Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Pulse

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. 
State can’t dun surviving spouse’s estate for nursing home bill By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2006 Lawpulse, Page 398 The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the state can't seek reimbursement for long-term care from a surviving spouse's estate, making the revocable living trust an even more attractive estate-planning tool. 
Supreme court to rule on putative father registry By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2006 Lawpulse, Page 398 Some say the registry protects adoptive parents and children from belated, unwelcome interest by a biological dad. Others say it unfairly cuts a birth father out of his child's life.     
When the doctor is the patient - and a med-mal defendant By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2006 Lawpulse, Page 398 Should a defendant-doctor's medical records be available to a plaintiff who alleges that the doctor's poor health caused him to deliver substandard care?
Appellate malpractice plaintiffs must prove they would have won the appeal By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2006 Lawpulse, Page 338 In a suit alleging an attorney's failure to perfect an appeal, the client must prove that he or she would have won the appeal had it been properly perfected. 
Attorney title agents must disclose agency By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2006 Lawpulse, Page 338 In real estate transactions, be sure to apprise clients when you also serve as an agent to the title company. In fact, you might want to do so in writing at the outset. 
Employers’ liability for employees’ loose tongues By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2006 Lawpulse, Page 338 The Illinois Supreme Court will review an appellate court's ruling that a hospital employee has a "continuing off-shift duty" to keep confidential information about patients confidential. 
Insureds must give reasonable notice of claims or suits to insurers By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2006 Lawpulse, Page 338 The supreme court holds that insurers may refuse to indemnify insureds who don't give timely notice of a claim, even if the insurer isn't prejudiced by the delay. 
The limited lockstep doctrine By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2006 Lawpulse, Page 338 In a dog-sniff case, the Illinois Supreme Court wrote that it will interpret state constitutional provisions more expansively than their federal counterparts only under limited circumstances. 
Background checks for jurors? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2006 Lawpulse, Page 278 A federal judge and some state's attorneys offer their varying viewpoints about how far to go to determine whether prospective jurors are coming clean. 
The General Assembly rewrites eminent domain law By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2006 Lawpulse, Page 278 The bill, now on the governor's desk, specifies that property can be condemned only for a "qualified public use." 
Separate but equal grooming standards okayed By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2006 Lawpulse, Page 278 Requiring female but not male bartenders to wear makeup does not violate Title VII, the ninth circuit rules. 
Unmarried couples: custodial parent can’t remove child without petitioning court By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2006 Lawpulse, Page 278 The Illinois Supreme Court says the same removal standard applies to parents who never married as to those who married and divorced. 
What’s crude talk among Friends? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2006 Lawpulse, Page 278 Sexually charged talk in the workplace doesn't always equal sexual harassment, the California Supreme Court says. 
Blogging and legal ethics By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2006 Lawpulse, Page 222 Go forth and blog, experts say, but not without educating yourself about relevant ethical issues. 
Grandparents, others can petition for guardianship of minors By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2006 Lawpulse, Page 222 But only if the parent is found unfit, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in In re R.L.S.
A higher bar for landlords in eviction cases By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2006 Lawpulse, Page 222 A new ruling from the first district makes it harder for landlords to use constructive service as a basis for evicting nonpaying tenants. 
MCLE for judges By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2006 Lawpulse, Page 222 Judges, too, are on the hook for mandatory CLE, the Illinois Supreme Court announced last month.