Publications

Articles on Law Pulse

Supreme court: ’reasonable suspicion’ enough for traffic stop

By Adam W. Lasker
October
2012
LawPulse
Page 514
"Reasonable suspicion," not the more exacting "probable cause," is threshold requirement for an investigatory traffic stop, the Illinois Supreme Court held in a recent DUI ruling.

Tort liability for school districts that hide former teachers’ sexual harassment

By Adam W. Lasker
October
2012
LawPulse
Page 514
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a school district breaches its duty of care when it gives false information to another district about a teacher's sexual misconduct.

A trio of laws to curb texting, phoning behind the wheel

By Adam W. Lasker
October
2012
LawPulse
Page 514
The legislature forgoes a full ban on cell use by drivers in favor of a targeted approach that bans hand-held communications in construction zones, emergency scenes, and other places.

The Institute of Business Laws tries to make Illinois business-friendlier

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2012
LawPulse
Page 458
The volunteer Institute promotes business-friendly legislation, including a new act that lets the secretary of state dissolve partnerships and makes other small but helpful changes to business laws.

Is a family-law overhaul on the way?

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2012
LawPulse
Page 458
No more grounds for divorce? Divorce judgments within 90 days or else? These are just two of the family-law reforms proposed by a bipartisan legislative study group.

New cases every real-estate lawyer should read

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2012
LawPulse
Page 458
Real-estate practitioners should be sure to read recent decisions on the duty of title insurers, the content of mortgage documents, and recording of deeds and mortgages.

New Medicaid law will limit estate-planning, other options

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2012
LawPulse
Page 458
The new Medicaid law means tighter regulations, higher costs, and reduced coverage for recipients, a family lawyer observes.

New open-meetings law: is hard-copy posting of agendas still required?

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2012
LawPulse
Page 458
A new law says Internet postings of meeting agendas fulfill the Open Meeting Act's 48-hour notice requirement - but governmental bodies still must post paper copies of agendas, the law's sponsor says.

Insurance companies and P-I plaintiffs will share recoveries if governor signs bill

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2012
LawPulse
Page 398
HB 5823 would require insurance companies to proportionally share plaintiffs' recoveries in personal injury lawsuits.

Photos of sex with a 17-year-old are illegal even though underlying sex acts are not

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2012
LawPulse
Page 398
The Illinois Supreme Court finds the state has a rational basis for outlawing photos of a 17-year-old's sex acts, though the underlying sex acts were consensual and thus lawful.

Telephone scammers threaten consumers using names of Illinois law firms

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2012
LawPulse
Page 398
Scammers claiming to be Illinois lawyers called people around the country this summer demanding immediate payment of bogus debts and threatening them with arrest.

Victims of ‘emergency’-related training injuries may qualify for benefits

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2012
LawPulse
Page 398
Public safety workers hurt during training can get healthcare benefits, but only if the injuries were caused by emergencies and not planned activities, the supreme court rules.

Bill would eliminate time limits on child-molestation prosecutions

By Adam W. Lasker
July
2012
LawPulse
Page 346
A legislative proposal would remove the statute of limitation for prosecuting sex crimes against minors, but both prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers have misgivings.

Savings are not ‘income’ for child-support calculation

By Adam W. Lasker
July
2012
LawPulse
Page 346
The Illinois Supreme Court rules that a noncustodial parent’s savings are not “income” but can nonetheless be used for support if circumstances warrant.

Uncounseled misdemeanor convictions can trigger felony DUI sentences

By Adam W. Lasker
July
2012
LawPulse
Page 346
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that prior misdemeanor DUI convictions – even if the defendant was unrepresented – can be used to bump a later DUI charge to a felony.

A well-kept secret: the Illinois deposit of wills

By Adam W. Lasker
July
2012
LawPulse
Page 346
Tired of – and nervous about – storing clients’ original wills on your premises? Consider the Illinois Secretary of State’s deposit of wills.

Bill would require personal service for debtors

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2012
LawPulse
Page 286
Pending legislation would require that debtors get personal service, not merely notice by mail, before courts begin key legal processes that could put them behind bars.

Crime victims’ rights amendment won’t appear on November ballot

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2012
LawPulse
Page 286
A proposed constitutional amendment that would have made crime victims party to the defendant’s trial undermined the constitutional presumption of innocence, the ISBA and other opponents, including prosecutors, argued.

Fiduciary-duty exception to attorney-client privilege does not exist in Illinois

June
2012
Illinois Law Update
Page 292
Illinois courts have not recognized a fiduciary-duty exception to attorney-client privilege. On March 22, 2012, the Illinois Appellate Court refused to find such an exception, reversing the opinion of the trial court.

Jurors may question witnesses under new supreme court rule

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2012
LawPulse
Page 286
Starting next month, jurors will be permitted to submit written questions for witnesses to the court for consideration. Proponents say it will help jurors understand the case and stay engaged.

MCLE goes to the movies

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2012
LawPulse
Page 286
A pair of Illinois attorneys uses lawyer-themed Hollywood films to teach lessons about legal ethics.

New anti-party switching law applies to independents

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2012
LawPulse
Page 286
A new law forbids someone who took a partisan primary ballot from running as an independent in the general election – even those who pulled the ballot in the March primary, before the law was enacted.

Defendant’s prior conviction for domestic battery admissible at murder trial

By Adam W. Lasker
May
2012
LawPulse
Page 234
In People v. Chapman, the supreme court upheld admission into evidence of the defendant's earlier conviction for domestic battery of the woman he was accused of murdering.

Failure to pursue rulings on pre-trial motions can be ineffective assistance of counsel

By Adam W. Lasker
May
2012
LawPulse
Page 234
A new supreme court criminal case underscores the importance of challenging - and if necessary, appealing - a judge's failure to rule on pre-trial evidentiary motions.

Illinois FMLA would cover civil unions

By Adam W. Lasker
May
2012
LawPulse
Page 234
An Illinois legislative proposal would give members of a civil union the same benefits enjoyed by married couples under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Proposal would stop employers from seeking social network passwords

By Adam W. Lasker
May
2012
LawPulse
Page 234
Proposed legislation would forbid employers from asking for employees' and job applicants' social-media passwords, but some lawyers argue for a public-safety exception.

Three bills would modernize the Trusts and Trustees Act

By Adam W. Lasker
May
2012
LawPulse
Page 234
Among other changes, the legislation would make nonjudicial trust modifications easier and limit the risk of liability for fiduciaries who handle specific trust-related tasks.

Foreclosure mediation programs finding homes throughout the state

By Adam W. Lasker
April
2012
LawPulse
Page 178
A McLean County program puts homeowners and lenders together with mediators to help work out agreements and uses U of I law students to represent homeowners in mediation.

Governor proposes constitutional amendment to allow ethics referenda

By Adam W. Lasker
April
2012
LawPulse
Page 178
Governor Quinn proposes a constitutional amendment to allow voters to enact statewide ethics laws through ballot-initiated referenda questions.

Lying to police can be obstruction

By Adam W. Lasker
April
2012
LawPulse
Page 178
Lying to a police officer can support a conviction for obstruction of justice if the lying directly hinders the officer's official performance, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.

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