Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles From Helen W. Gunnarsson

The lesson of George Ryan v U.S. By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2011 Lawpulse, Page 434 It's this, according to a criminal defense lawyer and court watcher: You shouldn't hesitate to argue alternative, even esoteric, bases for relief to create a record for appeal.
New IOLTA requirements effective September 1 By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2011 Lawpulse, Page 434 The amended rule forbids non-interest bearing pooled accounts, imposes new recordkeeping requirements, and obliges banks to report trust-account overdrafts.
New limits on FOIA “recurrent requesters” By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2011 Lawpulse, Page 434 New legislation would give governmental entities more time to respond to those who make numerous FOIA requests. A look at that and some Open Meetings Act changes.
Supreme court: IPI instruction misstates med-mal standard of care By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2011 Lawpulse, Page 434 An Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction doesn't state the correct standard for determining whether a physician's conduct was reasonable in a med-mal case, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.
Don’t be an oddsmaker By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 It's a bad idea - maybe even an ethics no-no - to tell clients what you think their chances of winning are, an ISBA lawyer opines.
Miranda: Youth a factor in determining whether interrogation is “custodial” By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 The U.S. Supreme Court holds that a subject's youth matters when determining whether a Miranda warning is required - a conclusion the Illinois Supreme Court came to years ago.
Statute of repose bars legal malpractice claim By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 A plaintiff who sued a lawyer for malpractice in the preparation of a quitclaim deed was too late because any injury occurred when the deed was prepared, not later when her husband died.
To Tweet or Not to Tweet? By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Article, Page 396 Don't get Twitter? You're not alone. But lawyers are using it to reach out to fellow practitioners and communicate with the public.
Tweeting the law By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 Lawyers, bar associations, courts, and others use Twitter to push out news, cases, job openings, and more.
“What happened?” How to talk to a found-guilty defendant By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 What do you say to the criminal defendant who wonders why the judge or jury found him guilty? Two seasoned lawyers offer their thoughts.
A Business Lawyer Plugs into the Business of Law By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Article, Page 340 ISBA President John G. Locallo will use his bully pulpit to help lawyers understand the power and importance of practice-oriented technology.
Hutsell: Parents not liable for death of underage DUI driver By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 The high court held that parents who hosted a party did not voluntarily undertake the duty to prevent underage drinking.
Junk-fax statute enforceable by private lawsuit By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 In Italia Foods, the Illinois Supreme Court found that the federal junk-fax statute is enforceable by private litigants in Illinois.
Statewide mentoring program launched by supreme court By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 Both mentors and mentees in the voluntary program will earn PMCLE credit.
Supreme court okays emotional distress claims for wrongful birth By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 But the court held in the same case that parents cannot recover the costs of caring for a disabled adult child.
Vendor-neutral citation comes to Illinois By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 Beginning July 1, the official version of Illinois opinions will be published publicly on the court's website, not privately in bound volumes.
E-filing comes to Cook County By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2011 Lawpulse, Page 280 The nation's largest unified court system offers the option of electronic filing in most civil cases.
How to Be a Good Closer By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2011 Article, Page 290 In baseball and residential real estate practice alike, it often comes down to the last inning when a lights-out closer can make the difference. Here are tips from veteran lawyers about what you might encounter at a real estate closing and how to handle it.
A judge’s perspective on pro se litigants By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2011 Lawpulse, Page 280 How far may - and should, and must - a judge go in helping a pro se litigant have his or her day in court?
“This is why we become lawyers”: the Watkins counsel speak By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2011 Lawpulse, Page 280 Lawyers talk about the challenges and rewards of representing parties to the highly charged, nationally publicized Watkins visitation case.
Trace amount of methamphetamine supports aggravated DUI conviction By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2011 Lawpulse, Page 280 After People v Martin, the state need only prove that the driver who causes a fatal accident had methamphetamine in his system, not that it impaired his performance.
Are cell phones “contraband”? And what’s a “penal institution”? By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Lawpulse, Page 222 A volunteer lawyer is charged with a felony for allegedly bringing "contraband" - her cell phone - into a police station interview room. Volunteering to represent indigents pro bono in an area of law with which you're unfamiliar? Your heart may be in the right place, but be careful.
Experience by Appointment By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Article, Page 238 Though there isn't much money in it, serving as appointed counsel is a way to gain invaluable courtroom experience and remind yourself why you went to law school in the first place.
No common fund fee recovery for health care liens By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Lawpulse, Page 222 Bad news for plaintiffs’ lawyers – the common fund doctrine does not give them a share of health care liens, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled recently.
Part of Illinois’s Identity Theft Law found unconstitutional By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Lawpulse, Page 222 The Illinois Supreme Court overturns a provision of Illinois’ identity theft statute, finding that it criminalizes innocent conduct (e.g., Google searching) performed without criminal intent.
Punitive damage claims do not survive the death of nursing home residents By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Lawpulse, Page 222 Because the Nursing Home Care Act does not provide otherwise, punitive damage claims die along with the resident, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
Court-ordered mental health reports not confidential under IMDMA By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 Unlike those issued by treating caregivers, mental-health reports ordered by the court under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act are not confidential, the supreme court rules.
Defending a DUI client who said “no” to the police By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 Among other techniques, use voir dire to help tell your story and underscore the defendant's constitutional right to refuse testing and other requests. Defending a DUI case? West suburban lawyer Donald J. Ramsell provides practical tips for defending DUI refusals in jury trial cases in the March 2011 issue of ISBA's Traffic Laws and Courts section newsletter.
Finding Your Way to in the Courthouse By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Article, Page 184 How to learn those all-important unwritten rules of courthouse and courtroom practice that vary from circuit to circuit.
Mandatory performance evaluations for circuit, associate judges By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 A new Illinois Supreme Court rule requires trial judges to submit to confidential performance evaluations.