If you are like the vast majority of adults in Illinois, you probably have a cell phone, computer, tablet, or all three. Most of these devices can record audio and video at the press of a button. It can be very tempting to make use of this ability during divorce – especially if your spouse’s behavior is much different behind closed doors than it is in public. You may wonder, “Can I record my spouse and use this recording as evidence during my divorce?” Illinois Law Regarding Recording a Conversation Most states are one-party consent states. This means that it…
Homeowner Associations are everywhere, predominantly in the suburbs and other planned communities, but they can be everywhere. Illinois is one of the top states when it comes to the number of associations present within those states. This article will focus only on homeowners association, and we will cover similar rights under the condo association at a later time. This article will discuss the following:…
Iowa, Courts seek to distribute property equitably between the spouses. This does not mean that the property will be split equally. Rather, the Court will try to divide the property in a way it feels is fair. The Court will look at the circumstances of the parties in making this decision. While this is an expansive topic, this article will provide a brief overview of distribution of marital property in Iowa.…
As a recently divorced parent who puts your children’s wellbeing first, you may understand the importance of co-parenting with your former spouse, both for the sake of maintaining a consistent routine and ensuring that your kids continue to have strong relationships with both parents. However, when it comes to actually communicating with your ex to make this possible, you may be struggling, especially if the emotional pain of the divorce is still fresh. Learning how to communicate effectively with your co-parent can be one of the most challenging responsibilities you have as a parent, but it is also often one…
In an Illinois divorce, all property and assets belonging to the marital estate must be distributed fairly between the two spouses. However, certain assets known as non-marital property are not included in the division. If you are preparing for a divorce, it is important to review your finances to identify any non-marital property that you can protect. However, the process of protecting your non-marital assets can begin even before your marriage. Strategies for Protecting Non-Marital Property Under Illinois law, non-marital property includes property that was owned by either spouse before the marriage, as well as property acquired by either…
The loss of a loved one is always a tragic affair. The loss of a loved one in an avoidable truck accident is devastating. If your loved one died in a collision caused by a negligent truck driver, you may be seeking justice. You may also be dealing with the financial burden caused by your sudden and unexpected loss. A wrongful death lawsuit may help you recover monetary compensation for your losses while simultaneously holding the at-fault parties accountable for the tragic outcome. Read on to learn about bringing an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit after losing a family member in…
In a recent blog, we looked at the issue of tax-related identity theft, which can occur when a person steals someone else’s information and files a fraudulent tax return in their name. Another form of identity theft that is sometimes related to these illegal practices involves a person applying for unemployment benefits in someone else’s name. Unfortunately, this practice has become more widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic as scammers attempt to take advantage of expanded unemployment programs. Individuals and families who are building a wealth protection strategy will want to address any forms of identity theft quickly and take…
Wi-Lan Inc. v. Sharp Electronics Corporation, Vizio, Inc. Docket No. 2020-1041, -1043 (http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/20-1041.OPINION.4-6-2021_1759180.pdf) MOORE, REYNA, HUGHES April 6, 2021 Brief Summary:  DC grant of SJ of non-infringement and claim construction findings affirmed. Summary:  Wi-Lan appealed DC finding that neither Sharp nor Vizio infringe US 6,359,654 and 6,490,250 directed to “interlacing video” (the “flicker” effect) and stream multiplexers, respectively.  The allegedly infringing products are “smart” televisions.  The DC granted summary judgment (SJ) to Sharp and Vizio “because Wi-LAN had failed to provide admissible evidence of the source code that Wi-LAN needed to prove its infringement theories”, source code provided…
This week we’re looking at an issue related to our discussion of panel effects: has the unanimity rate on the Court been impacted by shifts in the party alignment of the Justices? For the entire decade of the 1990s, the Court consisted of four Democratic Justices and three Republicans.  Although none of the changes affected the party alignment, it was nevertheless a period of shifting membership on the Court.  Charles Freeman replaced Daniel Ward, James Heiple replaced Howard Ryan and Michael Bilandic replaced John Stamos in 1990.  Joseph Cunningham replaced Horace Calvo in 1991.  Mary Ann McMorrow replaced William Clark,…
This week, we’re tracking the Supreme Court’s unanimity rate in civil cases, matched against the evolving party alignment of the Justices.  Last time, we reviewed the data for the 1990s.  Today, we’re reviewing the data for the years 2001 through 2010. With Democrat Thomas Kilbride having replaced James Heiple in the final days of 2000, the Court was at five Democrats and two Republicans from 2001 through the end of 2004.  For these four years, the overall unanimity rate was 71.14% – ten points higher than it was in the nineties.  The unanimity rate in 2001 was 74.51%.  It fell…
As discussed in a prior blog post, one consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic may be a wave of lawsuits arising from exposure to the virus. Now that we have passed the one-year anniversary of the pandemic outbreak, perhaps not surprisingly, court opinions in COVID-related litigation are increasingly being issued. Below, we discuss several opinions recently issued in this litigation, including in some cases discussed in the firm’s prior blog post on this issue. Direct Exposure Claims Since the pandemic outbreak, multiple lawsuits against nursing homes have been filed in Illinois related to residents contracting COVID-19. As previously discussed, one such case…
In America, the ability to own a home is part of the American Dream. In furtherance of this, there are numerous laws which encourage home ownership such as the mortgage interest deduction and the concept of the homestead exemption. What Is A Homestead in Illinois? A homestead is a building or collection of buildings where people actually live. “Homestead is a freehold estate in land, the purpose of which is ‘to insure to the family the possession and enjoyment of a home ” Willard v. Northwest National Bank of Chicago, 137 Ill. App. 3d 255, 264 (1985) Labelling a house…
As our world becomes increasingly digital, we’ve been able to buy more and more things online, and that trend has only increased since everyone has been stuck at home due to COVID-19. One of the last things to make the switch to buying online was cars. Rather than going to a car dealership and test driving a car that who knows how many people have already been in, many people feel safer just ordering a car from a website and having it delivered to their door, but is that legal? While it is legal for auto dealers to sell cars…
On April 17, 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning advising consumers to stop using Peloton treadmills,  after the Peloton Tread+ allegedly left one child dead. The commission is additionally concerned because of multiple reports of victims, mostly children, being pulled under the machine and suffering serious injuries as a result. According to an official at the CPSC, this is not an accident that happens with other treadmills. The agency is asking Peloton to recall the treadmill while CPSC continues its investigation into the death of the child. Peloton is fighting the recall and the investigation, claiming…
On March 25, 2021, Illinois Governor Pritzker vetoed House Bill 3360 (H.B. 3360) regarding prejudgment interest on personal injury and wrongful death cases. The Legislature, however, was quick to amend and pass another iteration of the bill, Senate Bill 72 (S.B. 72), which they sent to Governor Pritzker on April 1, 2021. ( S.B. 72 can be read here.) The purpose of H.B. 3360 and S.B. 72 is to amend the Illinois statute 735 ILCS 5/2-1303 by applying post-judgment interest. If signed by the Governor, S.B. 72 would allow a plaintiff in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit…