Califf & Harper, P.C. August 2014 Newsletter


We hope you enjoy these news articles from this August 2014 edition of the Califf
& Harper, P.C. newsletter.
Articles In This Issue
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No Bankruptcy Protection for Inherited IRAs
Fee Shifting Bylaws: Coming to a Corporation Near You?
Service and Comfort Animals: What a Landlord Can and Cannot Ask
Tax Consequences of Making Changes to or Cancelling a Life Insurance Policy
Illinois Bar Journal Article Cites Califf & Harper, P.C. partner Robert
T. Park in Article About Illinois' Good Samaritan Law

	
No Bankruptcy Protection for Inherited IRAs
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At Califf & Harper, P.C. we have been chronicling the divide on the treatment of
inherited IRA exemption in bankruptcy throughout the past several years, with some
courts finding inherited IRAs are exempt, and others finding inherited IRAs are 
not exempt.  After years of uncertainty, the United States Supreme Court has finally
weighed in: no protection for inherited IRAs in bankruptcy.
Read the article here.
	
Fee Shifting Bylaws: Coming to a Corporation Near You?
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Because nearly half of all the publicly traded corporations in the United States
are incorporated in Delaware, the Delaware Court of Chancery's legal decisions 
have a great impact throughout both Iowa and Illinois.  Indeed, the Delaware General
Corporation Law is both favorable to the needs of businesses, and flexible by allowing
a wide range of contractual agreements between parties.  Furthermore, the Chancery
Court is unique, producing legal decisions much quicker than other courts because
cases are heard by judges with a high level of sophistication in corporate matters,
rather than juries who may struggle to understand the legal issues at hand.

It is no wonder that Delaware is a hotspot for incorporation of new businesses. 
In a recent decision, Delaware Courts have given entrepreneurs and businesses alike
even further reasons to incorporate in Delaware by upholding a fee-shifting provision
in a non-stock corporation's bylaws that transfers all relevant court costs to the
losing party.  This essentially means that where a party subject to the corporation's
bylaws brings suit against the corporation and fails to receive the remedy sought,
the party could be obligated to reimburse the fees, costs, and expenses incurred
by the corporation defending against such suit.

In ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund, the Supreme Court of Delaware held that
"fee-shifting provisions in a non-stock corporation's bylaws can be valid and enforceable
under Delaware law."
Read the article here.
	
Service and Comfort Animals: What a Landlord Can and Cannot Ask
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A growing trend in the treatment of many medical conditions in the United States
is the prescription of comfort animals. These animals provide love, assurance, 
social interaction and other emotional benefits to medical patients, particularly
to emotionally disabled persons. Comfort animals are, however, not to be confused
with service animals.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a "service animal" as "any dog
that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an 
individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual,
or other mental disability." According to the ADA, this definition does not include
emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship. "Service animals" are protected
in all ADA-covered facilities, including grocery stores, banks, public office, and
housing facilities. Refusing the admittance of a "service animal" is deemed discrimination
and is punishable under federal law.
Read the article here.
	
Tax Consequences of Making Changes to or Cancelling a Life Insurance Policy
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Over time, and as circumstances change in your life, you may no longer want to keep
making monthly payments into life insurance, and it may be beneficial change your
current policy. This article provides a general background of the various considerations,
including tax consequences, of modifying, selling, or cancelling your life insurance
policy.

There are two major categories of life insurance.  The first are protection policies,
called term insurance.  These policies provide coverage within a set time range,
and pay a lump sum if the insured dies during that time.  The second category are
investment policies such as whole, universal, and variable life coverage.  They 
provide coverage over the entire life of the insured (also known as permanent life
insurance), and accumulate a cash-value over time.

If you have a term life policy, it may be wise to cancel your policy if it has already
served its purpose, that is, if your children are financially independent, you have
paid off your mortgage, and have been investing toward retirement for some time.
If you cancel coverage, the extra money saved each month (in lieu of premium payments)
can be put toward a more profitable investment.

Making changes, or cancelling, permanent life insurance policies require a more 
complicated analysis because there are a wider variety of options available to the
insured.  Because permanent life insurance policies accrue a certain rate of return
while providing coverage, one must consider the time-value of these policies going
forward.  The insured individual should compare the net payments required to continue
coverage, versus the net surrender cost including the value of the death benefit
before cancelling or modifying.
Read the article here.
	
Illinois Bar Journal Cites Califf & Harper, P.C. Partner Robert T. Park
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Doctors and other medical providers are normally held liable for malpractice if 
they fail to render treatment that meets the appropriate standard of care for their
profession.  But the Illinois legislature adopted a limited exception to that liability.

The Good Samaritan Act ("the Act") states that a licensed medical professional, 
"who, in good faith, provides emergency care without fee to a person, shall not,
as a result of his or her acts or omissions, except willful or wanton misconduct
on the part of the person, in providing care, be liable for   civil damages."

In the recent case of Home Star Bank & Financial Services v. Emergency Care & Health
Organization, Ltd., 2014 IL 115526, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that doctors
will be held to the same standard of care when they treat patients at medical facilities
whether or not they bill a patient for a procedure.
Read the article here.
	
Firm News
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This summer, Califf & Harper, P.C. has had the privilege of employing the following
two (2) summer associates who worked diligently with the attorneys and staff.

Heather Jackson was born in Dubuque, IA and raised in East Dubuque, IL. Heather 
is a graduate of Dubuque Senior High School. Heather stayed in Dubuque for college,
attending Loras College. In 2012, Heather graduated from Loras with a Political 
Science major and minors in Public Relations, International Studies, and Criminal
Justice. She is currently entering her third year at the University of Iowa College
of Law. At Iowa, Heather is the President of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society, 
Administrative Director of the Moot Court Board, Assistant Director of the Trial
Advocacy Board, and a competitor in both Moot Court and Trial Advocacy on behalf
of the school.

When she is not running around the law school managing her duties, Heather is running
around town. Heather is a competitive runner and is in the process of training for
one of several half marathons she plans on running in the upcoming year. She also
enjoys spending time with her Labrador Retriever, Lexi, and watching live sporting
events. Heather is also what many would call a "river rat", spending as much time
as she can spare near the Mississippi River.

Chris Sorenson was born and raised in Iowa City, IA where he attended West High 
School.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from
the University of Arizona, where he graduated with honors.  Currently entering into
his third year at the University of Iowa College of Law, Chris is involved in a 
number of activities including the Pro Bono society and the Equal Justice Foundation.

When not working in the office, library or classroom, Chris enjoys reading and repairing
bicycles.  He has completed RAGBRAI three times with his father, and has dabbled
in competitive cycling.  Chris is also a college basketball fanatic, rooting for
his alma mater the Arizona Wildcats, as well as the Kansas Jayhawks, and of course
the Iowa Hawkeyes.
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This newsletter is intended to provide general information regarding the topic discussed
herein but is not intended to constitute individual legal advice.