Articles From 2006

Employee dress and grooming policies By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, August 2006 Recently, the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, often considered a fairly liberal Court, rejected a plaintiff’s claim that the employer’s requirement that she wear makeup constituted sex discrimination.
Employee must arbitrate retaliatory discharge claim By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, July 2006 Joann Melena joined Anheuser-Busch as a nonunion employee at its distribution center in Mt. Vernon, Illinois in February 1999.
Employee must be paid for required off-duty mental counseling By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, March 2006 Kari Sehie was a former emergency dispatcher for the City of Aurora.
Employees called to duty in the National Guard and Reserve—An overview of the applicable federal and Illinois laws By Brian Clauss, James Capparelli, & Lyndsey Kimber Labor and Employment Law, December 2006 The National Guard and Reserves have vital contributions to national security both at home and abroad and reliance upon the citizen soldier has only increased since September 11, 2001.
Employer avoids “commutation” order By Arnold G. Rubin Workers’ Compensation Law, January 2006 Section 24 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides authority for the Commission to order and direct an employer to deposit the commuted value of the total unpaid compensation with the State Treasurer or with any savings and loan association or State or national bank or trust company doing business in the State.
Employer liability for harassment by non-employees By Stephen E. Balogh Labor and Employment Law, March 2006 In 1998, the Supreme Court told us that an employer would be liable, pursuant to Title VII, for conduct of its employee which creates an actionable hostile work environment.
Employers should really think about adding Roth 401(k) accounts to plan By Scott E. Galbreath Corporate Law Departments, October 2006 As of January 1, 2006, 401(k) plans can offer participants the option of contributing part of their compensation on an after-tax basis into a Roth 401(k) account.
Employment arbitration agreements are enforceable, even when unilaterally proposed by the employer during the course of employment By Mia Hoffman Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2006 Are current employees bound to alterations in employer-mandated terms and conditions where they restrict the employee’s ability to pursue statutory and other rights in a traditional judicial forum where there may be a jury?
Employment Law Update: Standard of review expanded for employees in retaliation claims involving FMLA By Donald A. LoBue General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, October 2006 The case of Richardson v. Monitronics International, Inc., from the vs. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the traditional McDonnell-Douglas Corporation v. Greene burden-shifting framework was not the correct standard of review in a retaliation case under the Family Medical Leave Act.
Ending domestic violence one family at a time By Jennifer Djordjevic Women and the Law, January 2006 Domestic violence does not discriminate.
Enforceability and perfection of mechanics liens in bankruptcy By Samuel H. Levine Commercial Banking, Collections, and Bankruptcy, October 2006 The Mechanics Lien Act (the “Act”) is a very technical act. It is technical in nature both as to the enforcement and perfection of claims for mechanics liens.
Enforcement of prenuptial agreements under the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act By Rory Weiler Family Law, February 2006 Historically, individuals in Illinois who agree to marry have had the ability to contract away marital rights and obligations in the event of a death or divorce through the use of prenuptial (sometimes referred to as “antenuptial”) agreements.
Equitable subrogation—Mechanics’ Lien Priority By Gregory A. Thorpe & Jeannie Ridings Real Estate Law, August 2006 Recently, in Lamb Excavation, Inc. v. Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, the Arizona Court of Appeals decided that a refinancing lender may successfully assert the doctrine of equitable subrogation over the claims of mechanics’ lien claimants to obtain lien priority over the lien claimants.
Estate and gift tax update By Sarah Delano Pavlik Elder Law, May 2006 New Amounts for 2006. The following amounts became effective on January 1, 2006:
Estate and gift tax update By Sarah Delano Pavlik Federal Taxation, March 2006 New Amounts for 2006. The following amounts became effective on January 1, 2006:
Estate, Gift, and Generation Skipping Tax Update By Kelli E. Madigan & Joseph P. O’Keefe Federal Taxation, April 2006 In Estate of Smith v. U.S., the District Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the value of individual retirement accounts included in a decedent’s estate could not be discounted for the anticipated income tax to be paid by the estate or IRA beneficiaries upon receipt of the distribution of the IRA funds.
Estate Planning Update for the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice & Probate By James F. Dunneback General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, July 2006 With the increase in the applicable exclusion amount to $2 million this year, increasing to $3.5 million in 2009 and the promised (but yet to be fulfilled) removal of the estate tax in 2010, the emphasis on the tax planning element of our estate planning practices may seem to be diminishing.
Estate planning update: Recent case decisions By James F. Dunneback General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, June 2006 The Estate of Helen H. Noble, 89 TCM 649 stands for the proposition that sales following death, so long as the transaction occurred within a reasonable time, can be used to establish value as much as a sale prior to the date of death.
Estate planning with the increasing exclusion amount By David A. Berek Trusts and Estates, December 2006 Who would have thought we’d hear discussions around the water cooler about changes to the estate tax law?
Estate tax legislation scheduled for Senate debate in May 2006 By Michael Cyrs Trusts and Estates, May 2006 Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has scheduled permanent estate tax repeal legislation for debate in May of this year.
Estate wins debate over abatement of claim By Cameron B. Clark Workers’ Compensation Law, January 2006 In Nationwide Bank, the appellate court was faced with the question of whether or not a claim abated upon the death of the injured worker’s spouse.
Ethics corner: Recent censure of a public sector lawyer By Rosalyn B. Kaplan Government Lawyers, April 2006 On January 13, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court censured Justin T. Fitzsimmons for professional misconduct committed during the course of his employment as an assistant state’s attorney in DuPage County.
Ethics corner: recent discipline of public sector lawyers and related ABA formal opinion By Rosalyn B. Kaplan Government Lawyers, September 2006 Recent disciplinary orders from the Illinois Supreme Court have included sanctions entered against two public sector attorneys.
Ex-Officio By David N. Schaffer Family Law, August 2006 This is my final column as Chair of the Family Law Section Council. Actually, by the time this gets out, I will officially be ex-officio and the Council will be under the fine leadership of Scott Colky.
An examination of intrastate forum non conveniens in Illinois and the impact of Langenhorst v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company By Randall Edgar General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, June 2006 Forum non conveniens is a Latin term of art that first-year law students from across the state learn to define in English as “an inconvenient court,” or “inconvenient forum.”
The Exclusionary Clause is the focus of the policyholder’s ire in USAA v. Dare: “It depends on what you mean by ‘maintenance’” By Hon. Daniel T. Gillespie Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2006 Can a party ever appeal a denial of a motion for summary judgment?
Executive summary of the Spring 2006 legislative session By Matt Davidson Local Government Law, July 2006 Overview: The Spring Session of the Illinois General Assembly concluded on May 4, 2006. There were 353 bills which passed both chambers.
Extension of “arranger” liability to suppliers of dry-cleaning equipment By Jorge Mihalopoulos Environmental Law, May 2006 In two unrelated suits, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court both recently addressed whether dry-cleaners could compel their equipment suppliers to share the costs of cleaning up contamination discovered at the drycleaners’ former facilities.
Fairness and equity permeate the ab initio arena By D.J. Evans Civil Practice and Procedure, September 2006 The Illinois Supreme Court’s recent decision in Perlstein v. Wolk, 218 Ill. 2d 448, 844 N.E.2d 923 (2006), struck a powerful balance between considerations of fairness and equity with the often harsh results of the void ab initio doctrine.
FASB issues exposure draft on changes to accounting for pension and other post-retirement benefit plans By Stewart D. Lawrence Employee Benefits, June 2006 The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued the Exposure Draft: Employers’ Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Plans, an amendment of FASB Statements No. 87, 88, 106, and 132 (R).