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A Message from the Chief Justice

October 28, 2019

For those of you who may not know me, allow me to introduce myself. I am Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and I have served as a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court for the past 13 years. At the Court’s September 2019 Term, my colleagues elected me to the office of Chief Justice to succeed Lloyd A. Karmeier, whose tenure as Chief Justice ended on Oct. 25, 2019. On October 26, 2019, my three-year term as Chief Justice commenced and I became the third woman to hold the position of Chief Justice, following the late Mary Ann McMorrow and current Justice Rita B. Garman.

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

October 28, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges.

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Illinois Judicial Conference Unveils Three-Year Strategic Agenda

October 28, 2019

The Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC) unveiled on Oct. 2 its Strategic Agenda for the Illinois Judicial Branch (Branch) through the year 2022. The IJC has created a mission statement, vision statement and core values for the Branch, along with strategic goals and the strategies designed to achieve them. The Strategic Agenda will serve as a guide for the future of the Branch as it begins the implementation phase.

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Illinois Courts awarded $100,000 grant from Justice for All Project

October 28, 2019

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced Oct. 17 that it will receive a $100,000 grant from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) as part of the Justice for All (JFA) project. The Illinois Courts’ Access to Justice Commission (ATJ) will use the funds to support a strategic action planning effort to expand access to justice in Illinois.

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The Attorney-Client Privilege and Insurance Companies: A Brief Discussion

October 28, 2019

The attorney-client privilege can often be a daunting topic to tackle, especially when an insurance carrier is involved in the matter. The objective of this article is to briefly discuss the attorney-client privilege, and how the presence of an insurance company may affect that privilege.

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Famous Pig Stealing Case

October 28, 2019

In one famous case in the 1950s concerning Illinois’ rich agricultural heritage, Justice Ralph Maxwell authored the opinion with a masterful narrative of three drunks who stole nine pigs.

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Thinking Back with Appreciation – Looking Ahead with Confidence

September 23, 2019

Every three years, the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court must pass the gavel to his or her successor. It is that time again. On October 26th, it will be my pleasure to yield the center chair on the Supreme Court bench to our next Chief Justice, Anne M. Burke.  

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Access to Justice Commission Welcomes New Class of Illinois JusticeCorps Fellows

September 23, 2019

The Access to Justice Commission would like to recognize the 2019-2020 incoming Illinois JusticeCorps ("ILJC") Fellows who are committing to a year of service at courthouses throughout the state. The Commission is proud to partake in this unique collaboration between the courts, the Illinois Bar Foundation, The Chicago Bar Foundation, Serve Illinois Commission, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

September 23, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges:

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Illinois Civil Practice Act of 1933

September 23, 2019

Illinoisans witnessed significant changes in the 1930s. The end of prohibition, the Great Depression, and new social services defined that generation and beyond. In the Illinois legal community, perhaps one of the most dramatic changes in the practice of law also occurred in the 1930s with the passage of the Illinois Civil Practice Act of 1933.

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Justice Corner

September 23, 2019

Dear Justice Corner,
I understand that the statute regarding civil fee waivers has recently changed. How does this change impact the civil fee waiver application process, and what new provisions have been added?

Judge Whattowaive

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Attorney Discipline: Interim Suspensions

September 23, 2019

Attorney discipline proceedings, if contested, can take a long time – well over a year – to move from formal disciplinary complaint to final order of discipline. What can be done to protect the public and the profession if an attorney’s ongoing conduct is causing or threatening harm during that time period? The Illinois Supreme Court can impose an interim suspension.

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Justice Anne M. Burke Elected as the Next Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court

September 10, 2019

Justice Anne M. Burke has been elected as the next Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. She was sworn-in today, Sept. 10, with an effective date of Oct. 26, 2019.

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Relief at Last

August 26, 2019

Each July since becoming Chief Justice, I have had the privilege of attending the annual meeting of the Conference of Chief Justices, an organization founded in 1949 to provide an opportunity for the highest judicial officers of U.S. states and territories to meet and discuss matters of importance to their judicial systems...

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Illinois Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey

August 26, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court will leave the Illinois Supreme Court Building in Springfield behind for a day to hear oral arguments at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey.

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Grogan Signs Off

August 26, 2019

Jim Grogan – the face of the ARDC – retires this month after four decades of service to the Court, judges, lawyers and the public. As ARDC Deputy Administrator and Chief Counsel, Grogan has done and seen it all. In carrying out his ARDC responsibilities, he is unfailingly cheerful, welcoming, insightful, and helpful...

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

August 26, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges:

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Illinois Supreme Court History: In Re Day

August 26, 2019

Most people are aware of Myra Bradwell’s and George Anastoplo’s failed attempts to become licensed to practice law in Illinois. Most people are not aware of Henry M. Bay’s attempt, which was a more important and precedent-setting case that confirmed the independence of the judicial branch...

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JusticeCorps Fellows Attend 1st District Appellate Court Oral Arguments

August 26, 2019

Last month, Illinois JusticeCorps (ILJC) Fellows concluded their one-year term of service by attending oral arguments at the Illinois First District Appellate Court. This first-ever event was hosted by Justice Mary K. Rochford, Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (Commission) and Justice Daniel J. Pierce, a member of the Commission...

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Access to Justice Commission Is Accepting Proposals for Self-Represented Litigant Coordinators

August 26, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) and the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from all judicial circuits in Illinois for Self-Represented Litigant (SRL) Coordinators.

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Illinois Judicial Conference putting finishing touches on Strategic Agenda

July 29, 2019

It has been just over nine months since the Supreme Court announced the reconstitution of the Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC). As provided in amended Supreme Court Rule 41, “[t]here shall be a Judicial Conference to consider the work of the courts and to suggest improvements in the administration of justice. The Judicial Conference shall be the body to strategically plan for the Illinois judicial branch.”

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

July 29, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges...

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Illinois Supreme Court History: 1958 Judicial Article

July 29, 2019

From the 1890s to the 1940s, it became nearly impossible to amend the third Illinois Constitution (1870-1970). The passage of the Gateway Amendment in 1950 made it easier to accomplish constitutional alterations, and the Illinois General Assembly created a Judicial Article Revision Commission to make substantive changes to the judicial branch. The court system had become unruly with multiple overlapping trial-level jurisdictions, and appellate courts composed of talented, but overworked circuit judges.

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Promoting well-being in the legal profession: Practicing mindfulness

July 29, 2019

Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely than the rest of the population to suffer from depression, stress and anxiety, according to the American Psychological Association. Long hours, dealing with difficult clients and opposing counsel, the pressure to meet billing expectations, and isolation make the practice of law one of the most stressful and psychologically challenging professions.

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Justice Corner

July 29, 2019

Dear Justice Corner:

Self-represented litigants often ask questions to me and my staff that appear to be seeking legal advice; how do you recommend I respond to these inquiries, beyond simply telling SRLs that I can’t help them?

- Judge WantToHelp

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A Fourth of July Message: Looking Back, Lasting Legacies

June 24, 2019

Since my election to the court in 2004, I have been fortunate to witness a number of significant milestones in the history of the country, the state and the Supreme Court. This past year we marked the bicentennial of Illinois’ admission into the Union and the creation of our state’s judicial branch....

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Illinois Supreme Court Appoints Walton as Circuit Judge in the First Subcircuit of Cook County

June 26, 2019

Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Tyria B. Walton as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the First Judicial Subcircuit.

The appointment is effective June 25, 2019, and will conclude on December 7, 2020, following the November 2020 general election.

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Supreme Court Rules Committee Holds Public Hearing on Proposals

June 24, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee heard comments from over a dozen speakers on June 19 at a public hearing in Chicago. The six proposals include,18-01, which would establish a protective order for the release of medical information. Eight speakers presented comments on 18-01.

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Sunday Laws

June 24, 2019

Sunday laws in America date back to Puritan Massachusetts. The idea of working on the “Lord’s Day” was anathema to the comfort and welfare of society. In early Connecticut, for example, it was even illegal to travel on Sundays...

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Illinois Supreme Court Pretrial Practices Commission Hosts Public Hearings in Chicago, Freeport

June 24, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices is hosting a series of public hearings as it works towards its final report and recommendations. The Commission would like to gather input from Illinois stakeholders regarding pretrial reform, and recently hosted hearings in Chicago and Freeport...

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When the Past and Present Diverge: A Brief Discussion of Former Client Conflicts of Interest Under Rule 1.9(a)

June 24, 2019

Under Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.9(a), an attorney is prohibited from representing a party whose interests are materially adverse to the interests of a former client if the matters involved in both representations are the same or substantially related, unless the former client gives informed consent. 

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The Future Is Now: Legal Innovation and the Rule of Law

June 24, 2019

Earlier this month, hundreds of legal professionals gathered in Chicago to attend the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s The Future Is Now: Legal Services 2.019 conference. This year’s speakers explored topics including evolving alternative legal landscapes, novel access to justice solutions, legal innovation through technology, blueprints for change and more...

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JusticeCorps Fellows Honored for Improving Access to Justice

June 24, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (Commission) is pleased to recognize the awards achieved by the 2018-2019 Illinois JusticeCorps (ILJC) Fellows...

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Administrative Director Announces Results of Associate Judges

June 24, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (Commission) is pleased to recognize the awards achieved by the 2018-2019 Illinois JusticeCorps (ILJC) Fellows...

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An Update on the Judicial College – Dedicated Leadership Necessary to Advance Mission

May 23, 2019

For years, Illinois has been a national leader in judicial education.  In 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court further raised the bar when it announced the creation of a Judicial College to provide competency-based comprehensive continuing education programs and professional development training to the state's judges and justice partners...

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Hylla Receives Shonkwiler Award, Kramer Named new Chair of Conference of Chief Judges

May 23, 2019

Third Circuit Chief Judge David Hylla received the John P. Shonkwiler Distinguished Service Award for his work on the Conference of Chief Judges at a meeting May 17 in Chicago...

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Justice Corner

May 23, 2019

Dear Justice Corner,
I am hoping to make the physical space of my courtroom more accommodating for self-represented litigants. What steps can I take?
- Judge EagerForEnvironment

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Over 300 New Attorneys Admitted to Practice in Illinois

May 23, 2019

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court administered the attorney’s oath to 335 new attorneys on Thursday, May 9 at ceremonies across the state...

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

May 23, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges...

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Attorney Discipline: Powers of Attorney

May 23, 2019

To whom does a lawyer owe duties when the lawyer drafts a power of attorney? The precedent in Illinois might not be as clear as you think. Let’s take a look at the relevant cases.

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Supreme Court Rules Committee Sets Public Hearing on Proposals

May 23, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hear comments June 19 at a public hearing in Chicago on six proposals, including a proposal to establish a protective order for the release of medical information and a proposal involving the use of deposition testimony by a party...

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Illinois Supreme Court Amends Rules 68, 472, 558, 767 and 773

May 23, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court recently announced amendments to Rules 68, 472, and 558 and those changes are effective immediately. Amendments to Rules 767 and 773 were announced on May 23 and take effect on July 1.

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Supreme Court’s Office Supplies

May 23, 2019

Today, we may have the Staples Easy Button or Office Depot to obtain office supplies, but how did the Supreme Court of Illinois get office supplies in 1851? What supplies did the Court even need? A recently uncovered page from an account book from a Springfield store shows exactly what the Supreme Court used and how much it paid for those supplies...

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Dr. Diana Uchiyama named Executive Director of Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP)

April 19, 2019

The Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP) has announced that Diana Uchiyama, JD, PsyD has been named Executive Director by the Board of Directors. Diana possesses impressive experience as both a practicing attorney and a Clinical Psychologist. LAP is most fortunate to have Diana at the helm.

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Law Day 2019: “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society”

April 19, 2019

Next week, judges throughout the state will be participating in the organized bar’s annual Law Day activities. Perhaps you will be one of them. If so, I hope you will find it as meaningful as I do....

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Probation Characteristics and General Trends of the last 37 Years

April 19, 2019

For its 2014 Annual Report, the ARDC analyzed a total of 324 cases from 1981 through the end of 2014 in which an attorney was placed on probation, meaning those cases in which an attorney’s suspension was stayed in part or in its entirety subject to certain conditions....

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Illinois Supreme Court Consolidation: Was Springfield Chosen to Counter “Hotbed of Iniquity”?

April 19, 2019

For its 2014 Annual Report, the ARDC analyzed a total of 324 cases from 1981 through the end of 2014 in which an attorney was placed on probation, meaning those cases in which an attorney’s suspension was stayed in part or in its entirety subject to certain conditions....

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Civil Appellate Resource Program Update

April 19, 2019

In response to the growing number of cases involving litigants who cannot afford to hire an attorney at the appellate level, the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts Access to Justice Division (AOIC) and the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (Commission) recently launched two initiatives to assist self-represented litigants (SRLs) in civil appeals.

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

April 19, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges...

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Supreme Court Approves New Rule Regarding Use of Restraints in Mental Health and Disability Cases

March 26, 2019

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court announced on March 21 the approval of Supreme Court Rule 296, which requires that trial courts not use restraints on individuals involved in Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code...

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Criminal Justice Reforms Taking Center Stage in Illinois

March 26, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court’s position on admission to bail was stated in Stack v. Boyle: The practice of admission to bail, as it has evolved in Anglo-American law, is not a device for keeping persons in jail upon mere accusation until it is found convenient to give them a trial...

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Increasing Access to Justice Through Limited Scope Representation

March 26, 2019

An overwhelming number of civil litigants in our Illinois courtrooms today are self-represented. This is a cause for concern for both judges and lawyers. For judges, it takes more time to handle cases when litigants do not know legal procedures or how to state a claim or a defense...

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Cook County Chief Judge Evans Implements Sexual Harassment Training at New Judges School

March 26, 2019

In the fall of 2017, I wrote an article for the ISBA’s Bench & Bar newsletter about being sexually harassed by a judge when I was a young attorney. I closed the article by stating: “With the Illinois Legislature beginning to undergo sexual harassment training and apparently adopting legislation that would require all elected officials to be so educated, will this apply to the third branch of government? Sign me up as an educator for my colleagues!”...

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Inaugural Law Student Leaders Access to Justice Summit

March 26, 2019

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) hosted an inaugural Law Student Leaders Access to Justice Summit on February 22, 2019 at the Michael A. Bilandic Building....

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Women and Juries

March 26, 2019

Illinois passed a limited women’s suffrage law in 1913, which was then rendered moot by the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, giving women the right to vote in all elections. In Illinois, the right to vote, which is one of several requirements for jury service, did not necessarily mean women could serve on juries. ...

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Attorney Discipline: Recidivism

March 26, 2019

A lawyer who has been disciplined for ethical misconduct more than once is generally referred to as a recidivist. Recidivism is well established as an aggravating factor in disciplinary proceedings,...

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Justice Corner

March 26, 2019

Dear Justice Corner: 

What do I do if a self-represented litigant asks for an accommodation to have a note taker be able to step up to the bench with him or her due to a memory disability?...

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

March 26, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges...

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Overcoming the Chronic Challenge of Correcting Sentencing Errors: Help is on the Way

February 25, 2019

Over the past year, the Supreme Court has repeatedly been asked to address the issue of how to handle the correction of sentencing errors in criminal cases where more than thirty days have elapsed since imposition of sentence and the circuit court no longer has jurisdiction...

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Update on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Pretrial Practices

February 25, 2019

Illinois has a long history of pretrial reform and was the first to abolish bail bondsmen in 1963. It implemented the Pretrial Services Act in 1987 and the Bail Reform Act of 2017. These initiatives have brought about positive change, but have not enacted comprehensive, statewide pretrial reform...

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

February 25, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges...

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Keeping the Light on Topics in Technology: E-mail Tracking Software

February 25, 2019

Imagine the following scenarios:

A lawyer, after several attempts to serve a defendant at a last known address, seeks to serve the defendant via e-mail and needs to demonstrate that e-mail service is proper...

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Update to E-filing Rule and Safe Harbor Policy

February 25, 2019

One year into the e-filing mandate has led to a couple of updates in court rules and policies pertaining to e-filing. First, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 9 was amended and then the Illinois Supreme Court Policy on Assistance to Court Patrons by Circuit Clerks, Court Staff, Law Librarians, and Court Volunteers (Safe Harbor Policy) was updated...

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Supreme Court Announces Changes to Make Court Costs More Manageable

February 25, 2019

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court announced on February 13 multiple changes to the assessment system by which fees, fines, and other court costs are paid by civil and criminal case litigants..

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Illinois’s First Case

February 25, 2019

Illinoisans approved the first state Constitution in August 1818, and the first General Assembly met in October 1818.  These two pre-statehood events set up the structure for the how the state would operate. In 1819, the new state of Illinois finally implemented the workings of a new government.

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Use Communication to De-Escalate Tense Situations

February 25, 2019

I recently spoke with a group of lawyers about the “soft skills” we wished we learned in law school. We discussed things like managing people, technology best practices, and project management skills. Yet, the skill mentioned most was communication...

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Responsive Court Governance During Challenging Times

January 28, 2019

As we emerge from the grip of the “polar vortex” that froze our state and much of the Midwest for the last 48 hours, there is good reason to reflect on what this means for the third branch of government and how we can be best prepared for operation of court functions in the 21st Century...

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Martin Sinclair Named Chair of the Commission on Professionalism

January 28, 2019

The Supreme Court of Illinois has appointed Martin Sinclair as Chair of the Commission on Professionalism, effective January 1, 2019...

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

January 28, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges...

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Justice Corner

January 28, 2019

Dear Justice Corner: 

I keep seeing more and more litigants in my courtroom without a lawyer. Where can I get information about dealing with self-represented litigants (SRLs) in my courtroom?...

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Revisiting Clayter: Do Not Commingle, Keep Records, and Do Not Steal

January 28, 2019

In 1994, the Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission found it troubling that, fourteen years after the Illinois Supreme Court’s opinion admonishing attorneys to safeguard money or other property belonging to clients and third parties...

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Abraham Lincoln and Bar Associations

January 28, 2019

In January 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court held ceremonies to install a portrait of Abraham Lincoln in the second floor hallway of the Supreme Court Building.

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Contact
 
Chris Bonjean
Director of Communications
cbonjean@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-2323
 
James Brunner
Sr. Communications Specialist
jbrunner@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-6155
 
Morgan Yingst
Sr. Communications Specialist
myingst@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-0870