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May 2014 Archives

Jury Service for Business Owners - Advisory from ISBA

Question: Is there a jury service exemption for business owners?Answer: The courts recognize that jury service can sometimes create personal or occupational hardships. Generally, the jury commission will work with a person to select a service date which may be less of a hardship. During the selection process, you will have the opportunity to explain your personal situation to the court.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Teens Obtaining a Driver's License - Advisory from ISBA

Question: Must an older teen take classroom driver’s education training to obtain a full driver’s license?Answer: Starting July 1, 2014, 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who haven’t yet received a driver’s license must complete six hours of classroom or online driver’s education training. This is in addition to passing vision, written and road tests. Currently, driver’s education for that age group is optional.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfindeTr.com/legal-faqs

Divorce: Agreeing On Who Keeps the Pet - Advisory from ISBA

Question: My spouse and I are divorcing and cannot agree on which of us will keep our beloved family pet. What legal options are available to help us resolve this issue?Answer: Under the law, pets are considered property. If you and your spouse are unable to come up with a plan, you may want to work with a pet mediator and your respective divorce lawyers to provide the structure for an agreement. Popular options include joint custody or custody by one person with visitation rights. Once a decision is reached, you should consider a written agreement that may also include provisions for veterinary care decisions, the sharing of expenses, and health care and end-of-life decisions.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Four New Recalls For GM

The total number of General Motor vehicles recalled in 2014 has climbed to 13.5 million across 29 models, according to the New York Times. GM attributes the latest recalls to its “new standards,” which were put in place after the manufacturer was heavily criticized for failing to act to correct a problem pertaining to faulty ignition switches in many of its models.  GM reportedly has been aware of these defects for almost a decade, which have been attributed to at least 13 deaths, according to CNN. To this point, GM has agreed to pay the maximum of $35 million in fines to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to correct its ignition malfunctions in a timely fashion, but the Justice Department has not ruled out bringing criminal charges against them, according to CNN.The newest models included SUVs, such as the 2009-14 Buick Enclaves, Chevrolet Traverses and GMC Acadias, and were reportedly recalled due to malfunctioning seat belts that would wear out over time, leaving passengers vulnerable to injury, according to the New York Times. Also included were midsize sedans such as the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6, which are equipped with faulty cables which make it problematic for drivers to shift gears, the New York Times also reported.   According to CNN, GM has retained the services of Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert, to begin the process of determining how the company will compensate victims of the delayed recall.

Using Images Found Online on T-Shirts for Son's Soccer Team - Advisory from ISBA

Question: Is it legal to use a cartoon image I found online for the t-shirts to be worn by my son’s school soccer team?Answer: While an educational institution may use a work without permission (and with attribution) for the purpose of “scholarship” or academic activity under copyright law’s Doctrine of Fair Use, printing a school team t-shirt is not considered an academic activity, so this particular use would not qualify.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Police Search Advisory from ISBA

Question: May police search a handcuffed arrestee’s luggage?Answer: The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that police can search an arrestee’s luggage after the person is handcuffed. The case they heard involved a civil warrant for failure to pay child support.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

How Filing for Bankruptcy Affects Credit - Advisory from ISBA

Question: If I file for bankruptcy, how will it affect my future credit?Answer: Most people find it difficult to obtain long-term credit, such as a mortgage, shortly after a bankruptcy has been filed. For other types of credit, experiences vary. Many people can obtain credit on good terms within three years after a bankruptcy, but the bankruptcy itself may remain on your credit report for 10 years.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Home-Based Businesses - Local Zoning Law Advisory from ISBA

Question: I plan to start a home-based business. What should I know about local zoning laws?Answer: Before you decide to use that kitchen table or spare room for business, check local zoning laws for any restrictions. Some laws prohibit all businesses from operating in a residential area. Others have exceptions and take into consideration issues such as whether the business type will be a nuisance to other nearby home owners. A local land use attorney can walk you through the process to ensure you are compliant.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.comIf you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Recycling Electronic Devices - Advisory from ISBA

Question: Which electronic devices must legally be recycled or reused?Answer: Tossing electronic devices in the trash or at the curb is illegal. The Illinois Electronic Products Recycling & Reuse Act establishes a statewide system for recycling and/or reusing certain items discarded from residences by requiring electronic manufacturers to participate in the management of discarded electronic products. Those items which are covered by the law are the following: televisions, monitors, printers, computers (laptop, notebook, netbook, tablet, desktop), electronic keyboards, facsimile machines, videocassette recorders, portable digital music players, digital video disc players, video game consoles, small scale servers, scanners, electronic mice, digital converter boxes, cable receivers, satellite receivers, and digital video disc recorders.The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has a list of registered collectors, recyclers and refurbishers on their site at http://bit.ly/9sJsIr.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.comIf you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Knowing if a Lawyer is Licensed to Practice Law in Illinois - Advisory from ISBA

Question: How can I be sure that the lawyer I want to hire is licensed to practice law in Illinois? Answer: The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) compiles a list annually of lawyers who are licensed to practice law in Illinois. The public may access this information online at iardc.org. For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org. Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Giving Fresh Produce to Chicago Communities in Need

A legal assistant at our Chicago Law Offices owns and operates a certified organic vegetable and fruit family farm with her daughter in southwestern Wisconsin. Through the help of the farm, people in need are provided with essential resources to support them. Last year, at the end of each weekly farmer's market, the farm donated unsold fresh vegetables, herbs, and beautiful cut flower bouquets to the Wheeling Township Food Pantry in Arlington Heights. This organization distributes food to those in need in the township. Fresh cut flowers were placed on the food trays delivered to seniors through the Meals on Wheels program, which is operated by the same organization. The farm also participates in the Farmer's Market Nutrition Program that is operated under the state Food Share umbrella. Over the course of the season last summer, over 25 bouquets and more than 500 pounds of fresh produce were enjoyed by those in need. The Farmer's Market Nutrition Program provides seniors and low-income families coupons each season to be redeemed at participating Farmer's Market farms for fresh fruits and vegetables. The farm accepts the coupons in payment to support those in need. We are proud of the community involvement that our firm participates in outside of our law office. We are thankful to have a supporting team who chooses to actively participate in community outreach programs that benefit our Chicago neighborhoods. To learn more about Clifford Law Offices' community involvement, please visit: http://goo.gl/Epq9ri

Using Online Document Services for Legal Needs - Advisory from ISBA

Question: Can I trust using an online, do-it-yourself document service for my legal needs? Answer: Online services offering downloadable legal documents may seem like a bargain now, but it may have serious consequences for the future. Making sure you have the right provisions in a legal document is critical. Making sure you have the right provisions in a legal document, and that you understand them, is critical. Only a licensed attorney may provide that type of legal advice. For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org. Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Unhappy Condominium Owner - Advisory from ISBA

Question: If a condominium owner is unhappy with the way that the property is being cared for, can he or she stop paying assessments? Answer: Not according to Illinois law. Condominium board members have a duty to maintain the common elements, and the owners are bound by statute to pay their portion of the expenses. Owners have several options for disputing assessment charges and board performance, such as challenging the association's record-keeping, taking steps to remove an offending board member, seeking election to the board themselves, and filing a lawsuit. For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org. Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Riding Side by Side - Bicycling Advisory from ISBA

Question: Is it lawful for bicyclists to ride side-by-side?Answer: Illinois law says two bicyclists may ride side-by-side as long as the normal movement of traffic is not impeded.For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.

Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs

Trucking Accidents on the Rise

CBS-TV Investigative reporter Pam Zekman in Chicago reported on the rise in trucking accidents on the 10 o'clock news Thursday May 8th, 2014 on Channel 2.  She interviewed senior partner, Robert A. Clifford for a news story as well as profiled one of the firm's clients who was victim of a horrific trucking accident.  The mother of two adult children was killed on I-80 when she was crushed between two trucks when traffic was slowing for construction.
Clifford Law Offices reported last year on the rise in trucking accidents in its blog as well as in a recent newsletter that was sent out to its clients and lawyers across the country. Watch the entire segment on WBBM-TV with Pam Zekman's report that affects everyone on the road: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/05/08/2-investigators-some-trucking-firms-on-federal-watch-list-for-safety-violations/

Bob Clifford Appears on CBS Story Regarding Trucking Firms' Safety Violations

Robert A. Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, appeared last night (Thursday, May 8, 2014) on WBBM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, to talk about some trucking firms' safety violations, a real danger on our roads. Clifford also addressed the issue of truckers' driver fatigue and how that needs to be managed more carefully.
Clifford, who has represented a number of victims of truck accidents, told Zekman, "There is a systemic problem in the trucking industry that is wreaking havoc on roads across America every single day."
Zekman profiled one of the firm's tragic cases of a mother being killed on I-80 when she was crushed between two trucks who apparently failed to properly stop in a construction zone.
To see the entire story that aired on Channel 2 in Chicago last night at 10 o'clock, click here: http://cbsloc.al/1jqlWzb

Robert A. Clifford to be Recognized by American Inns of Court

Founder of Clifford Law Offices, Robert A. Clifford, has been selected to receive the 2014 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Seventh Circuit. He will be presented with this honor on May 12, 2014 at the Seventh Circuit Annual Judicial Conference in Chicago. According to the website, this esteemed award is given annually to "a lawyer or judge whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law." Clifford, who was President of the Chicago Inn of Court from 1994-95, was selected from a national panel of members of the American Inns of Court Awards Committee that included Justices from the Supreme Courts of Delaware and Tennessee as well as from various U.S. Courts of Appeal. Clifford will also be recognized in October at the American Inns of Court annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Taking An Aspirin A Day May Prevent Heart Attacks For Some, But Others Must Be More Careful, FDA Warns

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that the general statement that “taking an aspirin a day” may help to prevent heart attacks may not be true for everyone, and it can even cause some dangerous side effects, according to its website. On Monday, the FDA announced that it would not be granting Bayer Corp. its requested approval of listing aspirin as one of the drugs known to combat heart attacks and strokes, according to NBC News. The FDA says that aspirin is only recommended for those who are particularly susceptible to heart attacks and strokes, and even then it should not be taken daily without doctor approval and supervision, NBC reported. In fact, the FDA says that the drug is most recommended only for “secondary prevention,” which its website defines as prevention of reoccurring heart attacks or strokes after a person has already suffered one or the other. While studies have shown that taking doses from “baby aspirin” all the way to a full strength 325 milligram full tablet can indeed have a deterrent effect for heart attacks and strokes, no one should be taking it daily without consultation with their doctor simply because they may have heard that it is a good idea, according to NBC. Aspirin is a blood thinner, which is why it is considered as beneficial to some who are at serious risk; however, blood thinners also come with negative side effects, such as possibly bleeding in the stomach or brain, according to the FDA website. Both the FDA and Bayer Corp. divulged that there are a number of large-scale clinical studies being performed on the benefits and harms of daily aspirin use, and both claimed the results of which should be available in the next few years, according to NBC. In the meantime, the FDA recommends that those who are especially at risk of heart attack or stroke should consider contacting their doctor pertaining to possible daily aspirin use, but warn that people should not decide to take aspirin daily, especially in large doses, just because they may have heard of the potential benefits. 

Team Durkin Participates in the Chicago Police Memorial "Run to Remember"

Congratulations to Team Durkin that ran in Saturday's Chicago Police Memorial "Run to Remember."  Kevin Durkin, partner at Clifford Law Offices, sponsored a team in the 5K race that is a major fundraiser for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation that helps families of fallen and injured police officers.  Durkin also is on the Board of the Foundation that he supports year round. The weather was near perfect and helped to make it a wonderful day for all who gave of their time and effort.  

Bob and Joan Clifford Sponsor WTTW/WFMT Event

Robert and Joan Clifford attended the WTTW/WFMT 2014 Celebration entitled "Come and Play" on May 1.  The event, which focused on the station's commitment to quality children's programming, was held at WTTW's studios, Chicago's public television station that Clifford Law Offices has sponsored closed captioning for the past 10 years. Guests were greeted by Elmo of Sesame Street.  The Chicago Children's Choir and other talented youngsters entertained the crowd of several hundred donors at the Renee Crown Public  Media Center in Chicago.  To find out more about the evening or to donate to support programming on WTTW, please visit www.wttw.com/celebration2014. Bob Clifford also sits on the Board of Trustees of WTTW.  Next year WTTW celebrates its 60th year on the air.  
 
 

After Warning, Johnson & Johnson Postpones Sale of Device Used For Fibroid Surgery

Johnson & Johnson has temporarily suspended its international sale of its power morcellators following an April 17 advisory from the Food and Drug Administration warning that their use to remove fibroids from the uterus has a risk of worsening hidden cancer, according to Reuters. The company says that it will attempt to resume sale once their role in fibroid treatment is further investigated and understood by the medical community, Reuters reported. Laparoscopic power morcellation is a treatment used to treat fibroids, which are noncancerous growths on the uterus common during childbearing years, according to the Mayo Clinic. The procedure uses the power morcellators to break uterine tissue into smaller fragments so they can easily be removed through a minor incision in the stomach, Reuters reported. The device can also be used to remove the entire uterus in severe cases, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The risk of inadvertently spreading cancer by means of this procedure has been recognized in the medical profession for some time, and the FDA estimated that 1 in 350 females in the Unites States who undergo surgery each year have a hidden form of cancer known as uterine sarcoma, the Star Tribune reported.

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