Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Law Pulse

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?
Berry and discovery depositions: hard cases make new rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 LawPulse, Page 10 The Illinois Supreme Court amends Rule 212 by expanding the permissible uses of discovery depositions to cases where the deponent is a party and has died before trial.
Congress exempts lawyers from the Red Flags Rule By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 LawPulse, Page 10 Congress recently exempted lawyers from an FTC rule that would have required them to develop elaborate identity-theft-prevention procedures.
Estate-planning, other implications of the civil union law By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 LawPulse, Page 10 Legally speaking, civil union partners will step into the shoes of spouses in most cases, students of the legislation say.
Ethics in the age of Twitter By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 LawPulse, Page 10 An ABA ethics commission is looking for suggestions about how to bring the model ethics rules in line with globalization and 21st Century communications technology.
ISBA ethics opinions: updated and easier to research By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2010 LawPulse, Page 610 A new searchable online index of ethics opinions, freshly updated in light of the new rules, makes them a better resource than ever for ISBA members.
Proposed Medicaid transfer limits unfair to elderly, council says By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2010 LawPulse, Page 610 Proposed restrictions on asset transfers, designed to make Medicaid eligibility harder to get for nursing home residents, are unduly harsh, some ISBA lawyers say.
Putting the “hearing” in public hearings By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2010 LawPulse, Page 610 A lawyer's testimony in the supreme court committee hearing on the new evidence rules produces results.
Unhappy SLAPPers: more muscle for the Citizen Participation Act By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2010 LawPulse, Page 610 The Illinois Supreme Court held that the Act immunized a defamation defendant's statements to a reporter about a developer.
At long last, the codified Illinois Rules of Evidence By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2010 LawPulse, Page 558 Effective January 1, Illinois' new evidence code pulls together evidentiary rules heretofore scattered among various cases, statutes and court rules - and makes a few subtle changes.
GALS and cross-cultural custody By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2010 LawPulse, Page 558 For custody disputes involving international and immigrant families, determining what's best for the child can be especially difficult.
Lifting the veil on rule 23 orders By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2010 LawPulse, Page 558 Heretofore unpublished orders will see the light of day and appellate court opinions will appear on the web more quickly thanks to a supreme court rule change. Grab your smartphones and hold onto your briefs: the practice of law has just gotten faster.
Making the most of your FOIA request By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2010 LawPulse, Page 558 Tips on using the Illinois Freedom of Information Act from a lawyer who has both sought information and served as a municipality's Freedom of Information officer.
Supreme court: contractors can enforce oral home-repair contracts By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2010 LawPulse, Page 558 The high court looks to a recent revision in the Home Repair and Remodeling Act in holding that a contractor can enforce an oral contract against a homeowner.
Are you ready for health care reform? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2010 LawPulse, Page 502 Important provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are kicking in, and lawyers - both as employers and counselors - need to take note.
A First Amendment right to audiorecord police? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2010 LawPulse, Page 502 The ACLU says so, arguing that the Illinois Eavesdropping Act's prohibition is unconstitutional. Does freedom of speech include the freedom to record?
Raising the bar for involuntary commitment in Illinois By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2010 LawPulse, Page 502 A new statute responds to a supreme court ruling that found Illinois' low standard for involuntary commitment under Illinois's Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code constitutionally infirm.
Getting fees from the other side in divorce By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2010 LawPulse, Page 446 The IMDMA lets one party get attorney fees from the other in some cases. But don't overplay your hand.
The hard work of running for judge By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2010 LawPulse, Page 446 It's an exhausting and expensive undertaking, and the odds are often against you.
Judicial evaluations - a necessary pain in the neck By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2010 LawPulse, Page 446 Like them or hate them, few judicial candidates dare ignore them.
Lessons for lawyers from the Blago trial By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2010 LawPulse, Page 446 Post-verdict takeaways
Tenancy by the entirety gets a boost By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2010 LawPulse, Page 446 Spouses no longer must choose between the protection against creditors provided by tenancy by the entirety and the estate-planning advantages of a revocable inter vivos trust.