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

George Bellas explains Blockchain Technology  What is bitcoin?   Is it the same as blockchain? The quick answer is that bitcoin is not the same as blockchain. “Bitcoin” is a form of cryptocurrency and “blockchain” is the concept technology that underlies it. The concept of a blockchain was first conceived in 2008 by someone names Satoshi Nakamoto, which may be pseudonym for someone or a group of people, who introduced a white paper[1] describing the open-source block chain technology that underlies the basis for the cryptocurrency known as “Bitcoin.” Blockchain is a totally disruptive technology and is now…
Many lawyers have just not taken the time to get training in e-discovery. The rules have changed.  It’s no longer about “documents” in the sense of paper.  It’s about getting information in a digital format, which is why the rules now refer to ESI – which refers to Electronically Stored Information. What is e-discovery?   It has been defined as “the process of identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, searching, reviewing and producing Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”) that may be relevant” in a legal proceeding.  [See, Maura Grossman and Gordan V. Cormack, The Grossman-Cormack Glossary of Technology-Assisted Review, Federal Courts Law Review, 2013 Feds. Cts. L.…
Employment Discrimination issues explained by George Bellas Chicago Business Lawyer The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all other places that are open to the general public.[1]   When it comes to employment, the ADA provides that employers covered by the statute may not discriminate against “qualified individuals” with a disability with respect to employment matters.[2]  The ADA defines such individuals as applicants or employees who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential…
Employers who collect biometric information such as fingerprints, face scans, or retina or iris scans from employees—or even customers—need to ask permission and explain why the data is being collected, or they could well face legal liability. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which regulates how employers must handle biometric data, received a relatively liberal interpretation from the Illinois Supreme Court, which means that state-level lawsuits have wider latitude than federal ones—but even suits dismissed at the federal level can sometimes be refiled in state court.   The law remains in flux when it comes to what, exactly, constitutes…
Technology is advancing at a rate that is increasing exponentially.   Other industries are moving faster to adopt tech into their business than the legal industry.   What was once fanciful is becoming real.  Self-driving cars are just one thing that comes to mind, but robotics is invading every industry.   And technology is being developed to take over legal tasks. AI in the Legal Profession Alternative Legal Service Providers (“ALSPs”) are popping up everywhere.   Large accounting firms are using tech to perform traditional legal services  23% of large law firms surveyed in a recent report by Thomson Reuters said that they had…
Legal Marijuana Shouldn’t Mean Dazed and Confused Workers! Starting on January 1 consumers will be able to buy marijuana for recreational use from licensed sellers.   Pot users will no longer need to worry about fines or jail time – but employees will need to pay attention to their employers’ policies about drug screenings and the use of cannabis at work. Employers should consider how they want to handle the legalization of cannabis in terms of workplace policies, written guidelines and staff training on the many issues that employers will be facing.  Employers should take the time to review Section 10-50
You might not realize it’s happening, and you definitely might not realize you have the right to object. But when you enter an airport in 2019, it’s possible that your airline—or the federal government—are scanning images of your face for their security-related purposes. Say No to Airport Facial Recognition This facial-recognition technology can be used during check-in, baggage drop, security and boarding. For the most part so far, it’s mostly only been deployed for international flights, to confirm passenger identity at the behest of Customs and Border Protection. But airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are considering doing so for…
Purchasing and flying a drone might seem like either a fun diversion or a new way of doing business.  Professionals who do photography and videography, agriculture, weather forecasting, and increasingly construction are putting drones to commercial use, while they’re being piloted for package delivery through companies like Amazon and UPS. Legal issues regarding flying of drones. Whatever use you have in mind for a drone, make sure you fully investigate federal, state and local laws on the subject, starting with those handed down a few years ago by the Federal Aviation Administration. For starters, drones being used for commercial purposes…
Does your business have insurance to protect you against breaches of your cybersecurity? Turns out that’s not a simple “yes” or “no” question, and the answer changes constantly based on new cases being litigated and new types of breaches impacting companies. Businesses need to take into account a wide range of factors in determining whether they have enough breadth and depth of insurance coverage to guard against any cyber liabilities. And it might be helpful to consult with an insurance broker who handles these types of policies. First of all, you need to make sure you’re covered for your own…
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…