Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Insurance

A trial de novo provision in an insurance policy did not violate public policy and was not unconscionable July 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 A provision allowing either party in an insurance contract to demand a de novo review by a trial court following arbitration is not unenforceable when it appears in an under-insured motorist policy according to a new holding from the Illinois Supreme Court.
Health Care Reform: the Constitutional Challenge to the Individual Mandate By Brian J. McKenna and Nancy K. McKenna May 2011 Article, Page 246 The individual mandate, which penalizes the failure to buy health insurance, is at the heart of the constitutional challenges to health care reform. Here's a reader-friendly guide to the arguments.
Life Insurance Proceeds Are Exempt From Creditors - Or Are They? By Thomas A. Pasquesi and Thomas M. Badenhausen May 2011 Article, Page 254 The law exempts life insurance policy proceeds from the claims of a decedent-insured's creditors. But exceptions give creditors an opportunity to recover.
Insurance company not required to pay attorney fees because actions were reasonable part of bona fide defense March 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 On December 28, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, granted a motion for summary judgment after an insured sought private attorney's fees from her insurance company in the wake of a car accident and the ensuing litigation.
Spooky Tales from the Malpractice Coverage Campfire By Karen Erger February 2011 Column, Page 104 Don't let exclusions in your malpractice coverage give you a scary surprise.
Are you ready for health care reform? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2010 LawPulse, Page 502 Important provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are kicking in, and lawyers - both as employers and counselors - need to take note.
Mandatory unemployment insurance disclosure by not-for-profit employers. P.A. 096-0970 September 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 452 The Illinois General Assembly has amended the General Not-For-Profit Corporation Act of 1986, requiring not-for-profit corporations to inform their employees by written notice or in their employment contract that they are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.  
Using Life Insurance to Secure a Maintenance Obligation By Rob Shumaker September 2010 Article, Page 466 What happens when a maintenance-paying spouse dies shortly after the judge signs the dissolution judgment? Is the maintenance recipient out of luck? That may depend on where the case arose.
Penalties enhanced for uninsured motorists who harm another person. PA 096-0143 June 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 Motorists without automobile insurance who harm another person could face nearly one year in prison under a new law passed last year by the Illinois General Assembly. 
Analyzing Occurrences in Insurance Coverage Cases: The Cause Theory After Addison v Fay By Ross B. Edwards March 2010 Article, Page 152 When does an incident involving multiple parts or parties constitute only a single "occurrence" for insurance-coverage purposes? Read what the Illinois Supreme Court said recently.
ISBA Mutual - A Success Story for Illinois Lawyers By John G. O’Brien January 2010 Column, Page 8 Here's what sets this lawyer-owned insurance company apart.
Stranger-Owned Life Insurance: The Rewards: a Fictional Case Study By Stephen M. Margolin and Valerie J. Freireich November 2009 Article, Page 568 An elderly - and wealthy - person lets investors buy insurance on his life in return for cash, and everyone makes money. Or do they?
Stranger-Owned Life Insurance: The Risks and How to minimize them By James C. Shanley November 2009 Article, Page 569 An elderly - and wealthy - person lets investors buy insurance on his life in return for cash, and everyone makes money. Or do they?
Act amends insurance code to provide information on identity theft protection and deterrence. PA 096-0167 October 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 496 Illinois lawmakers have amended the Illinois Insurance Code to include a new section requiring that the Department of Insurance develop a consumer fact sheet regarding identity theft insurance.
Act extends ability of terminated employees to continue medical insurance coverage. PA 096-0013 August 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 392 The Illinois General Assembly has amended the Illinois Insurance Code (Code) and the Health Maintenance Organization Act to provide for circumstances in which employees who are terminated or whose hours fall below the minimum hours necessary for coverage may continue to be covered under a group policy or group HMO coverage plan. 
Passing the Buck: Private Split-Dollar for Every Vocabulary By Katarinna McBride May 2009 Column, Page 262 Split-dollar agreements allow wealthy clients to use life-insurance trusts to avoid gift taxes and maximize estate value.
The Collateral Source Rule after Wills v Foster By Jennifer L. Tweeton and Erin N. Graham April 2009 Article, Page 184 A review of the supreme court’s decision in Wills, which allows plaintiffs to recover the “reasonable” (i.e., undiscounted) value of their medical expenses, even if paid by Medicare or some other third party.
Different definitions of an insured for UM and UIM coverage disregards legislative intent March 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 122 On January 8, 2009, in a consolidated appeal, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting summary judgment in favor of Farmers Insurance Company in the Schultz action and granting summary judgment in favor of Barbara Weglarz in the Weglarz action.
New life insurance standards for reserve liabilities and nonforfeiture values March 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 122 The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation added a new Part to Title 50 entitled,Preneed Life Insurance Minimum Standards for Determining Reserve Liabilities and Nonforfeiture Values. 50 Ill Adm Code 1414, 32 Ill Reg. 19725. 
Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Provisions By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Article, Page 126 UM/UIM provisions can salvage what would otherwise be a no-recovery case, but you need to understand your clients’ liability policies, not just the tortfeasors’.
When Does an Insured Have a Right to Independent Counsel? By Robert P. Vogt March 2009 Article, Page 142 A look at the kinds of conflict of interest with insurers and others that trigger an insured’s right to independent counsel.
Rules protect people whose insurance carriers fail to provide proof of coverage June 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 The Department has modified their rules governing insurance in Part 2025, titled "Illinois Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Standards." 50 Ill Adm Code 2025.
Undefined “death benefits” include life insurance proceeds June 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On April 7, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Winnebago County ordering life insurance proceeds to be delivered to the decedent's children, instead of the listed beneficiary. 
The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Common-Interest Doctrine By James A. Hansen and Melinda S. Madison April 2008 Article, Page 204 Under the common-interest doctrine, an attorney's advice to an insurance-company client might not be privileged in a later dispute with the insured.
Correspondence from Our Readers April 2008 Column, Page 170 The Kotecki gap; the perils of forms; the conscience of a lawyer. 
Illinois Insurance Code amended. PA 95-0213 April 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 180 Numerous sections of the Illinois Insurance Code have been amended relating to public insurance adjustment. 215 ILCS 5/512.52. 
Life insurance cannot be used to secure maintenance payments March 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 On January 3, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed the judgment of the circuit court requiring the respondent to designate his ex-wife Sandra as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy as security for his maintenance obligation.
The “Kotecki” Gap: No Insurance Coverage for Assumed Liability By Christopher E. Kentra February 2008 Article, Page 88 Lawyers who represent manufacturers, insurers and others need to understand the Kotecki gap and the supreme court's ruling that most insurance policies don't cover it.
Protection of Military Personnel from False, Misleading, or Deceptive Insurance Practices January 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 Effective January 1, 2008, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has issued new regulations affecting what methods and practices insurance companies can employ when they sell or attempt to sell life insurance to military personnel. 50 Ill Adm Code 2605.
Changes to rules governing advertising of life insurance and annuities November 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 576 Several sections of Title 50, Section 909 of the Illinois Administrative Code have been amended and a new section added.