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  • July 01, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous member

    From: CBS News Chicago

    Attorneys whose cases are filed primarily in the Cook County Court’s Law and Municipal divisions received notices this past week that their next hearing dates are in February, March, and even April of 2021. They blame lack of Wi-Fi and video conferencing capabilities.

  • June 29, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous member

    From: Bob Ambrogi

    A new design rolled out yesterday for the website of the U.S. Courts Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) program, the site’s first major update in a decade.

    The site, which can be found at, provides information about the PACER service and is the portal to PACER applications. It is run by the Administrative Office (AO) of the U.S. Courts.

  • June 29, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous member

    From: Illinois Business Journal

    Illinois’ minimum wage will make its second increase this year to $10 per hour beginning July 1. The Illinois Department of Labor urges minimum wage earners to make sure their checks reflect the increase following July 1.

    Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation passed by the General Assembly providing a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2025. Minimum wage earners received the first increase of $1 to $9.25 per hour on Jan. 1, 2020.

    Prior to the January increase, the last time Illinois increased its minimum wage was a decade ago. In 2010, the minimum wage was raised from $8.00 to $8.25 per hour. Cook County has a higher minimum wage than the state, with the Cook County minimum wage increasing to $13 per hour beginning July 1, 2020.  The City of Chicago minimum wage will also increase on July 1, 2020, to $13.50 per hour for small employers (4 to 20 employees) and $14 per hour for large employers (21 or more employees).

  • June 26, 2020 4:15 PM | Anonymous


    Associates prioritized work-life balance far before this pandemic began. Many thought the ability to work remotely was a necessary part of this.

    Now that we are months into working from home, many associates are realizing that working from home does not equate to work-life balance. Instead, the expectations of when to be available have been blurred into a stage of perma-availability.

    The issue stems from the lack of consistency across firms on work-from-home expectations and policies.

    Before this crisis began, law firms were at a crawl at instituting work-from-home policies. Many in law firm leadership were resistant to the idea[1] because there was an assumption that remote working would compromise efficiency, not allow for groups to work cohesively, and impact the ability to maintain and service clients successfully.

    Instead, law firms worked tirelessly to develop an office work culture that distinguished them from their peers. Firms often emphasized their open-door policies, collaborative teams, focus on professional development and respect for one another. They invested time and energy into developing and maintaining these characteristics, which was challenging even when everyone was in the office.

    Since many firms lacked formal remote work policies, they were forced to quickly adapt when states began instituting stay-at-home orders earlier this year. Without clear policies and procedures in place, it's no surprise that the boundaries between work and life broke down.

    In this environment, associates have been forced to try to impose boundaries for themselves, including working with associate resource managers, blocking their calendar, talking about expectations with their partners, and communicating limitations in their schedules due to their own individual circumstances.

    Now, as states begin the process of reopening, law firms are, for the most part, proceeding with caution. However, regardless of when offices reopen, it is increasingly clear that remote working is more widely accepted and will likely become a permanent part of every law firm's culture.

    So the question many firms should now be asking is how does the culture they worked so hard to cultivate before coronavirus translate into an effective remote working environment? And how can law firms lay out clear and concise expectations for a remote working environment that are consistent for all associates?

    The good news is this pandemic has demonstrated that law firms can operate successfully[2] in a fully remote environment. Firms have found that associates are incredibly efficient, produce quality work, maintain strong client relationships, and preserve group cohesiveness and comradery.

    Given these results, firms have the opportunity to take a step back and do what they should have done before this crisis began: take the time to develop formal remote working policies so that they can begin shaping what their work-from-home culture will look like moving forward.

    Now is the time for reflection to decide how successful — or unsuccessful — the last few months of working from home have been. Instead of leaning into the reactive policies that had to be adapted at the start of this crisis, firms can now take the time to identify areas for improvement and provide guidance to their attorneys about the firm's work-from-home expectations.

    This includes clearly identifying work hour expectations, laying out guidelines for how attorneys should communicate times of unavailability, deciding what technologies they will use to allow teams to work cohesively, investing in technology to ensure that client confidentiality is protected, offerings trainings for staff, and more. These policies need to come from the top down so that expectations are consistent across the firm.

    This crisis pushed firms to make drastic changes swiftly, but it has become clear that many of those changes are here to stay. Firms now need to reflect and assess whether their quick responses to the pandemic truly align with the cultures that existed when they were in the office.

    There is likely room for improvement. As firms transition to being more work-from-home-friendly, it is vital that partners and associates alike are aligned with the expectations of one another.

    Summer Eberhard is a managing director in the associate practice group at Major Lindsey & Africa. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or Portfolio Media Inc., or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

  • June 26, 2020 3:00 PM | Anonymous member

    From: Cook County Judges

    Chief Judge Evans released an updated order today announcing that Courts will be open and hearing all matters starting July 6th. Courts will be able to conduct hearings by video-conference as needed.

    In—person court dates shall be staggered, by date, time, and floor, to minimize the number of persons in the courtrooms.

    Evictions and foreclosure are still stayed until July 31st. 

  • June 24, 2020 9:30 AM | Anonymous member

    From: Memo from Judge Evans, Chief Judge

    As Cook County prepares for the next phase of court operations, the Cook County Bureau of Asset Management reports to the Chief Judge that it has installed plexiglass barriers on the bench in every courtroom and signage to protect everyone's health.

    Judge Evans estimates that by July 6, the county will have the following number of courtrooms prepared at these locations:

    • 10 courtrooms at each of the following: Bridgeview, Markham, Rolling Meadows and the Domestic Violence Courthouse
    • 8 courtrooms in Skokie
    • 7 courtrooms in Maywood
    • 11 courtrooms at the Juvenile Center
    • 13 courtrooms at the Leighton Criminal Court Building
    • 30 courtrooms at the Daley Center

    In addition, the county has stated that the remaining courtrooms will be prepared no later than August 14. 

    Pictures of what a standard courtroom will look like, as well as Judge's Evans' Memo can be found in the Member Resource Center under COVID-19 Resources.

  • June 24, 2020 9:17 AM | Anonymous member

    The Clerk of the Circuit Court’s main website and ALL online services will be unavailable from Friday, June 26, 2020 at 4:30 pm until Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 9:00 am, for critical system maintenance.

    Impacted services include, but are not limited to, court case lookups and payments of traffic tickets online. Electronic filing will NOT be affected by this outage, and can be accessed by going directly to your Electronic Filing Service Provider's website.

  • June 17, 2020 1:00 PM | Anonymous member

    From: Cook County Board President 

    Cook County facilities (which include the courthouse) will reopen to the public on July 6, 2020 and members of the public will be required to adhere to physical distancing standards and other requirements as directed by Cook County. Highlights of the Reopening Plan

    ▶ Senior staff return to Cook County facilities beginning June 15, 2020.

    ▶ The first official wave of employees will return to Cook County facilities on July 6, 2020.

    ▶ Employees working on-site will continue to comply with physical distancing standards and adhere to the guidance provided within this plan and any additional guidance provided by supervisors.

    ▶ Cook County facilities will reopen to the public on July 6, 2020 and members of the public will be required to adhere to physical distancing standards and other requirements as directed by Cook County. Entering County Facilities

    ▶ All employees will be required to present employee IDs and undergo thermal screening. Public visitors will be required to undergo thermal screening.

    ▶ All public visitors and employees will be required to wear face masks and practice physical distancing.

  • June 15, 2020 11:00 AM | Anonymous member

    From: NPR News

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor (6-3) that the LGBTQ+ community is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They agreed that “sex” discrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • June 09, 2020 5:00 PM | Anonymous member

    From: Illinois Supreme Court

    The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hear comments on June 24, 2020, at a remote public hearing via the Zoom videoconference platform on seven proposals, including a proposal to require all written opinions by the Appellate Court to be published and a proposal to create a new Supreme Court Rule that would require all eviction complaints to include a copy of the written eviction notice or demand.

    The public is invited to attend oral arguments via livestream on the Court’s YouTube page by clicking here. All the proposals, which must be approved by the Illinois Supreme Court before they could take effect, will be aired at a remote hearing before the Rules Committee at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

    The Rules Committee invites public comments on the proposals, which are posted on the Supreme Court website at:

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