The Law Offices of Cooper, Storm & Piscopo - family law

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Cooper, Storm &
Piscopo Blog

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Geneva, Illinois Legal Blog

Does your website designer have a fiduciary duty to not misuse your financial or confidential information? What could or should you do to protect your business?

Recently I was asked by a client what remedies there might be for a website designer who already had access to their financial and confidential information. The client suspected the web designer might be trying to misuse their access to that information and their control over the client's website for the designer's own gain and benefit. Of course, there are all sorts of statutes, rules and regulations that govern the access to, use and safeguarding of a client's financial and confidential information by financial institutions, financial advisors, lawyers, accountants and other professional fiduciaries.

A look at the Illinois appellate court network

When a court makes a mistake in its ruling, either side could have an opportunity to overturn the decision. To do this, the appropriate appellate court has to hear the issue. There are five appellate districts in Illinois, and one federal court for the Illinois-Wisconsin-Indiana tri-state area.

Those involved in appeals should understand this structure, but it is also important to take guidance from someone acquainted with the way appeals work. This should help clarify the various procedures necessary to begin the process. For an overview of jurisdictions, please continue reading.

What should I do before installing a fence?

Fencing around your home is a must for security and privacy. Installing a new fence might seem like a good option, but it can also call up zoning issues and neighbor disputes if you're not careful. In this case, recommends the following tips to ensure your fence installation progresses without incident.

Talk with neighbors first

Should you contest your loved one's will?

You are still grieving the recent death of a loved one. Perhaps the deceased was your sibling, your parent or your spouse. Whatever your relationship, you have suffered an unimaginable loss.

Despite your grief, you were still anticipating the probate process. You assumed your loved one would include you in their final wishes, but your grief increased when you learned they did not name you in their will, or other persons were named who you think should not have been included. What happened, and can you fight for an inheritance?

How should I respond to online defamation?

As an Illinois small business owner, your reputation has a direct impact on your success. That's why online defamation can be so damaging. False statements about you or your business may easily be believed by others, which in turn will harm your bottom line. Taking the right approach to defamatory statements is key in this case, as explained by Forbes

The first step is to understand what constitutes defamation. First and foremost, the statements made about you or your business must be false. They must also be factual, meaning that a person's opinion, no matter how insulting, is not considered defamatory. Additionally, if you plan on filing suit you'll need to show that these false, factual statements caused you actual harm. This can often be expressed in a loss of revenue or customers occurring after a defamatory statement was made.

The long-term consequences of a business dispute

There are many ways in which business owners can approach business disputes, and various topics to explore. It is imperative to be aware of the different options that may be open to you if you have found yourself in this position, and you should also try to think from a long-term point of view. Business owners sometimes only view these disputes from a short-term perspective, but it is imperative to realize the potential implications of a dispute (even if you can secure an outcome that is in your favor).

From shattered business partnerships that play a crucial role in daily operations to the loss of key staff members and issues with customers as well as competitors, business disputes can have many different implications from a long-term viewpoint. It is important to try to work through these disputes smoothly and minimize potential challenges (or even prevent them, when possible). For example, you should try to avoid escalating tensions during a business lawsuit or dispute, and look for ways to increase productive and helpful communication with the parties involved.

Which Illinois business owners should be enrolling in Secure Choice?

If you own a business in Illinois, you're familiar with the struggle to stay in compliance with local laws. In 2015, Illinois lawmakers passed the Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (Secure Choice). The program is meant to help businesses that do not already have a retirement savings program. It is mandatory for those businesses. 

Secure Choice is the first of its kind in the U.S. Early on, it made impressive strides. Nearly six dozen employers have participated since November 2018, when larger businesses were able to start enrolling. 

Business lawsuits can impact entire families

When it comes to business litigation, many business owners focus on the potential impact that a lawsuit may have on their company. For example, they may worry about the financial fallout of a lawsuit and any potential penalties they will encounter, and they may have concerns about their business’ future in various capacities. Sometimes, business lawsuits can be so serious that they even force a business to shut its doors. Moreover, litigation can be disastrous for business owners in their personal lives, and they can even affect entire families.

There are a number of ways in which your family may be affected by a business lawsuit that you are facing. For example, your summer vacation plans may be derailed by the lawsuit, not only because of the amount of time and energy that litigation consumes but because of the potential financial challenges that could arise in the wake of a lawsuit. Furthermore, if your business is hit hard by the financial consequences of a lawsuit, this could prompt you to make lifestyle changes that affect your whole family. From avoiding restaurants to shopping less and making other lifestyle changes, this can be very difficult for families.

How should I address shareholder disputes?

A shareholder agreement must satisfy all involved parties. It must also be designed with dispute resolution in mind. While you certainly hope for the best-case scenario in business, you must also have a plan in place in the event the worst-case scenario decides to make an appearance. To ensure your bases are covered, Entrepreneur offers the following information on handling shareholder disputes. 

Make sure all shareholders are protected

How does the appeal process work in Illinois?

If you believe the verdict you received during a trial at a circuit court in Illinois was made in error, you have the right to appeal. The appeal process has numerous steps, and it's important to understand these steps even when you have professional legal representation. To help you along, the Illinois Courts offers the following information. 

The appellate process entails filing many official notices to different entities. The clerk of the circuit court where your hearing was held will receive a notice of appeal, while the court reporters must be notified to prepare the transcripts. The clerk of courts must also prepare the record on appeal, which is provided to the appellate court which will be deciding on your appeal. You'll be responsible for providing the appellate court a notice of filing. 

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Geneva, IL 60134

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