Publications

Articles From Helen W. Gunnarsson

Unmarried couples: custodial parent can’t remove child without petitioning court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2006
LawPulse
Page 278
The Illinois Supreme Court says the same removal standard applies to parents who never married as to those who married and divorced. 

What to Do When There’s No “I Do”

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2006
Article
Page 292
Experienced practitioners offer pointers about protecting unmarried clients' rights to custody and property in the face of a breakup or legal challenge.

What’s crude talk among Friends?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2006
LawPulse
Page 278
Sexually charged talk in the workplace doesn't always equal sexual harassment, the California Supreme Court says. 

Blogging and legal ethics

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2006
LawPulse
Page 222
Go forth and blog, experts say, but not without educating yourself about relevant ethical issues. 

Do We Blawg and How?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2006
Article
Page 236
Blogs are sprouting like mushrooms these days, it seems. Why do lawyers blog? Should you join them?

Grandparents, others can petition for guardianship of minors

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2006
LawPulse
Page 222
But only if the parent is found unfit, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in In re R.L.S.

A higher bar for landlords in eviction cases

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2006
LawPulse
Page 222
A new ruling from the first district makes it harder for landlords to use constructive service as a basis for evicting nonpaying tenants. 

MCLE for judges

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2006
LawPulse
Page 222
Judges, too, are on the hook for mandatory CLE, the Illinois Supreme Court announced last month. 

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. 

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. 

Making the Most of Settlement Conferences

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2006
Article
Page 178
Judges and lawyers discuss how to avoid costly mistakes and best promote your clients' interests in judge-conducted settlement conferences.

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."

Making an Electronic Record: Good Reviews for Digital Recording

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2006
Article
Page 72
Several courthouses, notably DuPage County's, have implemented digital recording of courtroom proceedings. Is stenography a thing of the past?

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.

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