Corporate & Commercial

No business is safe from an array of business scams including phishing, email compromises, vendor or customer impersonations, and misdirection of payments. Email is the most frequent method used and employees are often the weak link in your protection. Knowledge, training, policies, procedures, and preparation may be your best protection.
Some of the easiest protections to implement include:

  • Maintain good records of orders and purchases to detect bogus accounts, invoices and payment directives.
  • Double check your vendor and customer identities and their cyber security policies.
  • Don’t email payment or account information and double check before you send money.
  • Protect your

Continue Reading Business Scam Protections

Chicago Paid Leave Ordinance
Employers physically located within the City of Chicago need to be ready as of July 1 to implement the new Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance, which stipulates that covered employees can earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave and 40 hours of other paid leave usable for any reasons per 12-month accrual period.
Covered employees are those who work at least 80 hours within a 120 day period. Immigration status is irrelevant. The benefit year can be defined the same for all employees or entirely individually, and can
Continue Reading NOTE TO CHICAGO EMPLOYERS: New Chicago Paid-Leave Law Takes Effect 7.1.24

As your need for income decreases, you may consider sharing some of your wealth by gifting or donating to family or charities to reduce your estate on death or minimize taxes. If Medicaid may be in your future, their look back provisions for transfers for less than fair market value, and even small gifts may be aggregated to determine if your Medicare or other needed base benefits could be reduced, denied, or delayed.
The attorneys at Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble, LLC can advise you on such gifting and the impact it can have on receiving governmental and other benefits in
Continue Reading Careful Gifting

If you own or operate a business, a constant concern is insulating your personal and family assets from claims and liabilities that may arise from your business.  While it is not always possible to create a complete barrier to keep business creditors from seizing your personal or family assets, there are several steps you can take to substantially reduce that risk:

  • Incorporate your business. Create an approved entity for the operation of your business so that it becomes liable for any business claims or liabilities and not you or your family’s assets.
  • Maintain the corporate entity. Operate your business to

Continue Reading Asset Protection for Small Business Owners

AI & Content Creation

Businesses using generative AI programs like ChatGPT to create any content—whether for blogs, websites or other marketing materials, and whether text, visuals, sound or video—need to ensure that they’re not inadvertently using copyrighted materials in the process.
Clearly, the times they are a changing….and businesses need to adapt to the changes.  Employers should promulgate messages to their employees and contractors updating their policy manuals to ensure that communications professionals and others crafting content are aware of the risks of using AI-generated materials, which go beyond the possibility that they are “hallucinated” rather than factual—although that’s worth
Continue Reading Using AI to Create Content? Watch Out for Copyright Violations

Using Generative AI? Keep Your Secrets

Businesses are finding generative AI programs like ChatGPT useful in functions from financial services to human resources. Although still in its early stages, and far from entirely reliable, the technology is evolving quickly and its tools and practices will continue to develop. The Cisco 2024 Data Privacy Benchmark study found that 79% of businesses say they’re deriving measurable value from generative AI for everything from creating documents to coding.
But this use of generative AI has led to a number of cautions, mostly commonly and loudly about the accuracy of the information that apps
Continue Reading Using Generative AI in Business? Make Sure to Keep Your Secrets

Lawmakers Amend BIPA
When a class action lawsuit against the fast food chain White Castle teed up what could have been a $17 billion dollar verdict the Illinois Supreme Court decided to “respectfully suggest” that the state legislature revisit and clarify certain provisions of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) of 2008.
That act, as originally written, held that employers who did not obtain employees’ permission when using their fingerprints or other biometric information like face scans in the course of their jobs—or who overlooked the same step if collecting similar information from customers—would be on the hook for $1,000
Continue Reading BIPA Amended to Limit Damages


Tell us about our role at Snarkitecture! How long have you been there, and what is your role for this particular project?


Hi, my name is Clarisse Empaynado. I am a Filipino designer and ceramic artist. I began my journey with Snarkitecture in 2019, and despite the pandemic, we are still here, years later, creating innovative work.I am the project/design lead for this collaboration. This means I oversee and manage the project from design to completion, with support from the Snarkitecture and Jayaram teams.


This project is a bit different, as you are not only designing it,
Continue Reading Clarisse Empaynado x Kelly Caputo

“It feels like the rules have changed,or there are no more rules about what works or doesn’t from a standpoint of workspace.”


So, Alex, we’ve known each other since the earliest days of Snarkitecture. Do you remember how the firm got started?


Yeah, I have a pretty clear memory of walking down the street in New York on the phone with Daniel Arsham (Snarkitecture Co-Founder). He was living in Miami and we were collaborating on projects, and he pitched the idea of starting a practice. It seemed like kind of a ridiculous idea at the time, but it took
Continue Reading Vivek Jayaram x Alex Mustonen

Selling a used car knowing it has a defective engine is illegal in Illinois.

According to the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (Consumer Fraud Act), it is unlawful to use deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation or the concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact with the intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission (815 ILCS 505/2) Therefore, if a person sells a used car knowing it has a defective engine and does not disclose this information to the buyer, it would be considered a violation of the Act.

The case of
Continue Reading Is it illegal in Illinois to Sell a Used Car Knowing it has a Defective Engine?

As lawyers representing creators, we constantly strive to match our approach to legal issues with our clients’ goals and desired outcomes. Doing so requires a keen understanding of the distinct manner in which each client approaches their business, art, and professional and creative identity. This concept is exemplified through the type of collaboration the lawyers here at Jayaram and our dear friends, colleagues, and office mates, Snarkitecture, regularly engage in.This article sheds some light on this relationship through the lens of drafting and negotiating Snarkitecture’s various contracts, and how a deep understanding of Snarkitecture’s creative identity and its industry plays
Continue Reading Architecting Pillars of Collaboration

Under the Illinois Uniform Partnership Act (IUPA), all partners are liable for any wrongful act or omission by any partner (In re Keck, Mahin & Cate, 274 B.R. 740 (2002)), (Bane v. Ferguson, 707 F.Supp. 988 (1989)). This includes acts that occur in the ordinary course of the partnership’s business or are authorized by the partners (Bane v. Ferguson, 707 F.Supp. 988 (1989)), (In re Ascher, 141 B.R. 652 (1992))[3]. The liability is not limited even for “innocent” partners.
As for the protection against cheating, partners are fiduciaries for one another under Illinois law (Bane v. Ferguson, 707 F.Supp. 988 (1989)). This means
Continue Reading What Illinois Laws Prevent a Partner from Cheating Another Partner?

Based on our research and experience, the best defenses to a class action generally revolve around the requirements of typicality and adequacy of the class representative (Danis v. USN Communications, Inc., 189 F.R.D. 391 (1999)). The presence of even an arguable defense peculiar to the named plaintiff or a small subset of the plaintiff class may destroy the required typicality of the class as well as bring into question the adequacy of the named plaintiff’s representation. This fear arises from the possibility that the named plaintiff could become distracted by the presence of an individual defense, which could compromise the
Continue Reading What are the Best Defenses to a Class Action?

The deadline for all Illinois employers with 5 or more employees to offer their own retirement program or facilitate their employees’ participation in the Illinois Secure Choice Program operated by the Illinois State Treasurer as an Auto-IRA passed in November 2023. The intent is to boost retirement savings for all Illinois employees at little cost to employers, as no employer contribution is required. As financial penalties can be imposed for an employer’s failure to comply, quick action is needed if your business is required to offer the Illinois Secure Choice Program. The Illinois Treasurer’s website has full details. READ MORE
Continue Reading Illinois Secure Choice Program

While most states require you use the complete legal name of your business when conducting official business, including a designation of your business’ entity type, such as Inc., Ltd., P.C., LLC, NFP, and the like, the full legal name is often cumbersome and less attractive in the marketplace. As a result, most states allow your business to establish a business alias, also known as (“a/k/a”), or a doing business as (“d/b/a”) name. For example, Apple is a d/b/a for Apple, Inc. and Walmart for Wal-Mart, Inc.
To obtain a d/b/a you must register it with the Secretary of State, pay
Continue Reading Your Business Name

The elements required to establish a joint venture are broadly consistent across the search results. They include:
1. An express or implied agreement to carry on an enterprise (805 ILCS 206/202), (Ambuul v. Swanson, 162 Ill.App.3d 1065 (1987)), (Yokel v. Hite, 348 Ill.App.3d 703 (2004)).
2. A manifestation of intent by the parties to be associated as joint venturers (805 ILCS 206/202), (Ambuul v. Swanson, 162 Ill.App.3d 1065 (1987), (O’Brien v. Cacciatore, 227 Ill.App.3d 836 (1992)).
3. A joint interest as shown by the contribution of property, financial resources, effort, skill, or knowledge by each joint venturer (805 ILCS 206/202), (Ambuul v. Swanson, 162 Ill.App.3d 1065 (1987)), (Yokel v.
Continue Reading What is Joint Venture? When is Joint Venture Partner Required to Account? Lubin Austermuehle Concentrate on Breach of Fiduciary Duty in the Chicago Area.