Publications

Articles From Helen W. Gunnarsson

Easterbrook strikes motions to strike

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2006
LawPulse
Page 578
Federal district court judges agree that arguing in response to your opponent's brief is almost always better than moving to strike something from it.

Fraudulent concealment keeps legal malpractice defendants on the hook

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2006
LawPulse
Page 578
A tortfeaser who fraudulently conceals a legal malpractice cause of action can be sued even after the statute of repose has run, the supreme court held last month. 

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.

Substitution of Judges: Proceed with Caution

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2006
Article
Page 590
Lawyers and judges speculate about whether and when moving for substitution is really the right move.

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. 

Should You Store Your Client’s Will?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2006
Article
Page 532
More and more lawyers say it's a bad idea. But what do you do instead? Is a central will repository the answer?

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. 

The New Pro Bono Reporting Requirement

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2006
Article
Page 468
What is a client of "limited means" for reporting purposes? What kinds of services count as "pro bono"? Justice Kilbride and others talk about pro bono reporting.

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.

Beyond “Deed and Green”: the Strange Truth About Lawyers’ Roles in Illinois Real Estate Sales

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2006
Article
Page 408
When it comes to residential real estate deals, why are lawyers welcome in some parts of the state and not others?

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. 

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