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Lea S. Gutierrez Begins Tenure as ARDC Administrator

On October 23, 2023, Lea S. Gutierrez began her service as Administrator of the ARDC, following the Illinois Supreme Court’s approval of her appointment in September. Ms. Gutierrez succeeded Jerome E. Larkin, who had served as the ARDC’s Administrator since 2007. 

A member of the Illinois bar since 2005, Ms. Gutierrez graduated from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia. She formerly worked at the ARDC in the positions of Litigation Counsel, Litigation Manager, and Director of Diversity and Inclusion. She returned to the ARDC after leading diversity and inclusion efforts at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the American Lung Association. Ms. Gutierrez is the fifth ARDC Administrator, the second woman to hold that office, and the first person of color to do so. Read more.

Illinois Supreme Court Amends Rules 1.5 (Fees) and 1.15 (Safekeeping Property), Effective July 1st

On July 1, 2023, several significant amendments adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court to the fees rule (Rule 1.5) and the rule governing funds or property held in trust (Rule 1.15) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct will take effect. 

Lawyers should review the new rules and act to ensure that their fee agreements and handling of clients’ funds meet the new requirements when they take effect on July 1, 2023.  The ARDC has made the following resources available to assist Illinois attorneys who wish to learn more about these amendments:

• E-learning Program Now Available!  The ARDC’s new 0.5 Hr. PRCLE webcast: New IRPC 1.5 & 1.15 2023 Amendments: What Illinois Lawyers Should Know is now available.  Click on the above link or access this new program under the Education & Resources tab, above.

New Rules 1.5 and 1.15, available on the Illinois Supreme Court website at

What Illinois Lawyers Should Know: Summary of Changes to RPCs 1.5 and 1.15, available on June 30 on the ARDC website under Education & Resources/Client Trust Accounts.

ARDC Client Trust Account Handbook (rev. July 2023), available on June 30 on the ARDC website under Education & Resources/Client Trust Accounts

Free CLE Program – Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct of 2023: A New Era

What should lawyers know about Illinois’ New Code of Judicial Conduct? This free on demand program, which has been approved for 1.25 hours of MCLE credit in Illinois, provides viewers with an overview of the new ethical standards applicable to the Illinois judiciary, as well as candidates for judicial office, and explains why all lawyers should be aware of the provisions contained in the new Code of Judicial Conduct, which became effective January 1, 2023.  Helping lawyers better understand the intersection between the Code and the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, this program also describes the procedures to follow when there is an allegation that an Illinois judge has potentially violated the Code of Judicial Conduct. 

Click here to view this free on demand CLE program!

Prohibiting Board Members from Providing Expert or Opinion Testimony
April 6, 2023

No Board member shall provide, in any proceeding, expert or opinion testimony with respect to the appropriate standard of care or conduct expected of an attorney in representing a client. Amended December 9, 2022, effective July 1, 2023.  To view full amended policy, click here.

Administrative Order Regarding Disciplinary Proceedings

March 1, 2023

On March 1, 2023, the Chairperson of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission entered an order superseding previous pandemic-related orders for disciplinary proceedings. The March 1, 2023 order, which will remain in effect until further order of the Commission, provides that effective May 1, 2023:

  • All uncontested hearings before the Hearing Board, including prehearing conferences, default hearings and consent hearings, shall be conducted remotely. An uncontested hearing may be held in person if there is good cause shown for doing so.


  • All contested hearings before the Hearing Board shall be held in person. A contested hearing may be held remotely if the Chair of the case and both parties agree to holding the hearing remotely.


  • All oral arguments before the Review Board shall be held in person. An oral argument may be held remotely if the Chair of the Review Board and both parties agree to holding the oral argument remotely.

Focus on Rule 4.2 Communications with Persons Represented by Counsel: ABA Formal Opinions 502 and 503


Rule 4.2 was the subject of two recent ABA formal ethics opinions. The first, ABA Formal Opinion 502 Communication with a Represented Person by a Pro Se Lawyer (Sept. 28, 2022) looked at the question of whether the prohibition of communication with a represented person under Rule 4.2 applies in the context of a lawyer engaged in self-representation. The second, ABA Formal Opinion 503 “Reply All” in Electronic Communications (Nov. 2, 2022) considered whether consent to communicate with a represented client is given, albeit implied, when the lawyer includes the lawyer’s client in an email communication to opposing counsel.  Read more