Publications

Articles on Law Pulse

No five-o’clock world for e-filing

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2009
LawPulse
Page 10
Unless the rules specify otherwise, parties may electronically file up to midnight on deadline day with administrative agencies that permit e-filing, the supreme court holds.

“Borrowing” from legal forms - do you need permission?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2008
LawPulse
Page 606
Lifting language from legal documents - everyone does it, right? But does it constitute copyright infringement?

Court upholds, modifies risk-utility test for products liability

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2008
LawPulse
Page 606
In a recent case, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld - but reformulated - the risk-utility test, while declining to abandon the consumer-expectation test.

Court upholds per se conflict doctrine

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2008
LawPulse
Page 606
 A conflict exists whenever an attorney represents both a criminal defendant and the alleged victim, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.

Real estate and divorce: No more transfer-tax exemption?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2008
LawPulse
Page 606
 To the chagrin of matrimonial lawyers, Chicago has begun taxing the transfer of a divorcing couple's jointly owned home to one of the ex-partners.

Appellate court: no wrongful death for embryo before it’s implanted

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2008
LawPulse
Page 548
 The Illinois Appellate court rules that the Wrongful Death Act does not permit suits on behalf of human embryos allegedly destroyed before being placed in the womb.

HGN tests meet the Frye standard

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2008
LawPulse
Page 548
So rules the Tenth Circuit court in the first-ever Illinois Frye hearing on the admissibility of HGN tests as an indicator of drunk driving - assuming various requirements are met.  

Plaintiff-friendly ADA amendments take effect Jan.1

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2008
LawPulse
Page 548
Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act legislatively overturn recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Retalitory discharge: local governments not immune under Workers’ Comp Act

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2008
LawPulse
Page 548
 Public employees can sue for being fired in retaliation for filing a workers' comp claim, the Illinois Supreme Court holds.

Two traffic stops, no Fourth Amendment “seizures,” the court rules

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2008
LawPulse
Page 548
The Illinois Supreme court rules for the state in two cases where defendants were asked for consent to search after a traffic stop.

New law attempts to simplify zoning hearings

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2008
LawPulse
Page 498
 A new law classifies zoning decisions as legislative acts, not administrative rulings. This will streamline zoning proceedings, proponents say.

The Open Meetings Act v. client confidentiality

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2008
LawPulse
Page 498
A trial court's search for truth and the public's right to know may conflict with what local governments believe to be their right to confidential communications with counsel.    

The slacker son who wouldn’t leave home

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2008
LawPulse
Page 498
 Your clients want to send their noncontributing adult son packing, but he says, "Nuh uh." Getting him out the door isn't as simple as you might think.

Statutory change gives right to counsel to juveniles facing detention

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2008
LawPulse
Page 498
 An amendment to the Juvenile Court Act requires that counsel be appointed for a juvenile defendant in custody at or before his or her initial court hearing.

Using guardianship to change school districts? Be wary

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2008
LawPulse
Page 498
Your client wants his kid to go to New Trier schools? Then he'd better move there or be prepared to pony up $18,000-plus in tuition, an ISBA member advises.

Bidder beware

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
Winning bidders at judicial foreclosure sales can ultimately lose if a subsequent buyer offers more and the lender withdraws its foreclosure motion before the judge confirms the sale, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.

In re Marriage of Bratcher

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
A fourth district panel reverses a trial court’s grant of a substantial maintenance award in a long-term marriage where there was also a large property settlement.

Living trust amendment drafted by a nonlawyer ruled invalid

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
A living trust amendment drafted by a nonlawyer is invalid under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the Illinois Appellate Court rules.

R U monitoring employees’ text messages?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
 An employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy in private e-mail he sent during work hours on his employer-issued pager, the federal ninth circuit rules.

You’ve been appointed GAL-now what?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
Might you be a minor child's court appointed guardian ad litem? If so, here are some pointers from a colleague who's been there.

Clarifying the collateral source rule

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2008
LawPulse
Page 384
The supreme court rules that plaintiffs can recover the "reasonable value" of their medical expenses, whether they're paid by Medicare, Medicaid, insurance, or another source.  

A new definition of marital property?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2008
LawPulse
Page 384
 A controversial ruling allows a child-support obligee to lay claim to property held in the name of the obligor's new spouse.

No discovery deps allowed

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2008
LawPulse
Page 384
A recent case underscores the importance of taking a party's evidence - not discovery - deposition if he or she may die before trial.

Supremes: the Best approach to tort reform survives

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2008
LawPulse
Page 384
 The supreme court holds that a med-mal plaintiff is entitled to a 90-day extension to file her certificate of merit - and that a 2004 law didn't reenact the version of 2-622 invalidated in Best v Taylor.

What’s a POA agent worth?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2008
LawPulse
Page 384
 Agents are entitled to reasonable compensation. But what's reasonable?

How not to do e-filing

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2008
LawPulse
Page 334
The supreme court recently announced its intention to implement statewide e-filing in the next several years. Critics say the federal northern district of Illinois, which requires filing both paper and electronic copies, offers an example of what not to do.

Retired, inactive, in-house lawyers can now represent clients pro bono

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2008
LawPulse
Page 334
Effective July 1, new supreme court rules let retired, inactive, and in-house lawyers working through legal-aid providers or other approved groups represent clients pro bono.

Stepping up the fight against elder abuse

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2008
LawPulse
Page 334
A leading elder-rights advocate says the Illinois legislature and judiciary can do more to prevent and identify elder abuse.

UCCJEA: Illinois refuses to register Indiana custody ruling

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2008
LawPulse
Page 334
The Illinois Supreme Court refuses to register an Indiana custody ruling where the Indiana court did not return the Illinois court's repeated phone calls.

A veterinary standard of care

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2008
LawPulse
Page 334
The court makes explicit that veterinarians are "skilled" practitioners of a "profession or trade" and thus owe a duty of care.

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