Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Pulse

Court’s failure to grant continuance plain error By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Lawpulse, Page 116 The high court rules that a judge’s failure to grant defense counsel’s request for a continuance in a murder trial was plain error requiring a new trial.
Creative ways to fend off foreclosure By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Lawpulse, Page 116 Two lawyers think outside the box to help clients hang on to their homes, one by negotiating with lenders, the other by leveraging the power of Chapter 13.
Did Pat Fitzgerald say too much? By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Lawpulse, Page 116 Lawyers disagree about whether prosecutor Fitzgerald crossed the line when he said Rod Blagojevich’s conduct “would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.”
The importance of timely service By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Lawpulse, Page 116 Thanks to an amendment to supreme court rule 103(b), plaintiffs who haven’t been otherwise diligent in moving a case along must be especially diligent in obtaining service.
Judges must rule before trial on motions in limine By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Lawpulse, Page 116 A new ruling lets criminal defense attorneys know before deciding to let their clients testify whether their priors will be admitted at trial.
Committee studies codification of evidence rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2009 Lawpulse, Page 64 A new supreme court special committee is charged with devising a more convenient organizational scheme for the Illinois rules of evidence.
Defending politicians, getting paid By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2009 Lawpulse, Page 64 How do lawyers in the Land of Lincoln (and Ryan and Blagojevich) make sure they get paid when defending politicians charged with corruption? 
The Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law 20 years later By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2009 Lawpulse, Page 64 One of the drafters of the statute describes how it improved the procedure process and what loose ends remain.
Plaintiffs win big in Ready By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2009 Lawpulse, Page 64  The supreme court holds that good-faith settling tortfeasors can't be included in apportioning fault after verdicts to determine joint and several liability.
There’s no day like today to pay your ARDC registration fee By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2009 Lawpulse, Page 64  The cost of bringing yourself into compliance goes up the longer you wait.
1099s for deadbeat clients? By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2009 Lawpulse, Page 10  A law-office management expert puts forth the option of sending a nonpaying client a 1099 for the value of your services. Is it really OK to do so?
Attorney censured for not disclosing “controlled business arrangement” By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2009 Lawpulse, Page 10 The ARDC Hearing Board found that a Mundelein lawyer/title agent didn't make disclosures to clients required by the Title Insurance Act.
Disagreement among appellate divisions creates split of authority By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2009 Lawpulse, Page 10  When one division within an appellate district disagrees with another, it creates an intradistrict split of authority - so sayeth the supreme court.
No five-o’clock world for e-filing By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2009 Lawpulse, Page 10 Unless the rules specify otherwise, parties may electronically file up to midnight on deadline day with administrative agencies that permit e-filing, the supreme court holds.
“Borrowing” from legal forms - do you need permission? By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2008 Lawpulse, Page 606 Lifting language from legal documents - everyone does it, right? But does it constitute copyright infringement?
Court upholds, modifies risk-utility test for products liability By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2008 Lawpulse, Page 606 In a recent case, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld - but reformulated - the risk-utility test, while declining to abandon the consumer-expectation test.
Court upholds per se conflict doctrine By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2008 Lawpulse, Page 606  A conflict exists whenever an attorney represents both a criminal defendant and the alleged victim, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
Real estate and divorce: No more transfer-tax exemption? By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2008 Lawpulse, Page 606  To the chagrin of matrimonial lawyers, Chicago has begun taxing the transfer of a divorcing couple's jointly owned home to one of the ex-partners.
Appellate court: no wrongful death for embryo before it’s implanted By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548  The Illinois Appellate court rules that the Wrongful Death Act does not permit suits on behalf of human embryos allegedly destroyed before being placed in the womb.
HGN tests meet the Frye standard By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548 So rules the Tenth Circuit court in the first-ever Illinois Frye hearing on the admissibility of HGN tests as an indicator of drunk driving - assuming various requirements are met.  
Plaintiff-friendly ADA amendments take effect Jan.1 By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548 Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act legislatively overturn recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Retalitory discharge: local governments not immune under Workers’ Comp Act By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548  Public employees can sue for being fired in retaliation for filing a workers' comp claim, the Illinois Supreme Court holds.
Two traffic stops, no Fourth Amendment “seizures,” the court rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548 The Illinois Supreme court rules for the state in two cases where defendants were asked for consent to search after a traffic stop.
New law attempts to simplify zoning hearings By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2008 Lawpulse, Page 498  A new law classifies zoning decisions as legislative acts, not administrative rulings. This will streamline zoning proceedings, proponents say.
The Open Meetings Act v. client confidentiality By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2008 Lawpulse, Page 498 A trial court's search for truth and the public's right to know may conflict with what local governments believe to be their right to confidential communications with counsel.    
The slacker son who wouldn’t leave home By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2008 Lawpulse, Page 498  Your clients want to send their noncontributing adult son packing, but he says, "Nuh uh." Getting him out the door isn't as simple as you might think.
Statutory change gives right to counsel to juveniles facing detention By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2008 Lawpulse, Page 498  An amendment to the Juvenile Court Act requires that counsel be appointed for a juvenile defendant in custody at or before his or her initial court hearing.
Using guardianship to change school districts? Be wary By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2008 Lawpulse, Page 498 Your client wants his kid to go to New Trier schools? Then he'd better move there or be prepared to pony up $18,000-plus in tuition, an ISBA member advises.
Bidder beware By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2008 Lawpulse, Page 438 Winning bidders at judicial foreclosure sales can ultimately lose if a subsequent buyer offers more and the lender withdraws its foreclosure motion before the judge confirms the sale, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.
In re Marriage of Bratcher By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2008 Lawpulse, Page 438 A fourth district panel reverses a trial court’s grant of a substantial maintenance award in a long-term marriage where there was also a large property settlement.