Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Pulse

Extra fees for extra effort - a win in the appellate court By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2007 LawPulse, Page 66 The appellate court reversed the trial court's rejection of a plaintiff's firm's argument that its extraordinary effort justified fees that exceeded the statutory med-mal limit.
Goodbye to number, length limits for Illinois appellate opinions By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2007 LawPulse, Page 66 The supreme court lifted its 12-year-old limit, effective last month. Will its next step be to publish Rule 23 opinions on its Web site? Appellate advocates hope so.
Impending Regs Affect Planning for Clients Facing Long-Term Care By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2007 LawPulse, Page 66 The state is on track to issue new regulations that will make it harder for clients who are headed for nursing-home care to hang on to assets. Elder law and estate-planning practitioners need to be prepared with new strategies for the new rules.
New rule allows citation of unpublished federal opinions By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2007 LawPulse, Page 66 Federal appellate courts used to restrict or prohibit citation of unpublished opinions in arguments to the courts. That changed January 1.
Criminal defendants must be informed of right to counsel, Campbell says By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 LawPulse, Page 8 A defendant's waiver of right to counsel was ineffective because the trial judge didn't inform him of the nature of the charges, the range of penalties, or his right to a lawyer.
Getting back in the closings game By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 LawPulse, Page 8 Lawyers should try to reclaim their place at the residential real-estate table, a leading practitioner writes. And that requires more than going along for the ride.
Lawpulse Have you been bench-slapped by the 7CA? By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 LawPulse, Page 8  Are seventh circuit justices' public scoldings of attorneys for defective jurisdictional statements disproportionately harsh?
Lawsuit challenges med-mal caps By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 LawPulse, Page 8 The suit, filed in Cook County, argues that the statute violates the separation of powers, is impermissible special legislation, and suffers from other constitutional infirmities.
A pro-prosecution definition of “delay” under the Speedy Trial Act By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 LawPulse, Page 8 Even some respected defense attorneys agree that the ruling will end form-over-substance gamesmanship.
Cross-examination and impeachment techniques for DUI defense attorneys By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2006 LawPulse, Page 642 You can gather plenty of evidence even without the benefit of discovery, a pair of leading DUI defense attorneys say.
Living-trust scams: all too alive and well in Illinois By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2006 LawPulse, Page 642 Meanwhile, a recent Indiana Supreme Court opinion unambiguously declares that drafting a testamentary trust is the practice of law.
New statutory language targets elder self-neglect By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2006 LawPulse, Page 642 Soon-to-be-effective changes to the Elder Abuse and Neglect Act will give authorities new power to intervene when elderly people can't take care of themselves.
Worker finds light at the end of the carpal tunnel By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2006 LawPulse, Page 642 The Illinois Supreme Court rules that for purposes of filing a timely workers' comp claim, the petitioner's carpal tunnel syndrome manifested on the day it was diagnosed, not the day she first experienced pain.
Coming soon: new federal e-discovery rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 LawPulse, Page 578 Among other things, the amendments, effective December 1, allow routine purging of and address inadvertent disclosure of electronic data.
Court authorizes cities to ban alcohol sales in strip clubs By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 LawPulse, Page 578 The Illinois Supreme Court upholds a Chicago ordinance banning the sale of alcoholic beverages at "gentleman's clubs."
Easterbrook strikes motions to strike By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 LawPulse, Page 578 Federal district court judges agree that arguing in response to your opponent's brief is almost always better than moving to strike something from it.
Fraudulent concealment keeps legal malpractice defendants on the hook By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 LawPulse, Page 578 A tortfeaser who fraudulently conceals a legal malpractice cause of action can be sued even after the statute of repose has run, the supreme court held last month. 
New rule requires reasons, not conclusions, from judges who declare statutes unconstitutional By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 LawPulse, Page 578 Under a new Illinois Supreme Court Rule, it's not enough for a circuit court to merely say that a statute is unconstitutional. It has to say why as well.
Another look at attorney approval clauses By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2006 LawPulse, Page 518 Attorney-proposed changes to real estate contracts containing attorney-approval clauses should not be viewed as counteroffers that terminate the agreement, a law prof opines. 
Appellate court OKs race-based custody decision By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2006 LawPulse, Page 518 Trial courts may use the race of parent and child as a factor in determining custody, the second district rules. 
Can you probate a copy of a lost original will? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2006 LawPulse, Page 518 Yes, a seasoned practitioner says. Here's how. 
Does attorney-client privilege shield a witness’ contemporaneous personal notes? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2006 LawPulse, Page 518 Probably not, according to the second district's reasoning in a recent case. 
Strict compliance versus “substantial justice” By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2006 LawPulse, Page 518 In deciding whether to give a party extra time to respond to a request to admit, can a court consider the other party's failure to comply with another rule? The first district says "yes." 
Employer sues ex-employee under computer fraud law for deleting data - and wins By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 LawPulse, Page 458 A company used civil provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act against a departing employee who irrevocably deleted business information from his laptop.
Illinois supremes: legal malpractice plaintiffs can’t recover lost punitives By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 LawPulse, Page 458 Successful legal malpractice plaintiffs may not recover punitive damages they would have once but for the defendant lawyers' malpractice, the high court ruled earlier this summer.
Legislature overturns one-year limit on family-law fee suits By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 LawPulse, Page 458     Family law practitioners now have 10 years to sue clients in an independent action for unpaid fees. 
POA amendments help protect incapacitated principals By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 LawPulse, Page 458 The new law empowers the Department of Aging and its provider agencies to go to court to require agents to produce their records, which will help authorities identify and stop abuse.
Supreme court to streetside restaurants: keep patrons out of harm’s way By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 LawPulse, Page 458 In Marshall v Burger King, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that public businesses abutting the street have a duty to protect invitees from dangerous drivers.
Bill would amend Open Meetings Act to address attendance by “electronic means” By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2006 LawPulse, Page 398 Proposed legislation would allow public officials to attend meetings electronically under specified circumstances. 
POA perils By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2006 LawPulse, Page 398 The supreme court's opinion in In re Winthrop is valuable reading for attorneys who sometimes find themselves preparing a power of attorney for Party A at the behest of Party B.