Califf & Harper, P.C. December 2011 Newsletter

Good Tidings from Califf & Harper, P.C.
Califf & Harper, P.C. sends this newsletter as good tidings and a look to an upcoming new year. We hope you find the articles in this edition interesting and informative as we approach the end of 2011.
In This Issue
A New Way to Transfer Residential Property in Illinois
As of August 2011, owners of residential property located in Illinois may transfer their property to a designated person upon the owner's death without having to go through the probate process. Using the same formalities required for wills in Illinois, the Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act allows the owner to use a notarized deed signed by the owner in front of two credible witnesses, who also must sign the deed to name a beneficiary to receive the property.
For more information, or assistance with creating a residential property transfer deed, please contact our office by calling:
309-764-8300 or 1-800-764-4999 

Protection of Inherited IRAs in Bankruptcy 
As seen in the September 2011 Quad City Times Business Journal
Certain property is exempt in bankruptcy, meaning creditors' claims cannot be paid from that property. There are federal and state law bases for exemptions. To some extent, states can "opt out" of the federal law exemptions. Under ERISA, qualified retirement plan benefits, meaning profit sharing and pension plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and the like, are exempt from the claims of creditors under federal law.
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Double Agents: Is Your Insurance Agent Working for You or the Carrier? 
With insurance available for everything from car to life to business coverage, there appears to be a tug-of-war between ensuring the best coverage for insured consumers and top premiums for insurance carriers. Often there is a "middle man" insurance agent selling policies and communicating with the consumer with regard to policies held by separate carriers. This tends to be especially true for larger policies such as those used in various types of business insurance.
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Illinois Jones and the Arbitrators of the Lost Arc:
An Illinois Mandatory Arbitration Synopsis 
Do you have a civil lawsuit in Illinois that is more than $10,000 but less than $50,000? If so, your claim will be required to go before mandatory arbitration, the arching proceeding that occurs when your claim exceeds small claims but does not meet the minimum for trial court in Illinois.
The Jump Off
The theory behind mandatory arbitration is to streamline disputes. An arbitration proceeding can save parties both time and money if the parties cooperate; however, the proceeding may only become an extension of the claim if differences cannot be resolved.
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Califf & Harper, P.C. Attorneys Provide Presentations in
Rock Island and Scott Counties 
Several attorneys from Califf & Harper, P.C. have presented on a variety of topics in the past six months in both Rock Island and Scott Counties. Presenters and topics included the following:
  • Karla C. Steele presented "Immigration Law: H-1B Status for Specialty Occupation Workers" for the Scott County Bar Association on December 16, 2011
  • Jonathon C. Fox presented "Illinois Arbitration Cases: Rules and Procedures" for the Scott County Bar Association on December 16, 2011 and the Rock Island Bar Association on October 28, 2011
  • Franklin S. Mitvalsky presented a seminar titled "Exercise Your Will Power" on the campus of the Scott Community College on November 18, 2011
  • Sigrid U. Zaehringer provided a presentation titled "The Employment Relationship in the Age of Social Media" for the Scott County Bar Association on July 20, 2011
For more information on any of these topics please contact our office by calling 309-764-8300 or 1-800-764-4999 

John A. Slover, Jr. Elected to Figge Art Museum
Board of Trustees Executive Committee 
John A. Slover, Jr. has recently been elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Figge Art Museum. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2005.
In addition, he currently serves as the President of the Museum of Art Foundation, the legal entity which owns the land, building and most improvements of the Museum, as well as Chairman of the Endowment Committee of the Museum, which oversees the investment of the Museum's endowment and other funds of which the Museum is an equal beneficiary with the Putnam Museum of Natural History and Science.
The Figge Art Museum is a 100,000 square foot facility, located in downtown Davenport, Iowa, serving the entire Quad Cities community, which houses a substantial collection of Haitian and Mexican Colonial art and is currently the situs of the University of Iowa Art Collection.

Harvey A. Levin Negotiates Sale of Client's Multimillion Dollar Business
Harvey A. Levin recently assisted a client exit his business by selling it to a major competitor. The significant multimillion dollar business transaction involved significant negotiations with a large New York City law firm. Mr. Levin is one of several Califf & Harper attorneys with experience dealing with business transactions.
Franklin S. Mitvalsky Named President of Ballet Quad Cities, Inc.
Franklin S. Mitvalsky was recently named President of Ballet Quad Cities, Inc., a not-for-profit professional dance and cultural outreach organization based in Rock Island, Illinois.
phone: 309-764-8300 or 1-800-764-4999