Posts from March 2018.

Environmental contamination lawsuits frequently involve polluting activities which took place decades ago – long before the advent of computers and before it was possible for businesses to store information in an electronic format. When these lawsuits arise and a claim is tendered to an insurance carrier for defense and indemnity, the parties often struggle to verify the existence and terms of any applicable insurance policies in light of the ease with which paper documents can be misplaced over the years. The inability of the parties to locate complete copies of all potentially ...


On January 29, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published increased reporting thresholds under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act). The new thresholds increase last year’s thresholds by approximately 4%. The revised thresholds are effective for all transactions closing on or after February 28, 2018. The revised thresholds will remain in effect until the FTC’s next annual adjustment, which should be released during the first quarter of 2019.

The HSR Act requires parties to mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and certain ...


In a recent decision, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, considered what should and should not be considered by a trial court when making a determination on a motion to stay a declaratory judgment action on insurance coverage pending resolution of the underlying litigation. Pekin Insurance Company v. Johnson-Downs Construction, Inc., 2017 IL App (3d) 160601. The underlying suit in Johnson-Downs concerned an injured employee of a subcontractor who sued the general contractor. Originally, the plaintiff employee alleged negligence and premises liability theories ...


Every year, as tax season arrives, new and increasingly diabolic scams to pilfer and misuse taxpayer information surface. In prior years, cyber fraudsters targeted unsuspecting individual taxpayers to trick them into revealing their personal information through direct telephone or email scams.  Major data breaches, such as Equifax, which is now known to have included millions of additional victims and more forms of personal identifying and financial data than originally disclosed, only exacerbate the problem. As the public has learned more about identity theft ...


Illinois courts have long made clear that when a conflict of interest exists between an insured and its insurer, the insured is entitled to independent counsel of the insured’s own choosing and at the insurer’s reasonable expense. See Maryland Cas. Co. v. Peppers, 64 Ill.2d 187, 193 (1976). What is less clear, however, is when exactly a conflict of this nature arises.

We know that a conflict giving rise to independent counsel does not exist simply because the insurer provides a defense under reservation of rights. We also know that certain types of cases, such as those involving ...


The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (GIR), which was finalized by USEPA in 2016, is a significant reorganization of the regulations applicable to hazardous waste generators. 81 Fed. Reg. 85732 (Nov. 28, 2016). With the GIR, USEPA moved all of the RCRA generator provisions into one section – 40 C.F.R. Part 262. The GIR also included several substantive changes to the hazardous waste generator rules which were more stringent than current RCRA generator regulations and, therefore, must be adopted by states with authorized RCRA programs.

The “more stringent than” ...

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Kerri Forsythe

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