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The GST Trust Tax Trap

The issues faced by trust and estate lawyers sometimes include complex tax analysis. One of those issues arises when an irrevocable trust skips a generation with trust assets going directly to grandchildren. That event may trigger a tax that is known as the federal generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. The GST tax can be partially avoided   Continue Reading »

Illinois Supreme Court Restricts Construction Negligence and Premises Liability Theories of Recovery in Illinois

Defense attorneys and their clients received a boost in personal injury cases involving construction accidents thanks to a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling.  On October 20, 2016, the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois released its opinion in the case of Patrick Joseph Carney v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 2016 IL 118984.  Plaintiff Carney   Continue Reading »

Third Circuit Joins the Fray - Holds That Class Actions are Not Available Where the Arbitration Agreement is Silent on the Issue

On January 30, 2017, a panel of Third Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuits in declaring that class actions are not available where the arbitration agreement is silent in that regard.  However, this disposition is not an opinion of the full court and does not constitute binding precedent   Continue Reading »

Utilizing the Appointment of Guardians ad Litem as a Defense Tool to Effectuate Settlement in Cases Involving Minor Plaintiffs and/or Minor Beneficiaries

Cases involving catastrophic injuries to minors, whether through birth trauma, motor vehicle collision, or any other alleged mechanism of negligence, can carry extremely high exposure due to the effect the injuries may have on the minor during the rest of his or her life. Especially in cases where liability is in question, litigants should be   Continue Reading »

Making Hotels Safer For Their Guests

Hotel guests have high expectations of luxury with respect to the services and products they receive during their stay at a hotel.  In particular, they have high expectations about the quality of their room and the customer service provided to them.  Hotel guests also expect excellent hotel safety and security.  But no matter how luxurious   Continue Reading »

Self-Insured Retentions and High Deductibles: Their Impact on Insurers and Policyholders

In the current economic climate, first-dollar coverage has become a luxury that many commercial insureds can no longer afford. Although policies with large self-insured retentions and deductibles have always been available, they were frequently overlooked in the past when bottom lines were healthier and insurance premium costs were subject to less scrutiny. As more insureds   Continue Reading »

Risk Management: Avoiding Unnecessary Litigation in the Enforcement of Sign Codes

INTRODUCTION Signs used by citizens to convey messages to the public are generally regulated by local town codes and ordinances. Restrictions on the use of such signs can create constitutional issues that municipalities must be wary of when enforcing the provisions of their particular code. Sign use restrictions in an Arizona town’s code were recently   Continue Reading »

Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Employee’s Direct Action Against Employer for Claimed Asbestos Related Illness

In a much anticipated opinion, on November 4, 2015 the Illinois Supreme Court found that the provisions of Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act (“the Acts”) barred an employee from bringing a direct civil action against his employer for injuries allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos. In Folta v. Ferro Engineering,   Continue Reading »

Johnson and Bell

Johnson and Bell