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Don’t drink and drive. While this seems obvious, a short scenario may make this more likely. Imagine you have consumed three (3) stiff cocktails in about two hours and think your BAC is under .08 but in reality, you are just over the legal limit (.08 is over the legal limit in IL). Now imagine an even drunker driver than you swerved across the centerline and cause a head-on collision. The other driver is dead. The police arrive and can force a blood draw from you because this is now an aggravated felony DUI investigation because they smell booze on…
Several days ago, I published a brief statement on Illinois Lawyer Now that has resulted in substantial response from our members. Several nights ago, we as a nation viewed federal troops in uniform clearing out peaceful demonstrators in Washington D.C. As an ISBA President who has focused on the rule of law and the legal process, I felt a statement was important. The focus of that statement missed the mark in a number of important ways. For that reason, I apologize. It is important that a few additional words be said, which go to the heart of our values as…
Many couples who are looking to add a child to their family will consider adoption as an alternative to childbirth. Adopting a child can be a rewarding experience for the parents and a great benefit to a child who may otherwise grow up without a stable home. However, Illinois has a stringent adoption process in place to ensure that the child is going to a safe home. Attempting to adopt without the guidance of a family law attorney could result in frustration with the process that discourages you from completing the adoption. There are several things you should know about…
Most workplace injuries are ones that you expect to recover from with time. You may need to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages if you miss time from work. Unfortunately, some injuries cause permanent disability that will forever affect your ability to work. If your disability makes you unable to work any job, you may qualify to receive Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits for the rest of your life. Because the workers’ compensation insurer is likely to contest a PTD claim, you would need the help of a workers’ compensation…
By: Brian K. Stevens First a caveat:  This article is not a “How To” of avoiding a DUI arrest.  If it is late at night and a police officer observes any traffic violation and then subsequently smells any amount of odor of alcohol, they will almost always find some reason to arrest the motorist for DUI. Therefore, the best that can be done on such a stop is to minimize the amount of evidence that you give to the police officer.  That way, once the matter is placed into the court system, an experienced DUI attorney can utilize the State’s…
Getting into an accident with a commercial truck can result in devastating injuries to the occupants of a smaller passenger vehicle. Drivers are taught to be cautious around trucks, giving them ample space and being aware of their blind spots. However, an error by the truck driver can create a dangerous situation that other drivers are unable to avoid. Distracted driving is one of the primary causes of driver error in truck accidents. You may be able to receive personal injury compensation if you can prove that a truck driver was distracted leading up to your accident. How Do Truck Drivers…
A conviction for possessing a controlled substance is a serious offense in Illinois. Depending on the drug involved and the amount in your possession, you could face years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines. A conviction for selling or delivering a controlled substance is more costly. Both the prison time and fine can be twice as long, and prosecutors are more likely to bring additional charges that are related to the offense. Though you want to avoid a drug possession conviction, it may be the preferable option if the alternative is a conviction for possessing drugs with the intent…
Did someone say force majeure? COVID-19 Pandemic and Force Majeure clauses According to Black’s Law Dictionary, force majeure is defined as “An event or effect that can be neither anticipated nor controlled.”   It is generally viewed as an unexpected event that prevents someone from doing or completing something that he or she had agreed to do.  The term is usually applied to acts of God (such as floods and hurricanes), riots, strikes and wars.  It is unclear, however, if the term includes an epidemic, such as COVID-19.   That legal term for unforeseen circumstances resulting in non-fulfillment of a contract is likely…
We called this a while back for the broadcasters, producers, and distributors challenging Missouri’s restrictions on alcohol advertising contained in the state’s three-tier “of value” and tied-house laws and regulations.  You can read our analysis and a description of the issues in our prior posts on the case, here, here, here, and here. You’ll note this has been bouncing around for a while now as the state originally won a motion to dismiss the lawsuit challenging certain Missouri liquor advertising restrictions as violative of the First Amendment. The 8th Circuit reversed that decision finding that the broadcasters, alcohol distributors and…
The police arrested you for a felony in Illinois. The prosecution wants to use your prior conviction in another state to upgrade your charges or increase your sentence. Can they do that? The answer depends on the specific law involved. An Illinois criminal or DUI statute may refer to whether you have been convicted under the laws of Illinois or any other jurisdiction. A court must look at your prior offense in the other state and compare it to the language of the charges against you. In People v. Schultz, the court examined whether a defendant’s two Michigan convictions…
As part of its yearlong Minds Over Matters: An Examination of Mental Health in the Legal Profession initiative, Law.com has partnered with ALM Intelligence to gather information on mental health and substance abuse among lawyers and legal professionals. Multiple studies have documented the pervasiveness of mental health and substance abuse problems in the legal profession. For instance, in 2016, an American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation study of 12,825 licensed, employed attorneys found that 28% suffered from depression and 1 in 5 self-described as problems drinkers. A basic component of lawyer professionalism is competent client representation. If lawyers…
Prosecutors and police allege that a Chicago woman helped carry out the killing of her on-again, off-again boyfriend in his South Side apartment this past summer. They claim that she plotted to rob the 30-year-old of marijuana in his Park Manor home – a robbery that ended in his fatal shooting late in July. Eupora Jackson, 27, of Englewood, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Eric Hamilton. A news report said she wept quietly in court as she was ordered held without bail. According to court documents, prosecutors believe Hamilton and Jackson attended a party…
Thursday, November 21, 2019     Illinois SB 730 was just passed by the General Assembly and is now at the Governor’s office awaiting signature. The bill proposes a number of changes to the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act, including one that would impact units of local government. If signed, the bill would establish a set date each year (on or before February 1st) by which the chief administrative officer of a unit of local government must file with the county clerk the names of those officers and employees who must file statements of economic interest with the local government unit…
Before getting started on the blog entry of the week, I want to congratulate the Washington Nationals on their World Series victory where for the first time, a road team won every single game. Congratulations. I will be very curious to see whether the Washington nationals go to the White House. As everyone knows, a lot of professional sport teams are handling that different ways. Turning to the blog entry of the week, on October 29, 2019, the Seventh Circuit decided here Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company. I have previously blogged on that case here. So,…
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…