Latest from The Bar News

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) Probation Services Division sought and received funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to implement initiatives to support the development of a statewide training and technical assistance program to address the training needs of new Problem-Solving Courts (PSC) and the ongoing training needs of experienced PSC. AOIC Probation Services Division has accomplished these goals through a multi-pronged approach including data collection, curriculum, courses, and training workshops for the PSC of Illinois.

The AOIC Probation Services Division formed the PSC Curriculum Committee in early 2020. The overall PSC curriculum, individual courses, workshops,
Continue Reading AOIC Probation Services Division Announces 17 Training Courses for Problem-Solving Courts

The Illinois Supreme Court announced this week that Justice Mary Jane Theis
will be its next Chief Justice. Justice Theis was selected by the Court to serve a three-year term commencing October 26, 2022. She succeeds Justice Anne M. Burke whose tenure as Chief Justice began in October of 2019.

An installation ceremony marking Justice Theis’ selection as Chief Justice will be held at the Supreme Court Building in Springfield during the Court’s November Term.

“I would like to thank my colleagues for giving me this opportunity to serve the people of Illinois as Chief Justice,” Justice Theis said. “I
Continue Reading Justice Mary Jane Theis Selected as Next Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court

Chief Justice Anne M. Burke has announced her retirement from the Illinois Supreme Court. Her last day on the bench will be November 30, 2022. Chief Justice Burke has served on the Supreme Court since 2006 and has served as Chief Justice since October 2019. Her term as Chief Justice concludes on October 25, 2022. Read Justice Burke’s full statement on her retirement.

“I have been blessed to serve as a Supreme Court Justice for the past 16 years and have loved working with my staff, colleagues, and Judicial Branch staff to serve the people of Illinois,” Chief Justice
Continue Reading Chief Justice Anne M. Burke Announces Retirement From Illinois Supreme Court – Justice Joy V. Cunningham to Fill Vacancy

On Tuesday, August 9, the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates formally adopted Resolution 402, which reaffirms longstanding ABA policy adopted in July 2000 that sharing legal fees with nonlawyers and the ownership or control of law practices by nonlawyers is inconsistent with the core values of the legal profession. The Resolution was sponsored and proposed by the Illinois State Bar Association. Additional sponsors included: the New York State Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, and the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division. The Resolution was also
Continue Reading American Bar Association’s House of Delegates Adopts Resolution on Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms and Sharing Legal Fees With Nonlawyers, Which Was Sponsored and Proposed by the Illinois State Bar Association

Working with other states and entities across the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) is the co-sponsor of a proposed Resolution and Report in the ABA House of Delegates that seeks to reaffirm longstanding ABA policy adopted in July 2000 that sharing legal fees with nonlawyers and the ownership or control of law practices by nonlawyers is inconsistent with the core values of the legal profession.

A goal of reaffirming the existing ABA policy is to provide guidance within the ABA as various groups consider possible changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and other policy
Continue Reading Illinois State Bar Association Co-Sponsors Proposed American Bar Association Resolution and Report on Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms and Sharing Legal Fees With Nonlawyers

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the two Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Friday, June 24.
People v. Lewis, 2022 IL 126705
By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In 2015, Shane Lewis responded to an ad on Backpage.com titled, “young warm and ready.” (A printout of the ad is appended to the Court’s opinion.) The body of the ad indicated that the poster was 18 years old and was a “hot little co ed” who was “young, eager to please and more than willing to meet all your desires.” The ad included a
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Friday, June 24, 2022

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the four Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, June 16.
Holm v. Kodat, 2022 IL 127511
By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

The Mazon River is 28 miles long, ending in the Illinois River near Morris. It contains and abuts large deposits of fossils. The Court’s opinion by Justice Carter relates that this area is world-famous. It is a National Historic landmark which contains “extraordinary fossils with exceptional preservation.”

Plaintiffs and defendants own separate parcels of property along the river. Plaintiffs operate a fossil hunting business and
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Illinois Supreme Court issued one opinion on Thursday, February 3.
McDonald v Symphony Bronzeville Park, LLC , 2022 IL 126511
By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

“Do the exclusivity provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act (Compensation Act) bar a claim for statutory damages under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (Privacy Act)?” In this Rule 308 appeal, the circuit court of Cook County, the First District, and now the Supreme Court all answered that certified question in the negative. Ms. McDonald sued her employer Symphony Bronzeville Park, LLC, in this putative class action, alleging that
Continue Reading Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, February 3, 2022

The Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee (IJEC), a joint committee of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois Judges Association, has issued a new opinion: 2021-4: Judge’s Use of Photographs with Colleagues for Campaign Purposes.

A candidate-judge may use a photograph taken with non-candidate judicial colleagues for campaign purposes where the photograph was taken at a public event and does not suggest endorsement on the part of the candidate-judge’s colleagues.

The IJEC provide ethics advice to judges and judicial candidates. Among other things, the group issues advisory opinions that answer questions from judges about ethical
Continue Reading Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee Releases New Opinion: Judge’s Use of Photographs with Colleagues for Campaign Purposes

State courts have increasingly become the default system for addressing the needs of those with behavioral health issues. Commonly cited statistics show that 64 percent of people in local jails suffer from mental illness. The rate of serious mental illness is four to six times higher in jail than in the general population, and the rate of substance use disorders is seven times higher among those in jail than in the general population.

Following up on its recent call to action, the Illinois Supreme Court Mental Health Task Force (Task Force) is hosting a series of judicially led, multidisciplinary Regional
Continue Reading Supreme Court Mental Health Task Force Leading Change

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the adoption of a policy which will require every state courthouse in Illinois to adopt individual orders or rules regarding the use of portable electronic devices in their courthouse buildings and in their courtrooms.

In adopting this policy, the Court recognizes that portable electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and e-book readers are essential tools of today’s society.

Many courthouses already possess policies which address the needs of lawyers, jurors, and other court users and staff to possess portable electronic devices in courthouses yet some bar members of the public and self-represented litigants
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Announces New Policy on Portable Electronic Devices