Category: Liability Minute

What the Amendment to Rule 756(e) Means to You

By ISBA Mutual

(Andrew Murray)  Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(e) was adopted at the urging of the Illinois Lawyer Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) and requires private practice lawyers who don’t have professional liability insurance to undergo a four-hour, interactive self-assessment of risk.
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Protection Reflection: The Supreme Court Rules Allow Partners To Limit Their Liability

By Joseph R. Marconi

(Marconi & Langs)  Many lawyers are still unaware that effective July 1, 2003, our Supreme Court promulgated rules which conferred protection from professional liability in certain circumstances. Illinois Supreme Court Rules 721 and 722 allow lawyers in Illinois to protect themselves against vicarious liability for legal malpractice committed by other lawyers at their firm provided that the law firm (1) maintains one of the business forms enumerated by Rule 7211 and (2) maintains the minimum amount of malpractice insurance or other proof of financial responsibility required by Rule 722.
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Record Retention Obligations: Acing The Audit

By Joseph R. Marconi

(Marconi & Langs)  Lawyers have traditionally created a great deal of paper. The amount of information kept on paper has been reduced as lawyers have been pulled into the electronic era by their more advanced clients. In this new era, the prevalence and sheer amount of electronic data created and received by lawyers can be absolutely overwhelming. Does a lawyer have a responsibility to preserve all this tangible and virtual clutter after a file has been closed? If so, for how long and at what cost? This article addresses the paper and electronic files that must be retained by a firm or small practice for some period of time under the law.
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Not Only Shareholders Get Pierced

By Joseph R. Marconi

(Marconi & Langs)  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.
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Illinois’ Limited Liability is Unlimited

By Joseph R. Marconi

(Marconi & Langs)  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.
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’Til Death Do Us Impart

By Joseph R. Marconi

(Marconi & Langs)  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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The Contractual Arbitration Limitation Period for Uninsured Motorist Insurance Policies

By Joseph R. Marconi

(Marconi & Langs)  Even neophyte attorneys understand that their clients’ actions can be barred if they miss a statutory limitations period. However, experienced attorneys may forget that when handling claims against insurance companies under their clients’ uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage a contractual two-year limitation(2) will trump any longer statutory period. Failure to adhere to the two-year limitation period will terminate a claim as surely as a blown statute.
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The Incredible Shrinking Limitations Period

By Joseph R. Marconi

Claims involving special defendants, such as municipalities, mass transit companies, school and port districts, are subject to a special one year limitations period. Certain claimants, including policemen, firemen, and guardsmen, must make claims for death benefits within a year of death. In some cases, a special notice requirement is also imposed, as early as six months from the triggering event. This article reviews the main instances of these special limitations periods. One of the cardinal rules of malpractice avoidance is to always be cognizant of any statute of limitations that applies to your clients’ potential actions and to timely file their claims.
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