Latest from Illinois Lawyer Now

Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the amendment of Rule 711(g), which will temporarily expand the class of employers eligible to supervise new law school graduates to include private law firms and other for-profit entities. The Illinois Supreme Court order temporarily amending Rule 711 to add paragraph (g) can be found here and the Application for Authorization to Perform Legal Services under Illinois Supreme Court Rules 711(g) is available here. “The Court understands the plight of recent law graduates and we want to provide an effective transition to them becoming practicing lawyers in…
The Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC) is pleased to announce the creation of a task force to address the ongoing challenges with resuming court operations through the next phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force (Task Force) is charged with analyzing and making recommendations regarding the continuing challenges for the administration of justice resultant from the pandemic. “The Illinois Judicial Conference helped established the Court’s vision statement to be trusted and open to all by being fair, innovative, diverse, and responsive to changing needs,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “That statement looks prophetic after the…
The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Assembly on June 19 approved a resolution that will create an association-wide program to further support and promote equal justice and full equality for all. The resolution’s adoption coincides with Juneteenth, an annual celebration observed on June 19 marking the end of slavery in the U.S. “History is being made today with the adoption of this important resolution,” said ISBA President Dennis J. Orsey. “As the premier bar association in Illinois, the ISBA and its members are uniquely situated to take a leading role in identifying and addressing equal justice issues and ensuring full…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down six opinions on Thursday, June 18. In People v. Legoo, the court affirmed a man’s conviction of being a child sex offender in a public park. In People v. Robinson, the court granted a defendant’s leave to file a successive post-conviction petition asserting a claim of actual innocence in a murder trial. In People v. Swenson, the court upheld a man’s conviction for disorderly conduct after he called a school administrator and made extensive comments about shootings and violence during a phone conversation, causing the school to go on lockdown. In People v. Radford,…
Interested in joining your peers in the legal blogging world but don’t have time to set up and maintain a blog of your own? LexBlog can help! Twenty is LexBlog’s new and completely turnkey blogging platform. It is being offered to ISBA members as part of LexBlog’s national #Blog4Good campaign, which aims to aggregate and showcase pandemic-related legal information. Blogs on the new Twenty platform are now easier for ISBA members to set up and use. As an added bonus, they’re free during the first six months and are only $39.99 per month after that. ISBA members who purchase a…
Several days ago, I published a brief statement on Illinois Lawyer Now that has resulted in substantial response from our members. Several nights ago, we as a nation viewed federal troops in uniform clearing out peaceful demonstrators in Washington D.C. As an ISBA President who has focused on the rule of law and the legal process, I felt a statement was important. The focus of that statement missed the mark in a number of important ways. For that reason, I apologize. It is important that a few additional words be said, which go to the heart of our values as…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down three opinions on Thursday, June 4. In People v. Coty, the court declined to extend the protections of Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), to an intellectually disabled adult. In Williamson County Board of Commissioners v. The Board of Trustees of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, the court found that amended section 7-137.2(a) of the Illinois Pension Code was unconstitutional. In Rios v. Bayer Corp., the court dismissed the case for lack of specific personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant as to the claims of out-of-state plaintiffs for personal injuries suffered outside of…
The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hear comments on June 24, 2020, at a remote public hearing via the Zoom videoconference platform on seven proposals, including a proposal to require all written opinions by the Appellate Court to be published and a proposal to create a new Supreme Court Rule that would require all eviction complaints to include a copy of the written eviction notice or demand. The public is invited to attend oral arguments via livestream on the Court’s YouTube page. All the proposals, which must be approved by the Illinois Supreme Court before they could take…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that on June 1, 2020 the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office will begin offering an option for attorneys to request a Certificate of Good Standing online through a link on the Supreme Court’s website. Attorneys shall make a request for a Certificate of Good Standing by filling out requested information and then paying the $15 fee electronically on the Illinois State Treasurer’s ePAY site, a full-service electronic payment program specifically designed for Illinois governments. Additional copies will cost $5 each. The Clerk’s Office is unable to offer an electronic copy of the certificate itself…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the repeal of Supreme Court Rule 185, creation of new Rule 45, and amendments to Rule 46 and Rule 241. These rules all relate to the use of remote hearings via telephone or video conferencing in the courts and the official recording of these court proceedings. The rule changes are effective immediately. “The Illinois Courts were exploring new policies for expanding remote appearances in civil cases before the pandemic hit,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of those policies for both civil and criminal…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today a temporary order to harmonize the current procedure for eviction cases during the COVID-19 pandemic with new federal requirements recently adopted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. The goal of this order is to ensure there are no inadvertent violations of the new federal law during the pandemic that would result in improper and unnecessary evictions at such a difficult time for residents of Illinois. “We are aware that the pandemic has not only…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down three opinions on Thursday, May 21. In People v. Green, the court weighed in on conflict-of-interest issues when an attorney has represented an intended victim of a crime where another person turns out to be the actual victim.  In Levin v. Retirement Board of the County Employees’ & Officers’ Annuity & Benefit Fund, the court upheld an appellate court decision that a county board exceeded its authority in denying an employee health insurance because she was previously a state employee. In Lewis v. Lead Industries Association, the court held that plaintiffs in a class…
The Illinois Supreme Court today issued an order and operational guidelines to help courts statewide resume in-person operations and establish procedures for remote hearings. Since mid-March, the state’s courts have been operating under precautionary measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to conduct emergency and essential matters. This order is effective June 1 and modifies the Court’s March 17, 2020 order so that each circuit may return to hearing all court matters either in-person or remotely according to a schedule adopted for each county by the chief circuit judge. Remote hearings, which have proven to be successful nationwide,…
The Illinois State Bar Association’s Board of Governors approved three new Professional Conduct Advisory Opinions on May 15 during its regularly scheduled Board meeting. The opinions address the duties of an in-house counsel when confronted with conduct that may be harmful to his or her employer; the prohibition on a lawyer threatening criminal charges to gain an advantage in a civil matter; and the propriety of a firm name of “X and Y” when one of the named lawyers has changed careers and no longer practices law. Opinion 20-02 Opinion 20-02 relates to the duties of an in-house counsel when…
The ISBA has approved an ethics opinion that says recent law school graduates who have not yet taken the bar exam can perform many of the services normally performed by licensed first-year associates as long as they are being properly supervised by a licensed lawyer. The Illinois Supreme Court earlier this month announced that the Illinois bar exam, originally scheduled for July 28-29, has been rescheduled to September 9-10 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ISBA Advisory Opinion No. 20-01, which was approved on May 5, interprets the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct to allow recent law school graduates to…