Latest from Illinois Lawyer Now

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the five Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, April 15. In People v. Wise, the court held that the state failed to prove that the defendant possessed a gun “on or about his person.” In People v. Johnson, the court resolved the question of whether an individual’s standing to file a post-conviction petition under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act is a proper consideration at the first stage of proceedings under the Act or whether a determination of standing is more appropriately made at the second stage of proceedings. In People v. Bass, the…
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the two Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, March 18. In People v. Burge, the Supreme Court denied a defendant’s motion to withdraw her guilty plea after she asserted that it was involuntary because she was unaware she would lose her job if she pled guilty. In Ciolino v. Simon, a defamation case that arose from a documentary about an exoneration scandal, the Supreme Court considered whether the one-year window when the suit could be filed opened when the movie premiered at a publicized film festival. People v. Burge By Kerry J.…
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down on Thursday, March 11. In Jones v. Municipal Officers Electoral Board, the court examined the decision of the Municipal Officers Electoral Board for the City of Calumet City that disqualified the plaintiff as a candidate for mayor of Calumet City because he filed his nomination papers 13 days after a referendum passed that disqualified him. Jones v. Municipal Officers Electoral Board By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde & O’Meara LLP In this administrative review proceeding, the Illinois Supreme Court examined the decision of the Municipal Officers Electoral…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today two amendments to Order M.R. 30370 regarding remote proceedings in adult criminal cases. The Illinois Judicial Conference’s Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force (Task Force) recommended these amendments to avoid any ambiguity and to simplify logistical issues regarding the waivers. The orders are available on the court website. The first amendment is to the Title and Preamble of the order to clarify that the order does not apply to juvenile cases. The second amendment is to section II(C) and strikes Section II(E) to state that whether the waiver by a defendant to hold…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today an order for the creation of a new Supreme Court Statutory Court Fees Task Force (“Task Force”) to replace the original 15-member Task Force created under the Access to Justice Act. The new Task Force is charged with conducting a thorough review of the entire Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act (CTAA), including the various statutory fees imposed or assessed on criminal defendants and civil litigants and the fiscal impact of the new civil and criminal fee schedules. It will also identify any issues with implementation and propose recommendations…
The Illinois Supreme Court today announced the expansion of the Remote Access Policy (RAP) for Illinois licensed attorneys and legal services providers in User Group 5. This will give Illinois attorneys expanded access to court information and documents in the 87 county courts currently integrated and certified through re:SearchIL. The expansion is effective March 1, 2021. The full text of the RAP and the User Group Access Chart is available online. “The Court is very pleased with this important step in providing remote access to court documents statewide,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “This has been a collaborative…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today two new temporary orders and one amended order regarding eviction cases and electronic signatures in Illinois courts. The orders were first proposed by the Illinois Judicial Conference Court Operations During COVID- 19 Task Force (“Task Force”) to address the anticipated surge of evictions once the moratoria expire and improve access to justice for self-represented litigants. The Orders are available on the Court website by clicking here. “The Court would like to thank the Task Force for its extensive work on the evictions issue,” Chief Justice Anne M.…
The Illinois Supreme Court issued two opinions on Friday, February 19. In People v. Jackson, the Supreme Court upheld an appellate court’s decision to deny a defendant leave to file a successive postconviction petition. In People v. Birge, the Supreme Court held that a circuit court judge did not err in reciting all four of the Rule 431(b) principles together to a group of prospective jurors, and the Supreme Court also vacated the defendant’s restitution order and remanded the matter for a new hearing to determine the proper amount of restitution. People v. Jackson By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of…
The Illinois Supreme Court today issued an order in remote criminal case proceedings. The order sets forth which criminal case proceedings can be held remotely in light of the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic. This order, a proposal from the Illinois Judicial Conference’s Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force (Task Force), is effective immediately. The order, M.R. 30370, modifies the Court’s March 17, 2020 order as modified by the order of May 20, 2020. “This order provides guidance for our courts to address the backlog of criminal cases created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “The Supreme…
The Illinois Supreme Court issued one opinion on Thursday, February 4. In Rehfield v. Diocese of Joliet, the Supreme Court held that a fired Catholic principal can’t sue the school for her termination because the diocese’s actions are protected by constitutional religious freedom guarantees. Rehfield v. Diocese of Joliet By Michael T. Reagan The court held here that the principal of a Catholic grade school who alleges that she was discharged for reporting threatening conduct of a parent to the police was barred from bringing claims for retaliatory discharge and a violation of the Whistleblower Act. The opinion for the…
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has shared updates that may help ISBA members prepare for questions regarding 1099-G forms and IDES. 1099-G Tax Forms IDES is in the process of finalizing the annual 1099-G form mailing to all individuals who received unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in 2020. IDES has established a 1099-G page on the Department’s website to provide answers to frequently asked questions, along with directional guidance should an individual feel they have received a 1099-G in error. IDES has created and infographic and explanatory sheet that provides additional information. IDES has dedicated resources to handling 1099-G…
The Illinois Supreme Court issued three opinions on January 22. In In re J.M.A., the Supreme Court was equally divided and dismissed the appeal. In Steed v. Rezin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, S.C., the Supreme Court unanimously reversed an unpublished order issued by an appellate court that reversed a jury verdict in favor of an institutional defendant. In Board of Education of the City of Chicago v. Moore, the court addressed whether the School Code authorized the Board of Education of the City of Chicago to opt for suspension rather than either dismissal or reinstatement of a tenured teacher. In
The Illinois Supreme Court will hold oral arguments via the Zoom videoconference platform when it hears cases for its first term of 2021. The Court continues to practice social distancing while still conducting court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I would like to thank counsel and the new admittees for their cooperation in holding these events remotely,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “We strive to ensure access to justice while maintaining the health and safety of everyone in the court system.” The court is scheduled to hear four cases on January 12, four cases on January 13 and two…
The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) vehemently condemns the assault on the Rule of Law that the nation watched unfold at the U.S. Capitol yesterday afternoon. The peaceful transfer of power to incoming presidential administrations and the processes that facilitate that transfer are a fundamental foundation of our democracy and have been faithfully observed and respected since the inception of the nation. The storming of the U.S. Capitol by rioters seeking to use violence to disrupt the certification of the presidential election was not only a repugnant act, but criminal activity that should be prosecuted to the full extent of…
The Illinois Supreme Court today issued a new order in eviction cases. The order is a follow-up to the order the Court issued in May setting forth the requirements for any landlord seeking to evict a tenant from a dwelling unit covered by the CARES Act. While certain provisions of the CARES Act eviction moratorium have sunset, Gov. Pritzker’s most recent Executive Moratoriums departed from previous orders and changed the parameters for the state’s eviction moratorium. The new order, which was proposed by the Court’s COVID-19 Task Force, is intended to clarify how courts should handle the commencement of eviction…
The Illinois Supreme Court today announced the approval of Order M.R.18368, which provides a timeline for the expansion of the Remote Access Policy (RAP) for Illinois licensed attorneys and legal services providers in User Group 5. “This is an important step forward in providing access to justice in our state,” Chief Justice Burke said. “Remote access to court documents has become ever more important due to the ongoing pandemic and limiting in-person appearances at courthouses.” Under the expansion, Illinois licensed attorneys and legal service providers in User Group 5 will be allowed access to the following: Access to all non-confidential…