February 2019

2021 Midwest Road, Suite 200, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Month: February 2019

Spring is right around the corner and it's time to go out and about again with your children. If you are a parent, that means school it's time for more field trips and attending birthday parties. And with field trips and birthdays at certain venues, you, parent, must sign a waiver. Indeed, you are tasked with signing away your child's legal rights in the event of an injury.

Despite the routineness of this signing away of our children's legal right of holding a vendor legally accountable, such waivers are not enforceable in Illinois. That's right – just because you signed it, doesn't mean the waiver means anything.

Illinois courts do not enforce them. Period. Under Illinois law, when a minor is involved in litigation, she is a ward of the court and the court has a duty and broad discretion to protect the child's interests. This rule is extended to claims of injury by minor children. Ultimately, Illinois courts have held that a parent waiving their child's rights is against this rule and thus, against public policy. In initial caselaw, courts held that parents and legal guardians can not waive a minor-child's rights after an injury. What this means for parents is that if your child is injured due to a business' negligence, then definitely consider your legal options (whether your child will win is a separate issue). What if the minor-child signed their own legal waiver? Also 'nope.' Contracts (which what a waiver is) where a ...

Are Oral Contracts Still Contracts?

"I don't know what to do. We agreed about this in a conversation, but we didn't sign any contracts." This is a common concern that clients come to me with. Many people mistakenly believe that an oral agreement is meaningless. Fortunately, that is not the case and having an oral contract is still a contract. However, reader beware, contract law is very complicated for a few reasons: 1) contract law has multiple bases, specifically statute and caselaw (in other words, you have to look to multiple places to "figure out" the law), 2) it is open to a lot of interpretation, and 3) the law surrounding a specific contract can change based on the subject matter of the contract (eg, consumer contract, construction contract, or real estate contract).

So what are your options if you have an oral contract? Your options are the largely same as if you had a written contract. You can seek to enforce it through a lawsuit, if necessary. However, there are some caveats. Firstly, there are some contracts that are required to be in writing because of the law known as the Statute of Frauds. The Statute of Frauds calls for certain types of contracts to be in writing such as for the sale of land or a contract that involves a time of more than one year. Further, there is the Uniform Commercial Code that requires writing for the sale of goods over $500.00. These statutes are still pretty lax and do not ...
Contracts have many important components but over my years of practice, there is one main reason why people end up in court. The reason is...

... non-performance...

that was obvious, right?

This is a classic 'breach of contract' claim. This means that one party in the contract did not fulfill their obligations. So what can you do to decrease the chance of having a 'breach of contract' scenario? Here are three tips to help preempt being in a 'breach of contract' dispute:

  1. Put everything in writing. This might be another 'no-brainer' but surprisingly, many people still do not put their agreements in writing. There are two reasons for this: 1) the people involved are friends or family and 2) the relationship is not obviously one that relates to a contract. When it comes to friends and family, we tend to let our guards down and be more trusting. In addition, we don't like to ask for contracts from friends and family because they may be offended. As for the second reason, people often 'agree' to things when speaking and do not realize they entered into a contract. As a rule, regardless of who you are dealing with, if there is money or services involved, it's best to put it in writing, even if on a napkin.
  2. Don't do business with shady people. I always say: you can not contract yourself out of a bad relationship. Contracts are great for creating legal rights or to make

Fraudulent? Or Just ‘Sleazy?’

(This article was originally appeared in the Patch.com.)

Many prospective clients call my office claiming they have been defrauded and want to explore their legal remedies. This seems to be exceptionally common in a sales context (specifically car sales) though not always.

A typical consultation goes like this:

Client: I was defrauded.

Me: Ok, tell me what happened?

Client: This salesguy sold me a car. He was really pushy and told me he was selling me an amazing car and that he got me a great deal. But after talking to my friends, they are telling me that I did not get a great deal and one of my friends even told me that he also bought a car from the same salesguy and the salesguy also told him he was giving him an "amazing car."

Me: Ok, so, did the salesman lie to you?

Client: Yes, he did! He said he would get me an amazing deal and that I was going to get a great car! I got neither, just a regular car and a "regular" deal. I really regret buying this car! I want to sue to get my money back!

This article will explore what actually constitutes legal fraud and what you can do to protect yourself from non-fraudulent but "sleazy" sales tactics. What people often perceive as fraud is nothing but typical – and legal – sales tactics. In order for a plaintiff (the person suing) to succeed on a claim for ...