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In May 2018, The Supreme Court of the United States handed down a verdict which permitted states other than Nevada to legalize sports betting and gambling. Since this opinion has come out, many states have introduced proposed legislation to legalize sports gambling within their borders. In 2019, Illinois joined states like Kentucky and Missouri in considering legislation that would legalize sports gambling.  In June 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill legalizing sports, making Illinois the fifth state this year, and the largest by population measures, to officially legalize sports gambling.  The new law will allow for state-wide mobile sports…
Recently, California joined the ranks of states like Oregon and New York in enacting a law controlling the maximum amount of rent a landlord may charge a tenant. These laws, commonly known and rent control laws, prevent landlords from raising rents to levels which the state deems unreasonable. Since 1997, restrictions of this kind have been banned in Illinois. This year, Illinois legislators and advocates alike have proposed a bill to remove this ban.  Legislators are split over whether rent control is a good thing for the state or if it will negatively affect the rental market. THE CURRENT BAN…
When an individual receives a document drafted by an attorney, it often contains terms which may be confusing or unfamiliar. Attorneys use these terms to not only comply with court requirements but also to make specific arguments and requests for their clients. Although it is the attorney’s responsibility to draft every document submitted to the court, documents can only be submitted with the client’s approval. For this reason, it is important that you have a basic understanding of the most frequently used terms in dissolution documents.  Below is a list of some common terms used in dissolution documents: Arrearage When…
Many couples considering divorce are hesitant  to make the decision due to their fear of the stigma they may face. In fact, 1 in 10 divorcees report staying in their marriage after they knew it was over for this  exact reason. Although divorce has become a normal part of society and human relationships, a recent study found that half of all couples who divorce feel a sense of shame and failure. This feeling, while natural, is not deserved. Today, nearly 45% of all marriages end in divorce, totaling nearly 2,400 divorces per day.  If divorces are so common, then why…
For some individuals, when their spouse files for divorce, it is a shocking, unexpected act. In other situations, however, both spouses realize that for one reason or another their marriage is no longer working.  When a divorce is something that both parties want, the couple is typically seeking to end the marriage as quickly and painlessly as possible.  If this is the case, the couple may be able to avoid the traditional adversarial form of divorce and may instead seek to use a more collaborative process. WHAT IS AN “UNCONTESTED” DIVORCE? An uncontested divorce exists when both parties are seeking…
In 2011, Illinois passed the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act giving protection and recognition to the legal relationship between two persons, of either the same or opposite sex, to the type of commitment known as a civil union. [1] The Act includes particular language that equates a civil union with a marriage, and states that the party to a civil union is entitled to the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits as spouses in a marriage. [2] Since the Act was passed, legislatures have continued to amend related aspects of family law legislation, awarding even more rights…
In October 2019, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass a bi-partisan bill that would designate certain forms of animal cruelty as federal felonies; this bill was passed by the Senate earlier this month and, on November 25, 2019, was signed into law by the President.  The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or the PACT Act, gained support from both the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the Fraternal Order of the Police, and the National Sheriff’s Association. THE CURRENT LEGISLATION The PACT Law expands on the protections offered under prior federal legislation, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act.…
When filing for divorce, it may feel as though you are drowning in paperwork.  From tax returns to your child’s doctor bills, a party to a divorce proceeding may be required to submit a large number of documents. These documents are used to gain insight into how the couple or family functions financially. Each party’s counsel will request documents from opposing counsel and work with their own client to obtain necessary documents to provide to the other side.  This process is called discovery. If one party does not supply all the documents necessary to the other party, the proceeding can…
It is no secret that many individuals consider pets as a member of the family. In fact, a recent survey found the millennial generation was more likely to adopt a pet than to have children or move in with a romantic partner. [1] Considering this, it is no surprise that recent legislation has taken steps to ensure pets are protected. Illinois has expansive legislation regarding pets’ and pet owner’s rights and responsibilities in the state, and legislatures continue to introduce new bills that ensure pets are safe. A bill currently up for review in the Illinois house of Representatives, requires…
Illinois legislators have recently proposed a number of acts that further the opportunities for demographic groups at-risk of being disadvantaged, such as women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. If approved, many of these acts will go into effect January 1, 2020. Below is a brief summary of just a few of the bills currently under consideration by the state legislators. HB0002-Expanding Upon Pregnant Women’s Rights This bill outlines and specifies a pregnant woman’s rights when receiving health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth. One aspect the bill would expand upon is the communication resources available to pregnant women. If enacted, the…
In 2019, Illinois enacted a new law to expand anti-stalking and harassment laws to include digital contact and social media. This protection extends to any form of digital communication between the perpetrator and their victim. To understand this and other anti-stalking and harassment laws, it is important to have a clear understanding of what type of behavior and contact is defined as stalking. WHAT IS STALKING? The legal definition of stalking continues to develop as different issues and claims arise. In general, it is defined as repeated and intentional following of or attempted contact with an individual, who has not…
Social media is intended to unite individuals; however, when going through a divorce proceeding, social media may bring an individual too close to their ex and could even affect the way their case is settled. Without a second thought, many people create posts that give clues about their infidelities, income, habits, and lifestyle.  All of these posts can be used against an individual when drafting a divorce or custody settlement. In fact, over eighty percent of family law attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported they have seen an increase in the amount of divorce proceedings using…
If you have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may have wondered what options you have to clear your record.  Illinois offers two distinct avenues – expungement and sealing – that may be available to you in these cases. Expungement is a process through which entries on your criminal and arrest record are removed.  Sealing a record does not remove the entries, but rather prevents the public from being able to view these things.  Only individuals or agencies connected to law enforcement or with special permission will be able to view items on a…
Likely most everyone has heard the news at this point that Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act on June 25, 2019, officially legalizing the use of recreational marijuana for anyone over the age of 21. [1] However, the bill also has several other lesser known provisions that you may not have been aware of.  Sherer Law Offices is here to walk you through two of largest side effects of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. First, the new law will allow for approximately 770,000 Illinois residents to have their criminal records expunged of certain marijuana related…
On Tuesday September 3rd the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the lawsuit against the Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, and the NFL must be heard in an open court room and not behind the closed doors of arbitration.[1] The City’s lawsuit alleges that the Rams violated the NFL’s 1984 league guidelines.  The league and Mr. Kroenke have alleged that any disagreement should be aired behind closed doors in arbitration, rather than in open court, pursuant to the 1995 lease agreement.  However, the Missouri Supreme Court disagreed and ordered the suit to proceed in open court. Currently, four suits are pending…
On Friday August 23, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law House Bill 2276, effectively amending the Illinois Vehicle Code and making it illegal for anyone to smoke in a car containing a person under 18 years of age.[1]  Specifically, it will be illegal for anyone to inhale, exhale, burn, or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, weed, plant, regulated narcotic, or other combustible substance while a minor is in the car.  The law applies whether the car is moving or stationary and regardless of whether windows and/or doors are open. The new law went into effect immediately and calls…