Tag Archives: Fox Valley Law Center

PODCAST: Fox Valley Law Center Update: Immigration Update with Mary Helen Reyna

ICE is self-directed to use prosecutorial discretion in focusing on public safety and threats to society

ICE is self-directed to use prosecutorial discretion in focusing on public safety and threats to society

The Fox Valley Law Center Update is an Internet radio podcast focused on sharing news, tips and trends in complex legal issues facing our friends and neighbors in Chicago area. This series features attorneys and guests of The Fox Valley Law Center, the general practice law firm conveniently located at the Westfield Fox Valley Law Center in Aurora, Illinois. Today’s guest is Mary Helen Reyna offers updates in immigration law including the new Illinois temporary visitor’s driver’s license.

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Interview questions and topics covered on this show:

1) Immigration reform is frequently in the news and is the topic of political debate. What is the latest?

2) The issuance of Illinois Temporary Visitor Drivers Licenses allows undocumented residents to drive.

3) With news of Justin Bieber’s arrest, people have been talking about criminal law and deportation.

4) ICE is self-directed to use prosecutorial discretion in focusing on public safety and threats to society.

Mary Helen Reyna

Mary Helen Reyna

Mary Helen Reyna graduated from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in Spanish.  She graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2006 and was admitted to the Illinois State Bar during the same year. Mary Helen focuses her practice on immigration law and assisting immigrant clients in a variety of issues affecting the immigrant community of the south and west suburbs. Mary Helen regularly volunteers her legal services.

Visit Fox Valley Law Center online for more about the firm.

Medical Marijuana in Illinois: Resources for understanding the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program

Three Illinois state agencies are working to establish rules for patient ID cards and policies and procedures for dispensaries.

Three Illinois state agencies are working to establish rules for patient ID cards and policies and procedures for dispensaries.

The Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (“MCPP”)[i] is one of the most discussed new 2014 laws in Illinois. What people should know is that despite the law taking effect January 1, it will be some time before people who qualify for medical marijuana will be able to obtain their medicine. The debate about medical marijuana has Americans talking. Some high-profile leaders are changing their minds with many Americans and residents of Illinois who find medical cannabis a worthy alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals and traditional Western medical treatments of certain conditions. Washington and Colorado went further and legalized marijuana beyond a medical treatment and residents may use marijuana for recreational use. Because opinions and what is known about marijuana for medicine or recreation, Illinois law makers voted to approve a somewhat restrictive and detailed pilot program and it will take some time to answer questions and approve policies and procedures for the new law.

Three Illinois state agencies are working to establish rules for patient ID cards and policies and procedures for dispensaries.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (“DPH”) is the agency writing administrative rules for the new program. DPH wants Illinois residents to understand the WARNING: “The State of Illinois is warning that it will not be legal for anyone to grow, offer to provide, or to possess, medical cannabis until licenses have been issued and the program is up and running.[ii]” Among its responsibilities, DPH is considering additional medical conditions to the list of many contained in a published analysis of the law on the Marijuana Policy Project (“MPP”)[iii]. Here is a link to An Overview of Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Law. Interested Illinois residents may click here with comments and suggestions about the pilot program.

The concept of the new law being a pilot program is also well-explained in the overview. “Why is it called a “pilot program?” MPP answers, “The law was created with a “sunset” provision, meaning that if the legislature does not review the program or create a new law, the program will cease to operate four years from the date it goes into effect.[iv]” As Illinois State agencies implement the new law its future existence is not certain. People who want to operate dispensaries and participate in the program should take their civic duties seriously and communicating with elected representatives, especially through easy contact forms on their websites, is certainly a good idea.

Be careful not to break the law when seeking to become a medical cannabis dispensary.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) is the Illinois agency that manages the licensing and regulation of professionals including physicians. Doctors interested in applying to operate legal dispensary operations must obey strict rules. A recent news release on the IDFPR website, titled, “State Urges Caution towards Medical Cannabis Clinics,” mentions a formal complaint filed against a Chicago doctor, “The complaint alleges that on the day Dr. Murray opened the ‘Good Intentions’ clinic, he and a coworker were offering potential patients ‘pre-approval’ to obtain medical cannabis if they paid a $99 registration fee. Under the Medical Practice Act, such conduct is unprofessional as it is misleading.[v]” A physician could lose their license to practice medicine in the State of Illinois for breaking the new law.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is the third agency working to implement the new law. Their responsibilities include the regulation of the medical cannabis cultivation facilities. Working with the IDFPR, the Department of Agriculture will work to ensure the medical cannabis growers are in compliance with rules and regulations of growing medical marijuana for the dispensaries. The Department of Agriculture also has a link to their resources regarding the law and their role in regulating cultivation centers.

How can the Fox Valley Law Center help with the new medical marijuana law?

Fox Valley Law Center attorneys receive a high volume of inquiries about the new law. From the would be patients of clinics to people wondering about possessing marijuana, to the attorneys who assist physicians who want to incorporate dispensary clinics in their practices, we can help answer your questions and keep everyone in compliance with the law. To talk to an attorney, please call and make an appointment at the Fox Valley Law Center by dialing 630-236-2222 or simply stop in and see us at our office conveniently located at the second floor of the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora. We are here during mall hours. You can also learn more about our firm when you “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter!

 

Illinois Concealed Firearms Act: Do You Qualify?

"IN DROVES: Thousands of gun owners have spent their own time and money to sign-up for concealed carry." Imagae and article with statistics by Illinois Watchdog, "In Illinois, shoot first, enroll in Obamacare later," by Ben Yount, Jan. 15, 2014.

“IN DROVES: Thousands of gun owners have spent their own time and money to sign-up for concealed carry.” Image and article with statistics by Illinois Watchdog, “In Illinois, shoot first, enroll in Obamacare later,” by Ben Yount, Jan. 15, 2014.

In their recent news article, “In Illinois, shoot first, enroll in Obamacare later,” the Illinois Watchdog (formerly Illinois Statehouse News) reported that more people are applying for concealed carry permits than for Obamacare. “The Illinois State Police expect as many as 400,000 people to apply for gun permits. If the pace continues, Illinois will see 240,000 applications in just three months.” The article also suggests, “The only way Obamacare can get close to those kind of numbers is factoring in the state’s massive explosion in Illinois’ Medicaid population.”[i]

The Fox Valley Law Center can answer your questions about concealed carry eligibility.

The Illinois Concealed Firearms Act authorizes the issuance of licenses for the concealed carry of handguns and other firearms.  If you are at least 21 years old, have a currently valid Illinois Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card, and have completed an approved firearms training course, you may qualify for a license if you answer “no” to the following questions:

1. Are you disqualified from owning or possessing a firearm under state or federal law?  Or do you have a pending case that could lead to the disqualification from owning or possessing a firearm?

Common reasons for being disqualified from owning or possessing a handgun under Illinois or federal law include: (a) a conviction for a felony offense; (b) conviction for domestic battery; or, (c) convictions for certain drug and narcotics offenses.

2. Within the past 5 years (from the date of your concealed carry application), have you been convicted or found guilty of:

a. A misdemeanor offense involving use or threat of physical violence?

This could include misdemeanor offenses for assault, battery or domestic battery.  If you have been placed on court supervision for one of these offenses, you may not qualify.

b.  2 or more violations related to driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating compounds?

3. Have you been in residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the past 5 years?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may not qualify for a concealed firearm license.  Once issued, a concealed firearm license is valid for 5 years.  If a person is issued a license and then changes addresses or names, the person must notify the proper authorities within 30 days of the change.

The Fox Valley Law Center is conveniently located in the Westfield Valley Shopping Mall.  To schedule a consultation, call us at (630) 236-2222.


[i] Illinois Watchdog: In Illinois, shoot first, enroll in Obamacare later, by Ben Yount, Jan. 15, 2014.

Injured at work? Fox Valley Law Center files workers’ compensation cases

Earlier this week the Fox Valley Law Center workers’ compensation attorney appeared on the monthly Fox Valley Law Center Update podcast to talk about common questions and answers when someone is injured on the job. Attorney Marker talked about several common misconceptions about workers’ compensation cases and how attorneys help clients who are injured and cannot work.

Injured on the job? Get compensated for current and future (if applicable) wages fairly and accurately and get your medical bills paid. We have teamed up with Jason Marker of Marker & Associates Attorneys at Law to handle our workers' compensation cases.

Injured on the job? Get compensated for current and future (if applicable) wages fairly and accurately and get your medical bills paid. We have teamed up with Jason Marker of Marker & Associates Attorneys at Law to handle our workers’ compensation cases.

This article is a summary of some of the points Mr. Marker raised in the podcast interview. After you read this article, you can click here to listen to Workers’ Compensation Law with Jason Marker.

Fault is not factor if you are injured at work. People frequently assume that workers’ compensation law only applies if your employer was negligent. This is not true; workers compensation insurance policies cover any injuries employees experience on the job, regardless of fault. The injury must arise out of the scope of employment, meaning you need to be at work and doing your job where and when you are injured. Every case is worth something when you are injured on the job in Illinois.

You can receive payment for your medical expenses related to the injury, payment for time off work and payment at the end of your case, for the permanency of the injury. There are different settlement options you can accept including a standard settlement or wage differential, if you don’t get back to work. Listen to the podcast to learn more!

No attorney fees are necessary to start a case. State statutes control the fees attorneys are paid to represent clients in workers’ compensation cases. The current law sets fees for attorneys at 20 percent of the victim’s recovery for their injuries. Additionally, the law firm will pay for specific costs of obtaining medical records and similar costs. It is important to obtain all the proper insurance information from your employer right away when you are injured.

Know when you should see a physician. When you first visit your physician, you will need to give them your employer’s insurance information to pre-approve your treatment.

Your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The law protects employees who file workers’ compensation claims. If your employer fires you for filing a claim, you can sue the employer for what is called retaliatory discharge. Jason Marker notes that you only have 45 days to file a claim for workers’ compensation.

To talk to an attorney about a workplace injury please call and make an appointment at the Fox Valley Law Center by dialing 630-236-2222 or simply stop in and see us at our office conveniently located at the second floor of the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora. We’re here during mall hours. You can also learn more about our firm when you “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter!

Julie’s Law in Illinois Means No Supervision for More Than 25 Over

“Julie’s Law” went into effect on Monday, July 1, 2013. Last summer, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, at Lincoln-Way High school, signed Julie’s law which increases penalties for speeders. On June 10, 2011, Julie Gorczynski, a 17-year-old Lincoln-Way student was killed in a car accident when she was hit by a  driver going 76 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour residential area, that’s  speeding 36 miles per hour over the limit. The driver who killed Julie had multiple court supervisions for speeding. Julie’s family contacted law makers and worked hard to help create this new law.

Julie's Law went into effect July 1, 2013. No more supervision if you speed more than 25 miles over the limit.

Julie’s Law went into effect July 1, 2013. No more supervision if you speed more than 25 miles over the limit in a residential district or 30 miles over in a rural area. Even if you do not think you are eligible for court supervision, you should have your case reviewed by an attorney and have your counsel present to represent you in court.

Supervision allowed speeders to avoid suspension but the new law changes the rules.

“What you do with what happens can make a positive difference in the world,” says Julie’s mother, Pam Gorczynski. “I would not want another mother, or a father, brother, or sister, to go through this.”[i]

Supervision eligibility is different under “Julie’s Law” for adult drivers over 21 years old. In Illinois, a driver’s license will be suspended for three moving violation convictions within 12 months. For under 21 year-old drivers, two convictions within 24 months causes license suspension. Court supervision is not considered a conviction; therefore, under the old law a person receiving supervision would avoid a drivers license suspension. You are eligible for two court supervisions in a 12 month period.

The new law states that speeders exceeding the limit by more than 25 miles in a residential (urban) district, or by more than 30 miles otherwise (rural), are not eligible for court supervision: “(q) The provisions of paragraph (c) shall not apply to a defendant charged with violating subsection (b) of Section 11-601 of the Illinois Vehicle Code when the defendant was operating a vehicle, in an urban district, at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.” 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1 (a)(1)(q)[ii]

Court supervision is a an option a Judge can use when a driver in Illinois is issued a speeding ticket and they plead guilty or agree to the facts underlying the speeding citation and agree to the terms of court supervision. If the driver avoids any further tickets during the supervision period, that driver is free to go about their business, without a moving violation conviction on their Illinois driver record.

Attorney Nicole Sartori, principal attorney at the Fox Valley Law Center Ltd., is a former Assistant State’s Attorney who worked in Will County and knows the Illinois Vehicle Code and how the courts enforce the law. Nicole and the attorneys at the Fox Valley Law Center work with clients who have a variety of traffic violations, DUIs and criminal charges. The prosecuting agency must prove their case against you and if you think the ticket you were issued was improper, stop by to see a Fox Valley Law Center attorney. Located on the second floor of the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, attorneys are available seven days a week to work around your schedules. You can call to make an appointment by dialing (630) 236-2222. Se habla español.

To learn more about Illinois traffic laws and the other legal areas that affect Chicago area families in the west suburbs, you can “Like” the Fox Valley Law Center Ltd., on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter. For more information please visit www.FoxValleyLawCenter.com.

Radio show: ” Law Firm in the Mall: The Fox Valley Law Center”

Radio show featuring Fox Valley Law Center, Ltd. at Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois

Radio show featuring Fox Valley Law Center, Ltd. at Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois

Times and the needs of clients are always changing. Law firms like the Fox Valley Law Center are using innovative technologies, business models and convenient client service locations. Nicole and her team at the Fox Valley Law Center are located in the Westfield Fox Valley Center in Aurora.

Click here to listen to this podcast anytime on demand!

Questions and topics covered on this show 1) What lead to the decision to launch a general practice law firm in the mall? 2) How do your clients react to the experience of seeing a lawyer in a retail setting? 3) What types of cases does the Fox Valley Law Center handle and who are the attorneys at the firm? 4) Tell us how you are using technology and other innovative business practices to better serve your clients.

In 2007, Nicole Sartori left the office of the  Will County State’s Attorney to opened up her own firm, the Sartori Law Office. In 2012 Nicole took a big growth step when she opened the Fox Valley Law Center, Ltd., a full service law firm serving all the needs of local communities. Nicole defends clients all over the greater Chicagoland area on traffic, misdemeanor and felony matters, and driver’s license reinstatements. She is a published author in the Kane County Bar Associations Bar Briefs: The Road to Reinstatement. Nicole holds degrees with honors from both Western Illinois University and Chicago-Kent College of Law.http://www.foxvalleylawcenter.com/

Sponsor: Chris McCarthy of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI.

In the news: “Innovative Lawyering: Nicole Sartori introduces The Fox Valley Law Center located in a mall!”

You may meet with one of our staff attorneys, Nicole Sartori, Adriana Lara, or Jennifer Kiss or one of our independent contractor attorneys, Christi Alexander or Mary Helen Reyna for an hour consultation regarding your legal issues.

You may meet with one of our staff attorneys, Nicole Sartori, Adriana Lara, or Jennifer Kiss or one of our independent contractor attorneys, Christi Alexander or Mary Helen Reyna for an hour consultation regarding your legal issues.

Clients often fear lawyers. Why? Legal matters affecting our lives cause stress. When stressed clients hire lawyers, they rely on them to resolve their issues. Attorneys often agree that clients nod and say they understand the process and relationship, when the reality may be that a client does not want to seem uneducated and overwhelmed by the process. Consumers hiring lawyers seem more likely to have a good experience and refer other business when the process is transparent and comforting. Recently I met an innovative attorney, Ms. Nicole Sartori[i], from The Fox Valley Law Center, Ltd.[ii], located in the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora.

Click to read the article in ChicagoNow’s Friends in Family Law published December 19, 2012.