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Bankruptcy in the Time of Coronavirus04/06/2020

The Coronavirus crisis has arrived. This global pandemic has placed a hard stop on economic activity across the board, sending markets into freefall and skyrocketing unemployment claims to unprecedented heights. Chapter 11 filings are anticipated to surge, forcing bankruptcy courts to clean up large swaths of the crisis’ aftermath. But for now, it is anyone’s guess when the uptick in…

Payroll Protection Loan Program Update04/01/2020

The Small Business Administration has released the application for the Paycheck Protection Program and loans available pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The application is located here. The Treasury Department has released an information sheet for borrowers, which can be found here. Additional information can be found at the Treasury Department’s website, found here.…

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Department of Labor Provides Additional Guidance04/01/2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FCCRA”) was signed into law on March 18, 2020.  Since then, questions as to scope and applicability have been raised by employers and employees alike.  The U.S. Department of Labor has and continues to provide guidance as to how employers and employees should interrupt the FFCRA.  A summary of the FCCRA can be…

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)03/27/2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is Congress’s initial economic stimulus plan in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Additional economic stimulus packages are expected. The CARES Act was signed into law by the President today. The $2 trillion package provides relief to businesses, individuals, families, the healthcare system, states, and more. We are continuing to review…

An Estate Planning Check-up in Light of COVID-1903/27/2020

As we hunker down during COVID-19, here are seven tips to make sure your estate plan is in good health: 1. Make Sure Your Basics Are Covered At a minimum, every adult should have a Will, Power of Attorney for Health Care, Power of Attorney for Property and HIPAA Designation. Parents of minor children should be certain their Wills include…

Cannabis Businesses Currently Ineligible For Coronavirus Disaster Relief03/26/2020

On Monday March 23, the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) confirmed that cannabis businesses are ineligible for disaster relief loans to assist with the detrimental effects of the Coronavirus outbreak. In the recent Twitter post, the SBA stated, “With the exception of businesses that produce or sell hemp and hemp-derived products [that were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill],…

Notices Required Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act03/26/2020

On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”).  Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor provided sample posters for private and public employers to post prior to April 1, 2020. Here is a link to the DOL poster for private employers. Also, the DOL provided guidance regarding the manner of providing notice to employees…

Procedures of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois During the Coronavirus Crisis03/24/2020

Actions Taken by the Bankruptcy Court As of March 24, 2020, COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois remains open for business, but not business as usual. There are several significant changes to its daily operations. The Bankruptcy Court is not allowing any personal appearances, requiring telephonic appearances for all parties. The court…

Procedures of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois During the Coronavirus Crisis03/24/2020

Actions Taken by the District Court As of March 24, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has extended all deadlines, whether set by the court or otherwise, by 21 days.  Civil case hearings, trials, and settlement conferences scheduled from March 17, 2020 until April 3, 2020 are stricken…

Procedures of the Circuit Court of Cook County During the Coronavirus03/24/2020

Actions Taken by the Circuit Court of Cook County In General As of March 24, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Circuit Court of Cook County has announced that most civil and criminal hearings scheduled to occur between March 17, 2020 and April 15, 2020 (“Interim Period”) will be postponed for 30 days.  No jury trials will begin…

Non-Performance of Contractual Obligations During the COVID-19 Pandemic03/23/2020

The economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and commercial relationships worldwide.  As COVID-19 continues to spread, businesses may experience disruptions that make it difficult or impossible to fulfill their contractual obligations.  Under certain circumstances, those disruptions may justify non-performance.  One such escape hatch is a force majeure clause, which is a provision contained…

Zone of Insolvency and Fiduciary Duties – a Brief Summary of What Directors and Officers Need to Know03/23/2020

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and commercial relationships worldwide. As commercial operations continue to be shuttered and revenues cut off, principals of companies will likely find themselves questioning where their obligations and responsibilities lie when the entity’s solvency is questionable.  When a corporation is solvent, the fiduciary duties of the corporation's board of directors run to…

Are COVID-19 Losses Covered By Business Interruption Insurance?03/23/2020

Covid-19 is disrupting businesses, their supply chains and their customers and causing major losses. Governors of Illinois, California, New York and Pennsylvania have issued “stay at home” and similar orders impacting employees and many businesses. Are any of these losses covered by insurance? The answer is maybe. The type of insurance a business carries and the specific insurance policy language are critical to determine…

Illinois Governor Issues Executive Order Requiring Individuals to Stay at Home03/20/2020

This afternoon, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19 (No. 8).  The Order is effective as of Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. through Tuesday, April 7, 2020.  Here is a link to the Order. The Order provides that: All individuals in Illinois are to stay at home or at their place of residence, except as…

Chicago Mayor Announces Payment Extension for Local Taxes03/20/2020

On March 19, 2020, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot announced that the City of Chicago will extend the due date for “small businesses” to pay the following Chicago taxes to April 30, 2020: Bottled Water Tax, Checkout Bag Tax, Amusement Tax, Hotel Accommodations Tax, Restaurant Tax, and the Parking Tax. The City requires that taxpayers pay these taxes on or before the…

Families First Coronavirus Response Act03/19/2020

On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”).  Below is a summary of the employer requirements under the Act: Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act Covered Employers Employers with fewer than 500 employees and covered public sector employers must provide up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for a qualifying need related to…

Indicate Precisely What You Mean to Say: The Importance of Accuracy on UCC-1 Financing Statements03/18/2020

UCC-1 Financing Statements are an integral tool in a secured creditor’s toolbox. They perfect a lender’s interest and broadcast notice of this perfected lien to all present or future creditors, putting out the warning that a security interest against the debtor’s collateral exists. An effective financing statement has three requirements: (1) the debtor’s name; (2) the creditor’s name; and (3)…

COVID-19 Guidance for Illinois Employers03/17/2020

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading across the globe and we wanted to assist you in considering all risk assessment and mitigation tools available.  We recommend assembling a management team to determine best next steps and implement an emergency plan.  Plan considerations should include cash flow concerns, remote working possibilities, IT considerations, quarantine possibility and company specific concerns. Businesses should…

Breen M. Schiller published in the Journal of State Taxation – Nexus News: Update on Marketplace Facilitator Legislation03/12/2020

Read the full article published by the Journal of State Taxation here. In "Nexus News: Update on Marketplace Facilitator Legislation", Breen, with co-author Daniel L. Stanley, discusses the updates, pitfalls and problems with the Multistate Tax Commission. Learn more about Breen here. (more…)…

A Warning: Cook County Assessor’s Real Property Income and Expense (RPIE) Letter02/26/2020

The Cook County Assessor’s Office has recently begun mailing invitation letters to solicit participation in its Real Property Income and Expense (“RPIE”) system. The goal of the system is to collect extensive data to assess commercial properties in Cook County. It utilizes both an online portal and mailed forms for data collection. The Assessor will target properties used for the…

Updates to Employment Laws – Here’s What You Need to Know01/01/2020

Changes to Federal and Illinois laws will likely require you to update your employment practices and policies. Below is a summary of new acts and amendments affecting Illinois employers. Federal Updates The Fair Labor Standards Act Overtime Rules (effective January 1, 2020) Raises the “standard salary level” for executive, administrative and professional exemptions from $455 per week to $684 per…

New Year, New Trust Law12/16/2019

New Beneficiary Notice Requirements For Trusts that Become Irrevocable After December 31, 2019 Effective January 1, 2020, the Illinois Trust Code (“ITC”) will replace the Illinois Trust and Trustees Act as the law governing Illinois trusts. With the adoption of the ITC, Illinois becomes the 34th state to adopt a form of the Uniform Trust Code. Most of the new…

New “Just Housing Ordinance” Changes Tenant Screening Procedures in Cook County12/10/2019

Ordinance Prohibits Initial Inquiry of Tenant Criminal History On April 25, 2019, Cook County Commissioners approved an amendment to the Cook County Code, known as the “Just Housing Ordinance," that prohibits the denial of a tenant’s application or continuing occupancy of residential real property based on criminal convictions. Specifically, landlords may no longer inquire about, consider, or require disclosure of…

Samantha Breslow published in Tax Notes State – “Debugging the (State Tax) Code: Outdated Sales Tax Terminology”12/09/2019

Read the full article on Tax Notes here (subscription required). Samantha Breslow discusses how the sluggishness of legislation does not often adjust itself to the speed and terminology of technology. However, there are a few states that are adapting to overcome the discrepancies. Download a PDF of the full article here. Debugging the (State Tax) Code: Outdated Sales Tax Terminology…

Marilyn Wethekam published in Tax Notes – “The Intersection of State Tax Policy and Federal Tax Reform”11/25/2019

Read the full article on Tax Notes here (subscription required). Marilyn Wethekam discusses how federal tax reforms do not always coincide with state tax policies. Download the full article here. The 2017 enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant changes to the federal tax system. One of the drivers for the reform was to make the United States…

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