Latest from Illinois Lawyer Now

Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the amendment of Rule 23, which will allow litigants to cite unpublished opinions from the Illinois Appellate Courts for persuasive purposes. Amended Rule 23 is effective Jan. 1, 2021. The Illinois Supreme Court Rules including Amended Rule 23 can be found on the court’s website. “Changes to Rule 23 have been discussed and studied for a long time,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “This amendment is a welcome change and will improve the administration of justice in Illinois.” Under Rule 23 as previously constituted, litigants could cite…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down seven opinions on Thursday, November 19. They included opinions in two criminal cases and five civil cases. People v. Reveles-Cordova By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender Alejandro Reveles-Cordova was found guilty of both criminal sexual assault and home invasion predicated on criminal sexual assault arising out of a single incident. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether both convictions could stand or whether the criminal sexual assault conviction had to be vacated on one-act, one-crime grounds as a lesser-included offense. Today, a unanimous Supreme Court vacated Reveles-Cordova’s criminal sexual…
The Illinois Supreme Court today announced the amendment of Rule 113. The changes go into effect December 1. The amended Rule requires notice of judicial sales to all defendants of record by the electronic methods required by S. Ct. Rule 11, and to all defendants not of record by mail. The amended Rule also now requires a self-represented litigant with an email address to designate only one email address for service purposes, and for those self-represented litigants who do not designate an e-mail address service may be made by any non-electronic method allowed by Rule 11 (such as mail…
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that Cook County Circuit Judge LeRoy K. Martin, Jr. has been assigned as an Appellate Court Justice in the First District. Judge Martin was assigned to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Justice Robert E. Gordon to the Appellate Court of Illinois effective December 7, 2020. Justice Gordon is filling the vacancy of Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall and his appointment is through December 5, 2022. The assignment of Judge Martin takes effect on January 4, 2021 and will remain in effect until further order of the court. Judge Martin will occupy…
In light of the continuing risks to public health and the overall successful administration of the October remote exam, the Illinois Supreme Court has determined that the February 2021 Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in Illinois will be administered remotely. The filing deadline for the February 2021 exam remains Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Further information will be posted on the Board of Admissions website. Illinois administered its last bar examination remotely on October 5-6, 2020 to over 2,000 applicants. Nationwide, approximately 30,000 people took that online exam, as several other states opted to give the exam remotely due to the…
Justice Robert L. Carter of the 3rd District Appellate Court has been selected to join the Illinois Supreme Court next month, pending the Illinois State Board of Elections proclaiming the results of the November 3 election. The appointment of Justice Carter is effective December 8, 2020, and terminates December 5, 2022, when the seat will be filled by the November 2022 General Election. The Supreme Court has constitutional authority to fill all judicial vacancies. “Justice Carter’s appointment came via a unanimous 6-0 vote,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, whose vacancy Carter is scheduled to fill,…
The Illinois Supreme Court has amended Rules 280 .1 and 280 .2, which now include a definition of the word “payment” for credit card or debt buyer collection actions. The Court also updated the corresponding sample form. The changes go into effect immediately. The Court defines “payment” as “any payment received by a charge-off creditor or a debt buyer, pre- or post-charge-off, that was not returned by the financial institution against which the payment was drawn.” The amended Rules are available online.…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Wednesday, October 28. In People v. Casler, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded a defendant’s conviction for obstructing justice when he provided a false name to police. People v. Casler By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender Two Carbondale police officers were on foot patrol of a local hotel when they saw Rasheed Casler open a hotel room door, step out into the hallway, and then immediately retreat back into the hotel room when Casler saw the officers. One of the officers recognized Casler, not by name, but…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced this week the expansion of the Volunteer Pro Bono Program for Criminal Appeals (Program) to include the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Appellate Districts beginning on December 1, 2020. On February 11, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court announced the launch of the Pro Bono Program in the Illinois Appellate Court’s First and Second Districts as a six-month pilot program utilizing volunteer pro bono attorneys to reduce the backlog of criminal appeals currently pending with the Office of the State Appellate Defender (OSAD). In the program, pro bono attorneys assist with reducing the backlog by substituting for…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today two orders which were proposals from the Illinois Judicial Conference’s Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force (Task Force). The Orders are available on the Court website by clicking here. “The Task Force continues to find ways to help the courts adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “The Supreme Court greatly appreciates the work they have done and continue to do.” The Order on Remote Jury Selection in Civil Matters is in regards to remote jury selection in civil matters and is an expansion of the changes made to …
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the amendment of Rule 415, which will allow attorneys to provide a copy of discovery to a defendant unless good cause is shown why the discovery should not be furnished to the defendant. The Illinois Supreme Court Rules including Amended Rule 415 can be found here. Under Rule 415 as previously constituted, a defendant could view materials only in the presence of counsel as the materials must remain in the attorney’s exclusive custody. In the case of an incarcerated defendant, this required defense counsel to remain present…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down three opinions on Thursday, October 22. In People v. Lusby, the court denied a defendant’s request for leave to file a successive post-conviction petition asserting that his sentencing hearing was constitutionally inadequate. In Tabirta v. Cummings, the court considered whether the existence of one part-time employee who services a few of a defendant corporation’s customers from his home in Cook County satisfies the “other office” or “doing business” prongs of section 2-102(a) of the venue statute. In Goral v. Dart, a split court allowed disciplined and fired Cook County correctional officers to continue their…
Illinois attorneys now have a convenient online portal that simplifies and centralizes recordkeeping for continuing legal education (“CLE”) credits. Using the online system unveiled by the Illinois Supreme Court and the Court’s Minimum Continuing Legal Education (“MCLE”) Board today, attorneys can easily view their credits earned from accredited courses and qualifying bar association meetings, as well as other details about those CLE credits. The new portal is available here. “The Court has been accelerating the adoption of technology to improve the administration of justice, increase efficiency and reduce costs,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “The MCLE Board’s latest…
An independent judicial branch of government is foundational to our American democracy. While it means that our judges and courts should be free of influence from the other branches of government, it also means that the judiciary should be free of influence from private or special interests. The rule of law means nothing if judges are not able to impartially decide both public and private legal disputes with complete independence. Despite these bedrock principles, private and special interests are again seeking to influence our upcoming judicial elections. Just as with his previous retention bid, Justice Thomas Kilbride is being confronted…
The Illinois State Bar Association’s Board of Governors approved three new Professional Conduct Advisory Opinions on September 25 during its regularly scheduled Board meeting. The opinions address an attorney’s duty to disclose confidential information about a client’s fraud to third parties in an effort to prevent, lessen, or rectify the fraud; a lawyer’s responsibility to hold funds whose ownership is disputed until the dispute is resolved; and the ethical Rules that do not bind an attorney to continue proceeding with an appeal of a court’s decision appointing a guardian for a client who currently lacks mental capacity, in the manner…