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Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Pulse

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.
Living trust amendment drafted by a nonlawyer ruled invalid By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2008 LawPulse, Page 438 A living trust amendment drafted by a nonlawyer is invalid under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the Illinois Appellate Court rules.
R U monitoring employees’ text messages? By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2008 LawPulse, Page 438  An employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy in private e-mail he sent during work hours on his employer-issued pager, the federal ninth circuit rules.
You’ve been appointed GAL-now what? By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2008 LawPulse, Page 438 Might you be a minor child's court appointed guardian ad litem? If so, here are some pointers from a colleague who's been there.
Clarifying the collateral source rule By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2008 LawPulse, Page 384 The supreme court rules that plaintiffs can recover the "reasonable value" of their medical expenses, whether they're paid by Medicare, Medicaid, insurance, or another source.  
A new definition of marital property? By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2008 LawPulse, Page 384  A controversial ruling allows a child-support obligee to lay claim to property held in the name of the obligor's new spouse.
No discovery deps allowed By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2008 LawPulse, Page 384 A recent case underscores the importance of taking a party's evidence - not discovery - deposition if he or she may die before trial.
Supremes: the Best approach to tort reform survives By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2008 LawPulse, Page 384  The supreme court holds that a med-mal plaintiff is entitled to a 90-day extension to file her certificate of merit - and that a 2004 law didn't reenact the version of 2-622 invalidated in Best v Taylor.
What’s a POA agent worth? By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2008 LawPulse, Page 384  Agents are entitled to reasonable compensation. But what's reasonable?
How not to do e-filing By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2008 LawPulse, Page 334 The supreme court recently announced its intention to implement statewide e-filing in the next several years. Critics say the federal northern district of Illinois, which requires filing both paper and electronic copies, offers an example of what not to do.
Retired, inactive, in-house lawyers can now represent clients pro bono By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2008 LawPulse, Page 334 Effective July 1, new supreme court rules let retired, inactive, and in-house lawyers working through legal-aid providers or other approved groups represent clients pro bono.
Stepping up the fight against elder abuse By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2008 LawPulse, Page 334 A leading elder-rights advocate says the Illinois legislature and judiciary can do more to prevent and identify elder abuse.
UCCJEA: Illinois refuses to register Indiana custody ruling By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2008 LawPulse, Page 334 The Illinois Supreme Court refuses to register an Indiana custody ruling where the Indiana court did not return the Illinois court's repeated phone calls.
A veterinary standard of care By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2008 LawPulse, Page 334 The court makes explicit that veterinarians are "skilled" practitioners of a "profession or trade" and thus owe a duty of care.
DUI changes effective June 1 By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2008 LawPulse, Page 278 Thanks to a law signed last year, a crazy quilt of DUI laws taking effect June 1 isn't so crazy. But ambiguities remain.
Fraudulent misrepresentation tort limited to business By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2008 LawPulse, Page 278 Fraudulent misrepresentation applies only to business-related, not personal, injury, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
Home Repair and Remodeling Act: unfair to contractors? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2008 LawPulse, Page 278 A newsletter author argues that the Act is unfair to contractors and that the recent supreme court case interpreting it defeats its purpose.
Medicaid law doesn’t preempt state’s ability to collect for nursing-home bill By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2008 LawPulse, Page 278 The state can go after the at-home spouse to recover the institutionalized spouse's nursing home expenses, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
No wrongful death action for abortion to protect mother’s health By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2008 LawPulse, Page 278 If an injured mother aborts an uninjured fetus to protect her own health, she can't recover for the wrongful death of the unborn child, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.