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Illinois Courts response to COVID-19

News | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Illinois Supreme Court History: Fingerprints

When Thomas Jennings broke into several houses in Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood on the night of September 9, 1910, he was unaware one of the houses had a freshly painted porch. After grabbing ahold of the porch railing, Jennings left four fingerprints, which were later used in court as evidence to convict him of the murder of Clarence Hiller — the first case of its kind in the United States.

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The Access to Justice Commission Awards Grants Across the State

Thousands of litigants appear in the Illinois courts without an attorney every year. The growing number of self-represented litigants (SRLs) in court is not unique to any one circuit, county, or case type. The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) and the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts Access to Justice Division recognize, given the size and diversity of Illinois, that local partners are critical to fully understand and address the needs of the SRL population. For these reasons, the ATJ Commission created two grant programs to increase local partnerships, one to encourage the development of Online Dispute Resolution programs and one for Court Navigators.

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Evictions – What is Going On?

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated Illinois’ housing crisis, particularly for renters who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic’s economic fallout. The courts have steadily followed state and federal eviction moratoria as well as federal legislation deploying over $1 billion to Illinois renters and landlords in rental assistance, legal aid, and mediation services to prevent evictions.

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Answering the Top 10 Questions About a Lawyer’s Duty to Report Misconduct

No rule causes Illinois lawyers more consternation than the duty to report another lawyer’s misconduct under Rule 8.3(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (ILRPC). While lawyers are free to report another lawyer to the ARDC even if they have no duty to do so, and lawyers who report to the ARDC are entitled to broad, though not unlimited, civil immunity under IL S.Ct.Rule 775, reporting another lawyer is serious business. Reporting can be awkward and uncomfortable, but most lawyers recognize that the duty to report fulfills our collective responsibility to maintain the public’s confidence in the integrity of the justice system and legal profession.

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First District Appellate Court Adopts Modernized Set of New Rules

The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, has adopted new rules of procedure which will become effective on July 1, 2021. Most of the current rules were adopted in 2004 and have been only slightly amended since then. After the Illinois court system converted to electronic filing in 2017, questions arose regarding conflicts in the existing rules in the new largely electronic filing environment. The rules also contained many archaic and outdated references.

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Supreme Court Reallocates Attorney Registration Fee to Meet Growing Need for Assistance

Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced amendments to Rule 756 and Rule 751, which will give $10 from the attorney registration fee to the Illinois Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) and an additional $10 allocation for the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) to provide funding for Illinois Court Help.

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