member resources available at Practice HQ, the ISBA’s one-stop microsite for practice management and technology information.…
The Illinois Supreme Court on March 29 announced the amendment of Rule 274 that pertains to multiple final orders and postjudgment motions. The amended rule states: “A party may make only one postjudgment motion directed at a judgment order that is otherwise final and appealable. The motion must be filed either within 30 days of that judgment order or within the time allowed by any extensions.” (New language bolded.) The amended rule goes into effect July 1.…
The Illinois Supreme Court received a high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph on Jan. 15 during a ceremony held in Springfield. The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. Historians consider Hesler’s portrait one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years. Speakers included Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier, Illinois Appellate Court Justice Michael Hyman, ISBA President James F. McCluskey, Illinois Bar Foundation Second Vice President William Peithmann, Illinois Judges Association President Hon. James Snyder, Illinois Judges Foundation Treasurer Hon. Debra Walker,…