970 McHenry Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Search
Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC

Call Today for Your FREE Consultation

Call Us800-338-3833 | 815-338-3838

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Recent blog posts

Reasons to Appeal a Guilty VerdictA guilty verdict in a courtroom is not always the end of your criminal case. In Illinois, you have 30 days after your verdict to file a notice to appeal the ruling to a higher court. The appellate court can either affirm the ruling of the lower court or reverse part or all of the ruling, which could mean that the charges are dismissed or the lower court must retry the case under new instructions. Not every guilty verdict is worth appealing if there is practically no chance that it will be successful. However, there are some cases where it is in your best interest to appeal.

Disagreeing with the Verdict

When appealing a verdict, you must state which parts of the lower court’s rulings you dispute and the legal reason why you dispute it. Many criminal appeals argue that the appellate court should overturn the guilty verdict for reasons such as:

  • The verdict going against the evidence in the case;
  • The judge giving the jury incorrect instructions;
  • The court allowing the prosecution to use inadmissible evidence;
  • The court misinterpreting or misapplying the law; or
  • Any other factor that made the trial unfair to the defendant.

In cases with multiple charges, you can choose whether to dispute the verdict on individual charges. Most appellate court judges do not overturn a lower court ruling unless there was a clear mistake during the trial that affected the outcome of the case. Even if they disagree with the verdict, they will defer to the judgment of the lower court unless that judgment was unreasonable and against the manifest weight of the evidence. If they do overturn the ruling, they may send the case back to the lower court for a new trial.

...

Four Types of Personal Documents You Need for Your DivorceYou and your divorce attorney will spend much of the process going over your finances to determine how you will divide them with your spouse. Your attorney needs official documentation to have accurate financial information and know if your spouse is telling the truth during negotiations. While your attorney is skilled at finding these documents, you can save yourself time and legal expense by providing them yourself. You can anticipate that your attorney will need several documents during your initial meetings about your divorce:

  1. Proof of Income: How much money you and your spouse make will determine the division of child support and whether spousal maintenance will be awarded. Copies of your and your spouse’s recent check stubs will show your regular pay and how much money you have earned this year. Recent income tax returns will give a larger picture for the last several years. You may need other financial records if you or your spouse are self-employed, such as check registers and bank statements.
  2. Financial Statements: Speaking of bank statements, you will need statements showing the current balances of financial accounts, both shared and individual. You will divide the money from your joint checking and savings accounts, as well as any joint investments, such as mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. Individual investments, such as retirement accounts, can be subject to division if they were accrued during your marriage. It is also wise to know your spouse’s non-marital financial assets, which are part of their total worth.
  3. Property Records: You should have the contracts for any major properties you purchased during your marriage, such as the deed to your home and the titles of your vehicles. You should also present any statements related to loan payments on these properties, such as your mortgage. These records will help your attorney determine the actual value of these properties and whether one of you has a stronger claim to a property.
  4. Debt Statements: Spouses divide their debts during their divorce, just as they divide their assets. Besides the previously mentioned property loan statements, you should present statements for any other debts, such as credit cards, medical bills, or bank loans.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Lawyer

Providing all of these documents will give your attorney a head start in preparing for your divorce. At Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, we know that the search for financial information does not stop there. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, divorce attorney will thoroughly search for any hidden or overlooked assets from your marriage. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Source:

...

Work Injuries Can Extend Beyond Normal Working HoursInjuries that are covered by workers’ compensation insurance extend beyond what many employees realize. For instance, you may believe that you needed to be working “on the clock” for an injury to be work-related. Your employer’s responsibility for your health can continue even after your official work hours. The workers’ compensation insurance provider will likely contest any injury claim that occurs outside of your paid hours or the workplace. This should not discourage you from filing for workers’ compensation benefits.

Qualifying for Benefits

Job requirements can dictate your actions beyond your documented working hours. Many employees are required or compelled to take their work home with them or perform work-related tasks after work. Even the requirement to travel to and from a work site can potentially expose you to danger. When wondering whether an injury is work-related, you should ask:

  • Was I performing a task that was required as part of my job?;
  • Was my employer benefitting from my actions?;
  • Was my employer aware or could my employer have been expected to be aware that I was at a work site during my free time?;
  • Does my employer own or maintain the property where the injury occurred?; and
  • Would I have been in the situation that caused my injury if not for my work?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it is worth exploring whether your injury would qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

...

Using Proximate Cause, Circumstantial Evidence in a Personal Injury CaseThe strongest argument that you can make in a personal injury case comes from having direct evidence of the actual cause of an injury. Your first-hand account or the testimony of a witness can directly connect the negligence of another party with the incident that led to your injury. Unfortunately, some cases lack direct evidence of what caused an accident, such as a wrongful death incident that no one witnessed. You can use proximate cause and circumstantial evidence to prove the defendant’s liability, but the court will need to be convinced that it is the most plausible explanation.

Proximate Cause

As opposed to the actual cause, proximate cause is a factor that led to an injury or death, even if it was not the direct cause. The proximate cause may be an act of negligence or recklessness that set in motion the events that resulted in an injury. Courts determine that a factor is the proximate cause of an injury if the injury could have been avoided if not for that factor. For instance:

  • When you are in a car accident, the other vehicle may have been the actual cause of your injuries; but
  • If a faulty car part caused the other driver to lose control of the vehicle, the equipment malfunction would be the proximate cause of the accident and the party that made or installed the equipment is liable.

Circumstantial Evidence

When you do not have direct evidence of what caused an accident, you can present circumstantial evidence that you believe infers the cause of the accident. Circumstantial evidence may be observations or witness testimony that reasonably points towards the cause of an injury. A court will accept circumstantial evidence as establishing a fact if that fact is the only probable conclusion that it can draw from that evidence.

...

Illinois Looking to Strengthen Penalties of Move-Over LawIllinois lawmakers have introduced new legislation that would increase the punishment for drivers who violate the “move-over” law, also known as Scott’s Law. The existing law states that drivers must use caution when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle on the side of the road. Scott’s Law is a traffic violation that requires a fine, though it can also be an aggravating factor for charges such as driving under the influence. The changes to the law would expand the punishments for incidents involving property damage or personal injury.

Scott’s Law

The state created the move-over law to protect emergency responders after several had been injured or killed when motorists struck them by the side of the road. The law was named after Chicago Fire Department Lt. Scott Gillen, who died after being hit by an intoxicated driver while responding to a crash. The law states that drivers who are approaching a stationary emergency vehicle must:

  • Proceed with caution;
  • Reduce speed; and
  • Change lanes in order to give the vehicle room, if possible.

The law defines a stationary emergency vehicle as any vehicle that is authorized to be equipped with flashing lights, including the red and blue lights and yellow lights. A conviction is a business offense, punishable by a fine of $100 to $10,000. For incidents involving vehicle damage or personal injury, the offender’s driver’s license can be suspended for 90 to 180 days.

...
Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
Back to Top