Brett Kepley

Brett Kepley

The Law Q&A | The ins and outs of mental-health directives

In Homer's "The Odyssey," the hero Odysseus ordered his boat crew to lash him to the mast and not release him despite what he may later order while under the spell of the Sirens.

The Law Q&A | What records can be sealed or expunged?

In Illinois, can I get my criminal record removed from the record books so that prospective employers I am interviewing with won't blackball me from ever getting employed, thereby preventing me from being a productive member of society again?

Yes, you can. But with limits.

Two different things are going on: expunging records and sealing records.

The Law Q&A | Credit cards, debit cards and unauthorized use

If your credit card or its number is used by an unauthorized user, do you have to eat the debt owed to the card issuer? What about debit or ATM cards? Is one better than the other? What the heck is the difference between them anyway?

The Law Q&A | Clearing air on medicinal-marijuana use in primary schools

OK, kids, let's clear the smoke on medicinal-marijuana use in primary schools.

Marijuana use for medical purposes became authorized under Illinois law in 2014. In the originating statute, over 40 debilitating medical conditions were qualified for treatment by cannabis. The Illinois Department of Public Health can add to that list under its rule-making authority.

The Law Q&A | Cellphones and the Fourth Amendment

Is the data of my cellphone location protected from search and seizure by the government?

Heck yes.

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cellphone location information is protected by the Fourth Amendment of the federal Constitution, and generally will require a warrant before being seized.

The Law Q&A | Watch that Yelp review

Yelp has long been yet another "social media" internet outlet. It publishes reviews of businesses made or posted by anybody who wants to say anything about a business.

Anything? Wait a minute — hold the megaphone.

The Law Q&A | Passport denial is latest weapon in IRS arsenal

The IRS has devised a clever new scheme of extorting money from taxpayers who owe.

IRS code regulation 7345 allows the IRS to ask the State Department to deny passport applications or renewals for taxpayers who owe the IRS more than $51,000 in past due taxes. The IRS began using this tool in February this year.

The Law Q&A | How Illinois law views obstructed views of traffic

Have you ever been hideously annoyed when you're pulling out of a parking lot onto a street and both directions of your view are blocked by hedges and/or signs of the property owner/user?

Under Illinois law, do they have a duty to keep your vision clear of traffic/pedestrians trundling along the crossing street/sidewalks which abut their property?


Except when yep.

The Law Q&A | Power of attorney can help if you can't conduct financial affairs

Suppose I need to conduct some financial affairs but am unable to do so myself because at the moment, I am in jail awaiting trial on charges of witness tampering (along with charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy against the United States).

How can I move my Swiss and Saudi slush funds around when I have no access to my cellphone or iPad?

The Law Q&A | When are you liable for your spouse's debts?

Am I liable for my spouse's debts just because I'm married to my spouse? (Wait — as opposed to being married to someone else's spouse?)

Under Illinois law, the answer is mostly no.