Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles From Helen W. Gunnarsson

The conscience of a lawyer By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2008 Lawpulse, Page 118 Your client admits he committed murder. What should you do? What can you do? For two Illinois lawyers, these aren't hypothetical questions.
Federal wiretapping evidence admissible though barred by state law By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2008 Lawpulse, Page 118 Evidence gathered in a joint federal-state investigation is admissible in state court if it complies with federal, though not state, eavesdropping law.
A Proposed Makeover for the Rules of Professional Conduct By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2008 Article, Page 128 A joint ISBA-CBA proposal seeks to bring the RPC up to date and align them more closely with the ABA Model Rules.
A solo’s advice on going solo By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2008 Lawpulse, Page 118  A young sole practitioner's take on the perils and pleasures of hanging out your shingle.
Supremes limit trusts ability to subtract investment-advice costs By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2008 Lawpulse, Page 118 The U.S. Supreme Court holds that trusts are subject to a two-percent floor for subtracting investment advisory fees from their taxable income.
Adult DUI offenders who transport minors - what is the law? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Lawpulse, Page 66 A recent Journal article inspires a debate about whether the statute it discussed is still in effect and a call for the legislature to clear up the confusion.
Are e-mail disclaimers really necessary? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Lawpulse, Page 66 They really are, some lawyers say. In fact, you should put them at the beginning, not the end, of your messages, other lawyers say.
Helping Clients Who Face Foreclosure By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Article, Page 76 Notice of foreclosure creates a personal crisis for your home-borrower clients. Here's how to counsel them.
No psych-record access for “garden variety” employee emotional distress claims By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Lawpulse, Page 66 A recent ruling explains when employer-defendants can and cannot get access to employee-plaintiffs' medical and psychological records when employees sue for emotional distress cause by illegal discrimination.
The perils for employers of hiring private investigators By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Lawpulse, Page 66 Employers who retain companies to investigate employee malingering or misconduct need to hire carefully and monitor appropriately.
Tax sales: the court helps taxpayers who help themselves By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Lawpulse, Page 66  Here's how not to win compensation after losing your house for failure to pay taxes.
Contacting, deposing employees of opposing parties: a how-to By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2008 Lawpulse, Page 10 Don’t just call up your opponent’s employees, even if they’re working elsewhere. Consider first whether doing so might violate legal or ethical rules.
Court upholds $1 million penalty arising out of $12,000 support debt By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2008 Lawpulse, Page 10 The supreme court ruled that a $1 million-plus penalty for an employer’s failure to timely pay a $12,000-plus child support obligation was not unconstitutional on the facts.
Custody conundrum By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2008 Lawpulse, Page 10 Your client’s ex-husband, who moved to Texas and had custody of the children, dies. Your client wants the kids, her ex’s Texas relatives say no. What do you do?
Illinois Supreme Court oral arguments go online By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2008 Lawpulse, Page 10 The court is making video and audio of oral arguments available on the Web. 
Supreme court upholds parent’s refusal to allow grandparent visitation By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2008 Lawpulse, Page 10 A grandmother failed to show that denying her visitation was harmful to her grandchild’s physical, mental, or emotional health.
Administrative decisions: smoothing the path to review By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2007 Lawpulse, Page 622 The law should be amended to remove impediments to seeking review of agency rulings, ISBA leaders say.
Drafter beware By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2007 Lawpulse, Page 622 When it comes to drafting agreements for deed in lieu of foreclosure, you can’t be too careful.
From Here to Retainer Fees By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2007 Article, Page 636 Learn how to craft retainer agreements to define and clarify the scope of your engagement, why it’s important to collect fees up front, and more.
Illinois supremes reject pre-existing debt rule By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2007 Lawpulse, Page 622 Under the rule, A’s promise to pay B’s debt is enforceable even if A didn’t put it in writing if it’s made before the debt was incurred. The high court says that’s not the law in Illinois.
Small-trust-termination amendment gets mixed reviews By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2007 Lawpulse, Page 622 It’s good to allow trustees to terminate small trusts when fees are consuming income. But should income, rather than remainder, beneficiaries automatically get the proceeds?
Three flavors of federal e-filing By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2007 Lawpulse, Page 622 Effective last month, all three federal district courts accept electronically filed complaints – but each has different procedures.
Ex post facto Medicaid “planning” By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2007 Lawpulse, Page 570 May an agent or guardian shift the principal's assets for Medicaid planning purposes after the principal has become disabled? Yes - but doing so can be expensive.
Frye-ing the HGN test By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2007 Lawpulse, Page 570 The Illinois Supreme Court rules that a Frye hearing must be held to decide whether the horizontal gaze nystagmus test reliably indicates alcohol impairment.
No duty to warn, Illinois high court holds By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2007 Lawpulse, Page 570 The court reaffirms the rule that Party A has no duty to warn Party B about a threat posed by Party C unless there's a special relationship between A and B.
Of Principals and POAs: When Clients Need Protection from Themselves By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2007 Article, Page 580 What can we do for elderly clients who aren't making good financial decisions because they aren't fully competent?
Rule 216 requests to admit: no more “gotcha” games By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2007 Lawpulse, Page 570 With its Vision Point ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court gives trial courts the power to allow late or otherwise deficient answers to Rule 216 requests to admit.
Estate Planning for the Rest of Us By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2007 Article, Page 520 Most people don't have estates large enough to owe tax when they die. But they still need estate-planning advice.
New law expands video appearances by prisoners By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2007 Lawpulse, Page 510 Public defenders opposed the law's passage, arguing that it gives inmates second-class justice.
POD and TOD accounts and your estate-planning arsenal By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2007 Lawpulse, Page 510 Payable/transfer-on-death accounts are handy probate-avoidance tools that can even be used to transfer real estate. Or can they?