Author Archives: Michele M. Jochner

Michele M. Jochner

About Michele M. Jochner

Effective appellate advocacy requires specialized skills to analyze the pertinent legal issues and see the case the way appellate justices do, ensuring that the law and applicable procedure were followed in the trial court. An effective appellate lawyer must be well-versed in pertinent case law and applicable procedural rules, with the ability to identify those issues and arguments which are likely to be most successful.

New Study Finds Seasonal Increases in Divorce

The transition from the summer to fall season usually brings to mind students returning to school, the kickoff of the football matchups and the leaves changing colors.  A recent study conducted by sociologists at the University of Washington has revealed another fall seasonal occurrence: an increase in filings for divorce. This report, presented at the […]

In a Divorce, Illinois Courts Have No Authority to Order Pet “Visitation”

Americans love their pets.  Recent studies estimate that roughly 78 million dogs and 86 million cats are owned in the United States.  In other words, pets reside in nearly 65% of all households. It is not surprising, therefore, that when parties decide to dissolve their marriage, an increasingly contentious issue is what – if any […]

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules that the “Equitable Adoption” and “Functional Parent” Theories Cannot be Raised By a Nonparent Seeking Custody of a Child

This past week, the Illinois Supreme Court delivered its long-awaited answer to a question which has been debated in the family law community for some time: does the doctrine of “equitable adoption” – first recognized by our Supreme Court in its 2013 decision in DeHart v. DeHart, 2013 IL 114137 – also apply in the […]

Private Conversations Protected Under New Illinois Eavesdropping Law

On December 30, 2014, Gov. Quinn approved new rules regarding how private conversations can be recorded following the Illinois Supreme Court’s decisions this past March in People v. Clark, 2014 IL 115776 and in People v. Melongo, 2014 IL 114852, which struck down Illinois’ prior eavesdropping law for being overly-broad. Illinois’ previous eavesdropping law was […]

Chicago Works to Improve Response to Domestic Violence Cases

The spotlight on efforts to combat domestic violence continues to shine on groundbreaking changes in policy and procedure developed by a Chicago citywide task force formed last year by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The task force – which is a collaboration between the Mayor’s office, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the office of the Cook County […]

A Guardian’s Standing to Request Authorization to File a Petition for Dissolution on Behalf of a Ward is Codified by the Illinois General Assembly

In March of last year, I authored a blog post, The Illinois Supreme Court Allows Guardians to File Petitions for Dissolution of Marriage on Behalf of Wards in Karbin v. Karbin, which commented on the then-recent landmark decision handed down by the Illinois Supreme Court in Karbin v. Karbin, 2012 IL 112815.  In Karbin, our State’s highest […]

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Remedies Available to Illinois Victims

The statistics are extremely troubling, and here are only a few. Nationally, every 9 seconds a woman in the United States is beaten, and it is estimated that 1 in every 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners […]

The Federal Government Recognizes the Validity of Utah Same-Sex Marriages

Within the past month, the eyes of the nation have focused on developments in Utah regarding the validity of same-sex marriage in that state, which are likely to have a major impact across the country. Shortly before Christmas, a federal judge struck down the State’s ban on same-sex marriage, finding that it violated the due […]

The United States Supreme Court Grants Utah’s Application for Stay, Thereby Halting Same-Sex Marriages in that State

On January 6th, we reported on the pending application for a stay filed with the United States Supreme Court by the State of Utah, requesting that the High Court halt the enforcement of a December 20th ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby which invalidated Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage on the grounds it […]

Utah Petitions the United States Supreme Court to Stay Gay Marriages After a Federal Court Strikes Down its Ban as Unconstitutional

The recently-concluded holiday season found parties on both sides of the marriage equality debate embroiled in what may prove to be the next matter decided by the United States Supreme Court on this issue. A decade ago, in 2004, two-thirds of Utah’s voters approved a ban on same-sex marriages, defining “marriage” as occurring only between […]