Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble Blog

Latest from Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble Blog

Even though you may be charged by the lender for it to prepare the documents for your loan and they are presented as the lender’s standard or customary documents, beware of the hidden provisions that always benefit the lender and never the borrower. Even if the lender says they are “non-negotiable”, you need to be aware of them to avoid an unintentional default or provisions that could overly restrict you or your businesses’ future credit or activities.
Some hidden loan provisions include:

  • Security Interest. This pledges the borrowers’ assets, future assets and proceeds as collateral to repay the loan before

Continue Reading Hidden Loan Provisions

This months Business Bytes highlights digital evidence, protecting confidential informaiton and proper insurance claim reporting. 
Digital Evidence.  As more commercial deals and incidents are transacted or recorded digitally, being able to authenticate the video, text, screen shot, picture or other digital image is critical. If your evidence is on your phone, be sure to protect, preserve and be able to authenticate it. READ MORE.
Protecting Confidential Information.  Remote working and employing new technologies create new risks to unintended disclosure of attorney/client privileged information and materials. Heeding these safeguards is useful for anyone concerned that their proprietary information remain confidential.  READ
Continue Reading March Business Bytes

On January 1, 2023, the federal gift tax exclusion increased dramatically by $860,000.00 or $1,720,000.00 for couples, for a total of $12.06 million. This could dramatically affect your giving, funding trusts and leaving inheritances to children and grandchildren. Since the exclusion is scheduled to be reduced in 2026, and there is no telling what it will be next year. If you anticipate a large estate it is a good time to consult your lawyer to see if you could profit by this extraordinary increase.
If you have questions or if we can assist you in taking advantage of this federal
Continue Reading Gift Tax Exclusion

Experts predict that the next wave of litigation against businesses may involve cybersecurity and the failure of businesses to implement pragmatic protections to avoid or minimize the theft or disclosure of private personal information (PPI) or confidential customer information. While insurance may be available to cover some of these losses, the risks to your business and its reputation could be substantial.

Nothing provides immunity from liability, but these steps could decrease liability, exposure or loss:

  • Assess the data you collect, where it is stored and how it is used.
  • Make educated decisions about what data to collect and/or retain.
  • Understand

Continue Reading Cyber Security for Your Business

This month’s Business Bytes highlights insurance coverage, website terms and financial exploitation foiled by estate plans.
Don’t Underestimate Insurance Coverage.  We advise our clients to always file a written claim with any carrier when an issue arises, as some courts find the most unlikely events to be covered by insurance. A recent ruling found an auto insurance carrier liable to a passenger who caught an STD in the car from its insured.  READ MORE
Make Your Website Terms Enforceable.  As more companies move to a digital environment, they become more dependent on websites or contact terms and conditions only published on
Continue Reading February Business Bytes

The increasing number of states legalizing marijuana and its continued illegal treatment by the federal government, even in a reduced enforcement environment, poses a workplace issue for your business. While working under the influence need not be tolerated, policies and procedures for applicants and employees, drug testing, disciplinary actions and other workplace rules need to take into account this contradictory situation. Prior planning and preparation is preferable to  surprises and playing catch-up when a problems arises.
If you have any questions or problems relating to weed and the workplace, please contact us.
This Brief is designed to provide our friends
Continue Reading Weed in the Workplace

Selling a closely held small business or your interest in one is a challenge, requiring a different mind-set and skill set from operating the business. Identifying and approaching the most likely potential purchasers can be risky but also beneficial. Some potential business purchasers include:

  • Other Owners. They have the greatest knowledge of and experience with the business and its value, and the incentive and ability to keep the business operating.
  • Friends and Family. They often know about the business and its value, and may have an interest in acquiring it or an interest in it.
  • Employees. They often have a

Continue Reading Selling a Small Business

Our January Business Bytes highlights american as antitrust, firearm regulation and snap chat class action lawsuit. 
As American as Antitrust.  Major League Baseball’s statutory exemption from antitrust laws is again under attack, as it monopolizes professional baseball in the United States. This historic anomaly may end, resulting in players having more opportunities to play and fans to watch the national pastime. READ MORE   
Firearm Regulation.  Owning, using, selling, carrying and inheriting firearms are subject to complex and ever-changing laws, ordinances and regulations that vary in each state and with the federal overlay, and punishment or liability for violations can be
Continue Reading January Business Bytes

With the expanding gig economy, increased use of independent contractors and enhanced enforcement of employment laws, businesses should be aware of the many laws and regulations that impact these relationships in order to avoid problems, including suits, administrative actions, fines, penalties, and damages. Some steps to avoid or minimize these problems include:

  • Learning the laws or regulations that impact these business relationships.
  • Confirming the propriety and extent of these relationships.
  • Memorializing all agreements and policies, and having them acknowledged and accepted.
  • Documenting the relationship and the parties’ actions, duties and obligations.
  • Knowing when commissions or payments are due and properly

Continue Reading Independent Contractors/Salespersons

Business journals and publications are replete with stories about businesses that collect, use, store or sell private information of employees, customers, consumers or third parties, and their paying substantial and possibly business threatening damages as a result. Since there is no overall federal framework to protect personal private information (PPI), many state laws regulate PPI collectors and users. These laws often impose harsh penalties on businesses that fail to comply and allow private and class action enforcement suits. Moreover, carriers often reject insurance loss claims and specific insurance coverage is often difficult and expensive to acquire. Some concerns related to
Continue Reading Personal Data Dangers

Our December Business Bytes highlights your A.I phone system, virutal workplace accessibility and declaring and updating your insurance values. 
Your A.I Phone System Can Get You Sued. The collection, storage, use, transfer and destruction of biometric information is a hot bed of litigation in a largely unsettled area of law. Even your automated phone ordering system that uses A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) to create a more tailored customer experience could result in liability if it gathers voice or other information from consumers. READ MORE.
Your Virtual Workplace Accessibility.  With expanding remote or virtual work places, your business’ obligation to make those
Continue Reading December Business Bytes

With the increased number of workplace harassment suits and administrative proceedings, as well as fines, penalties and verdicts, all employers need to be proactive to avoid, identify and minimize workplace harassment and avoid claims or suits being filed. Some steps you can take include:

  • Knowing and identifying what actions and statements could constitute harassment.
  • Being aware of all potentially protected persons (almost everyone) and troublesome individuals.
  • Instructing management to be alert to harassment and how to address or prevent it.
  • Implementing and publicizing anti-harassment policies, including anonymous reporting.
  • Conducting anti-harassment training, as required by law and as provided by the

Continue Reading Avoiding Workplace Harassment Suits

As many of your business’ records and accounts are stored or accessed electronically, it is increasingly important to not only inventory, secure and protect these assets, but to enable your business or its successor to access them. Some steps to take include:

  • Inventory.  Identify the hardware (CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, computers, phones and other equipment), social media outlets, on-line banking and investment accounts, ecommerce transactions, cloud storage and vendors that constitute, store or access these digital assets.
  • Value.  Determine the commercial value of your digital assets (i.e. domain names) for insurance, protection and potential sale.
  • Collect.  All usernames, passwords,

Continue Reading Your Business’ Digital Assets

This month’s Business Bytes highlighs reservation of rights, avoiding hack attacks and workplace satefy.
Reservation of Rights.  While most states require your liability insurance carrier to defend you even if there is just an arguably covered claim alleged, they often do so under a reservation of rights. Then, as some celebrities learned, if the judgment is entered only on a non-covered claim (i.e., intentional bad conduct), your carrier may not only refuse to pay the judgment and your future defense costs but seek to recover from you the prior defense costs it paid. READ MORE.
Avoiding Hack Attacks. No
Continue Reading November Business Bytes

Eric Wilen is the President of the DuPage County Estate Planning Council for 2022 – 2023.  The DuPage County Estate Planning Council recently hosted a Judges Panel and Networking event at the Butterflied Country Club with the Honorable Bonnie Wheaton, the Honorable Paul M. Fullerton, the Honorable Anne Therieau Hayes and the Honorable James Orel from the 18th Judicial Circuit, Chancery Division.  During the evening, the Judges answered questions about Zoom and Courtroom practice and shared their insights with Council members and their invited guests.  The Judges spoke about their experiences with probate matters, views on will and trust enforcement
Continue Reading Eric Wilen Hosts a Judges Panel and Networking Event

Language in the recent U.S Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson decision regarding abortion raised concerns that the legal rights of unmarried couples of either sex and married couples of the same sex may be facing issues in the future, particularly in states that do not currently protect their rights.  While most legal scholars doubt any loss of existing rights, the Court’s overturning a 50-year precedent sent shockwaves about the sanctity of other long-established personal and privacy constitutional rights.
In short, this is a good time to consider, create, review or update documents that create or rely on your relationships, such
Continue Reading Married Same Sex and Unmarried Couples