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J&B Blog Archives

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 »

Know Your Adversary: Rules for Claims Against Federally Funded Health Centers

In 2014 alone, more than 1,300 federally funded health centers employed more than 11,200 physicians and more than 9,000 medical staff workers who treated approximately 23 million patients. Today, one in every fourteen people living in the United States relies on a federally funded health center for primary medical care. Further, the United States Department   Continue Reading »

Rapid Response to Data Breach Required to Avoid Liability

American companies have been slow to realize that they are a potential target of a cyber-attack.   Last year, FBI Director, James Comey remarked that “there are two kinds of big companies in the United States.  There are those who’ve been hacked….and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked…” But the risk of cyber-attack is not   Continue Reading »

Protection Reflection: The Supreme Court Rules Allow Partners to Limit Their Liability

The future ain’t what it used to be. — Yogi Berra Many lawyers are still unaware that effective July 1, 2003, our Supreme Court promulgated rules which conferred protection from professional liability in certain circumstances. Illinois Supreme Court Rules 721 and 722 allow lawyers in Illinois to protect themselves against vicarious liability for legal malpractice   Continue Reading »

Debt Collectors Beware: Venue Provision of FDCPA Reinterpreted

Neither a borrower nor a lender be …   -Shakespeare   Recent federal court decision reinterprets the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and may create venue defense for current or future debtor defendants in debt collection suits. In Suesz v. Med-1 Solutions, LLC, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12562 (7th Cir. 2014), the Seventh Circuit recently reinterpreted the   Continue Reading »

HACKER PREVENTION: KEEPING CLIENT-SENSITIVE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now   From up and down and still somehow       It’s cloud’s illusions that I recall      I really don’t know clouds at all …                       Judy Collins Back in July of 2011, we warned of a then popular e-mail/fraudulent check scheme whereby lawyers would receive e-mails from alleged potential   Continue Reading »

NOT ONLY SHAREHOLDERS GET PIERCED

Omittance is no quittance.          Shakespeare How many lawyers assist a client in forming a corporation, but merely assist in filing the annual reports and do nothing else?  Failure to advise of the risk associated with this minimal approach may now more likely result in veil-piercing to reach the client for individual   Continue Reading »

Illinois Appellate Court Confirms Lender's Remedies in Mortgage Foreclosure Action

A recent Illinois Appellate Court decision from the first district settled the question of whether or not a party to a mortgage may sue under the promissory note and separately under a mortgage foreclosure action.  The Court in Turczak v. First American Bank, 2013 IL App (1st) 121964 applied principles of res judicata to determine   Continue Reading »

ILLINOIS’ LIMITED LIABILITY IS UNLIMITED

In a case of first impression, a First District Panel of the Appellate Court of Illinois issued an opinion confirming immunity from liability arising from fraud under the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act (“LLC Act”) (805 ILCS 180/10-10). Careful lawyers must consider the Illinois law before forming an LLC in another state.  In Dass v.   Continue Reading »

Attorney Client Privilege: Dead Men Tell No Tales, But Their Agents Might

Estate planning often involves multiple professionals who must exchange confidential information regarding their clients’ affairs. The Illinois Court of Appeals provides an insightful opinion regarding when such privileges terminate, who can waive them after the client’s death, and what actions, if any, would put confidential information “at issue” and thus make discoverable.  (This article also   Continue Reading »

Are Plaintiff's Class Action Lawyers Already Setting Up Shop For Violations of New CFPB Rules?

New Rule Affects Title Companies, Lenders, Mortgage Brokers and Borrowers As Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Finalizes “Know Before You Owe” Mortgage Forms. A final regulation that combines mortgage disclosures required under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finalized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), was released today. The   Continue Reading »

"SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES" AND A CLAIM OF SPOLIATION OF EVIDENCE

In the recent Supreme Court case Martin v. Keeley & Sons, Inc., the plaintiffs were performing construction work on a bridge when the concrete I-beam they were standing on collapsed and they fell into a creek below. 2012 Ill. LEXIS 1501. The day after the accident occurred, the defendant destroyed the I-beam by breaking up the concrete   Continue Reading »

EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ATTORNEY AND EMPLOYEE ON EMPLOYER-ISSUED COMPUTER USING PERSONAL WEB-BASED ACCOUNT ARE PRIVILEGED

Employees’ use of personal email accounts (e.g., Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) on employer-issued computers is standard practice in most work environments.  These email accounts come with personal identifications and passwords that are generally only known by the employee.  What many employees do not realize is that copies of nearly every web page they visit on their   Continue Reading »

LAW UPDATE: TRANSFER ON DEATH JUST BECAME EASIER IN ILLINOIS

Effective January 1, 2012 – HB 1153 (Bradley/Wilhelmi) P.A. 97-0555 creates the Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act. The Act will establish procedures for the non-testamentary transfer of residential real estate upon the death of the owner. The act defines Residential real estate to include one to four housing unit properties; condominium   Continue Reading »

ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT APPOINTS MARCONI TO ADVISE DISCOVERY COMMITTEE

Effective January 1, 2012, the State of Illinois’ Supreme Court appointed Johnson & Bell, Ltd. Shareholder Joseph R. Marconi as Advisor to the Judicial Conference Committee on Discovery Procedures.  Mr. Marconi is the chair of the Business Litigation/Transactions group at the firm. The Committee is comprised of circuit and appellate court judges from around the state and   Continue Reading »

Johnson and Bell

Johnson and Bell