Administrative

Lawyers have a duty to represent their clients. At the same, they have a responsibility to the legal system and the quality of justice administered. These three sets of obligations are laid out in the Preamble to the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Preamble urges lawyers to promote civility and to further the public’s confidence in the rule of law and the justice system. So what does it mean to promote civility and the rule of law? How can lawyers further the public’s understanding of the justice system? Civility: Ground Zero in our Democracy As I recently wrote, our…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Lindsay Shaw has been nominated for the Association of Legal Administrators’ (ALA) Quest Award. Shaw, CLE & Program Coordinator for the Commission on Professionalism, is one of 18 finalists from more than 720 eligible members across the U.S. The Quest Award recognizes a new member who has become quickly and effectively engaged with ALA and demonstrates support for the profession, conviction, dedication and relentless pursuit of personal and professional excellence. Chapter presidents are given the opportunity to nominate one individual from a field of the chapter’s eligible…
Many people don’t seek legal assistance because they simply don’t know that they need legal help. They don’t realize they have a legal problem that has a legal solution. This education gap is where the access to justice issue begins, but isn’t where it should end. Can technology help improve access to justice? Increased accessibility and technology that identifies and addresses legal problems are gradually reducing barriers to equal justice under the law for all. Yet, we have a long way to go. For instance, over 90 percent of Americans have a smartphone, yet only one percent have a legal…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Commissioner Hon. Debra Walker will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois College of Law. The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented at the College of Law’s Annual Dinner on Thursday, April 11, in Chicago. Since 1966, the College of Law has chosen individuals annually to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of their professional achievements and leadership in their communities. Past recipients include the Hon. Barbara Crowder (Ret.), Circuit Court of Madison County, Ill., and the Hon. Anthony Black, Florida Second District Court…
The ABA Standing Committee on Professional Regulation wants lawyer regulation to be preventative. It seeks comments by April 15 on a draft resolution and report encouraging state supreme courts to study and adopt tailored Proactive Management-Based Regulation (PMBR). The Standing Committee developed the report with the ABA Young Lawyers Division Ethics and Professionalism Committee. PMBR helps lawyers develop ethical infrastructures aimed at preventing misconduct. Traditionally, much of the lawyer regulatory process has been complaint-driven and reactive. However, a majority of complaints are for what’s considered “lesser misconduct,” like a lack of communication or neglect. PMBR proponents believe that…
Early bird registration has been extended for the The Future Is Now: Legal Services 2.019. The discounted $75 registration fee is valid until Monday, April 15. The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s signature event will be held on Thursday, May 16, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CDT at Venue SIX10 in Chicago. Now in its fourth year, The Future is Now conference will feature 10 TED-like talks on embracing and promoting the Rule of Law amid rapid innovation in the legal industry. Lawyers, entrepreneurs and professors from across the U.S. will present on topics like evolving alternative legal landscapes,…
More than politeness, civility in government is the glue that holds our republic together. Discussion about civility tends to focus on good manners, or how people speak and behave. But that’s only part of being civil. That people speak and what is substantively communicated are also key components. Respectful sharing of differing viewpoints and compromise around policy makes for civility in government. And America is saying we need more of it. Civility in government = less political polarization Our system of government is based on the airing of differing opinions and compromise. Unfortunately, when our elected representatives act uncivil, they’re…
Women’s History Month should be a time of celebration, so I’m not going to be a Debbie Downer. If you look at statistics on women in the workplace, though, it’s tempting. The number of women at every level in corporate America has barely moved over the last four year. This stagnation is occurring as more and more companies say they’re committing to gender diversity. The legal profession is no better. Over the last 12 years, the number of women equity partners has increased from 15 percent to just 20 percent. Okay, I’m being a Debbie Downer, so I’m going to…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the lineup of speaker talks for the fourth annual The Future Is Now: Legal Services 2.019 conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT at Venue SIX10 in Chicago. “The delivery of legal services is evolving rapidly. Technology is providing new ways to communicate, collaborate and organize our work. However, implementation is uncovering ethical challenges,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism. “The Commission looks forward to bringing together lawyers and legal professionals at The Future Is…
Do junk and spam emails overflow your inbox? What about those emails that appear to be from a friend or colleague, but you’re not quite sure? Or an unsolicited business opportunity that seems too good to be true? Cybercriminals bombard us with new tricks and ploys asking victims to grant access to otherwise protected accounts and data, often through phishing emails. A variation of this scam – spear phishing – takes a more targeted approach to a specific person or organization. Roughly $500 million a year is being scammed from phishing attacks alone, according to the FBI. And those…
Illinois Supreme Court’s e-filing exemption now includes attorneys and non-party filers with a disability. The Supreme Court currently requires e-filing through its eFileIL platform for all civil cases in Illinois trial courts. Previously, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 9(c) allowed “good cause” exemptions from the e-filing mandate for self-represented litigants (SRLs) that fell into certain categories, such as a lack of computer access, a disability or a language barrier. However, the exemption, which aims to reduce the burden on clerk staff and ensure access to the judicial process, didn’t initially account for attorneys or non-party filers with a disability. The Supreme…
Social media has changed the way we communicate and live. It’s an empowering tool for many people worldwide. Social media is also an extraordinary source of evidence. Our digital footprint grows daily with every photo posted, status updated and video shared. These footprints are hard to erase. The tweet of yesterday may become the exhibit of tomorrow’s litigation. This is especially true in criminal, family, personal injury and employment law. The duty of preserving social media evidence mirrors that of other electronically stored information (ESI). Likewise, that duty to preserve is triggered when a party reasonably foresees that that evidence…
Social media has changed the way we communicate and live. It’s an empowering tool for many people worldwide. Social media is also an extraordinary source of evidence. Our digital footprint grows daily with every photo posted, status updated and video shared. These footprints are hard to erase. The tweet of yesterday may become the exhibit of tomorrow’s litigation. This is especially true in criminal, family, personal injury and employment law. The duty of preserving social media evidence mirrors that of other electronically stored information (ESI). Likewise, that duty to preserve is triggered when a party reasonably foresees that the evidence…
I’m a Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Skadden. I’ve always been involved with diversity and inclusion (D&I), but after graduating from law school, I litigated for 7 1/2 years. I worked at both a boutique and a mid-size firm where I focused on premises and product liability work. I also had the opportunity to serve as Assistant General Counsel to Governor Bruce Rauner, where I oversaw all legal issues pertaining to child welfare, public safety and education, as well as his clemency process. I also currently sit on the state’s Executive Ethics Commission. How has your practice evolved in…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Davies as Education Manager. Mr. Davies will manage the Commission’s educational programming aimed at promoting a more professional, civil and inclusive legal profession. “We’re thrilled to welcome Dan to the Commission,” said Jayne Reardon, Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism. “Dan brings to the Commission a strong background in eLearning and instructional design. He has led the development of workplace learning solutions across multiple industries including technology, finance and nonprofit. We look forward to leveraging Dan’s passion and expertise to continue to deliver superior…
Earlier this month, the Illinois Supreme Court took steps to make paying court fees more manageable. The Court announced changes to the assessment system by which fees, fines and other court costs are paid by litigants in civil and criminal cases. The goal is to address the confusion, inconsistency and financial hardship caused by the previous structure, and make the justice system more accessible. The changes were proposed by a Statutory Court Fee Task Force after a wide-ranging study that found litigant filing costs in civil cases and defendant court fees in criminal cases could lead to excessive financial burden.…

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