Dear ITLA Colleagues,
What a world we are currently living in. What a different world it was on June 5, 2019 (the prior ITLA installation dinner), let alone the difference between today and just a few shorts months ago on March 17, 2020. Merriam Webster defines “pandemic” as: an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population, a pandemic outbreak of a disease. All too familiar. We continue the life we have been living since Governor Pritzker signed Executive Order Number 1, requiring non-essential business to close down and imposing strict social distancing guidelines. However, this situation is not how ITLA has been defined nor will we let the pandemic define who we are, what we do, how we represent our clients, nor let the naysayers take away from us what we have fought so hard to gain. Many have suggested my term as placeholder for this organization as the pandemic president. Well, I would rather be remembered as the one who helped guide us through the beginnings of the pandemic and, hopefully, leaving Larry Rogers, Jr., not too much of a mess. [read more]
As my time as president of this august organization winds down, one would think that the job is done and work completed. Nothing could be further from the truth, as springtime is traditionally one of our busiest times of the year.
(I prepared this column while I was on an overseas trip starting March 7. When I left COVID-19 was an issue, but it seemed somewhat under control to the extent airlines were flying their planes, and events were still going forward. Within 72 hours, the world quickly changed. We now face a European ban on flights, a limitation to the number of people who can gather, cancellation of sporting events, including March Madness, and the list goes on. Hotel occupancy in Las Vegas right now is at 20%. ITLA had to make the heartbreaking but RIGHT decision to cancel all in person events through at least April 3rd. We are dealing with uncertain times, but good leaders lead, and great organizations make the right moves for the welfare of their membership, and I can attest – ITLA did. This is the third crisis I have had to work through as an attorney: the loop flood, 9/11 and Coronavirus. As unfortunate and tragic the first two crises were, we all worked through this together and came out stronger and better, and the same will be true of this issue also. Hang in there. Stay safe and healthy. [read more]
In Memoriam – a Remembrance of Randy L. Gori
The beauty of a new year approaching is that we all look ahead and think and ponder what is it that we could do to improve our lives, our law practice, and those we live with. We consider how to improve our friendships and make relationships more meaningful. We consider what it is that can be done to make the community you live in a better one. The year 2020 started out just right for most for us with a champagne toast or maybe just a Netflix night with our expectations high we would once again be difference makers.
Randy Gori has been a difference maker his entire legal career. Many of us knew Randy in one of many ways, either as a prominent trial attorney as a founding partner of the law firm Gori Julian, as a member of ITLA’s Board of Managers, as a member of AAJ’s Board of Governors, as a car collecting enthusiast, a philanthropist in his community of Edwardsville like few have ever seen, and, of course, as a family man and dedicated father to his children. [read more]
As I reach the midpoint of my placeholder status as ITLA’s president, I would like to remind all of our members about the incredible amount of work the staff performs in Springfield. Comparing them to worker ants running all over, across and up and down Illinois is an understatement. Whether it be seminars, public hearings, lobbying efforts, networking events or otherwise, rest assured ITLA staff is there ensuring the path we seek for our client’s justice is protected, guarded and moved forward. Illinois is fortunate to have ITLA. Illinois is fortunate to have the staff who cares so much about our clients and our law practices that we remain one of the safe places in this country to wear the seventh amendment pin so proudly. [read more]
Amended Supreme Court Rules 206, 212, 306, 308, 315, 342
Effective October 1, 2019, the following Illinois Supreme Court Rules are amended:
206 – Method of Taking Depositions on Oral Examination
212 – Use of Depositions
306 – Interlocutory Appeals by Permission
308 – Certified Questions
315 – Leave to Appeal From the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court
342 – Appendix to Brief [read more]
It has been about 100 days since I’ve been sworn in as ITLA’s president for the year 2019-2020 (I had to say that), and I could not be happier to be at its helm. People are constantly asking me how it is being President? My answer has been steadfast and the same since day 1; I love it.
I love it because of how I feel for this organization. The people who work for ITLA are my friends, and my colleagues who make up this organization are people who work the trenches alongside each other every day, and they are my friends, too. Together and united, we share one common and never-ending goal and that is to ensure our clients are always served with civil justice, whether it be through the courts or enforcing the laws that make up our great country. [read more]
Many asked if I was prepared for the task of becoming the next President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Without hesitation, my answer was an unequivocal “yes.” There is a reason one is an officer for three years prior to assuming the mantle of leadership. The learning curve is steep and requires strong participation during those years, or else, indeed, you will be unprepared. However, no one really asked me if I was prepared for the day of the installation and the profound effect it would have upon me. There is no doubt that the ITLA staff prepared me adequately for the substance of the day and everything ran smoothly and wonderfully. What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotion of the day and the brick that hit me during the dinner program realizing what it truly means to be ITLA President. Sharing a spotlight with Robert Clifford and the austere group of past presidents in the audience was unquestionably daunting. Nonetheless, I remain humbled and honored to be at the helm for the upcoming year. With the steady guiding of James Collins, I remain confident we will have a terrific term.
It would be disingenuous of me not to acknowledge the huge year that Mark Prince had and how relatively easy he made it for me assuming his role this year. Mark proved himself the leader he is, and we all owe a great deal of gratitude to him. [read more]