Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Pulse

Supreme court: IPI instruction misstates med-mal standard of care By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2011 Lawpulse, Page 434 An Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction doesn't state the correct standard for determining whether a physician's conduct was reasonable in a med-mal case, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.
Don’t be an oddsmaker By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 It's a bad idea - maybe even an ethics no-no - to tell clients what you think their chances of winning are, an ISBA lawyer opines.
Miranda: Youth a factor in determining whether interrogation is “custodial” By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 The U.S. Supreme Court holds that a subject's youth matters when determining whether a Miranda warning is required - a conclusion the Illinois Supreme Court came to years ago.
Statute of repose bars legal malpractice claim By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 A plaintiff who sued a lawyer for malpractice in the preparation of a quitclaim deed was too late because any injury occurred when the deed was prepared, not later when her husband died.
Tweeting the law By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 Lawyers, bar associations, courts, and others use Twitter to push out news, cases, job openings, and more.
“What happened?” How to talk to a found-guilty defendant By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 What do you say to the criminal defendant who wonders why the judge or jury found him guilty? Two seasoned lawyers offer their thoughts.
Hutsell: Parents not liable for death of underage DUI driver By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 The high court held that parents who hosted a party did not voluntarily undertake the duty to prevent underage drinking.
Junk-fax statute enforceable by private lawsuit By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 In Italia Foods, the Illinois Supreme Court found that the federal junk-fax statute is enforceable by private litigants in Illinois.
Statewide mentoring program launched by supreme court By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 Both mentors and mentees in the voluntary program will earn PMCLE credit.
Supreme court okays emotional distress claims for wrongful birth By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 But the court held in the same case that parents cannot recover the costs of caring for a disabled adult child.
Vendor-neutral citation comes to Illinois By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2011 Lawpulse, Page 330 Beginning July 1, the official version of Illinois opinions will be published publicly on the court's website, not privately in bound volumes.
Are cell phones “contraband”? And what’s a “penal institution”? By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Lawpulse, Page 222 A volunteer lawyer is charged with a felony for allegedly bringing "contraband" - her cell phone - into a police station interview room. Volunteering to represent indigents pro bono in an area of law with which you're unfamiliar? Your heart may be in the right place, but be careful.
No common fund fee recovery for health care liens By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Lawpulse, Page 222 Bad news for plaintiffs’ lawyers – the common fund doctrine does not give them a share of health care liens, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled recently.
Part of Illinois’s Identity Theft Law found unconstitutional By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Lawpulse, Page 222 The Illinois Supreme Court overturns a provision of Illinois’ identity theft statute, finding that it criminalizes innocent conduct (e.g., Google searching) performed without criminal intent.
Punitive damage claims do not survive the death of nursing home residents By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 Lawpulse, Page 222 Because the Nursing Home Care Act does not provide otherwise, punitive damage claims die along with the resident, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
Court-ordered mental health reports not confidential under IMDMA By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 Unlike those issued by treating caregivers, mental-health reports ordered by the court under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act are not confidential, the supreme court rules.
Defending a DUI client who said “no” to the police By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 Among other techniques, use voir dire to help tell your story and underscore the defendant's constitutional right to refuse testing and other requests. Defending a DUI case? West suburban lawyer Donald J. Ramsell provides practical tips for defending DUI refusals in jury trial cases in the March 2011 issue of ISBA's Traffic Laws and Courts section newsletter.
Mandatory performance evaluations for circuit, associate judges By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 A new Illinois Supreme Court rule requires trial judges to submit to confidential performance evaluations.
Proposed Medicaid eligibility regs for long-term care recipients draw criticism By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 Lawyers raise concerns about proposed regulations that they say will not help older clients and their families.
What judges want By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 Lawpulse, Page 174 You'll make your judge happy - or at least less unhappy - if you learn some of the unwritten rules that vary by type of case presented and by region.
Can civil partners hold property as tenants by the entirety? By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2011 Lawpulse, Page 118 The consensus among leading ISBA and other real estate practitioners appears to be "yes." Now that Governor Quinn has signed the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act into law as PA 96-1513, lawyers across the state are considering the statute's effect on specific aspects of their practices.
Civil engineers’ duty of care defined by contractual obligation By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2011 Lawpulse, Page 118 Where the contract provided for "replacement" of a bridge deck, the defendant engineer had no duty to make improvements that might have saved lives, the high court said.
Gimme shelter By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2011 Lawpulse, Page 118 A look at the legal issues public and private animal shelters face.  
“I’m worried my child might hurt someone” By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2011 Lawpulse, Page 118 What do you tell clients who fear that someone they know and love might pose a threat to himself or others? The news of the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman and 18 others, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl, who died, and the arrest of an apparently mentally disturbed unemployed 22-year-old for the acts, horrified all who heard it.
Supreme court: med-mal statute of repose limits implied indemnity claims By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2011 Lawpulse, Page 118 In other words, don't wait more than five years to file your counterclaim, as the co-defendant hospital did in Uldrych v VHS of Illinois, Inc.
Are courts cracking down on refusals to answer requests to admit? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2011 Lawpulse, Page 66 At least one lawyer thinks he sees a trend. Requests to admit are powerful pretrial tools, as every litigator knows. But many courts are reluctant to enforce supreme court rules specifying that requests must be answered or deemed admitted and that wrongful denials trigger attorney-fee awards.
Change to DUI law would limit court involvement in MDDP process By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2011 Lawpulse, Page 66 No longer will a court hearing or order be required for issuing a monitoring device driving permit if a new bill is signed into law.
Mind the gap: Illinois taxes estates over $2 million By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2011 Lawpulse, Page 66 Illinois' new estate tax kicks in at $2 million, not $5 million like its federal counterpart. That creates some estate-planning challenges for Illinois residents.
Motion(al) intelligence By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2011 Lawpulse, Page 66 Motions, particularly motions to stay and to strike, are tools every appellate lawyer should know how and when to use.
Plan for administering your digital estate By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2011 Lawpulse, Page 66 If you don't write your passwords down somewhere, what will happen to your digital world after you die?