CBA/CBF Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation

It is well documented that we have a huge access to justice problem in the United States, including in Illinois. Many thousands of Illinoisans who need or would benefit from legal assistance and can afford to pay something for it are not getting help from lawyers because they believe they cannot afford it, they do not know how to find it, or they do not even know that they have a legal problem in the first place.

At the same time, it is well documented that the economics of law have changed at a time when we have more lawyers than ever before. For a variety of reasons, it is more challenging than ever to run a sustainable law practice, particularly for lawyers serving the consumer market, and lawyers in all practice settings are struggling to adapt.

In short, we are experiencing a market failure in the market for consumer legal services. Because the legal market is shaped in large part by our Rules of Professional Conduct, we have an opportunity to take a fresh look at these Rules to spark innovation in the consumer legal market, promote the sustainable practice and business of law, and better serve people who need legal help.

Legal communities in several states have responded to these problems by creating task forces charged with examining how regulatory reform could increase access to legal services. The CBA-CBF Task Force will review and build on the knowledge and work product created by these task forces as it reimagines the regulation of the business of law in Illinois to:

  1. Improve opportunities for lawyers to connect with legal consumers and practice law in a more sustainable, financially viable, and customer-centric manner; and,
  2. Provide more cost effective and efficient legal support to the public by, where appropriate, optimizing the use of other legal professionals, partnering with online legal service providers and other business and technology entities, and expanding the limited scope rules.

The goals of the CBA-CBF Task Force are twofold. First, the Task Force aims to submit recommendations regarding ethics rule changes to the Illinois Supreme Court by fall 2020. And second, the Task Force will then continue to identify, track, and assess ongoing legal innovations and initiatives in other jurisdictions to ensure that Illinois remains at the forefront on these issues.

Committees and Areas of Focus
  1. Modernizing Lawyer Referral & Law Firm Models: Expand and improve the lawyer referral system and opportunities to connect more lawyers to paying legal consumers. Open the door to different law practice models to expand opportunities for lawyers to represent clients in an affordable and financially viable manner. Explore modernizing the rules around fees and fee petitions.
  2. Optimizing the Use of Other Legal Professionals: Consider how the Illinois legal system might model the medical profession allowing differing legal paraprofessionals to assist clients and provide a variety of legal services such as community legal navigators, limited licensed legal technicians or reliance upon other professionals to assist with specific types of legal support and evaluate what training and/or certifications such providers might require.
  3. Partnering with Online Legal Service Providers and Other Business and Technology Entities: Explore how the legal profession can most effectively partner with online legal service providers, the courts, and other entities to make reliable legal forms, documents, and self-help resources readily available to the public.
  4. Plain Language Ethics Rules: Undertake a critical review and assessment of the ARDC professional rules of responsibility with a focus on a renewed “plain English” approach.
  5. Expanding the Limited Scope Rules: Assess whether the limited scope rules in Illinois should be expanded beyond civil cases in state court to include misdemeanor, quasi-criminal and/or federal court cases.

Members

Co-Chairs

Hon. Mary Anne Mason (Ret.)
JAMS
CBF Board Officer

E. Lynn Grayson
Nijman Franzetti LLP
CBA 2nd Vice President

Principal Staff Support

Jessica Bednarz
CBF Director of Innovation & Training

Bob Glaves
CBF Executive Director

Committee Members

Dave Anderson
Illinois Bar Foundation

Hon. Robert Anderson (Ret.)
Circuit Court of DuPage County

IV Ashton
Legal Server

Alexander J. Bandza
Jenner & Block, LLP

David Berten
Global IP Law Group

Douglas Brann
Chicago Legal Clinic

Terry Brooks
Consultant on Legal Services

Tisha Delgado
Golan Christie Taglia LLP

Bridget Duignan
Lathrow & Duignan

Margaret Duval
Ascend Justice

J. Timothy Eaton
Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Regina B. Etherton
Regina B. Etherton & Associates

Agostino S. Filippone
Chokshi Filippone Law, LLC

James M. Grandone
Grandone Media Strategies, Inc.

James J. Grogan
Loyola University School of Law

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC

David Holtermann
Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois

William Hornsby
Law Office of William Hornsby

Angela Inzano
The Chicago Bar Foundation

Hon. LaShonda A. Hunt
Northern District of Illinois

Jennifer J.C. Kelly
Anesi Ozmon

Tracy Kepler
CNA

Scott Kozlov
ARDC

James M. Lestikow
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Conor Malloy
Lawyers Committee for Better Housing

Mark Marquardt
Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois

Jeffrey M. Moskowitz
Attorney at Law

Wendy J. Muchman
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Samira Nazem,
The Chicago Bar Foundation

Kruti Patel
Charles Wintersteen & Associates

Steven Pflaum
Neal Gerber & Eisenberg

Jayne Reardon
Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

Trisha M. Rich
Holland & Knight

Mary Robinson
Robinson, Stewart, Montgomery & Doppke, LLC

Mony Ruiz-Velasco
PASO

Audrey Rubin
Aon Corporation

Roya Samarghandi
Carmel Law, LLC

Michael Santomauro
Office of the Cook County Public Defender

Alison D. Spanner
Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

Tom Stephenson
Keller Lenkner, LLC

John E. Thies
Webber & Thies P.C.

Lara Wagner
Law Offices of Lara Wagner, LLC

Allison L. Wood
Legal Ethics Consulting, P.C.

National Advisory Council Members

Nathan D. Alder
Christensen & Jensen

Jean Clauson
ARAG

Bridget Gramme
Center for Public Interest Law, San Diego

Fred Headon
Air Canada

Danielle Hirsch
National Center on State Courts

Scott Kelly
Community Lawyer

Josh King
RealSelf

Arthur J. Lachman
Attorney at Law

Daniel W. Linna
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law & McCormick School of Engineering

John Mayer
Center for Computer Assisted Instruction

Ian McDougall
LexisNexis

Joyce Raby
Independent Consultant

Allen Rodriguez
ONE400

Rebecca Sandefur
Arizona State University School of Social and Family Dynamics & American Bar Foundation

Lynda Shely
The Shely Law Firm

Kristen Sonday
Paladin

Frederic S. Ury
Ury & Moskow, LLC


For more information regarding the Task Force, please contact CBF Director of Innovation and Training Jessica Bednarz (312-554-8022) or CBF Executive Director Bob Glaves (312-554-1205).