A trio of laws to curb texting, phoning behind the wheelBy Adam W. LaskerOctober 2012LawPulse, Page 514The legislature forgoes a full ban on cell use by drivers in favor of a targeted approach that bans hand-held communications in construction zones, emergency scenes, and other places.
The Real Prisoner’s DilemmaBy Hon. Ron SpearsAugust 2012Column, Page 442Defendants have a Constitutional right to effective counsel during plea bargains.
Crime victims’ rights amendment won’t appear on November ballotBy Adam W. LaskerJune 2012LawPulse, Page 286A proposed constitutional amendment that would have made crime victims party to the defendant’s trial undermined the constitutional presumption of innocence, the ISBA and other opponents, including prosecutors, argued.
Lying to police can be obstructionBy Adam W. LaskerApril 2012LawPulse, Page 178Lying to a police officer can support a conviction for obstruction of justice if the lying directly hinders the officer's official performance, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
The lesson of George Ryan v U.S.By Helen W. GunnarssonSeptember 2011LawPulse, Page 434It'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.
Are cell phones “contraband”? And what’s a “penal institution”?By Helen W. GunnarssonMay 2011LawPulse, Page 222A 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.
Death penalty is abolished. PA 096-1543May 2011Illinois Law Update, Page 228Illinois lawmakers have abolished the death penalty in Illinois and all existing sentences may not be imposed. (725 ILCS 5/119-1 new). All monies previously held in the Capital Litigation Trust Fund are now to be used to provide services for families of the victims of homicide and to provide training for law enforcement personnel.
Retail theft penalties adjusted. PA 096-1301December 2010Illinois Law Update, Page 616 Penalties for theft have been adjusted by Illinois lawmakers to increase the value of property covered by minimum misdemeanor and felony sentencing. 720 ILCS 5/16-1.