Publications

Articles on Law Pulse

DUI: the acid-reflux defense

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2004
LawPulse
Page 562
The high court holds that defendants with acid-reflux disease can raise it as a defense if it causes them to regurgitate during breath-alcohol testing.

Filmmaker charged under eavesdropping statute

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2004
LawPulse
Page 562
A filmmaker who taped police without their consent is charged under the Illinois Eavesdropping Statute.

Illinois’ new WARN law

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2004
LawPulse
Page 562
There's already a federal law requiring employers to notify workers about layoffs and closing; effective January 1, there'll be a state law to go with it.

No credit for child-support overpayment

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2004
LawPulse
Page 562
The bottom line for obligors – pay what you owe and not a penny more, and keep track of what you pay.

What limits on lawyer–notaries?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2004
LawPulse
Page 562
Can lawyers notarize their clients' signatures on wills, POAs and the like? Some say "no," most say "yes."

Clients not liable for lawyers’ intentional torts

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2004
LawPulse
Page 508
The Illinois Supreme Court holds that clients are not liable for lawyers' intentional torts unless they authorized, directed, or ratified the lawyers' conduct.

Higher standard for challenging special use permits applies prospectively, court says

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2004
LawPulse
Page 508
A second district case says the higher due process requirements do not apply retroactively.

A new, higher limit for small-estate affidavits

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2004
LawPulse
Page 508
The ceiling for small estate affidavits has doubled from $50,000 to $100,000. But will it make the well-meaning people who serve as affiants more attractive targets for lawsuits?

When is “special service” good enough?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2004
LawPulse
Page 508
How hard must you try to accomplish personal service before you can resort to service by publication? A recent first district case tackles the question.

Will Blakely create sentencing chaos?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2004
LawPulse
Page 508
Federal and many state courts are holding off on sentencing hearings in the wake of Blakely, but the case will have limited impact on Illinois state courts. Find out why.

Can cities cap med-mal damage awards?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2004
LawPulse
Page 450
Does home rule authority really empower cities to regulate medical malpractice litigation? Not likely, observers say.

Family limited partnerships get the green light

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2004
LawPulse
Page 450
This important tax-planning device for farmers and business owners gets a boost from a federal appellate court.

Grandparent visitation, take 2

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2004
LawPulse
Page 450
The legislature passes a new grandparent visitation law, which is designed to cure the defects of its unconstitutional predecessor.

New weapons for child-support collection

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2004
LawPulse
Page 450
Freshly passed bills promise to make child-support collection a little easier, and maybe a little less expensive.

Verbatim-record provision to meeting law amended

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2004
LawPulse
Page 450
The legislature amended the Open Meetings Act to clarify that verbatim recordings are accessible only in litigation over whether the public body violated the Act. Is the amendment too restrictive?

Defendants liable for undiscounted hospital bills, appellate court rules

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2004
LawPulse
Page 390
The third district appellate court ruled early this year that a plaintiff is entitled to the amount of a hospital's undiscounted bill, not a lower amount negotiated by the plaintiff's insurance carrier.

Illinois pension recipients win at high court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2004
LawPulse
Page 390
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds ERISA's "anti-cutback" provision, ruling that pension plans can't retroactively limit the kinds of jobs workers can take after they retire.

Posthumous pet protection provisions

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2004
LawPulse
Page 390
A new statute validates trusts for the benefit of pets, but what provisions should pet trusts include? Here are suggestions.

Rule 756 requires mandatory disclosure of malpractice coverage

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2004
LawPulse
Page 390
What the new rule means – and could portend – for Illinois lawyers.

You, too, can be title insurance agent

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2004
LawPulse
Page 390
Have – or hope to have – an active residential real estate practice? If you're not a title agent already, becoming one might well boost your bottom line.

Is laches a defense to child-support claims?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2004
LawPulse
Page 334
Probably not, no matter how long the obligee waits to collect; and the same goes for equitable estoppel.

Sealing court records: what’s the standard in Illinois?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2004
LawPulse
Page 334
Surprisingly, no statute or supreme court rule sets forth standards for sealing court records from the public.

Title work is lawyers’ work

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2004
LawPulse
Page 334
Leading real estate practitioners warn their fellow lawyers not to cede control over title work to realtors.

Watch out for (un)real estate deals

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2004
LawPulse
Page 334
Don't let your clients lead you down the road to a RESPA violation by misstating the price of real estate.

Ethics overkill?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2004
LawPulse
Page 286
The Illinois Municipal League and the Illinois AG offer competing model ethics-in-government ordinances for local governmental bodies.

Hall v Henn discourages neighborliness, critics say

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2004
LawPulse
Page 286
Critics fear that the supreme court's interpretation of an immunity statute will discourage landowners from making their property available to others.

Is doubling the bankruptcy homestead exemption on the horizon?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2004
LawPulse
Page 286
Bigger homestead and personal property exemptions would benefit debtor-homeowners and encourage more debtors to opt for Chapter 7, not Chapter 13, relief.

Legislators consider the Gestational Surrogacy Act

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2004
LawPulse
Page 286
What happens when a pregnant surrogate changes her mind? When the intended parents divorce during the pregnancy? HB 4962 would address those questions and others.

LLC info now on the Web

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2004
LawPulse
Page 286
Thanks to the Illinois Secretary of State's office, more information about LLCs is now available online.

Accepting fee payments by credit card; priceless?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2004
LawPulse
Page 236
Charging interest on late accounts and accepting fee payments by credit card are a carrot-and-stick approach to getting paid on time.

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