poetic justis

 

Individual open enrollment for the "Obamacare" exchanges began on October 1, 2013, and it has been a bit disorganized at best. We are all focused on changes that lie in the horizon regarding group health plan benefits and how they are administered and reported. Although on July 2 the IRS announced that the employer Shared Responsibility payments (the "Pay or Play Mandate") would not take effect until January 1, 2015. Nevertheless, we are still trying to comprehend this regulatory chaos.

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Over the last twenty years, technology has made it increasingly easier for small business owners to conduct business with individuals who reside out of state, or even out of the country. While having the ability to transact business with individuals from across the country has given small businesses more opportunity, it has resulted in many small business owners entering into contacts which preclude them from filing suit for breach of contract in the county, or even in the state, in which they reside.

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Showing demonstrative exhibits to the jury can be a key part of a trial, and personally I try to use them early and often at trial. They can be extremely effective in breaking down complex issues for the Court. They are also often helpful in telling the chronology of important events. With today's enhanced availability and expectations for the use of technology, demonstrative exhibits often play an even more important role.

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When meeting with a sub-contractor to discuss their mechanics' lien rights, the cost of litigation invariably arises. As anyone who has been involved in mechanics' lien litigation knows, these types of cases can be lengthy, involve numerous parties, and can be fairly expensive if counter-claims or affirmative defenses are filed. After explaining the potential costs involved in mechanics' lien litigation, we often receive the same response from our client: If I win, doesn't the other side have to pay my attorney fees?

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Legal project management is spreading, but admittedly the concept is meeting much resistance from those who are set in their ways and not open to industry change. A quick web search of the term will uncover dozens of law firms that subscribe to its principles. The inquiry will also reveal numerous on-line courses and webinars that are evolving to educate both lawyers and clients concerning the overall benefits the legal industry can experience through following project management principles. So far, the concept has not met with universal acceptance, but it is gaining momentum.

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As the economy continues to improve, we are seeing an increase in sub-contractors contacting our office to inquire whether they have properly preserved their lien rights on construction projects. While the vast majority of these sub-contractors are familiar with the provision of the Illinois Mechanic's Lien Act (the "Act') which requires that a Claim for Lien be recorded within four months from the last day work was performed on a project, many are surprised to learn that sub-contractors must take at least one additional step in order to preserve their lien rights.

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Come on, we've all been there; stuck on the road behind some slow-moving vehicle and finally when you get the opportunity to pass, you see the driver nonchalantly chatting away on a cell phone. According to recently passed legislation, all this will soon change in Illinois.  Effective January 1, 2014, Illinois drivers will no longer be able to legally hold cell phones to their ears and talk. But of course, what is the law without exceptions? Those with the correct technology will still be able to circumvent the law and communicate while on the road.

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For creditors who provide loans to borrowers, taking a security interest in a borrower's collateral is a routine method of providing additional insurance in case of default. The most common method of taking a security interest in specific collateral is for the borrower to execute a security agreement in favor of the creditor. Generally, under the terms of a security agreement, the borrower agrees to turn over certain collateral to the creditor if payments under the loan are not timely made.

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Rowen Aldrich would have been 100 years old this week.

I am often asked when I first knew I would become a lawyer. I began my unwavering path toward practicing law in 1978 while a student in Rowen Aldrich's seventh grade Civics class at Churchill Junior High School in Galesburg, Illinois. Every year, Mr. Aldrich selected students to reenact a famous criminal trial from Galesburg's history. With only one prior exception, each student jury acquitted the Defendant just as the real jury did years ago. Everyone knew this guy committed the crime; there just wasn't enough evidence to convict him. In his final year before retirement, Mr. Aldrich chose me as his last prosecutor.

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We have experienced and witnessed an abundance of recent litigation brought by business owners blaming one or more of their fellow partners/owners for the lack of financial success of their business. This behavior, of course, is consistent with an economic recession. Simply stated, more business failures mean more "business divorces."

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Many of the blog icons on this page have been created by Joe’s three children. They are so excited to see their artwork on Dad’s work website!

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