George Bellas

In the field of business litigation, George has been recognized by other lawyers as one of the best. George has consistently been rated by other lawyers an Illinois Super Lawyer 14 times. George brings a high level of technological knowledge, skill, and intensity to complex cases on a national level and he utilizes this experience to serve the needs of his clients.

Latest Articles

Back in 2012, facing extreme reluctance from employers, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (“EEOC”) published guidance on whether and when to hire workers with criminal backgrounds who had done their time and were, hopefully, ready to be productive citizens and workers. But employer reluctance to consider hiring ex-cons has waned in the past seven years as the economy has improved, the population has continued to age, and at least in Illinois, the population size has fallen due to people leaving for faster-growing states and fewer immigrants coming into the state.  Meantime, more than 27,000 people got out of state prisons…
Americans talk about being “tethered” to their smartphones mostly from the standpoint of the time suck that’s involved and the tendency to miss what’s going on around us when we’re supposed to be working, spending time with family or friends, or (let’s hope not) driving down the highway.  It’s hard to resist the offerings on your smartphone which now is millions times more powerful than NASA’s computers from the 1960’s. But one result of all that tethering – whether we’re texting, streaming music, getting directions from our GPS, or posting on social media – is that our smartphone is…
Employers:  Be cool with Pot Policies! With Illinois adopting medical marijuana and looking to legalize recreational marijuana, lots of questions will be arise about what policies employers should adopt.  Imagine workers passing a joint (or a bag of spiked gummy bears) around the water cooler or sharing a joint after work.  Will employees be allowed to bring their baggie into work?  And what about refusing to hire people who test positive for weed.  These are murky waters we are wading into and it’s happening across the country.   For now, it’s probably wisest for most Illinois employers to take the high…
When the Americans With Disabilities Act passed in 1990, the World Wide Web was only a year old and was not even a commonly used term yet, much less a commonly used medium. Although the ADA is most commonly associated with the inclusion of wheelchair ramps, elevators and handrails in public buildings, three decades later the law is also being used to demand that business websites become ADA-compliant. The law firm Seyfarth Shaw tallied more than 2,250 such federal suits filed in 2018 under Title III of the ADA, more than triple the number from the year before, alleging violations…
After a teenage boy was fingerprinted without written consent when he purchased a season pass to Great America, his mother sued Six Flags for violation of the Illinois Biometrics Act.  In January the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously found that plaintiffs can bring a private cause of action for violations of the state’s biometric privacy law’s notice and consent requirements, even if they can’t show any harm. The court found (Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation) that individuals have control of, and a right to privacy over, their biometric identifiers, such as voice samples, retina scans and facial geometry, in…
An arbitration agreement is a contract, in which two or more parties agree to settle a dispute outside of court.  Usually, an arbitration agreement is a clause in a larger contract. The arbitration clauses are often subjects to hotly disputed litigation, stemming from the vague verbiage and possible inconsistencies with other parts of the contract.  One of such issues – the admissibility of the “Wholly Groundless Exception” – was decided by the Supreme Court in January in the case of Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc , 586 U.S. __ (Jan. 8, 2019).  This is a tricky…
Employee expense reimbursement is now required by law in Illinois, at least under certain circumstances, making the Land of Lincoln the ninth U.S. jurisdiction to statutorily impose such a requirement.   In doing so, Illinois joins the company of other states with similar rules.   Employers of all shapes and sizes should get up to speed on the new law, an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment Collection Act that took effect on January 1, which requires employers to reimburse all “necessary expenditures” directly related to the employer’s services. The new law (820 ILCS 115/9.5) defines “necessary” as “all reasonable…
THIS IS ANOTHER POST IN THE FUTURE OF THE PRACTICE SERIES. We live in an age when lawyers are underemployed and yet many consumers lack access to legal services. Law firms are losing business as companies “in-source” their legal work, while the incomes of some solo practitioners are plummeting. Many lawyers would like to make better use of technology to work more efficiently and have simpler legal processes—but they feel challenged by advances in technology and continue to face difficulties remaining profitable. The Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism sought to square this set of circles with a presentation titled “Legal Innovations:…
Imagine  attorneys had an assistant that could structure data, help firms maintain transparency through more accurate information, keep track of complex legal and regulatory issues, improve efficiency so firms can scale up their services, and help lawyers handle various forms of “disruptive” competition, without breaking a sweat? Some believe that technology like IBM’s Watson will help provide such assistance, providing lawyers with the “permission” to think innovatively, help clarify what attorneys do day-to-day—without replacing them—bring about better organization of data, and in doing so be of particular benefit to tech-savvy younger lawyers. Machine learning might have more of a disruptive…
Estate plans should account for the disbursal of all assets, lest they become marooned in probate purgatory.  People are forgetting that they have digital assets that need to be accounted for. Protecting Your Digital Assets Digital assets like cryptocurrency, social media accounts, e-commerce and online accounts need to be cared for just as much as conventional ones, so that family members are able to account for and access them as property, wealth and assets are transferred from one generation to the next. If these assets are not properly disbursed, estate administration can be delayed or even negatively impacted in the…
Call it the rise of the robots.  The legal profession continues to be transformed by the use of artificial intelligence in new and innovative ways. New developments in the past five years alone stagger the mind as what would have sounded like science fiction not along ago continues to become reality, making the lives of lawyers easier but also forcing them to change how they do business if they want to survive and succeed. Rewind to 2013, and you find Jay Leib and Dan Roth—who launched Discovery Cracker way back in 2000 to streamline discovery and make it electronic and…
A Legal Guide to Holiday Parties Alas, the holiday season is upon us!  It’s time to celebrate the successes of the prior year with a festive holiday party, where employees can let off steam, socialize and spread cheer.  So, who should you contact first? A caterer… or a DJ… or your friendly Chicago business lawyer?  Although it may not sound like the most fun way to kick off celebrations, calling your company’s lawyer to discuss legal guidelines and potential liability pitfalls may be a good idea.  We don’t mean to be scrooge and kill the fun, but times have changed.…
In late September, the social media behemoth Facebook told the World Wide Web that about 50 million accounts had suffered a security breach. Hackers had stolen password tokens for signing into Spotify, Instagram, Yelp and thousands of other third-party applications. Facebook Security Breach Facebook automatically logged out the 50 million users directly affected and another 40 million who might have been implicated, and the company said that passwords weren’t compromised. But the incident serves as a warning to all who have multiple passwords across the various sites and accounts they use—in other words, virtually everyone in the First World, and…
The term “Legal Intelligence Support Assistant” might sound like a fancy-pants way of referring to your paralegal, law library or perhaps secretary. When you shrink that term to the acronym LISA, you might be tempted to ask about LISA’s professional background or whether she’s a nice woman. But this LISA is no woman, let alone a human.  “She” is an artificial intelligence solution who provides “expertise” in the automation of legal documents, reducing or replacing the need for human lawyers in representing either party to an agreement.    The National Law Journal sounded impressed with LISA, placing the technological innovation…
Few would argue that President Trump engages in what could be described colloquially as “rhetorical hyperbole” when logged on to his Twitter account.   But a recent court finding that dismissed a defamation suit filed against Trump by porn star Stormy Daniels, on the grounds that a tweet by the president could legally be described in those terms, rather than as potentially factual statements—defamation cases require that a statement be factually false—could have a significant effect on how libel law applies to social media going forward. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges that she and her daughter were threatened…
To survive and thrive in the 21st century, and to continue serving the public adequately, attorneys can no longer muddle through with business as usual. Wide swaths of the public are unable to get their legal needs met. Innovations in technology and other changes in society continue to shift how legal services can be accessed and delivered. Bias, complexity, discrimination and lack of resources undermine the public’s trust and confidence in the justice system. These were the top concerns raised a couple years ago by the American Bar Association’s Commission on the Future of Legal Services, which also made…