Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Pulse

Playing the Rule 68 card By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2006 Lawpulse, Page 222 FRCP 68 can encourage settlement, but it also confronts counsel for plaintiffs and defendants with some high-stakes challenges. 
Section of the Illinois Election Code is unconstitutional May 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 230 On March 6, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County, holding unconstitutional section 7A-1 of the Illinois Election Code (10 ILCS 5/7A-1).
Bohner redux: insured properly denied coverage for “illegal” act, 7CA rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2006 Lawpulse, Page 166 Like the Illinois Appellate Court, the federal seventh circuit ruled recently that an insurance company properly denied coverage to an under-the-influence driver based on the policy's exclusion for "illegal" acts.
Can an incompetent principal revoke a POA? By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2006 Lawpulse, Page 166 A recent fourth district opinion raises this and other questions. 
Goodbye to the affidavit of intent to appeal By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2006 Lawpulse, Page 166 Effective July 1, a supreme court rule change will remove a trap that's especially dangerous for the occasional appellate lawyer. 
Must employers try to stop employees’ “unauthorized activity”? By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2006 Lawpulse, Page 166 Yes, a New Jersey court says, at least if the activity is accessing child porn on company computers and the employer is on notice about it. 
New rules expedite custody cases By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2006 Lawpulse, Page 166 On February 10, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court issued new rules that will dramatically change procedures in child custody cases. The rules are contained in new Article IX of the Supreme Court Rules and are effective July 1, 2006.
Criminal-acts exclusion bars insurance recovery to DUI driver By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2006 Lawpulse, Page 110 The court said a lesser traffic offense wouldn't trigger the auto-gap-policy exclusion. But will the ruling's logic be applied to other insurance policies with similar language? 
Danger lurks in p.i. confidentiality clauses By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2006 Lawpulse, Page 110 A recent case – involving none other than Dennis Rodman – holds that plaintiffs must pay tax on the portion of a settlement award deemed payment to a p.i. client for his or her silence.
Sour notes By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2006 Lawpulse, Page 110 The destructive, expensive breakup of a string quartet leads to the obvious question: what advance legal planning might have kept things from getting out of control? And what can you do for your musician clients? 
Title insurers not in “business of supplying information” when they issue title commitments, supremes say By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2006 Lawpulse, Page 110 Some lawyers say the ruling "defies reality," while title insurers contend that it is squarely in the mainstream.   
A big win for Big Tobacco By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 Lawpulse, Page 62 The Illinois Supreme Court barred plaintiffs' class action claim and overturned a $10-plus billion award against Philip Morris. But experts doubt the case will have much precedential power outside Illinois.
In mandatory arbitration, every minute counts By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 Lawpulse, Page 62 A plaintiff must go to the Illinois Appellate Court to overturn arbitrators' finding against him for arriving minutes late for his arbitration hearing. 
Maintenance: be careful what you ask - and don’t ask - for By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 Lawpulse, Page 62 In two separate cases, the fourth district upheld maintenance awards 1) even after one recipient's remarriage and 2) despite another's request that the court "deny maintenance to the Petitioner and Respondent."
Must trial judges grant special favors to pro se litigants? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 Lawpulse, Page 62 Judges often cut pro se litigants a lot of slack. 
Rule 222 -the high cost of noncompliance By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 Lawpulse, Page 62 Plaintiffs who fail to heed the disclosure rule, which governs specified cases implicating $50,000 or less in damages, face the extinguishment of their claim. 
7CA: immigration petitioners get “below the minimum standards of legal justice” By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2006 Lawpulse, Page 10 The court reverses the Board of Immigration Appeals "a staggering 40 percent" of the time. Here's a look at the problem and some pointers for representing an asylum-seeking client.
Bankruptcy practice after bankruptcy reform By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2006 Lawpulse, Page 10 Dire predictions notwithstanding, serious consumer bankruptcy practitioners appear still to be in business. Costs have gone up, though, and let the dabbler beware.
Bench-bar ombudsmen By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2006 Lawpulse, Page 10 Bar association programs are helping lawyers and judges resolve minor conflicts while they're still minor.
Da Rules is Da Rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2006 Lawpulse, Page 10 Here's why you need to know and follow local court rules - and where to find them on the Web.
Gridley v State Farm: a supreme-court slap at forum shopping? By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2006 Lawpulse, Page 10 Some defense lobbyists say "yes"; a leading plaintiffs' lawyer says it shows there's no forum-shopping problem in Illinois.
Anti-predatory-lending statute takes effect January 1 By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2005 Lawpulse, Page 614 An amendment to the Real Property Disclosure Act will create a new predatory lending database. But some worry that it could unintentionally penalize good-guy lenders in targeted neighborhoods.
Corporate officers not personally liable for employee vacation, severance pay By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2005 Lawpulse, Page 614 The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that officers and directors aren't liable under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act for employees' unpaid vacation time and severance pay.
New rules bring clarity to appellate practice By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2005 Lawpulse, Page 614 Appellate practitioners welcome the supreme court rule changes, including a new rule providing that a party can file only one postjudgment motion directed at a final order.
Review of venue-transfer motions: the supreme court speaks By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2005 Lawpulse, Page 614 Trial courts deserve deference on questions of fact but not law, the high court ruled.
Will bankruptcy reform cause domestic violence? By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2005 Lawpulse, Page 614   Part of the purpose of the bankruptcy reform legislation is to increase pressure on debtors. Will that pressure explode into physical rage?  
Are series LLCs right for your clients? By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2005 Lawpulse, Page 558 This form of business organization, newly authorized in Illinois, can help some clients limit personal liability while enjoying certain advantages of partnership.
Collaborative divorce By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2005 Lawpulse, Page 558 It isn't mediation, but it can minimize the conflict in divorce, proponents say. Find out why collaborative divorce is on the rise in Illinois.
Correspondence from Our Readers November 2005 Column, Page 554 Poor lawyer image - incivility not the culprit? Mediator as peacemaker.
Get ready for MCLE By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2005 Lawpulse, Page 558 Did you know that programs offered as early as January 2006 can be counted toward the MCLE requirement? Here are highlights of the new rules.