Publications

Articles on Contracts

Melena and Mandatory Arbitration Agreements in Employment Contracts

By Andrew Harris
August
2007
Article
Page 418
A look at the Illinois Supreme Court's arbitration-friendly decision in Melena, complete with pointers for drafting or challenging arbitration clauses in its wake.

Liquidated Damages: The Forgotten Remedy in Noncompete Disputes

By Kenneth J. Vanko
May
2007
Article
Page 254
Damages are often difficult to prove in unfair competition cases. Liquidated damages clauses can provide an effective - and efficient - remedy.

Litigating Noncompetition Agreements: The Employee’s Perspective

By Patrick M. Kinnally
May
2007
Article
Page 250
Your client's former employer goes to court seeking a TRO to enforce a noncompete agreement against him. What do you do?

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. 

Employee Stock Forfeiture Provisions : A Different Breed of Restrictive Covenant

By James V. Garvey and Frederic T. Knape
July
2006
Article
Page 376
The authors argue that forfeiture provisions should not be subjected to 
traditional restrictive covenant analysis.

Mandatory arbitration agreements are binding on employees

June
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On March 23, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, which held that mandatory arbitration agreements between employers and employees are only valid if entered into "knowingly and voluntarily" by the employee.

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? 

Substantive Amendments to Contracts: Don’t Breathe New Life into Unwanted Provisions

By Joan M. Kubalanza and Kevin J. Clancy
March
2006
Article
Page 146
An amendment to a 1906 real estate lease produced a huge unexpected rent increase. Don't let it happen to you.

Can Employers Prevent Former Workers from Hiring Current Employees?

By David F. Rolewick
January
2006
Article
Page 34
For years, most Illinois courts have held that an employer can't stop departed employees from recruiting the employer's current workers. But that might be changing.

Contract Reformation - the Remedy When the Writing is Wrong

By Hal R. Morris
November
2005
Article
Page 584
  What if the parties reached an agreement but the writing that supposedly records it is wrong? That's where contract reformation comes in.  

This diamond ring

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2005
LawPulse
Page 498
Does an engagement ring belong to the donor or the recipient if the wedding is called off?

Third-Party Beneficiary Basics: When Can Noncontracting Parties Sue for Breach?

By Joseph Siprut
September
2005
Article
Page 462
Can, say, the child of divorced parents force Dad to pay for college as he promised Mom he would? Find out how and when to use this theory on behalf of your clients.

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.

The New Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act

By Nancy Ford
May
2005
Article
Page 240
In Illinois, a recently enacted statute governs would-be parents' contracts with surrogate mothers. Here's a look at what the new law does and doesn't do.

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?

Using No-Reliance Clauses to Prevent Fraud-in-the-Inducement Claims

By Joseph Wylie
October
2004
Article
Page 536
Plaintiffs are using fraud-in-the-inducement theory to turn breach-of-contract allegations into tort claims. A new case gives defendants a way to fight back.

A reasonable contract provision that acts as a restraint on trade will not be held void as against public policy

May
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 242
On February 20, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial and appellate courts' holding that a restriction in a contract between a company in the business of leasing truck drivers and its customer was not invalid as against public policy.

Limitation-of-Liability Clauses in Accountants’ Engagement Letters: Are They Enforceable?

By Thomas F. Falkenberg
November
2003
Article
Page 573
The answer is generally "yes" in Illinois.

Non-breaching party to a real estate contract may seek, in addition to specific performance, damages for delay in the performance of the contract, provided that the damages are reasonably foreseeable.

November
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 550
On August 29, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, reversed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Unjust Enrichment Claims in Illinois: Applying a Venerable Doctrine to Modern Disputes

By Ronald M. Lepinskas
October
2003
Article
Page 514
The nature, elements, and limitations of the remedy under Illinois law.

Prenups help couples put their cards on the table

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2002
LawPulse
Page 114
Even though courts have broad discretion to ignore prenuptial agreements, couples can benefit from the process of creating them, a family practitioner says.

Understanding Illinois Noncompetition Agreements and Restrictive Covenants

By Gene A. Petersen
September
2001
Article
Page 472
Tips on how to draft enforceable restrictive covenants.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
July
2001
Column
Page 338
Golfers in the (legal) news; capital punishment and the mentally retarded; and more.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
June
2001
Column
Page 282
Knock-off alert for real estate contract; new Supreme Court Rule 99; time is money, and thus compensable; and more.

Noncompete clauses may be prohibited in most broadcasting employee contracts; S.B. 720

June
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 286
Certain broadcasting employees may soon enjoy greater freedom under a recent bill passed by both the Illinois House and Senate.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
May
2001
Column
Page 226
Arbitration clauses in employment contracts are enforceable; visit the Illinois Supreme Court Web site; and more.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
January
2001
Column
Page 10
Standard of review for fee suits; U.S. Supremes just say no to drug-sniffing dogs at checkpoints; employee claims rejected by 7CA; and more.

“Best Efforts” Promises Under Illinois Law

By James M. Van Vliet Jr.
December
2000
Article
Page 698
Under Illinois law, "best efforts" promises apparently are not binding when the parties have failed to specify a level of performance. The author discusses the implications.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
December
2000
Column
Page 686
Extra protection against self-incrimination; grandparents get their (bad) day in court; and more.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
November
2000
Column
Page 620
A lower burden of proof for consumer fraud? Arbitration-award rejection—can secretaries sign after all? and more.

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