Publications

Articles on Law Pulse

Of QILDROs and QDROs

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2003
LawPulse
Page 220
Too many lawyers fail to distinguish between these two orders, both of which govern the payment of pension benefits on divorce; but under very different circumstances.

Probate Court 101

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2003
LawPulse
Page 162
How does a sole practitioner learn his or her way around the courthouse? Start by asking.

Sarbanes-Oxley and document retention

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2003
LawPulse
Page 162
Do the new requirements governing retention, destruction and alteration of financial records apply to e-mail and other electronic documents? It's better to be safe than sorry.

Support group

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2003
LawPulse
Page 162
Members of an ISBA electronic discussion group offer pointers about how to squeeze child support out of an unemployed and unwilling parent.

Tandem state-federal claim produces big results in employment case

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2003
LawPulse
Page 162
An ISBA member combined a state common law intentional infliction of emotional distress claim with an FMLA claim to win a huge federal trial court judgment for his client.

“UCITA” spells “anti-consumer”?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2003
LawPulse
Page 162
Adoption of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act would stack the deck in favor of software manufacturers and against the buying public, critics say.

Green-sheet blues

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2003
LawPulse
Page 110
For purposes of calculating real estate transfer taxes, the "consideration" paid for a new house equals the original contract price and; whether your homeowner client likes it or not; the extras added later, real estate practitioners argue.

Pet trusts for trusty pets

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2003
LawPulse
Page 110
Illinois may shortly join 16 other states that have passed laws authorizing the creation of trusts with pets as beneficiaries.

Public-employee pension pitfall

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2003
LawPulse
Page 110
Teachers, police officers, and other government workers charged with crimes related to their official duties have one thing in common ; they all face the loss of their pensions, a fact their lawyers should keep in mind.

Small juries are beautiful

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2003
LawPulse
Page 110
Six-person juries are easier to pick, more responsive to case themes, and more likely to reach a unanimous verdict, some criminal defense lawyers say.

What is jurisdictional, anyway?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2003
LawPulse
Page 110
The supreme court's recent assertion that it lacked jurisdiction because an affidavit of intent to appeal was defective arguably begs the question, "What is jurisdictional?"

The case of the inflexible filing deadline

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2003
LawPulse
Page 58
The supreme court agrees to hear an administrative-law case which raises the question whether the strict, "jurisdictional" interpretation of a filing deadline is a denial of due process.

The dentist-patient privilege

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2003
LawPulse
Page 58
The physician-patient privilege applies to dentists, too, the supreme court rules.

Miranda, Fifth Amendment don’t apply in summary-suspension hearings

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2003
LawPulse
Page 58
Three Illinois Appellate Court districts have ruled that summary-suspension hearings are civil proceedings to which Miranda and the privilege against self-incrimination do not apply.

Out-of-state child removal; what will the supremes do?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2003
LawPulse
Page 58
The Illinois Supreme Court will review an appellate court decision that stopped a custodial mother from removing her son to her fiancé's home state.

Bankruptcy reform still a waiting game

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2003
LawPulse
Page 8
Congress has yet to pass bankruptcy reform legislation. Meanwhile, the bankruptcy bar has had little success in tempering provisions they say are unfriendly and unfair to lawyers.

Blind plea, blind justice?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2003
LawPulse
Page 8
Capital murder trials put a strain on county budgets, which has led to second-class justice in some cases, critics charge. But improvements in the capital litigation system are making a difference.

First steps toward e-filing in Illinois

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2003
LawPulse
Page 8
The Illinois Supreme Court has set the ground rules for a pilot e-filing project in the circuit courts.

Involuntary administration of psychotropic drugs: Does Illinois need new standards?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2003
LawPulse
Page 8
Some experts think Illinois law should be changed to make it easier to involuntarily admit mental patients and force them to take psychotropic drugs if they're unwilling. Others fear the changes would crowd mental-health facilities beyond capacity.

Rule 23 proposals headed soon to the supreme court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2003
LawPulse
Page 8
An ISBA committee prepares to forward proposals to the Illinois Supreme Court for changing the rule that governs unpublished opinions.

Bar associations, U.S. reps seek exemptions for lawyers from Gramm-Leach-Bliley

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2002
LawPulse
Page 628
The New York State and American Bar Associations have filed lawsuits seeking declaratory judgments that the FTC's application of GLBA's privacy provisions to practicing attorneys is unlawful, and members of Congress have introduced legislation that would exempt lawyers from the Act.

Pet project

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2002
LawPulse
Page 628
More and more estate-planning clients want to make sure that Fluffy is well provided for. Here's how to help them.

The supremes say “no” to a taxpayer suit against Gov. Ryan

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2002
LawPulse
Page 628
In Lyons v Ryan, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that taxpayers lack standing to sue for damages caused by the licenses-for-bribes scheme because the attorney general alone has the authority to initiate litigation on behalf of the state.

Whither estate-planning practice?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2002
LawPulse
Page 628
Demographic trends and tax-law changes may generate some short-term business, but they'll mean less work for estate-planning lawyers in the long run. Are you ready to adjust your practice?

Child support: pending privatization of the SDU raises concerns

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2002
LawPulse
Page 578
State officials say there's no cause for alarm, but some lawyers worry that changing vendors could once again muddle the child-support distribution system.

Clash over class actions

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2002
LawPulse
Page 578
Madison County is at the center of a dispute over class-action filings.

The devil in the details of domestic-partner benefits

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2002
LawPulse
Page 578
More employers are offering benefits to their employees' nonspouse partners. Here are some of the legal and administrative issues they need to consider.

Do trial lawyers have the Country behind them?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2002
LawPulse
Page 578
A recent case interpreting language that appears in many Country Companies insurance policies has the plaintiffs' bar buzzing.

College saving in Illinois; a new carrot and stick

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2002
LawPulse
Page 506
Illinois residents have another incentive to invest in Illinois' Bright Start college savings program; and a disincentive to participate in plans offered by other states.

Fee tax turns employment-lawsuit winner into loser

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2002
LawPulse
Page 506
Taxing attorney fee awards as income to the plaintiff threatens to reduce an employee's award to less than zero.

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