Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg, LLC

Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg, LLC is a business-focused law firm with deep roots in Chicago. Since 1946, we’ve consistently been true to our founding principle: long-lasting client relationships based on trust, communication and responsiveness, paired with exceptional legal counsel.

Our clients range from public corporations to entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on representing small to mid-sized businesses.

Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg, LLC Blogs

Latest from Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg, LLC

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) has been signed into law.  A significant part of this legislation provides financial assistance to small businesses by means of the “Paycheck Protection Program.”   This program will provide small businesses with loans which can be forgiven, in whole or part, based upon the borrower’s willingness and ability to maintain its pre-crisis level of employment.  The program generally applies to businesses with 500 or fewer employees.
The maximum amount a company can borrow is the lesser or $10,000,000 or the amount determined based on a formula of approximately 2.5 times
Continue Reading CARES Act

In the past week, as concern about the novel coronavirus pandemic has gripped the country, a number of our clients have reached out to SFNR to update or prepare estate planning documents for them.
One of the documents at the forefront of clients’ minds is their Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney.  This document grants a trusted person the ability to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you cannot make them for yourself.  Though no one envisions a virus or other illness or accident striking close to home, making your wishes concerning treatment clear will ease the
Continue Reading Estate Planning in a Time of COVID-19

Congress has just approved a $2 Trillion stimulus bill to assist individuals, businesses and governmental authorities faced with economic hardship and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The bill was promptly signed into law by President Trump.  Here is a summary of the key components of the legislation:
Payments to Individuals and Families
The bill provides for direct payments by the federal government to all qualifying individuals in the United States.  Qualifying single individuals who earn up to $75,000 will be paid $1,200, married couples will receive $2,400, and additional payments would be made in the amount of
Continue Reading Congress Passes $2 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

On March 19, Congress approved and the White House signed into law the Family First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA”), which provides for expanded protections under the Family Medical Leave Act as well as paid sick leave to eligible employees for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. A more detailed discussion of the duties, rights and obligations of employers and employees under the FFCRA can be viewed on SFNR’s website at the link below:
One of the employer obligations imposed by the FFCRA is that all covered employers provide written notice to employees of their rights under the FFCRA.  On March 25,
Continue Reading U.S. Department of Labor Issues Model Notice Required by Employers Under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering loans to small businesses of up to $2,000,000 to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Loan proceeds may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills.  The interest rate for small businesses is 3.75%.  Repayment terms are up to a maximum of 30 years.   Small businesses in all states are eligible.  
More information is available at the SBA’s website:
For more information or questions regarding corporate law, please contact Leonard Gambino at

The post SBA
Continue Reading SBA COVID-19 Loan Program

Businesses large and small have been placed under tremendous financial strain due the current pandemic.  Government action at all levels seeking to address the issue are advancing and changing by the hour.  Some of these will offer small businesses some relief.  Others, such as proposals requiring paid sick leave to hourly workers, may increase the burden.  Moreover, the strain is being felt not just by your business, but also by your vendors and customers.

In light of all of this, it is imperative to assess the obligation of continued performance under your various contracts.  Do your vendors have an obligation
Continue Reading COVID-19 and Contract Performance

Late yesterday, the United States Senate approved H.R. 6201 – the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) – which provides for expanded protections under the Family Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”) as well as paid sick leave to certain employees impacted by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  The FFCRA was promptly signed into law by President Trump last night.  What follows is a brief summary of the key components of the FFCRA and how they will impact employers and employees alike.
I.  Expanded Coverage under the FMLA.
The FMLA currently applies only to employers with at least 50 or more
Continue Reading Congress Passes Family First Coronavirus Response Act – H.R. 6201

To our valued clients, colleagues and friends:
At Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg, we take our obligation to ensure a healthy and safe working environment as seriously as our commitment to providing a continuous, high level of service to our clients. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, our firm has been preparing an appropriate COVID-19 response plan, which includes establishing remote access capabilities for all of our attorneys and support staff. While we will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis, please be assured that we remain, and will remain, responsive and fully functional, and you should expect no interruption
Continue Reading COVID-19 Response Plan

Question:        I recently accepted a job with a startup company and was given shares of company stock at no cost to me in which I will vest over a period of years.  Do I have to pay tax on the shares I receive?
Answer:           As with most employee benefits which are provided for no consideration, you will be taxed on the value of the shares you receive.  The real question is not whether you will be taxed on the shares which have been issued to you but when the tax liability will be incurred. 
The general rule is that
Continue Reading Tax Planning with Stock Issued to Employees

On January 1, 2020, Illinois enacted a series of new employment laws and expanded existing laws which significantly impact every employer and employee in the state of Illinois.  What follows is a brief overview of the changes to Illinois’ employment laws and the new obligations they impose on Illinois employers.
I.   Expanded Coverage and Requirements of the Illinois Human Rights Act
The Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) is the Illinois state counterpart to the most well-known anti-discrimination employment laws which prohibits Illinois employers from discrimination or harassment in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry,
Continue Reading 2020 Ushered in Significant and Far-Reaching Changes to Illinois’ Employment Laws: Is Your Business in Compliance?

Among the sweeping changes to Illinois’ employment law framework, arguably none is as far-reaching or consequential to Illinois employers than the recently enacted amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act, which now require every Illinois employer to provide annual mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for all employees, beginning this year.
For many employers, the new mandatory sexual harassment prevention training requirements have been a source of confusion and uncertainty.  The statute lacks meaningful criteria or objective standards to inform employers as to what is necessary to provide satisfactory training or comply, other than the following list of four general topics
Continue Reading Illinois Department of Human Rights Issues New Guidance Regarding Employer Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

On Nov. 25, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions for writs of certiorari seeking review of a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision, allowing climate scientist Michael Mann’s defamation case to proceed against the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and two individuals.
The court’s denial of cert got widespread press, particularly as a consequence of Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent, in which he found that the case had “serious implications for the right to freedom of expression.” Multiple amicus briefs, from such diverse entities as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Washington Post and
Continue Reading Why Justices Declined Review of Scientist’s Defamation Case

Question:        I own a stock portfolio which has appreciated significantly in value over the years. Can I transfer the portfolio to my aged mother and have her transfer it back to me upon her death so I can benefit from a step-up in basis when she dies?
Answer:           Generally speaking, this strategy will work. However, if you transfer assets you own to your mother, she dies within one year of receiving the gift from you and the assets are retransferred to you upon her death, there will be no basis adjustment for you.  The Internal Revenue Code specifically prohibits
Continue Reading Tax Planning with Appreciated Assets

Question:        I am
planning to retire and give stock in my business to my children in the next few
years.  While I am not expecting any
payments in return, I want to continue my salary following my retirement. Can the
business continue to pay salary to me after I retire?

Answer:           If
you retire and are no longer rendering services for your company, you cannot
continue to receive a salary.  If a tax
audit occurs, the IRS will not respect the salary payments to you and will recharacterize
your continuing payments from the company as a dividend or gift,
Continue Reading Continuing Post-Termination Salary As Deferred Compensation

by | Dec 12, 2019

Allegedly concerned with “confusing” the public, certain states and the federal government have proposed or enacted legislation requiring meatless food manufacturers to avoid using meat-related terms on their labels. Just as demand for plant-based foods soars, driving…

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by | Nov 20, 2019

Usually, it happens well into a key deposition. After hours of grueling questioning, the witness starts to wear down, his loss of confidence becoming palpable, but the interrogator doesn’t let up. Picture a rickety sailboat trying to navigate with a failing rudder as…

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Continue Reading Insights – SFNR

In September 2020, SFNR will relocate its offices for the first time since the early 1970s. SFNR just entered into a new lease calling for the firm to move into “The 300,” a recently renovated downtown office tower at 300 S. Wacker Dr. in the hot southwest Loop.  The new space will take advantage of the latest technologies and enable the firm to do more with less, providing more offices in fewer rentable square feet.  Coverage in the local press of the move includes this piece:

Link to Law Firm Takes Full Floor at 300 S. Wacker Office Tower.

Continue Reading Firm Move Announced for 2020