Publications

Articles From Helen W. Gunnarsson

The conscience of a lawyer

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2008
LawPulse
Page 118
Your client admits he committed murder. What should you do? What can you do? For two Illinois lawyers, these aren't hypothetical questions.

Federal wiretapping evidence admissible though barred by state law

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2008
LawPulse
Page 118
Evidence gathered in a joint federal-state investigation is admissible in state court if it complies with federal, though not state, eavesdropping law.

A Proposed Makeover for the Rules of Professional Conduct

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2008
Article
Page 128
A joint ISBA-CBA proposal seeks to bring the RPC up to date and align them more closely with the ABA Model Rules.

A solo’s advice on going solo

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2008
LawPulse
Page 118
 A young sole practitioner's take on the perils and pleasures of hanging out your shingle.

Supremes limit trusts ability to subtract investment-advice costs

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2008
LawPulse
Page 118
The U.S. Supreme Court holds that trusts are subject to a two-percent floor for subtracting investment advisory fees from their taxable income.

Adult DUI offenders who transport minors - what is the law?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
LawPulse
Page 66
A recent Journal article inspires a debate about whether the statute it discussed is still in effect and a call for the legislature to clear up the confusion.

Are e-mail disclaimers really necessary?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
LawPulse
Page 66
They really are, some lawyers say. In fact, you should put them at the beginning, not the end, of your messages, other lawyers say.

Helping Clients Who Face Foreclosure

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
Article
Page 76
Notice of foreclosure creates a personal crisis for your home-borrower clients. Here's how to counsel them.

No psych-record access for “garden variety” employee emotional distress claims

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
LawPulse
Page 66
A recent ruling explains when employer-defendants can and cannot get access to employee-plaintiffs' medical and psychological records when employees sue for emotional distress cause by illegal discrimination.

The perils for employers of hiring private investigators

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
LawPulse
Page 66
Employers who retain companies to investigate employee malingering or misconduct need to hire carefully and monitor appropriately.

Tax sales: the court helps taxpayers who help themselves

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
LawPulse
Page 66
 Here's how not to win compensation after losing your house for failure to pay taxes.

Contacting, deposing employees of opposing parties: a how-to

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2008
LawPulse
Page 10
Don’t just call up your opponent’s employees, even if they’re working elsewhere. Consider first whether doing so might violate legal or ethical rules.

Court upholds $1 million penalty arising out of $12,000 support debt

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2008
LawPulse
Page 10
The supreme court ruled that a $1 million-plus penalty for an employer’s failure to timely pay a $12,000-plus child support obligation was not unconstitutional on the facts.

Custody conundrum

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2008
LawPulse
Page 10
Your client’s ex-husband, who moved to Texas and had custody of the children, dies. Your client wants the kids, her ex’s Texas relatives say no. What do you do?

Illinois Supreme Court oral arguments go online

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2008
LawPulse
Page 10
The court is making video and audio of oral arguments available on the Web. 

Supreme court upholds parent’s refusal to allow grandparent visitation

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2008
LawPulse
Page 10
A grandmother failed to show that denying her visitation was harmful to her grandchild’s physical, mental, or emotional health.

Administrative decisions: smoothing the path to review

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
LawPulse
Page 622
The law should be amended to remove impediments to seeking review of agency rulings, ISBA leaders say.

Drafter beware

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
LawPulse
Page 622
When it comes to drafting agreements for deed in lieu of foreclosure, you can’t be too careful.

From Here to Retainer Fees

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
Article
Page 636
Learn how to craft retainer agreements to define and clarify the scope of your engagement, why it’s important to collect fees up front, and more.

Illinois supremes reject pre-existing debt rule

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
LawPulse
Page 622
Under the rule, A’s promise to pay B’s debt is enforceable even if A didn’t put it in writing if it’s made before the debt was incurred. The high court says that’s not the law in Illinois.

Small-trust-termination amendment gets mixed reviews

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
LawPulse
Page 622
It’s good to allow trustees to terminate small trusts when fees are consuming income. But should income, rather than remainder, beneficiaries automatically get the proceeds?

Three flavors of federal e-filing

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
LawPulse
Page 622
Effective last month, all three federal district courts accept electronically filed complaints – but each has different procedures.

Ex post facto Medicaid “planning”

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2007
LawPulse
Page 570
May an agent or guardian shift the principal's assets for Medicaid planning purposes after the principal has become disabled? Yes - but doing so can be expensive.

Frye-ing the HGN test

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2007
LawPulse
Page 570
The Illinois Supreme Court rules that a Frye hearing must be held to decide whether the horizontal gaze nystagmus test reliably indicates alcohol impairment.

No duty to warn, Illinois high court holds

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2007
LawPulse
Page 570
The court reaffirms the rule that Party A has no duty to warn Party B about a threat posed by Party C unless there's a special relationship between A and B.

Of Principals and POAs: When Clients Need Protection from Themselves

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2007
Article
Page 580
What can we do for elderly clients who aren't making good financial decisions because they aren't fully competent?

Rule 216 requests to admit: no more “gotcha” games

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2007
LawPulse
Page 570
With its Vision Point ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court gives trial courts the power to allow late or otherwise deficient answers to Rule 216 requests to admit.

Estate Planning for the Rest of Us

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2007
Article
Page 520
Most people don't have estates large enough to owe tax when they die. But they still need estate-planning advice.

New law expands video appearances by prisoners

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2007
LawPulse
Page 510
Public defenders opposed the law's passage, arguing that it gives inmates second-class justice.

POD and TOD accounts and your estate-planning arsenal

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2007
LawPulse
Page 510
Payable/transfer-on-death accounts are handy probate-avoidance tools that can even be used to transfer real estate. Or can they?

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