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February 2015 Archives

What's New in 2015?

Happy New Year from Parker & Parker! Every year a host of new laws become effective - 220 this year, to be exact. Here's a few in areas that we know well.

$765,000 for Nursing Home Neglect of Peoria Resident

We've concluded a case for a total of $765,000.00 against a local nursing home. Our client was an 81-year-old very funny and wonderful woman who fractured her ankle and went to an area nursing home for rehabilitation. In 17 days her condition deteriorated dramatically - showing just how rapid a lack of care can have an effect.

Adoption Tax Credit in 2015

For our firm December can be a busy month in adoption work. This was because traditionally no guarantee existed that Congress would renew or re-enact the Adoption Tax Credit, a federal benefit, in the following year. Many would hasten to complete their adoption before the new year to ensure they receive the tax credit. And it's no small potatoes, often giving people some $13,000 dollars back as a credit. Although there now exists an assurance that the tax credit is here to stay, its terms and eligibility requirements still change each year.

For-Profit Nursing Homes: Everyone Pays But Them

In a recent study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, there was an alarming finding: 19% of all for-profit nursing homes have actual harm or immediate jeopardy occurring to their residents. 1 in 5 residents!

The Name in Nursing Home Neglect

We've previously posted about how it's difficult to find a good nursing home neglect attorney (CLICK HERE for article), and why. If you're looking for an attorney in this area, it's worth asking how many other cases they've handled. As you read our past article, you'll see that nursing home litigation is a difficult blend of different areas of law, and you need an experienced and versatile attorney who knows (1) good experts; (2) how to go to trial and put on a case to a jury; (3) administrative know-how in the world of nursing homes and regulatory law; (4) dealing with the State of Illinois' IDPH jargon and investigators; (5) and medical knowledge, among other things.

Overhaul Nears Approval for Maintenance Calculations in Divorces

Have you heard about Illinois Senate Bill 3231? As of May 20th, 2014, it sits on Governor Quinn's desk. If you're in the middle of a divorce, or looking ahead to one, this Bill (if signed) will change your case. A re-write of Sections 504 and 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act - that's maintenance, also known as alimony - will reform the way calculations are done. And for people trying to figure out how much they'll have to pay a spouse, or receive, it looks like good news.

Suspicious of Nursing Home Neglect? Try a Camera

Once a man, twice a child, so it's said. During the large amount of time that people cannot be present to visit their loved ones in nursing homes, they worry. They shouldn't have to worry - supposedly daily supervision and care is exactly what makes a nursing home so costly- but it's a legitimate fear. The recurring telltale signs we hear in meeting with nursing home neglect cases are complaints that the nursing home paid little attention to diet, to eating or swallowing difficulties, to proper hydration, or simply to check and see if everything's okay with the resident. These routine issues that go unaddressed are extremely frustrating and unnerving to families, but 99 times out of 100 they become accepted as the way it is. Everyone holds their breath that the errors and neglect will be limited to small oversights that do some, if not great, harm.

A Special Adoption Story for Birth Mother's Day

Today, the day before Mother's Day, is Birth Mothers' Day. In the adoption "triad" of adoptive parents, the child, and birth mother, we acknowledge who is often the quietest of the three. To give up a child is a decision both intensely personal and emotional. After a 9-month (or longer) journey these women make the unselfish choice to send off the child with whom they've bonded, for a better life.haitian-hearts-logo.jpg

Shooting Down Old Gun Convictions in Illinois

Today we became the first official case in Peoria County to successfully toss out a client's old gun conviction. In 2007 he was convicted of a felony for AUUW (Aggravated Unlawful Possession of a Weapon). The gun was found loaded under his passenger seat, and ultimately he was sentenced to two years in prison.

Mandatory Minimums: Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude

criminal-624x329.jpgWe currently have five cases involving federal charges of manufacture or conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, and right now they're all in limbo. In the news recently is a change in national prosecution policy by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Congress is also looking at changing laws, and it's getting attention in the press - such as HERE (click).

Tammy Hall-Mathews May Be a Victim, But She Doesn't Act Like One

History-624x329.jpgTammy Hall-Mathews was called into third shift at Tri-County Animal Shelter on Sterling when she realized she left her lunch at home. It was 11:11 p.m. on March 18, 2013. She walked to her car, which was the last time she would walk without a limp.

Bradley Professor Drunk At Time of Crash

Widely reported this past March, 2013, was the death of Dr. Barbara Penelton, 75, following a car crash. But nowhere in any article was mention given to the victim of the crash, Tammy Hall-Mathews, whose medical bills are in the mid-six figures and climbing following multiple surgeries, extended physical therapy, and potentially permanent injuries. In the articles discussing Dr. Penelton after the crash, Ms. Mathews is simply "the other driver," such as in the following reports:

Guardianships: When Do They End?

family-law-624x329.jpgWe get a lot of calls about people who are wondering about (a) getting their kids back after consenting to putting them in the care of a relative; (b) obtaining care of a relative or friend's kids when they aren't being cared for properly; or (c) whether an adoption or guardianship is their best option. Even for lawyers and judges, the answer is not easy or clear.

Faking Births in California

fabsam5__35559.1336718973.800.600-300x216.jpgHumorous on its face, but serious when considering adoption implications, a new website is manufacturing proof of live births and selling it on the internet. At http://www.fakeababy.com, various documents and costume wear to fake live births are available, such as ultrasounds, sonograms, DNA tests, and hospital records.

Honesty, Integrity, Community

The firm began here, all of us were born in Peoria, and it is our community. We approach each case with respect for everyone involved. Integrity and professionalism starts when you first walk in the door. We recognize that clients come to us in times of emotional and physical troubles. While we are always ready to aggressively argue your case in court, our attorneys are equally skilled in negotiation and achieving resolutions without fighting. We approach each case as counsel, working out the best solution for people's lives. We are proudest when we earn the respect and thanks of our clients. That's why we are recognized by:

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