The Illinois Continuing Legal Education Requirement Under Rule 794(d)
The Illinois CLE rules require 6 hours of professional responsibility or ethics credit. The rule provides that
(1) Each attorney subject to these Rules shall complete a minimum of six of the total CLE hours for each two-year reporting period in the area of professionalism, civility, legal ethics, diversity and inclusion, or mental health and substance abuse…
(2)(i)At least one hour in the area of diversity and inclusion and
(2)(ii) At least one hour in the area of mental health and substance abuse.
Below you’ll find free Illinois CLE that fulfills one hour of general ethics credit. If you don’t need CLE and you’re just trying to get a better understanding of the criminal law, go here.
Free Ethics CLE For Any Illinois Attorney One Hour On Professionalism
This course teaches attorneys how to implement readily available technology so that they can better meet their obligations to their criminal law clients. Efficient legal research and a procedure for systematic legal updates is presented. You can begin this program below…
How To Explode Your Litigation Practice And Efficiently Manage Your Legal Training With Technology That’s So Common It’s In Your Pocket Right Now….
Hit “Play” Below or Download The MP3 and Take It With You.
- Click Here To Download The Auido MP3 File
- Click Here To Download The Course Materials
- The Busy Lawyer’s System To Kicking Butt In Court
- Are you ready to throw gasoline on your litigation practice and watch it explode in court?
- (Note: This download has been approved for 1-hour of ethics CLE.)
- Approved by the Illinois MCLE Board for 1 hour on professionalism.
- Hit the play button above, listen, learn and claim your credit
- Butt kicking and better courtroom performance ensues thereafter, additionally you’ll learn…
- How some Illinois criminal law attorneys find the time to stay sharp in court without sacrificing their family time. How to be great in court, stay sharp, and stay in-the-loop on the latest developments AND still be home on time for dinner. Here’s a little help with finding that proper work-life balance…
Rule 1.7 On Conflict of Interest
Perhaps the rule of professional responsibility that gets the most attorneys into trouble is the conflict of interest rule.
Rule 1.7(a) provides:
“Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:
(1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or
(2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.”
This issuing can come up in an infinite number of ways.
Rule 1.10 On Professional Conduct
The Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, Rule 1.10(a) provides:
“While lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7 or 1.9, unless the prohibition is based on a personal interest of the prohibited lawyer and does not present a significant risk of materially limiting the representation of the client by the remaining lawyers in the firm.”
Comment 1 to Rule 1.10 explains:
“For purposes of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the term ‘firm’ denotes lawyers in a law partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship or other association authorized to practice law; or lawyers employed in a legal services organization or the legal department of a corporation or other organization. See Rule 1.0(c). Whether two or more lawyers constitute a firm within this definition can depend on the specific facts.”
For purposes of conflict of interest analysis, the law considers the representation of codefendants by law partners or associates the same as the representation of codefendants by one attorney. See Episode 352 – People v. Nelson, 2017 IL 120198 (June) (Duration 13:20)(where defense counsel was accused of having a conflict of interest when he picked the wrong defense for his client so that it didn’t interfere with the representation of other clients)
However, the mere fact of joint representation of multiple defendants does not create a per se violation of the right to effective assistance of counsel.
What Is A Per Se Conflict Of Interest?
A per se conflict of interest is when the law presumes prejudice to the accused. Thus, a defendant need not show that the conflict prejudiced him, a court on appeal must reverse unless the defendant affirmatively waived the conflict. People v. Spreitzer, 123 Ill. 2d 1, 14-17 (1988).
A per se conflict of interest occurs:
(1) Where defense counsel has a prior or contemporaneous association with the victim, the prosecution, or an entity assisting the prosecution;
(2) Where defense counsel contemporaneously represents a prosecution witness; and
(3) Where defense counsel was a former prosecutor who had been personally involved with the prosecution of defendant.
See Episode 516 – People v. Jackson, 2018 IL App (3d) 170125 (May) (Duration 14:55) (How To Remember The 3 Per Se Conflicts Of Interest).
Conflicts Of Interest Can Develop With Potential Clients – Rule 1.18
Rule 1.18, specifically says that:
(a) A person who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.
(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client.
(c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to that person in the matter, except as provided in paragraph (d). If a lawyer is disqualified from representation under this paragraph, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).
(d) When the lawyer has received disqualifying information as defined in paragraph (c), representation is permissible if:
(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, or
(2) the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and that lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom.
This means an attorney may owe a duty to individuals that meet with them.
- See Episode 379 – People v. Schutz, 2017 IL App (4th) 140956 (June) (Duration 7:55) (Possible Conflict Of Interest For Lawyer When Client In Jail Turns Informant On Another Client)
- See Episode 056 – People v. Shepherd, 2015 IL App (3d) 140192 (February) (Duration 19:54) (attorney takes a meeting with a prosecutor and learns a potential client is snitching on a current client)
Interestingly, An Attorney Can Raise A Conflict Issue On Themselves!
When this happens, the court gives the issue no special treatment.
At first, it seems this kind of allegation should be given some kind of special weight. After all the trial attorney is going to know best whether he or she made a significant error in the case.
The problem, is that this kind of a rule would essentially be given the defense a second bite at the trial or litigation apple. It would be too easy for the defense to raise error on themselves after a particular trial strategy does not lead the results they expected.
This system would be ripe for abuse.
Less scrupulous defense attorneys would simply plan on a post trial motion to undue unrealistic or reckless trial positions. But even honest trial attorneys would be tempted to second guess their original positions when the outcomes are not what they expected.
See Episode 039 – People v. Short, 2014 IL App (1st) 121262 (October) (Duration 19:26) (Is It A Per Se Conflict of Interest When Trial Attorney Raises Ineffective Assistance on Himself?)
- Episode 229 – People v. Wilkerson, 2016 IL App (1st) 151913 (August) (Duration 9:25) (Is It A Conflict of Interest When Codefendant Pays Attorney Fees For Another Defendant?)
- Episode 244 – People v. Buckhanan, 2016 IL App (1st) 131097 (September) (Duration 8:41) (A Father-Son Lawyer Duo Accused of Conflict of Interest)
- Episode 106 – People v. Peterson, 2015 IL App (3d) 130157 (November) (Duration 15:28) (Drew Peterson lawyer cuts a media deal for himself)
Prosecutors Also Have To Be On Guard Against Conflicts
Prosecutors have to be careful about the relationships they have with possible witnesses, defendants, and other court personnel. From time to time relationships that developed white they worked at a defense firm may also have to be investigated.
- See Episode 516 – People v. Jackson, 2018 IL App (3d) 170125 (May) (Duration 14:55) (former prosecutor working for a private law firm may have handled matters against this defendant).
- Interview 375 – Nrupa Patel Helps Dissect Conflict Of Interest Confronting Former Prosecutors (Duration 23:20)
- Episode 176 – People v. Kibbons, 2016 IL App (3d) 150090 (April) (Duration 12:07) ()
More likely than not, if a prosecutor gets into ethical problems it’s going to be for something related to truthfulness and full disclosure. Consider these cases:
- Episode 148 – People v. Weinke, 2016 IL App (1st) 141196 (March) (Duration 10:43) (court says ASA exaggerated the severity of victim’s condition and misled the court in order to pressure the court into granting a quickie deposition)
- Episode 127 – People v. Mpulamasaka, 2016 IL App (2d) 130703 (January) (Duration 15:34) (the trial court here should not have allowed the prosecutor to argue from the witness stand)
- Episode 165 – More Examples of Prosecutorial Misconduct (Duration 24:51) (prosecutor in this aggravated DUI represented defendant when he was charged with his first DUI)
- Episode 152 – People v. Gray, 2016 IL App (1st) 141196 (March) (Duration 4:03) (prosecutors fail to disclose the cops were crooked)