Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Law Pulse

New legislation brings Parentage Act up to date

By Matthew Hector
July
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
Among other things, a bill reworking the Parentage Act allows courts to refuse DNA testing that could deprive kids of their only known parent.

A pension crisis ‘for which the General Assembly itself is largely responsible’

By Matthew Hector
July
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
A look at the Illinois Supreme Court's reasoning in In re Pension Reform Litigation.

Bill would decriminalize pot possession, tie DUI to impairment

By Matthew Hector
June
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
HB 218 would lower the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a fine and change DUI law so that drivers could no longer be charged for registering only trace amounts of cannabis.

Defendant obtains dashcam recordings through FOIA request

By Matthew Hector
June
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
After police said dashcam videos of a traffic-related marijuana arrest didn't exist, the defendant announced he already had them. How? He got them in response to a FOIA request.

Proposed law would give fiduciaries easier access to decedents’ Facebook, other accounts

By Matthew Hector
June
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
The proposed Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act would make it easier for executors and others to access the growing body of electronic data Illinoisans leave behind.

Rule change makes it easier to clear ‘mystery money’ from IOLTA accounts

By Matthew Hector
June
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Unidentified funds rattling around in your IOLTA account? Effective next month, amendments to Illinois Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.15 make it easier to dispose of them.

The Illinois bar exam gets tougher

By Matthew Hector
May
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Illinois bar examiners are raising the passing score - but not as much as originally planned.

Illinois high court declines to create new evidentiary privilege

By Matthew Hector
May
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Creating a new critical-self-analysis privilege is the job of the legislature, not the judiciary, the Illinois Supreme Court rules recently.

Real estate bills raise concerns among ISBA section councils

By Matthew Hector
May
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Pending Illinois House and Senate bills could adversely affect condominium owners and contractors, among others.

Subject matter jurisdiction: The state constitution trumps the UCCJEA

By Matthew Hector
May
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
In McCormick, the Illinois Supreme Court rules in an interstate custody dispute that subject matter jurisdiction comes from the constitution, not from a statute.

A contest over Mr. Cub’s will?

By Matthew Hector
April
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Ernie Banks' family has said they'll challenge his will, which was executed before Illinois' tough new Presumptively Void Transfers Act took effect.

Criminal justice reform commission seeks to shrink prison population

By Matthew Hector
April
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Governor Rauner's Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform has a goal of reducing the population of Illinois' overcrowded prisons by 25 percent over 10 years.

High court overturns categorical ban on carrying loaded guns on a ‘public way’

By Matthew Hector
April
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled recently that the state can't categorically forbid carrying an uncased, loaded gun on a "public way" - but that banning minors or non-FOID-card holders from possessing weapons is a different story.

McCuskey comes full circle

By Matthew Hector
April
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Judge Michael McCuskey made the rare journey from the state to the federal bench and back again - and he's happy to leave federal court behind.

Amazon, tax collector

By Matthew Hector
March
2015
LawPulse
Page 14
A new law requires Amazon and other online retailers without a physical presence in Illinois to collect sales tax, the way their brick-and-mortar counterparts do.

Bill would let ‘Dreamers’ be Illinois lawyers

By Matthew Hector
March
2015
LawPulse
Page 14
Senate Bill 23 would allow noncitizens who meet the requirements of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival to apply for admission to the bar.

Is the switch to six-person juries constitutional?

By Matthew Hector
March
2015
LawPulse
Page 14
The challenge of choosing a six-person panel may make you rethink your jury-selection strategy. But some lawyers are asking whether the change in jury size violates the Illinois Constitution.

The sting of IOLTA overdraft alerts

By Matthew Hector
March
2015
LawPulse
Page 14
Since 2011, banks have been required to report IOLTA-account overdrafts to the Illinois ARDC. The resulting investigations often uncover bookkeeping mistakes that get lawyers into trouble.

Bills produce six-person (and better paid) juries and a new eavesdropping law

By Matthew Hector
January
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
Bills creating six-person civil juries and a new eavesdropping law were signed by the governor.

7th Circuit case shakes up the creditor’s bar

By Matthew Hector
December
2014
LawPulse
Page 566
Contrary to longstanding practice, collection cases must now be filed in the Cook County municipal district court where the debtor lives or the contract was signed.

E-filing comes to criminal court

By Matthew Hector
December
2014
LawPulse
Page 566
Effective last September, the Illinois Supreme Court expanded its electronic filing standards to include criminal and traffic cases.

Expanding recording of custodial interrogation, improving eyewitness ID

By Matthew Hector
December
2014
LawPulse
Page 566
Last year, more crimes were added to the list requiring recording of custodial interrogations, and the criminal code will soon change to reduce the risk of mistaken eyewitness identification.

ISBA ethics opinion: lawyers may advise clients on medical marijuana

By Matthew Hector
December
2014
LawPulse
Page 566
A new ISBA advisory opinion says that lawyers can advise clients in the medical marijuana business and counsel local governments about zoning for cultivation centers and dispensaries.

Federal minimum wage and overtime protection extended to home care workers

By Matthew Hector
November
2014
LawPulse
Page 518
Soon, in-home care workers will be protected by the FLSA. But will the law's exemptions and exceptions swallow the rule?

Legislative fine-tuning makes the small-estate affidavit more useful

By Matthew Hector
November
2014
LawPulse
Page 518
A new law makes the small-estate affidavit better for rounding up stray assets that didn't make it into probate-avoiding trusts and more palatable to banks and other entities.

Stronger workplace rights for pregnant women and new moms

By Matthew Hector
November
2014
LawPulse
Page 518
A new Illinois law, one of the most protective nationwide, requires employers to provide a range of reasonable accommodations to pregnant woman and new mothers.

Your client got a Getty Images demand letter? Here’s what to do

By Matthew Hector
November
2014
LawPulse
Page 518
Getty Images is famous for sending fear-inducing copyright-infringement notices to individuals and small businesses. Here's what to do if your client gets one.

The incredible, unciteable Rule 23 order

By Matthew Hector
October
2014
LawPulse
Page 466
Lawyers can cite magazine articles like the one you're reading in their pleadings and briefs - why can't they cite Rule 23 orders?

New residential real estate contract incorporates common modifications

By Matthew Hector
October
2014
LawPulse
Page 466
A new version of the widely used multi-board real estate contract incorporates the most common changes lawyers made in its predecessor.

Not-so-neighborly neighbors

By Matthew Hector
October
2014
LawPulse
Page 466
Rural and exurban property owners who want to keep hunters and others off their land sometimes find it hard to do. But liability limits protect those who open their land to the public.

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