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Accountant’s Privilege and the Illinois Public Accounting Act

by Kevin J. Richter, Shareholder

A recent Illinois Supreme Court case dealt with the application of the accountant’s privilege. The Illinois Public Accounting Act at 225 ILCS 450/27 provides that “A licensed or registered certified public accountant shall not be required by any court to divulge information or evidence which has been obtained by him in his confidential capacity as a licensed or registered certified public accountant. This Section shall not apply to any investigation or hearing undertaken pursuant to this Act.”

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Business Succession Planning – It’s Never Too Early to Start

by Kevin J. Richter, Shareholder

Many times owners of small and midsize businesses face a challenge when it comes to establishing a plan for their business succession.  Should they look for outside purchasers or current employees that would be qualified to operate the business and that would have sufficient ability to pay the purchase price?

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How to Eliminate Probate Litigation with Proper Estate Planning Measures

by Joseph R. Harvath, Associate

Probate litigation can come in many different forms, including issues involving family businesses, will contests, and trust disputes.  With proper estate planning, however, many of these issues can be completely avoided.  This is also true with guardianships.  Without proper planning, probate litigation involving a guardianship can easily be drawn out and become contentious.  Knowing the basics of what a guardianship is, along with proper estate planning, individuals can protect themselves and their loved ones from unnecessary probate litigation.

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Who’s on First: Mortgage Priority in Refinancing Situations

by Natalie Lorenz, Associate

A scenario that often arises when a bank refinances a customer’s mortgage from a different lender is that intervening liens have been placed on the mortgaged property.  For example, a customer purchases property for $200,000 with a loan from Bank A, which obtains a mortgage on the property in the same amount.  Then the customer obtains a second loan for $50,000 from Bank B to pay for her son’s education, and gives Bank B a lien on the same property as collateral.  After a few years, the customer decides to go to Bank C to refinance the loan from Bank A.  Bank A’s loan is paid off, and its mortgage is released, and Bank C then obtains a mortgage on the property instead.  However, Bank B’s lien remains on the property.

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Not All Product Liability Attorneys Are the Same

by Mark S. Schuver, Shareholder

When you buy a product, you expect it to be safe.  You don’t expect the product to cause you or a loved one serious personal injury or, worse, death.  Manufacturers have a legal duty to design and manufacture a product that is safe.  When they breach that duty, you need a lawyer well-versed in product liability law and who has handled serious product liability cases.

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