Wanted: Experienced Paralegal in the Family Law area for Peoria, IL office. Starting part-time with the possibility of full-time. Compensation commensurate with experience.
Please contact Jay Edmonds Law Office at 309-674-3900 or email@example.com
Illinois Criminal Justice Reform Bill - Deep Inhale through your Nose, Strong Exhale through your Mouth and Let’s take a Deeper Look
One of the most controversial provisions of the bill was an attempt to end qualified immunity for police officers. There has been a lot of misinformation about what actually passed and what the expectations of the bill if signed into law as written will be. Hopefully, we don’t lose good and qualified police officers due to this misinformation. But for my graduates, my friends, my students, deep inhales through your nose and strong exhales through your mouth for 5 breaths. Don’t turn in your retirement or resignation paperwork or look for a different career path just yet.
As background, qualified immunity protects government officials from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights that a reasonable person should have been aware of. The doctrine attempts to balance two important interests—the need to hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their duties reasonably.
The final version of the bill does not gut Qualified Immunity. It creates a yearlong Task Force on Constitutional Rights and Remedies. I hope this 18 member task force includes people who understand Constitutional rights and the law that governs the use of force, police procedures, and the realities of teaching and training the same, consistently and on an ongoing basis. And yes, I am available if you need me. But the primary charge of this task force is to investigate and develop procedures to protect constitutional rights and remedies should those rights be violated. The task force will look at qualified immunity among other things.
A report with policy recommendations must be submitted to the governor’s office and the General Assembly by May, with the task force being dissolved by the legislation at the start of the new year.
Like every aspect of this bill, my concerns center on 4 words. Planning, support, coordination, and funding. Most police agencies are underfunded, especially when it comes to on-going, quality training. In this area, training must be consistent, ongoing, facilitated, and supported. And the reality is that a well planned, supported, coordinated, and funded approach to the next topic likely eliminates the major concerns with qualified immunity.
Use of Force
According to the bill, the General Assembly intends to establish statewide use-of-force standards by 2022 while making changes to what is acceptable and unacceptable uses of force in Illinois statute.
The bill provides that the use of force is permissible only when an officer has determined it is necessary to defend either themselves or others from bodily harm when making an arrest. When a suspect is attempting to escape, officers would not be permitted to use deadly force to stop them, unless that person cannot be apprehended at a later date and is likely to harm others.
The law prohibits certain uses of force. Choke holds and restraints above the shoulders that can restrict breathing are banned unless explicitly used as deadly force. It also prohibits using force as a punishment or in retaliation when it is not authorized; using non-lethal projectiles like tasers and rubber bullets on someone’s head, groin area, or back; firing rubber or any type of round into a crowd; using tear gas and pepper spray without first allowing a crowd to disperse after being warned.
Before officers can use deadly force, they must make a reasonable effort to identify themselves as law enforcement and warn that they are about to use deadly force. Law enforcement can no longer use deadly force against someone for committing a property crime unless that crime is tied to terrorism or to another crime or action where deadly force is permitted.
Officers are also restricted from using deadly force against a person who poses a danger to themselves but does not pose an imminent threat to the officer or another person.
The police reform provisions also add two new duties to the Illinois statutes that officers must follow. The first requires law enforcement to give immediate medical assistance to an injured person, regardless of whether they were injured by the officer’s use of force. The second is the duty to intervene when another officer uses excessive force and to file a report of that incident within 5 days.
On the day the Laquon McDonald video was released I was with a group of friends. We got together to see a buddy who was in town and to celebrate the retirement of one of our other friends. Most of the individuals attending were or had been in law enforcement. Many of these individuals began their career with a service revolver.
The Laquon McDonald video became a topic more than a few times that evening. It was viewed and discussed with disbelief. Some of the criticism of the Chicago Police Department at that time centered on a lack of available tasers. Most of the individuals in this group began their careers long before tasers.
The consensus of these seasoned veterans was that, from their training and experience, the response would have been to surround the obviously under the influence 17-year-old at the opportune moment, someone would risk being stabbed as they attempted to tackle and disarm the young man. With all respect to the valid criticism of hindsight, not one person in that group, by their training, department policies, or own common sense would have fired their weapon.
I teach the law of the use of force to a diverse group of young men and young women who struggle with their desire to enter this career, to serve their community in something they have a passion for and the reality of what they saw happen to Laquon McDonald or any of the other incidents of concern that led to this legislation. I care about and try to support my students and graduates as if they were my own kids. I saw the pain and confusion in their eyes. I witnessed people who would have been great public servants choose another career path because of the obvious problems, questionable and just plain unnecessary and horrific incidents that should have never happened.
I don’t have a problem with the spirit and intent of this part of the bill. But I do have reservations centered on 4 words. Planning, support, coordination, and funding. Most police agencies are underfunded, especially when it comes to on-going, quality training. And in this area especially, training must be consistent, ongoing, facilitated, and supported.
Effective Jan. 1, 2023, all bail bonds and conditions of bail will be replaced by a system of pretrial release to be developed by the Illinois courts based on a detainee’s alleged crime, their risk of not appearing for their court date, and the threat or danger they may pose to the community if released.
Twice in my life, I have participated in audits and reviews of years worth of criminal cases. I won’t bore you with the details of those studies but I will tell you that there is no doubt in my mind and there is no valid argument that I am aware of that would dispute the fact that the ability to pay bail, fines and court costs impacts some people more than others. If we can agree that the focus on the criminal side of our justice system is to prevent future crime, to see people face a penalty for their actions but encouraged to reform or change their behavior in the future, cash bail, court fines, and court costs create a burden for poor people that often puts them in a hole they just can’t get out of.
I just saw a news account of a man I know who did something incredibly stupid and criminal. He had the means to post bail. He will have the means to pay any fines, court costs, and fees in his case. Whatever his other sentence requirements will be, he will have hurdles to overcome, and depending on how he approaches his circumstances, he will get over those hurdles. But he will be on level ground and able to approach and have a good opportunity to get over those hurdles.
At the same time, my guess is that there are several individuals sitting in the county jail with similar charges. Individuals who made stupid decisions that resulted in criminal activity but don’t have the ability to post bail. If they had a job at the time they were arrested, they’ve likely lost that employment. They will face their sentence and whatever that punishment may be and that sentence will include a fine, court costs, and fees in amounts the individual will not be able to pay. Those unpaid fines, costs, and fees may, as they often do, lead to a subsequent arrest. These individuals also have hurdles to overcome, but unlike the individual who has the means or support system to pay bail, fines, and costs, they can’t take their hurdles on from the level ground. These individuals face the impossible task of getting over their hurdles from inside a hole.
I believe this is the focus of this provision but here are some realities I see with the implementation of this expectation by 2023. First, the courts, sheriffs, and jails in many areas of the state are not set up to provide what this law would require. I won’t go into the details of my concerns here at the top of the list would be supporting Judges and the Sheriff. Some rural circuits may have one Judge covering multiple counties and many Sheriff’s offices have outdated and unsupported communication systems and little chance of running “Zoom” hearings. 4 words. Planning, support, coordination, and funding.
A police certification provision backed by the attorney general’s office was also added to the bill. It would give the state more power over who can be a member of law enforcement and makes it attempt to streamline the process to decertify and terminate the employment of problematic officers.
Before this legislation, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board could decertify an officer only if they were convicted of a felony or a limited set of misdemeanors such as offering a bribe, prostitution, or criminal sexual abuse.
The bill would grant ILETSB greater discretion to decertify officers based on whether a Certification Review Board determines they violated conduct guidelines.
An officer could be decertified if it is determined they committed a felony or a disqualifying misdemeanor, even if they were never convicted or charged. Other actions that could result in an officer being decertified include using excessive force; failing to intervene when another officer uses excessive force; tampering with dashboard cameras, body cameras, or evidence; and committing perjury or engaging in “unprofessional conduct” such as deceiving or harming the public.
Under a new statute of Law Enforcement Compliance Verification, all officers must verify their certification with ILETSB every three years to prove they’ve completed all mandatory training and have not engaged in misconduct worthy of decertification.
No law enforcement agency could hire a person who is not ILETSB certified.
The certification also overhauls transparency and communication in the criminal justice system, creating three databases maintained by ILETSB relating to officers.
The first database, which will be private, will have every law enforcement officer’s certification status, instances of misconduct, and current or past status of employment in law enforcement agencies. The database will be available to the Illinois State Police, governmental agencies, law enforcement agencies, state’s attorneys, and the attorney general. All law enforcement agencies would be required to use and check this database when hiring an officer.
Two other public databases would also be maintained by ILETSB, one that contains all officers, their agency, certification status, and any misconduct that led to decertification; and one that contains all completed investigations of law enforcement misconduct, with the identifying information of the officers involved redacted.
On this one, at least for me, no problems or issues so long as we remember my 4 words of concern. Planning, support, coordination, and funding. In this case, I have faith in the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. They will plan, support, and coordinate but will the legislature provide sufficient support?
And the final part of this broad stroke with a big brush bill that I will mention is Body Cameras.
We have been on the path to Body Cameras for some time now. Under this bill, the Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act would be amended so that all law enforcement agencies must eventually use body cameras.
The largest agencies must have body cameras in place by 2022, while all agencies, no matter how small, must have body cameras implemented by 2025.
Originally, this provision was touted as the “defund the police” portion of the bill due to a non-compliance penalty that reduced how much state funding municipalities received for each year law enforcement agencies under their control violated the mandate.
Now, compliance is rewarded and the penalty has been removed, with ILETSB giving preference in grant funding to agencies following the mandate.
My view and advice has always been that body cams protect the officer as much as the public. Like dash cams, it is the best evidence available of what occurred. When the law is enforced reasonably and properly, these cameras provide the best evidence available. And when it isn’t, these cameras provide the best evidence available.
For all interests and perspectives, body cameras are a good thing. From my conversations, police officers and police agencies aren’t opposed to body cameras. The issue with body cameras is and has always been that it was an unfunded mandate on already strapped and struggling local bodies of government.
So again, the theme for concerns on this one and the entire bill comes down to 4 words.
Planning, Support, Coordination, and Funding.
Deep Breaths, Stay Tuned but please don’t quit, don’t choose another career path just yet, and trust the law you took an oath to uphold will land somewhere reasonable and hopefully planned, supported, coordinated, and funded.
Job Description: Full-time legal assistant/paralegal needed for a long-established law firm focusing on real estate and estate matters. Searching for a highly motivated team-oriented candidate. The successful candidate will be organized, detailed oriented, possess excellent writing and numeric skills, the ability to multitask and maintain confidentiality.
Downtown Peoria law firm seeks file clerk/runner, part-time, hours: 12 – 5 p.m., but can be flexible. Willing to train and will entertain candidates with no law firm experience, as long as the candidate is willing to learn. Duties include locating and managing filing duties, scanning documents, running errands (within walking distance) and professional phone etiquette. The ability to multitask, prioritize, and stay organized is necessary. Paid parking. Please forward your resume if interested to firstname.lastname@example.org
New Paralegal students must attend our program orientation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 14th. This session will be remote via Zoom. Check your ICC student email for the link to register for this session or contact Program Coordinator Peggy Crane at email@example.com for this information.
City of Moline, IL Police Officer Recruitment
Application Deadline: Friday, February 5, 2021, at 5:00 PM
Salary and Benefits: Starting Pay: $58,092/year
- Excellent Health Benefits and Pension
- Uniform Allowance: $700/year
- Firearms Proficiency Pay: Up to $360/year
- Physical Fitness Incentive: $200/year
- Shift Differential: $0.45/hour for 2nd shift and $0.55/hour for 3rd shift Training:
- 14-week police academy with full pay, benefits, and housing provided
- In-house training after completion of the police academy
Probationary Period: 12 months for those already certified as Illinois law enforcement officers and 18 months for all others
Age and Residency: 21-34 years of age to apply (see exceptions in the packet)
Must live within a 20-mile radius of 1630 8th Avenue in Moline within 2 years of hire (includes Illinois and Iowa)
Additional requirements contained further in this packet
Full-time Paralegal position available immediately with a busy, fast-paced law firm in downtown Peoria specializing in civil litigation. The candidate must be extremely organized, pay close attention to details, possess initiative, professionalism, and have excellent time management skills. The candidate must also have strong grammatical skills, communication skills and must be computer and technology proficient. The candidate will be expected to organize and summarize medical records, communicate with clients, counsel, and insurance adjusters, and prepare written correspondence, pleadings, and discovery. Salary commensurate with experience. If interested, send resumes to .
LEGAL ASSISTANT – Champaign law firm - Thomas Mamer LLP seeks a Legal Assistant for its Workers’ Compensation Defense Practice.
Prefer a minimum of three years’ experience with worker’s compensation.
Experience with transcription, Microsoft Word & Outlook is also preferred, with an emphasis using Sharepoint.
Excellent benefits, salary negotiable.
Send resume, cover letter & references to Linda Little at Thomas Mamer LLP, P.O. Box 560, Champaign, IL 61824-0560 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Full-Time Paralegal Position Family/Criminal Experienced Paralegal Preferred, New Graduates from ICC Welcome to Apply
Responsibilities Include: Correspond with clients and opposing counsel; Legal research and drafting of a wide range of legal documents; Completing written discovery, researching and drafting motions; Preparing for depositions, and assisting with trial preparation.
The Peoria office of Prairie State Legal Services has a job opening for a legal secretary. For more information, click here.
Pro Bono Coordinator
The Peoria office of Prairie State Legal Services has a job opening for a pro bono coordinator. For more information, click here.
Legal Assistant Needed for personal injury litigation. Job duties include: court filings, complaints, pleadings, discovery, transcription, scheduling, and client contact. Applicant must have prior legal experience. Salary negotiable based on experience and qualifications. Send resume to Michael Marincic at email@example.com.
Elias Meginnes & Seghetti, P.C. is looking to hire a full time paralegal/legal assistant in the corporation/business/transaction area. Excellent organizational and computer skills are required. Apply in confidence to the following:
John S. Elias | Elias, Meginnes & Seghetti, P.C.
416 Main Street, Suite 1400, Peoria, Illinois 61602
Telephone: (309) 672-6361 (direct)
Facsimile: (309) 637-8514
Real Estate Paralegal / Title Searcher – The law firm of Miller, Hall & Triggs LLC is seeking a real estate paralegal to assist in the title department with our extensive real estate practice in both residential and commercial real estate. This paralegal position will be responsible for real estate title searches, assisting with the preparation of title commitments, preparing closing documents, and assisting with real estate closings and related loan transactions. An applicant must be intelligent and detailed oriented and must be able to travel to conduct searches in local courthouses or attend closings outside our offices. Title experience preferred. If interested, please send a cover letter and your resume to Miller, Hall & Triggs, LLC, Attn: Hiring Manager, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to 416 Main Street, Suite 1125, Peoria, IL 61602.
The U.S. Attorney's Office has an opening for a legal assistant. For more information and how to apply, click the following link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/574774300
The 2021 State Farm Summer Paralegal Internship job posting is currently available on statefarm.com (Req#5093). This paid internship is available for Paralegal students who have completed Litigation I and Legal Research I. The job posting will be open until December 30th.
Interviews will likely commence in mid-January 2021.
Position: Police Officer
Deadline: Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.
Agency: Washington Police Department – Washington, Illinois
Location: – Washington, Illinois (Central Illinois – Peoria Metro Area)
Starting Salary: $53,535.81 (All equipment is issued to new officers)
Qualifications: Applicants must 20 years and 6 months old by December 12th, 2020, High School diploma or GED; Associate’s Degree or 60 semester college credit hours or 90 quarter college credit hours from and accredited college or university with a minimum grade of “C” for the required hours , no felony convictions, U.S. citizen, valid driver’s license.
Responsibilities: Individuals must share the vision & values of the Washington Police Department. The successful applicant must display the highest levels of integrity, sound judgment and ethical standards. We are seeking individuals who are team oriented with a high level of maturity and personal responsibility. Some responsibilities include, but are not limited to: enforcement of the law; prevention of crime; discover commission of crimes; control traffic flow and enforce State & local traffic regulations; perform certain administrative and technical tasks in support of the Department; aggressive, problem solving Patrol strategies; investigation of motor vehicle accidents, as well as misdemeanor and felony complaints; process crime scenes, understand and embrace the philosophy of Community Policing. Washington is one of the fastest growing communities in Central Illinois with a population of 16,566 as of the 2016 Special Census.
Special Conditions: Applicant must participate in and successfully pass each phase of the process to continue onto the next phase of the selection process;
Phase 1-Orientation, Phase 2- Physical Agility Test, Phase 3- Written Examination, Phase 4 – Oral Test, Phase 5 – Applicant Ride along Evaluation, Phase 6 - Background Investigation, Phase 7 – Preliminary Commission Interview, Phase 8- Polygraph Examination, Phase 9 – Psychological Examination, Phase 10 – Medical Examination, Phase 11 – Final Physical Ability Test, Phase 12 – Commission Interview.
MANDATORY ORIENTATION - for applicants for the Police Department of the City of Washington will be given on Saturday, December 12th, 2020, at 7:00 a.m., at Washington Community High School, 115 Bondurant Street, Washington, Illinois. Physical Agility and Written Examination to follow Orientation Session.
For more information, contact: Mr. Kent Henderson, Administrative Officer email@example.com Washington Police Department 115 W. Jefferson St. Washington, Illinois 61571 Phone: (309) 444-2313 Website: http://www.ci.washington.il.us
If you employ a Paralegal you may want to take 5 minutes to read this article.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 23 is Amended to allow litigants to cite unpublished opinions from the Illinois Supreme and Appellate Courts
Please read the full article from Rhys Saunders on the Illinois State Bar Associations Illinois Lawyers Now website linked below. This article provides a clear summary of the background and lingering conflict of Rule 23, especially in the past decade as Illinois published all decisions publicly, online.
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the amendment of Rule 23, which will allow litigants to cite unpublished opinions from the Illinois Appellate Courts for persuasive purposes. Amended Rule 23 is effective Jan. 1, 2021.
Elias Meginnes & Seghetti, P.C. is looking to hire a full-time paralegal/legal assistant in the corporation/business/transaction area. Excellent organizational and computer skills are required. Apply in confidence to the following:
The City of Davenport Police Department is seeking highly motivated and ethical individuals, that, under general supervision performs work of moderate difficulty in law enforcement, maintenance of order, protection of life and property, and crime prevention; and performs related work as required.
Important testing and selection process information is included in the 2020 Police Information Packet which can be accessed by clicking the following link 2020 Police Information Packet (Download PDF reader) or downloading from the City of Davenport website.
: An incentive payment totaling $10,000 will be given to newly hired Police Officers, whose appointment dates fall after March 10, 2021, that possess law enforcement certifications recognized by the state of Iowa and that do not require attendance at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
When the application period closes, an email will be sent with further instructions, including instructions to go online to schedule a physical ability test time.