Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Attorney Fees

The Illinois Supreme Court OKs advance payment retainers By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2007 Lawpulse, Page 286 The court last month approved lawyers' use of the advance payment retainer, cautioning that more familiar retainer agreements will be the preferred option in most cases.
It’s official - you can’t collect fees for collecting your own fees By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2007 Lawpulse, Page 286 As a matter of public policy, "lawyers representing themselves simply do not incur legal fees," the third district ruled recently.
The trouble with hourly billing By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2007 Lawpulse, Page 286 Does the tradition of billing by the hour push lawyers to pad bills and thus engage in the kind of "dishonest" behavior forbidden by the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct?
Bad faith needed for defendant to receive attorney fees under the Consumer Fraud Act March 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 On December 21, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and the Circuit Court of Cook County, striking the defendants' petition for fees.
Extra fees for extra effort - a win in the appellate court By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2007 Lawpulse, Page 66 The appellate court reversed the trial court's rejection of a plaintiff's firm's argument that its extraordinary effort justified fees that exceeded the statutory med-mal limit.
Accepting Payment by Credit Card: Priceless? By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 Article, Page 18 Setting yourself up to accept credit card payments has its advantages - and its risks. 
Billing Gallantly By Karen Erger December 2006 Column, Page 684 "Don't pad your bill" - that's stating the obvious, right? So why must we keep stating it? Time can't change me But I can't trace time - David Bowie
Legislature overturns one-year limit on family-law fee suits By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 Lawpulse, Page 458     Family law practitioners now have 10 years to sue clients in an independent action for unpaid fees. 
Reasonable Fees in Dissolution of Marriage Cases By Donald C. Schiller September 2006 Article, Page 474 A look at what the cases say about what constitutes a "reasonable" attorney fee in a divorce proceeding.
Trial Lawyers’ Top Opinions of 2005 By Hon. James P. Flannery, Jr. March 2006 Article, Page 122 From pre-trial notice requirements to spoliation of evidence, 2005 produced an array of Illinois cases of special interest to the trial bar.
Attorney’s fees are not recoverable absent express statutory or contractual language February 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 68 On December 1, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Menard County, which held that a contract provision stipulating that the defendant management company would be responsible for "all collection costs" allowed recovery for attorney's fees.
Attorney has no right to contingency agreement fees if client does not appeal unfavorable decision November 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 564 On August 5, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissing the plaintiff's complaint. 
Fees, Part 1: Budgeting required for Capital Litigators By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2005 Lawpulse, Page 438 Appointed criminal defense counsel must now submit budget estimates under the amended Capital Crimes Litigation Act.  
Fees, Part 2: Higher ceilings for court-appointed attorneys? By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2005 Lawpulse, Page 438 Fees, Part 2: Higher ceilings for court-appointed attorneys?
Law firm’s failure to register under Rule 721 not UPL By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2005 Lawpulse, Page 330 And that means an unregistered firm can collect its attorney fee award, the supreme court holds.
Failure to register under Supreme Court Rule 721(c) does not amount to the unauthorized practice of law June 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 280 On March 24, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the orders of both the appellate and circuit courts, which vacated an attorney fees award. 
Fee arrangements made prior to a client’s death will remain in tact, absent proof of intent to change the fee arrangement June 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 280 On March 18, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's decision denying a motion for declaratory judgment by the defendants. 
Fee Not-So-Simple: Referral Fee Dos and Don’ts By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2005 Article, Page 236 It's permissible to refer cases to other lawyers and share in the fee, as long as you meet the requirements.
Maximum hourly amount for attorney’s fees increased for contested unemployment insurance matters April 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 170 The Illinois Department of Employment Security recently amended 56 Ill Adm Code 2720.20. These changes became effective on January 24, 2005.
Highlights of the 2004 ISBA Law Firm Economic Benchmarking Survey By Virginia Grant December 2004 Article, Page 624 How well are ISBA lawyers doing economically? Our recent economic survey provides answers to this and other questions.
Disbursement, within the meaning of section 14 of the Arbitration Act, does not include an award of attorney’s fees September 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 456 On June 14, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's denial of a petition for attorney's fees.
Recovering Attorney Fees From the Opposing Party in Illinois Divorce Cases By Alison G. Turoff September 2004 Article, Page 462 A guide through the steps required under IMDMA to recover fees from the other side.
Accepting fee payments by credit card; priceless? By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2004 Lawpulse, Page 236 Charging interest on late accounts and accepting fee payments by credit card are a carrot-and-stick approach to getting paid on time.
Attorney fees, family law and In re Marriage of King By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2004 Lawpulse, Page 118 The Illinois Supreme Court has given divorce lawyers one more reason to get as much of their fee up front as possible.
Getting paid, part 1: demand bankruptcy fees up front By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2004 Lawpulse, Page 62 Thanks to a new seventh circuit case, it's more important than ever for attorneys who represent debtors in Chapter 7 to get all of their fees up front.
Getting paid, part 2: A new probate pitfall to avoid By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2004 Lawpulse, Page 62 If your client is seeking payment from an estate, make sure you file a claim with the probate court even if the estate representative knows about the debt; that knowledge might not put the estate on the hook, according to a new appellate court ruling.
Is your firm registered with the supreme court? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2004 Lawpulse, Page 62 News flash: many law firms, not just lawyers, must register, and those who don't could see their fee awards invalidated.
When Can You Retain Client Files for Failure to Pay Fees? By Patrick Sean Ginty February 2004 Article, Page 97 While retaining liens can be effective, you should understand their scope and effect before you use them.
Correspondence from Our Readers December 2003 Column, Page 590 "Incorrect assumptions" about involuntary psychiatric treatment.
Recovering Penalty Awards and Attorney Fees Under the Workers’ Compensation Act By Michelle D. Porro December 2003 Article, Page 610 Has a carrier unreasonably delayed payment to your client? This article reviews penalties and fee-award options.