Liability Minute


Are you vicariously liable for legal malpractice committed by other lawyers in your Firm? 

Are you vicariously liable for legal malpractice committed by other lawyers in your Firm? Not if your Firm meets these requirements. 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 ...

Rule 756(e) and the need for adequate professional liability coverage

In accordance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(e) (Disclosure of Malpractice Insurance), every two years Illinois lawyers, who represent at least one private client and do not report that they maintain malpractice insurance, are required to complete the Proactive Management Based Regulation (PMBR) Self-Assessment Program or obtain malpractice insurance and ...

Be like Joe – Extended Reporting Periods and Retroactive Dates

The Retroactive Date (also known as a Retro Date or Prior Acts Date) and Extended Reporting Period (ERP) are important concepts in a lawyers professional liability insurance policy, particularly in the context of claims-made and reported policies such as your ISBA Mutual Lawyers Professional Liability Policy. When a firm purchases ...

Illinois Senate Bill 2179 and the Statute of Repose for Estate Planning

On August 13, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed SB2179, which amends 735 ILCS 5/13-214.3 and creates a 6-year statute of repose on claims against an attorney related to the preparation of an estate plan. Claims need to be brought in the time for claims against the estate or the period to ...

Best Practices for Zoom Court

Professionalism takes on new importance when we have court hearings via Zoom. Learn how to conduct yourself properly in zoom court proceedings so you don't embarrass yourself or the client. All practitioners should recognize that “Zoom Court” is one of the many changes to our judicial system as a result ...

What Should You Do If You Get an ARDC Complaint?

ARDC complaints can happen, but you might not know how to handle them. We have consulted with our ARDC counsel in order to create a guide on what to do if you were to receive an ARDC complaint. Follow or reference these easy steps in order to properly manage an ...

The Moonlighting Lawyer

Many lawyers choose to moonlight not taking into account the possible ethical and liability traps. In this blog, we'll go over the different types of possible traps moonlighting lawyers can fall into and how to avoid them using concrete examples and how firms should implement a moonlighting policy.  What do ...

Essential Considerations When Naming Your Law Firm

Naming your firm is an important task. There are many ethical traps lawyers can fall into if they're not careful when choosing a name. We've outlined the many conventional naming practices for law firms and what each one can imply if not applied in the right context. Choose a name ...

Waive Your Worries Goodbye: The 4-step Process to Securing a Conflict of Interest Waiver.

Learn how to avoid Conflicts of Interest by securing a conflicts of interest waiver by following these 4 easy steps.  Conflicts of interest can present mere road bumps in the course of an engagement when addressed via appropriate conflict waivers. But lawyers too often fail to take proactive measures, or ...

To Keep or Not to Keep: That is Always the Question.

Lawyers tend to accumulate a large volume of files, whether in hard-copy form, in electronic storage, or both. For many of us, the top question on our minds is, “when can I safely get rid of these?” As a lawyer who practices in the areas of legal malpractice litigation and lawyer ...

Protection Reflection: The Supreme Court Rules Allow Partners To Limit Their Liability

The future ain’t what it used to be. — Yogi Berra 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 ...

Debt Collectors Beware: Venue Provision of FDCPA Reinterpreted

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.  Neither a borrower nor a lender be… — Shakespeare Recent federal court decision reinterprets the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and may ...

Not Only Shareholders Get Pierced

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. Omittance is no ...

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 ...

’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 ...

The Contractual Arbitration Limitation Period for Uninsured Motorist Insurance Policies

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 ...

The Incredible Shrinking Limitations Period

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 ...

Balancing Act: The ARDC Is Monitoring The Balance On Your Client Trust Accounts

The Rules of Professional Conduct now requires attorneys to provide consent for the banks holding client funds to automatically report overdraws to the ARDC. This is an early detection system for possible financial malfeasance and a call for more discipline in managing and accounting for client funds. Illinois Rule of ...

Advice to Clients Enforceability of Restrictive Covenants

The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in Reliable Fire Equip. Co. v. Arredondo, 2011 Ill. LEXIS 1836 (Ill. Dec. 1, 2011). The opinion enforced prior precedent that an employer’s legitimate business interest should be considered in deciding whether a restrictive covenant should be enforced, but it rejected the ...

What Can You Count On These Days?

By Joseph R. Marconi & Brian C. Langs(1) Johnson & Bell, Ltd. Chicago  Does a statutory limitations period stated in calendar years end on the anniversary date or the day before the anniversary date? Two recent cases, one withdrawn and one with an Illinois Supreme Court Justice’s pointed dissent, indicate ...