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  “We offer expertise and counsel in the areas of corporate, real estate and transactional law, estate and tax planning, marital matters and many other areas of litigation in both State and Federal Courts.”  

News & Insights

For the second consecutive year, Fischel & Kahn has been ranked Tier 1 in Family Law by the Best Law Firm rankings for Chicago. The U.S. News & Report Best Law Firms rankings are based on a meticulous evaluation process like that of Best Lawyers- including attorney peer evaluation, client feedback, and background information provided by the nominated firm.

Deborah Soehlig is a designated speaker at the ISBA Mediation Roundtable on October 17th. This seminar provides attorneys the opportunity to earn MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) credit and learn about Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation. Deborah’s discussion will elaborate on why these options can be superior to the litigation process.

For the third consecutive year, David Inlander, Suzanne Glade and Julie Brett have been named as Best Lawyers® in Family Law. Lawyers cannot impact this nomination process by paying a fee; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is a high honor based purely on each attorney’s aptitude, and rapport with colleagues within their legal communities.

Deborah Soehlig and Ronald Menna also assumed new section leadership roles within the ISBA. Deborah now serves as Secretary of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section Council, which actively promotes innovative substitutes to the conventional litigation procedures. Ronald now serves as Secretary of the Civil Practice and Procedure Section Council, which aims to amplify the professional skills knowledge of practicing attorneys in the civil law system.

Bob Kaufman and David Inlander assume new section leadership roles within the ISBA in June 2017. Bob will serve as Chair of the Trust & Estates Section Council which reviews, improves and produces legislation regarding probate, trust and estate planning matters. David will serve as Vice-Chair of the Bench & Bar Section Council, which fosters cooperation between judges and the practicing bar to enhance the court system and administration of justice for the public.

David Inlander was one of a handful of religious and civic leaders invited to march alongside Cardinal Blase Cupich during his Good Friday Walk for Peace in Englewood on April 14th. More than 1,500 people took part in the march against gun violence which included testimonies from families of victims from the violence. Read more about the Walk for Peace here.

On February 13, Fischel & Kahn Managing Partner David Inlander introduced Archbishop of Chicago Blase Cardinal Cupich at the 22nd Annual Joseph Cardinal Bernadin Jerusalem Lecture held this year at DePaul University. Inlander gave the introduction as part of his role as Chair of the Interreligious Affairs Commission of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

Although many small employers breathed a sigh of relief last year when the new U.S. Department of Labor changes to classification of overtime-eligible employees were halted as a result of litigation filed in Texas, Illinois employers have other new rules they must follow beginning in 2017.

As of January 1, 2017, all Illinois employers who offer sick leave must allow their employees to use at least some of that sick leave not only for their own illness or medical needs, but also for those of their children, spouse, siblings, parents, in-laws, grandchildren, grandparents and step-parents. Still in play is a recent bill seeking to amend the list to include step-children and domestic partners. This new law does not mandate sick leave, however if an employer offers sick leave, the definition of sick leave must include those absences.

The Illinois Sick Leave Act does not require that employers modify their policies if they currently provide leave that may be used for family member care, but careful analysis is required to make sure the policies comply.

This new law can impact your rights and obligations under the Family Medical Leave Act, collective bargaining agreements and other paid time off policies. There are also various rules about who is covered, how and when hours accrue, when hours can be used, and carry-over of hours, as well as payments upon termination. Contact Deborah Soehlig for a review of current policies, postings and compliance concerns.

In addition to the Illinois Sick Leave Act which went into effect on January 1, 2017, both Cook County and the City of Chicago have gone a step further and mandated sick leave for employees.

As of July 1, 2017, Cook County and Chicago employers must offer sick leave to all employees, with “employees” defined as those who worked 80 hours or more within a 120 day period in both ordinances. Sick leave accrues at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. Accrual begins on the first day of employment (or July 1, 2017 for existing employees), but under some circumstances, may not be used during probationary periods. There are annual caps, carry-over restrictions and notice requirements as well.

The Chicago and Cook County ordinances include family medical needs (and includes domestic partners and step, foster and in loco parentis children), certain treatment and court appearances related to domestic violence or sex offenses as well as public health emergency business and/or school closure as covered absences.

Employees whose employers are located outside of Cook County, but who work in Cook County at least two hours in any two week period, will be covered.

There are also posting requirements for the Chicago ordinance.

As with the Illinois Sick Leave Act, these new laws can impact your rights and obligations under the Family Medical Leave Act, collective bargaining agreements and other paid time off policies. There are also various rules about who is covered, how and when hours accrue, and when hours can be used, and carry-over of hours, as well as payments upon termination. Contact Deborah Soehlig for more information and a review of your current policies, postings and compliance concern.

After a national sandwich shop was found to have employment agreements with its workers which prevented them from working at a competing food service establishment within a three-mile radius of the shop for two years, the Illinois legislature acted quickly to protect these workers.

Effective January 1, 2017, the Illinois Freedom to Work Act prohibits employers from entering into “a covenant not to compete with any low-wage employee,” defined as one paid the greater of $13 per hour or the minimum wage required by federal, state or local statute.

A “covenant not to compete” is defined as an agreement: (1) that would bar the low-wage employee from performing: (A) any work for another employer for a specified period of time; (B) any work in a specified geographical area; or (C) work for another employer that is similar to such low-wage employee’s work for the employer included as a party to the agreement; and (2) that is entered into after January 1, 2017.

Contact Ron Menna for more information or to review your current employment agreements.

David Inlander was profiled in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on the parallels between his professional work in family law and personal work with the AJC, building bridges among world religions. You can find the full article here.

Over the past few years, Mark R. Rosenbaum has been the drafter or co-drafter of a number of pieces of proposed legislation coming out of the Chicago Bar Association on condominium and common interest community association issues. Among his proposals that have been enacted into law are Public Acts 99-472 (amending the condominium declaration amendment process) and 99-612 (governing the use of technology in associations). These new Acts have amended portions of both the Illinois Condominium Property Act and the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act, as in effect January 1st, 2017.

Bob Kaufman has been named a Leading Lawyer in multiple areas of law, showcasing his widespread skill and knowledge. These areas include Trust/Wills/Estate, Tax, and Corporate Law. These distinctions will be highlighted in Chicago Lawyer, Chicago Life, and Chicago Medicine magazines’ February issues.

David Inlander and Peter Miller have once again been named Super Lawyers. David was acknowledged in the areas of both General Litigation and Family Law, while Peter stood out in Corporate Law and Business Litigation. Super Lawyers recognizes attorneys based on peer nomination, an in-depth research analysis, and peer evaluations. Only 5 percent of lawyers in Illinois are awarded this highly sought accolade.

David Inlander, Suzanne Glade and Julie Brett have all been deemed “Life Restorers” by Leading Lawyers in the area of Family Law for 2016 and will be featured in JUF News’ February 2017 Guide.

Bob Kaufman’s favorable Private Letter Ruling involving the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax was highlighted as a “harbinger of tax developments” in BNA’s Tax Management Memorandum.

As part of a court-approved trust settlement, beneficiaries of a trust agreed to terminate it after the administration costs outweighed the value of the trust. The living beneficiaries - who were grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the deceased - shared the assets equally, and the IRS determined the trust could keep its GST-exempt status.

Deborah Soehlig shared her estate planning insight with the South Suburban Estate Planning Council at the group’s November meeting. She discussed how to effectuate an improperly exercised limited power of appointment, which is often needed to accomplish the goals of the deceased when an estate plan contains invalid provisions. Her discussion included scenarios such as using assets to pay for funeral costs as well as designating a non-listed recipient to inherit following the death of a listed recipient.

Ron Menna is featured in the October 2016 issue of DCBA Brief with his byline Motions for Summary Affirmance in the Seventh Circuit. In the piece, he gives insight into how an Appellee can utilize a summary affirmance to simplify a Seventh Circuit appeal. Read the full article here.

Joel Fenchel has been named a Distinguished Counselor by the Illinois State Bar Association. This award is bestowed upon those with more than 50 years of honorable service at the Bar and for setting an inspiring example of devotion to the law.

Fischel & Kahn has been ranked Tier 1 for Family Law in Chicago in the 2017 Best Law Firms rankings.  The U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

David Seidman has joined the firm as a principal, bolstering the firm’s corporate and litigation practices.

“David is one of those rare lawyers who can counsel clients on all aspects of their corporate needs – from start-ups through M&A – and at the same time serves as a skilled litigator and savvy advocate for his clients in court,” said Fischel & Kahn Managing Partner David Inlander. “His practice will be a perfect complement our firm’s strong matrimonial and trusts & estates work as well.”

Bob Kaufman has been named a Leading Lawyer in Trust, Will and Estate Law by Law Bulletin’s Leading Lawyers. Bob will be highlighted as one of Chicago’s top wealth protectors in the November 2016 issue of JUF News, the largest circulation Jewish community news magazine published by the Jewish United Fund of Chicago. 

Ron Menna moderated a panel on appellate court practices and procedural issues at the DuPage County Bar Association’s DCBA in Chicago Seventh Circuit Seminar on October 20, 2016. The event featured insights from several practicing judges, court personnel and lawyers arguing cases before the court.

Bob Kaufman contributed an article entitled “Transfers into trust: A new reality?” for the September 2016 issue of Illinois State Bar Association’s Trust & Estates newsletter.  The article, which is available here, details how a 2015 Second District Appellate Court decision affected the Trust and Trustees Act. Bob currently serves as Vice Chair of the ISBA’s Trust & Estates Section Council.

Fischel & Kahn proudly supported the 2016 CJE Gala on September 13, 2016. The event benefitted CJE Senior Life, a provider of services and resources for older adults in Chicago’s Jewish community, helping them pursue lives of meaning, independence and good health.

For the second year in a row, David Inlander, Suzanne Glade and Julie Brett have been named to the Best Lawyers® list for Family Law. For the 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.3 million votes were analyzed. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

David Inlander has been appointed to Secretary of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Section Council. He is a frequent contributor to the section’s newsletter. The Bench & Bar Section focuses on forging a spirit of cooperation, collegiality and exchange among state and federal judges and the practicing bar, as well as enhancing the court system, the administration of justice for the public, and the relationship between judges and lawyers.

Bob Kaufman has been named Vice Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Trust & Estates Section Council. This will be Bob’s fourth term on the Council on which he most recently served as Secretary. The Trust and Estates Section’s mission is to promote and work for the development, modernization and improvement of legislation relating to estate planning, probate and trust areas of the law.