Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble Blog

Latest from Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble Blog

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

Generally, members of the board of directors of a corporation are protected from liability for the actions of the corporation and its employees, but that protection is not absolute and is being eroded by recent court rulings. In the corporation hierarchy, the shareholders (owners) elect the directors who are responsible for broad corporate policies and hire the officers (president, CEO, etc.) who are responsible for operating the business and hiring the employees. In small corporations, persons often hold multiple positions. To attract and protect your directors, particularly those who are just board members (independent directors), whether compensated or not, the
Continue Reading Protecting Corporate Board Members

Generally, members of the board of directors of a corporation are protected from liability for the actions of the corporation and its employees, but that protection is not absolute and is being eroded by recent court rulings. In the corporation hierarchy, the shareholders (owners) elect the directors who are responsible for broad corporate policies and hire the officers (president, CEO, etc.) who are responsible for operating the business and hiring the employees. In small corporations, persons often hold multiple positions. To attract and protect your directors, particularly those who are just board members (independent directors), whether compensated or not, the
Continue Reading Protecting Corporate Board Members 

Our Business Bytes highlights recent publications, issues, events and successes that we think our clients and friends should know about. We seek out, sort, prioritize and summarize them for your quick review. Please contact us if you have any questions, issues or problems with your business or otherwise that we can help solve. 
Domestic Worker Rules. The Illinois Department of Labor issued final rules effective August 1, 2022, regarding the employment, compensation, conditions and employer requirements for domestic workers. They include obligations for domestic workers that are shared or employed by multiple households, including persons employed as nannies, caregivers, housekeepers
Continue Reading October Business Bytes

As any business can be a cyberattack target, business owners should:

  • Foster a culture of security awareness in their organization by clear and consistent messaging, policies, and procedures.
  • Have clear written security policies and incident response plans that provide guidance, rules and expectations when it comes to handling and accessing company systems and information, and addressing a breach.
  • Provide regular and consistent training relating to security.
  • Invest in technical safeguards and the people needed to keep them up to date, including continual monitoring, regular back up of systems, and maintaining physical security practices.
  • Obtain a dedicated and appropriate cyber insurance


Continue Reading Cyberattack Protection

A trademark is a legally protected, non-generic, unique and distinctive name, symbol, letter, word, mark, slogan, phrase, smell, color, sound or hologram that can be owned to identify your business, products or services. It identifies and distinguishes your business or product from competitors or copycats. The value of a successful trademark continues to increase, including licenses and sales, but they need to be properly designed, registered and protected in order to retain their value and prevent their unauthorized use.
Some tips regarding trademarks include:

  • Make sure that your trademark is distinctive, non-generic and a strong identifier of your business, products


Continue Reading Trademarks