Publications

Articles From Helen W. Gunnarsson

Illinois law practices: removing the “not for sale” sign

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2005
LawPulse
Page 330
The Illinois Supreme Court adopts a rule – long sought by ISBA – allowing lawyers to sell their practices.

Law firm’s failure to register under Rule 721 not UPL

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2005
LawPulse
Page 330
And that means an unregistered firm can collect its attorney fee award, the supreme court holds.

New reg requires law firms to “properly dispose” of consumer info

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2005
LawPulse
Page 330
Effective June 1, a Federal Trade Commission regulation requires businesses – including law firms – to destroy sensitive information derived from consumer credit reports.

There’s gold in that thar wind – maybe

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2005
LawPulse
Page 330
Learn how you can help that would-be wind farmer in your client base.

Workers’ comp overhaul

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2005
LawPulse
Page 330
Proponents say that new revisions to the Workers' Comp Act will increase benefits, hold down costs, speed claims resolution, and reduce fraud.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Reduction Fiasco?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2005
LawPulse
Page 274
Here's a thumbnail sketch of the new Bankruptcy Act provisions that place new burdens on lawyers to verify information in clients' petitions.

Help Your Client Choose the Right Advance Directive

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2005
Article
Page 284
Advance directives aren't as simple as most people think. Here's how to help clients tailor POAs and living wills to their wishes.

The supreme court latest UPL case: a mixed blessing

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2005
LawPulse
Page 274
The supreme court allows nonlawyer lenders to charge for preparing mortgages but reaffirms that drafting and filling out real estate documents is the practice of law.

Trust transparency

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2005
LawPulse
Page 274
Members of an ISBA e-mail discussion group agree that despite a trustee's reluctance, beneficiaries are entitled to see trust instruments that confer benefits upon them.

Wages and sin

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2005
LawPulse
Page 274
Can an employee who considers homosexuality a sin openly oppose his employer's workplace diversity effort? What are the limits of religious practice and expression in the workplace?

Fee Not-So-Simple: Referral Fee Dos and Don’ts

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2005
Article
Page 236
It's permissible to refer cases to other lawyers and share in the fee, as long as you meet the requirements.

Finding a niche in FSBO home sales

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2005
LawPulse
Page 226
Some lawyers are making themselves available to do-it-yourself homesellers, with rewarding results.

The Health Care Surrogate Act: a physician’s finding must in writing

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2005
LawPulse
Page 226
The Illinois Supreme Court rules that the Act did not require a hospital to consult a wife before removing a patient from a ventilator because the attending physician had not made a written finding that the patient lacked "decisional capacity."

Losing streak

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2005
LawPulse
Page 226
Compulsive gambling is like other pathological behavior that leads lawyers astray, with a big difference – it's not treated as a mitigating factor by the ARDC.

The several risks of joint representation

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2005
LawPulse
Page 226
What about representing both members of a couple on an estate plan? Two or more partners to a business deal? You can do it – sometimes – if you take the proper steps.

Till death us do part?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2005
LawPulse
Page 226
Suppose Michael and Terri Schiavo had resided in Illinois after she became incapacitated, and suppose Michael had wanted (or been willing) to divorce her – would Illinois law have allowed it?

Is Your Law Practice ADA Compliant?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
Article
Page 188
Every private practice is a "public accommodation" under the ADA. Are you meeting your obligations to clients and others with disabilities?

A jumbo legal malpractice case goes to the high court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
LawPulse
Page 162
All eyes are on the Tri-G legal malpractice case, where the appellate court ruled for the plaintiff to the tune of $2.3 million.

New IPI instructions are free on the Web

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
LawPulse
Page 162
Sign up with the supreme court to get notice every time a new IPI instruction is made available.

Sentencing guidelines: mandatory no more

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
LawPulse
Page 162
The U.S. Supreme Court shook up federal criminal practice by ruling in Booker/Fanfanthat sentencing guidelines are advisory only. Not surprisingly, many questions remain.

To LLC or not to LLC

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
LawPulse
Page 162
When you're starting a law practice, the LLC is a good form of business organization to choose. Then again, so is the PC.

You take the sofa, I’ll take the Fifth…

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
LawPulse
Page 162
Forget about dirty laundry; what if your divorcing client did – or might have done – something criminal? Here's advice about advising clients how and when to take the Fifth.

The gay rights amendment: It’s the law

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2005
LawPulse
Page 110
The Illinois Human Rights Act now prohibits many kinds of discrimination against homosexuals, a fact of which you should apprise your clients – whether they like it or not.

HIPAA and POAs revisited

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2005
LawPulse
Page 110
Experts still say you shouldn't have to amend your POAs to make them HIPAA compliant, but maybe it's better to be safe than sorry.

Sellers subsidize closings via HUD-approved programs

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2005
LawPulse
Page 110
The Nehemiah and AmeriDream programs allow sellers to pick up closing costs for homebuyers without violating RESPA. But is there a downside to this popular practice?

So, does that statute apply to my case?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2005
LawPulse
Page 110
It's often hard to tell exactly when a statute takes effect, but the Illinois Legislative Reference Bureau offers guidance for legislative drafters and practicing lawyers.

Subcontractors beware

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2005
LawPulse
Page 110
Many businesses struggle with how to classify the people who work for them – are they employees or independent contractors? This case won't make it easier.

Attorney-Approval Clauses and Residential Real Estate Contracts: Mere Modification or More?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2005
Article
Page 72
Most home-sale contracts empower attorneys to propose modifications. But do those "proposals" effectively nullify the contract?

Making settlement appealing

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2005
LawPulse
Page 62
On appeal, opponents rarely meet face to face and thus have little opportunity to explore settlement. A new program seeks to make settling easier at the appellate level.

Proposed legislation would fix an underinsured-motorist pothole

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2005
LawPulse
Page 62
Even seasoned lawyers representing victims of underinsured motorists should beware this trap and encourage legislators to remove it.

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