poetic justis

 

 

Four years ago this week, my creative writing hobby ascended to a new level when Peoria InterBusiness Issues published an article that was inspired by a holiday dinner conversation with my daughter, who was a few weeks shy of her fourth birthday. The article went "legally viral," and with iBi's permission was reprinted by two law practice management publications and eventually the Illinois State Bar Journal. Since then I have been a regular contributor for local, state, and national law publications and our firm has launched Peoria Legal Blawg, which we intend to unveil in its improved format after the New Year.

I have vowed to recirculate this article every holiday season until the economy improves. Once again, I hope this will be the last year for its running. Please accept a special Thank You to our friends, clients, and readers and we wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming New Year.

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Clarence Darrow once said that he never needed to thoroughly understand a particular issue in order to try a case about it. He only needed to know more about it than the jury. He believed that this would allow a trial lawyer to always stay one step ahead of the jury, which is an essential component of persuading them to empathize with your case.

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The Limited License Legal Technician has become reality in the State of Washington. For those not in the loop with this controversial evolution, this license empowers someone without a law degree to provide legal services or advice directly to clients. As you can imagine, many bar associations are in an uproar over this. In Illinois, we still have staunch conservative leadership running our State Bar Association, so such a move in Illinois is unlikely to occur any time soon. Nevertheless, the movement should be monitored with interest.

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While the steps required to perfect a contractor's mechanics lien are not complex, they are often overlooked. This may result in an invalid and unenforceable lien, and render the contractor unable to force payment on a time consuming and expensive project.

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I remember when I took my first deposition as a young associate in a big Chicago law firm. The deponent was an insignificant witness on a mundane issue in the case, and my supervising attorney saw this as an opportunity for me to get my feet wet by taking a deposition. The deposition probably should have taken less than an hour. Today, I could do the same thing in fifteen minutes. On that day, however, it was very important that I be completely thorough and not miss anything. So I took three hours. This resulted in quite a bit of objecting from the other lawyers in the room, and I wasn't real sure how to handle it at the time. Today, one of the most common questions I get from clients before a deposition is how I handle objections.

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In response to the foreclosure crisis, the Illinois Supreme Court has adopted three new rules which it believes will better protect homeowners facing foreclosure. These rules, while potentially beneficial to debtors, should be understood and complied with by lenders in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in the foreclosure process.

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Big news is emerging from the Peoria County Courthouse these days about the new technological upgrades being implemented in the courtrooms with respect to the County's information systems. Very soon, a beta test will begin linking four randomly chosen courtrooms with the newly purchased hardware and software to bring our local justice system into the modern technological era with respect to case-related information.

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All law firms periodically need to approach their clients for conflict waivers. Sometimes they are appropriate and sometimes not; but the decision is supposed to rest with the client. After a recent opinion in New York, care must be taken by clients when it comes to conflict waivers.

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When meeting with a client to discuss incorporating, I make it a practice to ask about their plans for brand management. Many clients appear surprised to be asked this question, and respond that they haven't given the idea of brand management much thought.

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Another small business failed this week. This one hit close to home, because now I need to find another tailor and dry cleaner.

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Many of the blog icons on this page have been created by Joe’s three children. They are so excited to see their artwork on Dad’s work website!

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