The Illinois State Supreme Court announced new rules of professional conduct for lawyers practicing throughout the state. The rules were announced Wednesday.
The process to change the rules began in 2002. It is the first complete revision of the standards since 1990.
The rules were formulated by legal scholars, judges, ethicists and members of the Illinois State Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association.
The new rules touch on areas ranging from attorney-client relationships to e-mail advertising. The new rules expand attorneys' responsibilities regarding the disclosure of corporate fraud and other fraud issues.
"They are an important step forward in the Supreme Court's ongoing regulation of the legal profession in our state," said Steven Pflaum, a Chicago attorney who is chairperson of the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility. The committee has been working on the revision of the rules since 2005.
Pflaum was quoted in the Supreme Court's press release on the topic.
"The new rules are especially noteworthy for providing additional clarity regarding lawyers' ethical obligations, and for addressing aspects of the modern practice of law, such as the increased use of alternate dispute resolution procedures, that were not expressly covered by the previous ethics rules," Pflaum said.