CBA Record January-February 2020
Leighton announced, “I’m going to deny this motion. It was filed it on the wrong size paper.” The federal court had recently switched from filings on legal-size paper to letter-size. The plaintiff failed to heed the rule. So, I defeated the TRO, at least until it could be refiled on the right paper. Research and Arguments Before Computers Not surprisingly, the most amazing technological change is computerization, which changed how we do research. Today, with digital concordances, we can (almost) instantly find cases or paragraphs within cases relevant to any research topic. Fifty years ago, we had to spend hours in the stacks of the law library, usually the Cook County Law Library on the 29th floor of the Civic Center. On the shelves, you could track down the volumes containing the cases cited as precedent. You lugged the reports, half a dozen at a time, to your place at the library table. There, you opened each volume in turn, to look up the cited case, copying down additional citations if useful. One of the benefits of starting my career in a government office was the experience it provided. In cases on appeal in the Illinois Supreme Court, motions could be presented to a Supreme Court Justice in chambers at the Civic Center on the weekly motion day. This was an opportunity to meet the justice face to face and to give a brief informal argument supporting the motion. I appreciated the chance to get to know the Chicago justices and become comfortable making argu- ments before them. In a private law firm, writing, and particularly arguing, appeals would be the domain of the most senior attorneys. But, at the Corporation Counsel, I had full responsibility for my appeals, from start to finish. This resulted in the odd situation in which the first time I walked into a court- room on a contested matter was to argue a case in the Illinois Supreme Court. As my first case, it was memorable. I traveled to Springfield with the head of the Appeals Division, Marvin Aspen (later chief judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois). We brought along our wives, who sat in the spectator
section of the courtroom, fashionably dressed in suits, hats, and white gloves. Other Changes One area of welcome change is cigarette smoking. Nobody gave any thought to office workers smoking at their desks, or, for that matter anywhere else. People could (and did) smoke in offices, lobbies, corridors, meeting rooms, restaurants and airplanes. Ashtrays were everywhere. Before easy conference calls and conve- nient circulation of documents by email, we had meetings where the lawyers, consul- tants, and clients would gather in a confer- ence room to review document drafts. The smokers exposed everyone to smoke. The non-smokers said nothing because every- one knew it was the smokers’ right to light up wherever and whenever they pleased. By the end of the meeting, clothes, hair, and
documents stank. I started practice when color television was an expensive luxury. There were no telephone answering machines or faxes. I wonder what technological innovations will change our practice again?
Richard F. Friedman is a managing member and has been affiliated with Neal & Leroy, LLC since 1983. He graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1969.
Wine Tasting With music by The Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra & ChorusEnsembles
Friday, February 7, 2020 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. CBA Building, 321 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago, IL $50 Admission - All Are Welcome! Wine tasting & small bites/appetizers All guests will be entered in the grand prize drawing for a case of wine from John Vishneski’s personal collection. To purchase tickets, go to www.chicagobar.org/chicagobar/2020Wine. Questions? Contact Angie Cruz, CBA Events Coordinator, at 312-554-2132 or acruz @chicagobar.org.
To benefit the CBA Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
CBA RECORD 41
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