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Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Pulse

New cases every real-estate lawyer should read By Adam W. Lasker September 2012 Lawpulse, Page 458 Real-estate practitioners should be sure to read recent decisions on the duty of title insurers, the content of mortgage documents, and recording of deeds and mortgages.
New Medicaid law will limit estate-planning, other options By Adam W. Lasker September 2012 Lawpulse, Page 458 The new Medicaid law means tighter regulations, higher costs, and reduced coverage for recipients, a family lawyer observes.
New open-meetings law: is hard-copy posting of agendas still required? By Adam W. Lasker September 2012 Lawpulse, Page 458 A new law says Internet postings of meeting agendas fulfill the Open Meeting Act's 48-hour notice requirement - but governmental bodies still must post paper copies of agendas, the law's sponsor says.
Insurance companies and P-I plaintiffs will share recoveries if governor signs bill By Adam W. Lasker August 2012 Lawpulse, Page 398 HB 5823 would require insurance companies to proportionally share plaintiffs' recoveries in personal injury lawsuits.
Photos of sex with a 17-year-old are illegal even though underlying sex acts are not By Adam W. Lasker August 2012 Lawpulse, Page 398 The Illinois Supreme Court finds the state has a rational basis for outlawing photos of a 17-year-old's sex acts, though the underlying sex acts were consensual and thus lawful.
Telephone scammers threaten consumers using names of Illinois law firms By Adam W. Lasker August 2012 Lawpulse, Page 398 Scammers claiming to be Illinois lawyers called people around the country this summer demanding immediate payment of bogus debts and threatening them with arrest.
Victims of ‘emergency’-related training injuries may qualify for benefits By Adam W. Lasker August 2012 Lawpulse, Page 398 Public safety workers hurt during training can get healthcare benefits, but only if the injuries were caused by emergencies and not planned activities, the supreme court rules.
Bill would eliminate time limits on child-molestation prosecutions By Adam W. Lasker July 2012 Lawpulse, Page 346 A legislative proposal would remove the statute of limitation for prosecuting sex crimes against minors, but both prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers have misgivings.
Savings are not ‘income’ for child-support calculation By Adam W. Lasker July 2012 Lawpulse, Page 346 The Illinois Supreme Court rules that a noncustodial parent’s savings are not “income” but can nonetheless be used for support if circumstances warrant.
Uncounseled misdemeanor convictions can trigger felony DUI sentences By Adam W. Lasker July 2012 Lawpulse, Page 346 The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that prior misdemeanor DUI convictions – even if the defendant was unrepresented – can be used to bump a later DUI charge to a felony.
A well-kept secret: the Illinois deposit of wills By Adam W. Lasker July 2012 Lawpulse, Page 346 Tired of – and nervous about – storing clients’ original wills on your premises? Consider the Illinois Secretary of State’s deposit of wills.
Bill would require personal service for debtors By Adam W. Lasker June 2012 Lawpulse, Page 286 Pending legislation would require that debtors get personal service, not merely notice by mail, before courts begin key legal processes that could put them behind bars.
Crime victims’ rights amendment won’t appear on November ballot By Adam W. Lasker June 2012 Lawpulse, Page 286 A proposed constitutional amendment that would have made crime victims party to the defendant’s trial undermined the constitutional presumption of innocence, the ISBA and other opponents, including prosecutors, argued.
Fiduciary-duty exception to attorney-client privilege does not exist in Illinois June 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 Illinois courts have not recognized a fiduciary-duty exception to attorney-client privilege. On March 22, 2012, the Illinois Appellate Court refused to find such an exception, reversing the opinion of the trial court.
Jurors may question witnesses under new supreme court rule By Adam W. Lasker June 2012 Lawpulse, Page 286 Starting next month, jurors will be permitted to submit written questions for witnesses to the court for consideration. Proponents say it will help jurors understand the case and stay engaged.
MCLE goes to the movies By Adam W. Lasker June 2012 Lawpulse, Page 286 A pair of Illinois attorneys uses lawyer-themed Hollywood films to teach lessons about legal ethics.
New anti-party switching law applies to independents By Adam W. Lasker June 2012 Lawpulse, Page 286 A new law forbids someone who took a partisan primary ballot from running as an independent in the general election – even those who pulled the ballot in the March primary, before the law was enacted.
Defendant’s prior conviction for domestic battery admissible at murder trial By Adam W. Lasker May 2012 Lawpulse, Page 234 In People v. Chapman, the supreme court upheld admission into evidence of the defendant's earlier conviction for domestic battery of the woman he was accused of murdering.
Failure to pursue rulings on pre-trial motions can be ineffective assistance of counsel By Adam W. Lasker May 2012 Lawpulse, Page 234 A new supreme court criminal case underscores the importance of challenging - and if necessary, appealing - a judge's failure to rule on pre-trial evidentiary motions.
Illinois FMLA would cover civil unions By Adam W. Lasker May 2012 Lawpulse, Page 234 An Illinois legislative proposal would give members of a civil union the same benefits enjoyed by married couples under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Proposal would stop employers from seeking social network passwords By Adam W. Lasker May 2012 Lawpulse, Page 234 Proposed legislation would forbid employers from asking for employees' and job applicants' social-media passwords, but some lawyers argue for a public-safety exception.
Three bills would modernize the Trusts and Trustees Act By Adam W. Lasker May 2012 Lawpulse, Page 234 Among other changes, the legislation would make nonjudicial trust modifications easier and limit the risk of liability for fiduciaries who handle specific trust-related tasks.
Foreclosure mediation programs finding homes throughout the state By Adam W. Lasker April 2012 Lawpulse, Page 178 A McLean County program puts homeowners and lenders together with mediators to help work out agreements and uses U of I law students to represent homeowners in mediation.
Governor proposes constitutional amendment to allow ethics referenda By Adam W. Lasker April 2012 Lawpulse, Page 178 Governor Quinn proposes a constitutional amendment to allow voters to enact statewide ethics laws through ballot-initiated referenda questions.
Lying to police can be obstruction By Adam W. Lasker April 2012 Lawpulse, Page 178 Lying to a police officer can support a conviction for obstruction of justice if the lying directly hinders the officer's official performance, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
No rehiring rights for laid-off Chicago teachers By Adam W. Lasker April 2012 Lawpulse, Page 178 Unlike teachers outside Chicago, tenured Chicago public school teachers have no right to be rehired after they are laid off for economic reasons, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
Practitioners and title industry unite to iron out new TODI law By Adam W. Lasker April 2012 Lawpulse, Page 178 Title companies are working with drafters of the new transfer-on-death-instrument law to clear up questions and help prevent uncertainty.
Cameras come to Illinois trial courts By Adam W. Lasker March 2012 Lawpulse, Page 126 The high court launches a pilot program to allow cameras in four Illinois county courtrooms.
Co-parties lack standing to appeal substitution-of-judge rulings By Adam W. Lasker March 2012 Lawpulse, Page 126 The Illinois Supreme Court holds in Powell v Dean Foods that a defendant does not have standing on appeal to challenge the ruling on a co-defendant's motion for substitution of judge.
E-filing debuts at the supreme court By Adam W. Lasker March 2012 Lawpulse, Page 126 The AG and appellate defender and prosecutor may now file documents electronically with the supreme court in an early step toward modernizing judicial-system technology.