The Illinois Supreme Court announced significant updates this week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in its history, the Court will hold oral arguments virtually, through the Zoom videoconference platform. In addition, the Court will allow Illinois lawyers with a June 30, 2020, MCLE compliance deadline a three-month extension at no cost.
Virtual Oral Arguments
The Court will hold oral arguments virtually when it hears cases in May. This will allow the Court to continue to practice social distancing while conducting court proceedings.
In the announcement, Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said, “These are extraordinary times, but what we have found is that we can keep our traditions the same. Holding oral arguments via Zoom would have sounded beyond our abilities a few months ago, but now feels almost normal.”
The court will hear four cases on May 12, four on May 13, and three on May 14. Oral arguments will begin at 9 a.m. each day. The public is invited to attend via livestream on the Court’s YouTube page.
MCLE Compliance Deadline Extension
The Court recognizes the personal and professional challenges attorneys are facing related to COVID-19. After consulting with the MCLE Board, the Court will allow attorneys with last names beginning A-M in the 2018 – 2020 reporting period the option of a no-cost, three-month extension to complete their MCLE credits.
Attorneys in this reporting group have two options:
- Option 1: Keep the June 30, 2020 compliance deadline.
- For an attorney who completes the required credits or has a valid out-of-state exemption by June 30, 2020, that attorney reports “Complied” or the exemption on the Board’s website, by July 31, 2020. No other report is needed, and no fee is due.
- Option 2: Select the September 30, 2020 deadline.
- To choose this option, the attorney reports “Not Yet Complied” on the Board’s website, no later than July 31, 2020. With that report, the attorney obtains a new deadline of September 30, 2020, to complete the required credits and report compliance online to the Board. No fee is due this year for securing this new deadline.
Attorneys who fail to submit a report choosing Option 1 or Option 2 by July 31, 2020 will incur a $250 late fee and must complete their credits and report compliance to the Board no later than September 30, 2020.
Three Court entities offer free online courses: the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, the Lawyers’ Assistance Program, and the Commission on Professionalism. Attorneys can search for additional courses using the Board’s online course search page.
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