Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Contracts

Mandatory arbitration agreements are binding on employees June 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On March 23, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, which held that mandatory arbitration agreements between employers and employees are only valid if entered into "knowingly and voluntarily" by the employee.
Sour notes By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2006 Lawpulse, Page 110 The destructive, expensive breakup of a string quartet leads to the obvious question: what advance legal planning might have kept things from getting out of control? And what can you do for your musician clients? 
Substantive Amendments to Contracts: Don’t Breathe New Life into Unwanted Provisions By Joan M. Kubalanza and Kevin J. Clancy March 2006 Article, Page 146 An amendment to a 1906 real estate lease produced a huge unexpected rent increase. Don't let it happen to you.
Can Employers Prevent Former Workers from Hiring Current Employees? By David F. Rolewick January 2006 Article, Page 34 For years, most Illinois courts have held that an employer can't stop departed employees from recruiting the employer's current workers. But that might be changing.
Contract Reformation - the Remedy When the Writing is Wrong By Hal R. Morris November 2005 Article, Page 584   What if the parties reached an agreement but the writing that supposedly records it is wrong? That's where contract reformation comes in.  
This diamond ring By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2005 Lawpulse, Page 498 Does an engagement ring belong to the donor or the recipient if the wedding is called off?
Third-Party Beneficiary Basics: When Can Noncontracting Parties Sue for Breach? By Joseph Siprut September 2005 Article, Page 462 Can, say, the child of divorced parents force Dad to pay for college as he promised Mom he would? Find out how and when to use this theory on behalf of your clients.
There’s gold in that thar wind – maybe By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2005 Lawpulse, Page 330 Learn how you can help that would-be wind farmer in your client base.
The New Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act By Nancy Ford May 2005 Article, Page 240 In Illinois, a recently enacted statute governs would-be parents' contracts with surrogate mothers. Here's a look at what the new law does and doesn't do.
Attorney-Approval Clauses and Residential Real Estate Contracts: Mere Modification or More? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2005 Article, Page 72 Most home-sale contracts empower attorneys to propose modifications. But do those "proposals" effectively nullify the contract?
Using No-Reliance Clauses to Prevent Fraud-in-the-Inducement Claims By Joseph Wylie October 2004 Article, Page 536 Plaintiffs are using fraud-in-the-inducement theory to turn breach-of-contract allegations into tort claims. A new case gives defendants a way to fight back.
A reasonable contract provision that acts as a restraint on trade will not be held void as against public policy May 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 242 On February 20, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial and appellate courts' holding that a restriction in a contract between a company in the business of leasing truck drivers and its customer was not invalid as against public policy.
Limitation-of-Liability Clauses in Accountants’ Engagement Letters: Are They Enforceable? By Thomas F. Falkenberg November 2003 Article, Page 573 The answer is generally "yes" in Illinois.
Non-breaching party to a real estate contract may seek, in addition to specific performance, damages for delay in the performance of the contract, provided that the damages are reasonably foreseeable. November 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 550 On August 29, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, reversed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Unjust Enrichment Claims in Illinois: Applying a Venerable Doctrine to Modern Disputes By Ronald M. Lepinskas October 2003 Article, Page 514 The nature, elements, and limitations of the remedy under Illinois law.
Prenups help couples put their cards on the table By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2002 Lawpulse, Page 114 Even though courts have broad discretion to ignore prenuptial agreements, couples can benefit from the process of creating them, a family practitioner says.
Understanding Illinois Noncompetition Agreements and Restrictive Covenants By Gene A. Petersen September 2001 Article, Page 472 Tips on how to draft enforceable restrictive covenants.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath July 2001 Column, Page 338 Golfers in the (legal) news; capital punishment and the mentally retarded; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath June 2001 Column, Page 282 Knock-off alert for real estate contract; new Supreme Court Rule 99; time is money, and thus compensable; and more.
Noncompete clauses may be prohibited in most broadcasting employee contracts; S.B. 720 June 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 286 Certain broadcasting employees may soon enjoy greater freedom under a recent bill passed by both the Illinois House and Senate.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath May 2001 Column, Page 226 Arbitration clauses in employment contracts are enforceable; visit the Illinois Supreme Court Web site; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath January 2001 Column, Page 10 Standard of review for fee suits; U.S. Supremes just say no to drug-sniffing dogs at checkpoints; employee claims rejected by 7CA; and more.
“Best Efforts” Promises Under Illinois Law By James M. Van Vliet Jr. December 2000 Article, Page 698 Under Illinois law, "best efforts" promises apparently are not binding when the parties have failed to specify a level of performance. The author discusses the implications.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath December 2000 Column, Page 686 Extra protection against self-incrimination; grandparents get their (bad) day in court; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath November 2000 Column, Page 620 A lower burden of proof for consumer fraud? Arbitration-award rejection—can secretaries sign after all? and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath October 2000 Column, Page 560 The illusion of insurance exclusion; lease lacking, landlord loses; OSHA makes house calls; and more.
Covenant not to compete was held void as against public policy because it lacked specific durational and geographic restrictions September 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 500 On July 20, 2000, the seventh circuit court of appeals affirmed the district court's decision to grant summary judgment to the defendant.
Postnuptial Agreements in Illinois By Laura Caldwell August 2000 Article, Page 473 A review of the Illinois case law.
Suing Out-of-State Defendants in Illinois: Minimum Contacts after TCA, Ruprecht and Chalek By Edward S. Margolis August 2000 Article, Page 458 An analysis of recent cases that may affect the right to enforce business contracts in Illinois.
There must be common liability between the parties in a contribution claim July 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 380 On May 18, 2000, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's decision by dismissing a fourth-party complaint for contribution that was based solely on contractual liability when the fourth-party defendants were not parties to the contract in dispute.