poetic justis

On June 25, 2012, the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Arizona v. United States, the controversial case involving two Arizona statutes designed to help curb and control illegal immigration.   The statutes were enacted by the Arizona legislature in 2010. However, before the laws could go into effect, the United States filed suit against Arizona challenging the validity of four provisions of the statutes, arguing that the provisions should be enjoined as preempted by federal law. The case turned into a political divide across the county, with President Obama and the Democratic Party opposing the legislation, and the Republican Governor of Arizona and the Republican Party supporting the legislation.

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Anyone following the legal industry knows of the recent demise and insolvency of the once powerful New York mega-firm of Dewey LeBoeuf, which filed Bankruptcy two weeks ago. This firm was the by-product of a law firm merger in 2007 between two previously well-known firms, Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf Lamb Green & MacRae. Shortly after the merger, the firm boasted over 3,000 employees and many believed it would become one of the largest and most financially secure law firms in the world. It was the evolutionary product of a firm founded in 1909 and carrying the name of the infamous New York Gov. Tom Dewey. As recently as just a few months ago, the firm appeared to flourish as it represented one of the key players in the World Trade Center redevelopment.

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by Joseph B. VanFleet
Published in the July 2012 issue if InterBusiness Issues

I can remember how excited my two brothers and I were over the release of Sergio Leone’s “Man-With-No-Name” western trilogy, starring Clint Eastwood as the infamous quick-draw bounty hunter. The third film in the series, entitled “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” inspired an ongoing family debate that still lingers today; namely, which of the three brothers in our family is “good,” which is “bad,” and which is “ugly.”

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Although lawyers hate to admit it, construction contracts usually involve a variety of documents in addition to the main terms found in the primary document. A construction contract may comprise of a standard form agreement, but often includes additional documents such as drawings, specifications, schedules of work, and pricing schedules. Sometimes they get even more intricate. Sometimes they are all prepared at the time the primary contract is signed, but often at least some of them are not.

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by Emily Wilburn

Our judicial system consists of two parallel structures, the state court system and the federal court system. In Illinois, our state judicial system consists of Circuit Courts (with each county being a part of a Circuit), Courts of Appeal, and the Illinois Supreme Court. The federal system consists of District Courts, Courts of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court.

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by Emily Wilburn

For several months I had heard the buzz surrounding a program, Downton Abbey, on PBS about an estate, its family and servants set in early 20th Century England, and that the second season was about to start. I started slowly, watching the first episode from the first season, increasing my habit to maybe two episodes per evening eager to find out what happened next- until I caught up to the second season. And now I cannot wait to catch up with the characters when season three is released. I am hooked- and the ever-present antagonist in this drama is estate planning.

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By Emily H. Wilburn, VanFleet Law Offices

Recently I saw a picture that made me laugh: three white baby seals on a multi-colored disco floor. The caption under the picture said “Stop clubbing, baby seals.” The purpose of the picture was to highlight the importance of the appropriate use of punctuation and good grammar. We are taught punctuation and grammar in school, but the rules we were taught in school may no longer jive with the norms of casual writing today. It would seem that today, more so now than ever, we are communicating via the written word. How many emails and text messages do you write and receive everyday?

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by Brian A. Peterson, VanFleet Law Offices

Whether you are an experienced business owner or an entrepreneur about to embark on starting your first business, acquiring trademark protection is crucial for your company's success. A federally registered trademark allows your company to maximize its brand value, and prevents your competitors from using the same mark, or a confusingly similar mark, on their products or services.

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As is the case whenever law firm managers convene, the 2012 American Bar Association Legal Technology Conference had no shortage of opinions regarding the future of the practice of business law. I heard many complaints this year about the evolution of products such as “LegalZoom,” or on-line organizations that provide legal document packages for a variety of business legal needs at a fraction of the price charged by any law firm.

Even more predominant than the “LegalZooms” of the world, this conference was saturated with discussions of the emerging corporate philosophy that law firms’ profit margins have been too high. Businesses want to see greater value delivered from their law firms as they correspondingly reduce their legal budgets. In short, the buzzword cliché of service industries has finally caught up to law firms: we must become better, cheaper, and faster.

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Mechanics Lien rights in Illinois are governed by the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, codified at 770 ILCS 60/0.01, et seq. (“Act”). The Act provides a lien for payment to those who furnish labor, material, fixtures, apparatus, machinery, or other services considered lienable work. The Act also details the requirements which must be satisfied in order for contractors and subcontractors to preserve, perfect and enforce their lien rights. It is important to note that the provisions of the Act are strictly construed, so it is crucial that individuals follow the proper procedure for preserving their lien. It must also be noted that contractors and subcontractors are subject to different requirements in the perfection process.

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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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