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ISBA Mutual Liability Minute

The ISBA Mutual Liability Minute is a series of timely, informative and concise articles on emerging legal and practice issues which could affect the outcomes of your cases and, therefore, your bottom line. The articles, submitted by ISBA Mutual General Counsel Joseph R. Marconi of Johnson & Bell, are short essays regarding changes in statutes and procedural rules, new case law developments, and evolving ethical obligations. Liability Minute topics are selected for the purpose of giving our policyholders a “heads up” on changes in the law and recurrent issues that have led to increasing exposure to claims.

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Joseph R. Marconi

     Joseph R. Marconi

Don’t Let Cybersecurity Breaches Lead to Legal Malpractice: The Fax Is Back

E-mail and wire fraud risks increase in a cloud-based world. Data management safeguards can prevent possible legal malpractice from cyber-security breaches.

Debt Collectors Beware: Venue Provision of FDCPA Reinterpreted

Neither a borrower nor a lender be…
 — Shakespeare

Recent federal court decision reinterprets the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and may create venue defense for current or future debtor defendants in debt collection suits.

Not Only Shareholders Get Pierced

Omittance is no quittance.
— Shakespeare

How many lawyers assist a client in forming a corporation, but merely assist in filing the annual reports and do nothing else? Failure to advise of the risk associated with this minimal approach may now more likely result in veil-piercing to reach the client for individual liability.

Illinois’ Limited Liability is Unlimited

In a case of first impression, a First District Panel of the Appellate Court of Illinois issued an opinion confirming immunity from liability arising from fraud under the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act (“LLC Act”) (805 ILCS 180/10-10). Careful lawyers must consider the Illinois law before forming an LLC in another state. In Dass v. Yale, 2013 IL App (1st) 122520 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2013), the Court firmly established that a member’s personal immunity for “debts, obligations, and liabilities … whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise” includes immunity for acts of fraud committed while acting as a member of the LLC.

’Til Death Do Us Impart

Estate planning often involves multiple professionals who must exchange confidential information regarding their clients’ affairs. The Illinois Court of Appeals provides an insightful opinion regarding when such privileges terminate, who can waive them after the client’s death, and what actions, if any, would put confidential information “at issue” and thus make discoverable.

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