Publications

Articles on Settlements

Time-limited settlement offer does not moot class representative’s claims

October
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 472
On August 12, 2014, the Second District Appellate Court held that a time-limited offer to tender settlement failed to moot a putative class representative's individual claims.

Offers of Judgment: Federal Rule 68 in Illinois?

By Jessica Livieres, Andrew Cho, and Hon. E. Kenneth Wright Jr.
May
2014
Article
Page 242
This article explores the background and purpose of Federal Rule 68 and how to address its many shortcomings should Illinois adopt a similar offer-of-judgment provision.

Unstructuring Structured Settlements

By Hon. Ron Spears
May
2014
Column
Page 248
Some companies and plaintiffs want to revert structured settlements to lump sums, and judges have the final say.

Discretionary bonus accrued during marriage but issued after dissolution of marriage is not marital property

November
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 560
On August 16, 2013, the First District Appellate Court held that a nonvested discretionary bonus accrued during a marriage, but received after entry of a judgment of dissolution of the marriage, was not marital property.

Bill requires timely executed settlement releases in most civil cases

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2013
LawPulse
Page 446
The law helps plaintiffs get timely settlement payments from "substandard" insurance companies, the chair of ISBA's Tort Section says.

Three Rules for Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements in Anticipation of Bankruptcy

By Matthew M. Benson
September
2013
Article
Page 474
These three rules can help keep your work for a divorcing client from being undone when one of the parties files for bankruptcy.

Custodial parent entitled to percentage of lump-sum workers’ compensation settlement as child support

August
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 392
Howard Mayfield ("Mayfield") and Shannon Dykes ("Dykes") divorced in 2003. Dykes received primary custody of their two children, and Mayfield was ordered to pay $158.50 per week in child support.

Unsettled Settlements: Understanding Mediation Agreements

By Jonah Orlofsky
August
2013
Article
Page 418
Mediation is an alternative to litigation, but parties sometimes end up disagreeing about the mediation itself. Mediation agreements can help resolve those disputes.

Protecting Settling Plaintiffs When a Defendant Goes Bankrupt

By Christopher B. Lega
April
2013
Article
Page 200
Most settlement agreements ignore an important risk - that the defendant will file for bankruptcy shortly after settlement. Here's how to protect plaintiffs.

Valuing Property in Lengthy Divorce Proceedings

By Jenna C. Patchen
April
2013
Article
Page 198
When the valuation hearing comes after the dissolution judgment, is marital property valued on the judgment date or the hearing date? The supreme court recently settled the question.

Marital property should be valued as close as possible to the trial date in a bifurcated hearing

January
2012
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
he appropriate valuation date of marital property in a bifurcated dissolution hearing is the date of trial under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act, according to a November 9, 2011, Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court ruling.

Any settlement between a plaintiff and a defendant/ agent must also extinguish the principal’s vicarious liability

June
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 292
On March 19, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County, granting the defendant's motion to dismiss an entire action stemming from a car accident, on the basis that the settlement between the plaintiff and the agent extinguished the alleged vicarious liability claims against the other named defendant.

Medicare and Future Medical Expenses: Does the “Super Lien” Apply?

By Bradford J. Peterson
January
2010
Article
Page 26
It's common to accommodate Medicare liens in personal injury liability claims. But must litigants also protect Medicare from future medical expenses? The author explores the issue.

Correspondence from Our Readers

October
2009
Column
Page 486
Dressing for distress - nylons and sandals;  Settlement agreements: do the release first.

Make Settlement Agreements a Centerpiece, not an Afterthought

By Hon. Ron Spears
August
2009
Column
Page 422
Careful planning for settlements can prevent bad results.

Marital and Nonmarital Property: Calculating Reimbursements Under the IMDMA

By Roman J. Seckel
August
2009
Article
Page 412
A spouse's nonmarital estate can be reimbursed for contributions to the marital estate - and vice versa - but determining the value of those contributions can be tricky.

The Ready answer: Settling Defendants’ Fault Can’t Be Used to Determine Joint Liability

By David E. Mueller and Jennier L. Wolf
June
2009
Article
Page 294
The Illinois Supreme Court held in Ready that settling defendants are excluded from the joint-and-several-liability equation, leaving nonsettling defendants at risk of higher payout.

Plaintiffs win big in Ready

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2009
LawPulse
Page 64
 The supreme court holds that good-faith settling tortfeasors can't be included in apportioning fault after verdicts to determine joint and several liability.

Settlements: The Limits of Same-Case Enforcement

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
December
2008
Column
Page 642
 Lessons from the A and A case.

Correspondence from Our Readers

November
2008
Column
Page 546
Two takes on two-tiered billing.

Two-Tiered Billing in Illinois Divorce Cases - a Critique

By James H. Feldman
September
2008
Article
Page 452
Illinois divorce lawyers typically charge a higher hourly rate for court than for office time. It's time that changed, the author argues

Court affirms that ex-wife entitled to her percentage share of disability benefits

August
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 390
On May 28, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Peoria County denying petitioner's request for attorney fees and granting petitioner's rule to show cause and to enforce judgment.

Does your order of dismissal do the job?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2007
LawPulse
Page 342
Case law from the United States Supreme Court and the seventh circuit interpreting the federal rules can make it hard for settling parties to draft orders of dismissal that allow the judge to retain jurisdiction.

Evidence of settling defendants’ culpability admissible for apportionment of fault

November
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 584
On August 23, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for a retrial where the Circuit Court of Cook County held that settling defendants to a personal injury action were not to be considered during the jury's apportionment of fault.

“You Have the Right to Avoid Litigation…”

By Hon. Ron Spears
August
2006
Column
Page 438
Should judges advise clients of their right to resolve their dispute before trial?

Correspondence from Our Readers

June
2006
Column
Page 274
Settlement conference judges; parents aren't "visitors."

Playing the Rule 68 card

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2006
LawPulse
Page 222
FRCP 68 can encourage settlement, but it also confronts counsel for plaintiffs and defendants with some high-stakes challenges. 

Making the Most of Settlement Conferences

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2006
Article
Page 178
Judges and lawyers discuss how to avoid costly mistakes and best promote your clients' interests in judge-conducted settlement conferences.

Danger lurks in p.i. confidentiality clauses

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2006
LawPulse
Page 110
A recent case – involving none other than Dennis Rodman – holds that plaintiffs must pay tax on the portion of a settlement award deemed payment to a p.i. client for his or her silence.

Tax Issues in Employment Discrimination Settlements

By Ralph A. Morris and Heather R.M. Becker
December
2005
Article
Page 638
Every lawyer who negotiates an employment discrimination settlement should understand the implications of these tax issues.

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