What the Amendment to Rule 756(e) Means to You
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(e) was adopted at the urging of the Illinois Attorney 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.
Call us at 312-379-2000 for information on Rule 756(e) and how it applies to your practice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why has the Illinois Supreme Court added this requirement?
Rule 756(e) is part of the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to adopt proactive management-based regulation (PMBR) a system designed to prevent ethical missteps and ensure a high-standard of professionalism. The Supreme Court encourages the purchase of malpractice insurance by all private practice law firms
All lawyers are encouraged to self-assess, but those who have not purchased malpractice insurance to protect their clients are required to participate.
To whom does Rule 756(e) apply?
It applies to Illinois private practice lawyers without malpractice insurance, with some exemptions.
Who is exempt from Rule 756(e)?
Lawyers who have professional liability insurance are exempt. Others include:
- Lawyers serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, under Rule 756 (a) (2)redd
- A justice, judge, associate judge or magistrate; or judicial law clerk, administrative assistant, secretary or assistant secretary to such a justice, judge, associate judge or magistrate (Rule 756 (a) (3))
- Lawyers who are inactive (Rule 756 (a) (5))
- Lawyers who are retired (Rule 756 (a) (6))
- Lawyers who are inactive or retired and performing pro bono services (as per Rule 756 (k))
Does Rule 756(e) apply to in-house counsel, Assistant State’s Attorneys or Public Defenders?
The rule does not apply, provided the lawyer is not doing any private practice work for anyone besides the employer.
One exception would be where a lawyer has a limited outside practice for clients (e.g., they do house closings, estate planning on the side). If they have such an outside practice, and are not insured, then they do have to go through the ARDC’s PMBR process.
When does Rule 756(e) take effect?
The amended rule went into effect January 25, 2017. Beginning in 2018, lawyers who register with the ARDC and disclose that they do not have malpractice insurance will be required to complete an online self-assessment.
What will the ARDC Rule 756(e) self-assessment cover?
The free, four-hour assessment, administered by the ARDC, will include questions about how lawyers operate their practice. Lawyers taking it must demonstrate an engagement in learning about professional responsibility requirements for the operation of a law firm. Results of the self-assessment will be provided, along with resources to help in addressing any issues raised. The self-assessment is mandatory.
The ARDC hopes the PMBR process will be very user friendly. The modules are now being developed. They will range in duration from 15 to 45 minutes each. That means that a practitioner can do a half-hour here and there, or do an hour or two at any sitting.
How long will the self-assessment take to complete?
The self-assessment is a four-hour exercise; lawyers taking it will earn four hours of MCLE professional responsibility credit.
What is the deadline for completing the self-assessment?
Uninsured lawyers who are engaged in the practice of law representing private clients will have all of 2018 to take the self-assessment modules in whatever increment they choose.
What happens if a lawyer doesn’t complete the mandatory self-assessment?
Those who do not complete the self-assessment modules will not be able to register for the 2019 registration year. Once they complete the courses, they will be able to so register.
Will the content or results be made public?
All information related to the self-assessment will be confidential, except for the fact of its completion. The Illinois ARDC may report self-assessment data publicly in the aggregate.
Can the information shared in the Rule 756(e) self-assessment be used as evidence in disciplinary proceedings?
How can I avoid completing the self-assessment?
Private practice lawyers who have malpractice insurance are not required to complete the self-assessment.
More information on Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756e
Rule 756(e) Provides Uninsured Lawyers an Important Wakeup Call on Risk
— Kane County Bar Briefs, Sep 2017
Law Pulse: New rule requires uninsured lawyers to do self assessment
— Illinois Bar Journal, March 2017
Amended supreme court rule requires uninsured lawyers to do self-assessment
— Illinois Lawyer Now, February 28, 2017
The Supreme Court moves proactively on attorney malpractice insurance and liability issues
— ISBA Bench & Bar Section Council Newsletter, February 2017
Attorneys without malpractice must do self-assessment to decrease risk, ARDC says
— Cook County Record, February 2, 2017
Court rule adds online assessment
— Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, January 30, 2017
Illinois Becomes First Jurisdiction to Adopt PMBR
— Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism blog, January 30, 2017
Illinois Likely Set Trend For New Professional Conduct Training
— Law360, January 27, 2017
Illinois Supreme Court adopts ‘proactive management-based regulation’
— Illinois Lawyer Now, January 25, 2017