Edwardsville CEO Program

                  Mark C. Goldenberg (Founder & Managing Partner), Jennifer Fourcault (Legal Administrator) and Lisa Stapleton (Paralegal) led the Edwardsville CEO Program students on a talk and tour of their lovely building in Edwardsville this morning. — Mark shared that his love of numbers began at the age… Continue reading

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Mark C. Goldenberg (Founder & Managing Partner), Jennifer Fourcault (Legal Administrator) and Lisa Stapleton (Paralegal) led the Edwardsville CEO Program students on a talk and tour of their lovely building in Edwardsville this morning.

Mark shared that his love of numbers began at the age of 4 when he would operate the cash register while standing on a milk carton at his family’s grocery store. His dream was to become a tax accountant! After receiving his accounting degree from University of Illinois (GO ILLINI!), he decided to pursue a law degree to better prepare himself to work in the tax department for a CPA firm.

After taking on several side jobs in law, Mark saw an opportunity to merge his two areas of expertise and starting a dual practice CPA/law firm. Fast forward through accepting an invitation to be a city attorney, several large cases and a 3-way company merger, Mark continues to serve as Managing Partner for the firm he founded over 30 years ago.

His advice for our young entrepreneurs?

• Clear communication is key! Clearly define what you are providing to your customers and what you are getting in return.
• Do your due diligence. Spend the time doing the research and assessing potential costs & revenue in your market.
• Start a business in something about which you are passionate. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you likely won’t do it for very long.
Mark attributed his successes to the incredible team of key people that surround him. Our law firm is dedicated to not only taking care of our clients and our employees, but in supporting the surrounding community. Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. is thrilled to be an Edwardsville CEO Program investor!
To learn more about the Edwardsville CEO Program, click here. If you or your family need help in any practice area, you may contact us by clicking here.

The Illinois Freedom to Work Act

  Effective January 1, 2022, employers will no longer be able to enter into covenants not to compete (non-compete agreements) and covenants not to solicit (non-solicitation agreements) with employees whose earnings are below a certain amount. On August 13, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 672. The Illinois Freedom to… Continue reading

two people meeting to sign legal paperwork

 

Effective January 1, 2022, employers will no longer be able to enter into covenants not to compete (non-compete agreements) and covenants not to solicit (non-solicitation agreements) with employees whose earnings are below a certain amount.

On August 13, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 672. The Illinois Freedom to Work Act now makes it illegal for employers to enter into non-compete agreements with any employee unless the employee’s earnings exceed $75,000 per year. Likewise, it is illegal for employers to enter into non-solicitation agreements with any employee unless the employee’s earnings exceed $45,000 per year.

In addition, no employer shall enter into non-compete or non-solicitation agreements with any employee who is terminated, furloughed, or laid off as a result of varying COVID-19 circumstances. Similarly, a non-compete agreement is void and illegal with respect to individuals covered by a collective bargaining agreement under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act or the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. Individuals employed in construction are also included in this list.

The legislation also provides the criteria employers must meet when entering into these agreements. According to the bill text, non-compete agreement or a non-solicitation agreement is illegal and void unless:

(1) The employee receives adequate consideration*
(2) The agreement is supplementary to a valid employment relationship
(3) The agreement is no more than what is required for the protection of a legitimate business interest of the employer
(4) The agreement does not impose undue hardship on the employee
(5) The agreement is not harmful to the public

To ensure employees are informed about their obligations, an agreement not to compete or an agreement not to solicit is illegal and void unless:

(1) The employer advises the employee in writing to consult with an attorney before entering into the agreement.
(2) The employer provides the employee with a copy of the agreement at least 14 calendar days before the start of employment or 14 calendar days to review the agreement.

While the bill does not apply retroactively, it will create a substantial change to the future employment agreements and is something employers should keep in mind as the January 1, 2022, effective date looms.

*As defined in the bill, “Adequate Consideration” means, “(1) the employee worked for the employer for at least two years after the employee signed an agreement containing a covenant not to compete or a covenant not to solicit, or (2) the employer otherwise provided consideration adequate to support an agreement to not compete or to not solicit, which consideration can consist of a period of employment plus additional professional or financial benefits or merely professional or financial benefits adequate by themselves.”

Top of the Mountain

Three of the Partners of Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. recently took some leisure time and climbed Mount Elbert in Colorado. The three partners, Mark Goldenberg, Elizabeth Heller and David Antognoli climbed to the elevation of 14,433 feet. Mount Elbert is the highest mountain and has the highest elevation in the Continental United States. We… Continue reading

Three of the Partners of Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. recently took some leisure time and climbed Mount Elbert in Colorado. The three partners, Mark Goldenberg, Elizabeth Heller and David Antognoli climbed to the elevation of 14,433 feet. Mount Elbert is the highest mountain and has the highest elevation in the Continental United States. We know they work just as hard for our clients as they do climbing mountains. Congratulations to our Partners for accomplishing this feat.

       

     

Assisted Living Facilities – Fall Injuries

On January 15, 2020, a California jury awarded $5.5 million to the resident of an assisted living facility who sustained serious injuries due to a fall. According to the CDC: One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year Emergency departments treat three million older people for fall injuries each year, an average of one… Continue reading

Fall injuries can affect older adults living in assisted living facilities.

On January 15, 2020, a California jury awarded $5.5 million to the resident of an assisted living facility who sustained serious injuries due to a fall.

According to the CDC:

  • One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year
  • Emergency departments treat three million older people for fall injuries each year, an average of one every eleven seconds
  • One in five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or a head injury

With the increasing growth of the Baby Boomers entering old age, fall injuries are increasingly common in assisted living facilities.

Assisted living facilities rarely accept responsibility for fall injuries. They claim residents live independently in their own quarters and receive limited assistance with meals, medication and housekeeping service. Even for those who receive enhanced services or additional supervision, they argue it is not reasonable to anticipate when the residents might fall.

However, assisted living facilities have a legal obligation to identify and address risks of their residents, including their specific fall risks.

 

What to do if your loved one falls in an assisted living facility?

If a fall occurs, first and foremost, ensure a thorough medical evaluation is completed. This is particularly important if the resident suffers from any cognitive deficits or confusion. The fall injuries may not be recognized immediately, even if one is not confused.

Second, if the facility cannot adequately explain the event in detail or you suspect something is wrong, calling the abuse and neglect hotline is an option. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline is 1-800-392-0210. The Illinois Department of Public Health hotline is 800-252-4343. State inspectors will show up for an unannounced inspection of the facility, demand the resident’s records and conduct employee interviews.

 

Investigating Liability of Assisted Living Facility After a Fall?

Complete records from the assisted living facility are critical, but it is all too often an insurmountable hurdle for those unfamiliar with the legal paperwork. Even after submitting all the correct paperwork, one may not receive complete records unless and until someone familiar with such records confronts the facility about what is missing. One such facility refused to produce its records after five requests. It took filing a lawsuit to get records.

Liability might be due to an incomplete or inaccurate assessment, the wrong care plan or the failure of staff to follow the plan. A breakdown in leadership tends to cause a cascade of problems. On the other hand, it is also possible that the facility was doing everything it was supposed to do.

 

What Should You Do After a Loved One is Injured?

ACT QUICKLY!!! The law has certain deadlines to assert claims. Oftentimes, it takes months of gathering enough information to evaluate the viability of a lawsuit.

Some people do not do anything. They reason that it does not heal the injury or bring their deceased loved one back. Others make a claim because they do not want someone else to suffer the same fate.

Most assisted living facilities are owned by corporate conglomerates that are more focused on profits than patient care. If left unaccountable, such facilities will not change their dangerous ways. Making them accountable is one way to incentivize them to do things the right way.

Assisted living facilities absolutely must ensure that services they provide are sufficient to meet the needs of their residents. If a resident requires more assistance than the facility provides, that resident cannot be admitted or remain in the facility.

In evaluating and prosecuting lawsuits against assisted living facilities, Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli stays abreast of the statutory and regulatory requirements. Our attorneys know how to gather the available evidence and retain some of the best experts the medical profession has to offer. We would be happy to talk with you if you or your loved one who has suffered an injury in an assisted living facility.

CPA Firms Need Legal Advice, Too

Certified Public Accountants serve as trusted advisors and often guide their clients to other professionals, including attorneys, for assistance. However, CPA firms, like most professionals, often overlook their own need for good legal advice.   Engagement Letters For example, CPA firms should have a clear and concise engagement letter for all clients. These carefully drafted… Continue reading

CPA firms can benefit from hiring a trusted attorney to handle their legal documentation

Certified Public Accountants serve as trusted advisors and often guide their clients to other professionals, including attorneys, for assistance. However, CPA firms, like most professionals, often overlook their own need for good legal advice.

 

Engagement Letters

For example, CPA firms should have a clear and concise engagement letter for all clients. These carefully drafted documents set forth the specific understanding of a particular engagement when it comes to the scope of the CPA firm’s work. Services, such as tax return preparation and financial statement review, must be outlined accordingly.

In addition, the engagement letter should contain provisions that limit the CPA firm’s exposure to liability. This can include an exculpatory provision that limits the CPA firm’s liability to the amount of fees it has collected from its client. This is an advantage CPA firms have over attorneys, who cannot similarly limit their liability to a client.

 

Shareholder Agreements

Many CPA firms are corporations, partnerships or limited liability companies. This means they may have multiple shareholders, partners or members. As a result, they should have a sound shareholder agreement that addresses the respective rights and obligations of each shareholder, partner or member.

These agreements should contain provisions regarding:

  • Governance
  • Restrictions on transfer of ownership interests
  • Terms for transfer of the ownership interest of a deceased or disabled owner

The agreements should also cover any disputes that may arise in the operation of the firm and provide an expeditious and cost effective way for resolution of such disputes.

 

Additional Protections Legal Advice and Documentation for CPA Firms

Finally, like any business, a CPA firm, should seek legal counsel for matters such as:

  • Employment agreements, including non-solicitation covenants which can protect the CPA firm and its clients
  • Intellectual property rights (trademarks, trade names, etc.)
  • Insurance needs

Maintenance of a good relationship with a trusted attorney; one who can provide the legal “nuts and bolts” of operating a CPA firm, along with guidance on general legal questions or issues that arise during the course of operations, can be a valuable asset for any CPA firm. At Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. our attorneys have experience in business and commercial law, and several have worked as licensed CPAs. Contact us to learn more. 800-782-8492.

Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli Repurposes Holiday Funds, Donates to Local Organizations

The Southern Illinois Laborers Union, Good Samaritan House, The RITE Plan Initiative and STL Village among those to receive firm’s holiday gift. In lieu of its annual holiday party, Edwardsville-based law firm Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli has donated more than $10,000 to four local organizations across the region. The Southern Illinois Laborers Union, the Good… Continue reading

The Southern Illinois Laborers Union, Good Samaritan House, The RITE Plan Initiative and STL Village among those to receive firm’s holiday gift.

In lieu of its annual holiday party, Edwardsville-based law firm Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli has donated more than $10,000 to four local organizations across the region. The Southern Illinois Laborers Union, the Good Samaritan House in Granite City, Ill., The RITE Plan Initiative in East St. Louis, Ill., and STL Village in St. Louis will all receive a portion of the firm’s gift.

The donations will be used to support each organization’s ongoing mission, which includes improving the lives of community members throughout the holiday season.

The Southern Illinois Laborers Union – Funds will be used to support families dealing with hardships, such as unemployment and health issues, relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization has identified three families who will receive aid in the form of groceries and other supplies as well as additional support where needed.

Good Samaritan House – Donated funds will help residents in Granite City, Ill. to pay outstanding utility bills. They will also provide assistance with vehicle repairs and transportation costs so that individuals may travel to and from work.

The RITE Plan Initiative – The initiative will use the funds to assist residents in East St. Louis, Ill., purchasing food for those families who have been identified and are in need of additional financial support around the holidays.

STL Village – The St. Louis organization will use the donation for their “Grandparents as Parents” program. They have identified seven families residing in the Lewis Place Fountain Park neighborhood who will receive gift cards to be used for the purchase of groceries and children’s toys for Christmas.

“We will miss hosting friends, clients and other members of the community, but it’s more rewarding to help these fine organizations assist those in need,” said Mark Goldenberg, the firm’s founder and managing partner.

For more information on Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, and updates regarding this year’s giving initiative visit the firm’s website at www.goldenbergheller.com or follow them on Facebook.

A New Obligation for Illinois Employers: Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

On January 1, 2020, the state of Illinois issued new requirements for employers. The requirements mandate all employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training  by December 31, 2020. This training must then be provided annually each following year. What is The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act? The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (the “Act”) contains requirements that… Continue reading

An attorney advising a business owner of their legal obligations.

On January 1, 2020, the state of Illinois issued new requirements for employers. The requirements mandate all employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training  by December 31, 2020. This training must then be provided annually each following year.

What is The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act?

The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (the “Act”) contains requirements that Illinois employers should consider in order to prevent fines from the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Of these changes, the most important for employers to understand and implement right now is that of annual sexual harassment prevention training for employees.

The Act defines an employer as any entity “employing one or more employees within Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year.” Because of this definition, this requirement will likely affect most businesses in the state.

How Can Employers Fulfill Their Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirement?

To comply with the Act’s training requirement, an employer has two options:

Option 1

Employers can choose to use the model sexual harassment prevention training program. This program is available online from the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Option 2

An employer can create and present its own training program, provided it meets the following four requirements:

  1. The training must provide an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the Act’s definition. The Act classifies sexual harassment as “any unwelcome advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment”;
  2. The training must provide the employees with examples of actions considered to be unlawful sexual harassment;
  3. The training must provide a summary of relevant federal and state regulations concerning sexual harassment, including resources available to victims of sexual harassment; and
  4. The training must summarize the responsibilities of employers to prevent, investigate, and correct sexual harassment in the workplace.

Regardless of which option they choose, employers should keep detailed records to demonstrate their compliance with the training requirement. According to the Department of Human Rights, acceptable records include:

  • Employees’ certificates of completion/participation
  • Sign-in sheets showing employee attendance
  • Other training materials used by the employer

What Else Should Bars and Restaurants Know?

In addition, bars and restaurants must also maintain a written policy on sexual harassment. All employees should receive a copy of this policy within the first calendar week of his/her employment. After that, restaurants and bars must also supply employees with a supplemental training program aimed at preventing sexual harassment in their industry. The model program developed by the Department of Human Rights for bars and restaurants is currently available online.

What Happens If Employers Fail To Meet The Requirement?

If an employer fails to provide adequate training to its staff by December 31, 2020, the Department of Human Rights will issue a notice to show cause. This notice gives the employer 30 days to complete the requirements. If the employer does not comply within 30 days, the Department will petition the Human Rights Commission for entry of an order imposing a civil penalty against the employer. To avoid unnecessary fines and penalties, employers need to fulfill the training requirements.

Are You A Business Owner With Additional Questions?

The attorneys at Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. have extensive experience representing businesses and advising them of their legal obligations. Feel free to contact us today at (800) 782-8492 with any questions.

USPTO Alert on Ongoing Email Scams Targeting Trademark Owners

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has issued an alert about an ongoing email scam involving messages that appear to originate from the USPTO domain (@uspto.gov), but are, in fact, sent by third parties for fraudulent purposes. The USPTO advises trademark owners to be aware that scam messages may: Spoof the USPTO email… Continue reading

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has issued an alert about an ongoing email scam involving messages that appear to originate from the USPTO domain (@uspto.gov), but are, in fact, sent by third parties for fraudulent purposes. The USPTO advises trademark owners to be aware that scam messages may:

  • Spoof the USPTO email address (e.g., noreply@uspto.gov)
  • Falsely claim that the USPTO has a new policy requiring separate registration of “clients” and that there is a “penalty” for not complying.
  • Provide incorrect USPTO trademark filing information (e.g., incorrect fee information)

The USPTO has a solicitations webpage that provides a list of examples of solicitations from entities unaffiliated with the USPTO, including known scams, potentially misleading offers and notices, and other non-USPTO solicitations about which the USPTO has received inquiries or complaints.

In light of the increase in fraudulent emails, the USPTO urges all trademark owners and proceedings participants to carefully review any email correspondence that appears to be sent from the USPTO “@uspto.gov” domain and to double-check the information contained in that message by contacting their attorney or independently verifying the information as contained on the USPTO Trademark Status & Document Retrieval database.

We strongly encourage any client receiving email correspondence that appears to be from the USPTO or any third party to not respond directly to such emails. Instead, contact our office to investigate the correspondence and advise on the appropriate course of action. If we filed your application or are representing you in any trademark proceeding, all official correspondence from the USPTO will come to us directly and not to you.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli to Open New St. Clair County Office

Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, a full-service law firm based in Edwardsville, Ill., announced it will be opening a new satellite location in St. Clair County. The office will be located at 13 Wolf Creek Drive, Suite #2 in Swansea, Illinois. “We are excited to have a satellite office in St. Clair County,” said Mark Goldenberg.… Continue reading

Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, a full-service law firm based in Edwardsville, Ill., announced it will be opening a new satellite location in St. Clair County. The office will be located at 13 Wolf Creek Drive, Suite #2 in Swansea, Illinois.

“We are excited to have a satellite office in St. Clair County,” said Mark Goldenberg. “I was born in East St. Louis, so having a presence in St. Clair County is very important to me and will allow us to better serve our clients in Illinois.”

The firm, which has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of business and commercial law, creditor’s rights, estate planning, class actions, intellectual property, asbestos litigation and personal injury, plans to utilize the new space at the end of the month.

For more information about Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, please visit www.goldenbergheller.com or call (800) 782-8492.

About Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C.
Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. is a full-service law firm specializing in the areas of business and commercial law, creditor’s rights, estate planning, class actions, intellectual property, asbestos litigation and personal injury. Based in Edwardsville, Illinois, the firm has over 30 years of experience practicing law in the Metro East and St. Louis area and has won over a billion dollars in settlements for its clients. Their main office can be located at 2227 S. State Route 157, Edwardsville, Illinois.
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Kevin Green Receives Illinois State Bar Association’s Young Lawyer of the Year Award

Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli attorney recognized for excellence in legal community and profession Edwardsville, ILL., August 10, 2020 – Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli is pleased to announce that partner Kevin Green has been awarded the 2020 Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Young Lawyer of the Year Award. The ISBA Young Lawyers Division presents this award… Continue reading

Kevin green holding award

Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli attorney recognized for excellence in legal community and profession

Edwardsville, ILL., August 10, 2020 – Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli is pleased to announce that partner Kevin Green has been awarded the 2020 Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

The ISBA Young Lawyers Division presents this award each year to two lawyers in the state who have excelled within the legal community and profession, one who practices inside Cook County and one who practices outside Cook County. Nominees must exemplify skill and strong character, be members in good standing with the ISBA and under the age of 36. The recipients are selected based on excellence in advocacy, counseling or litigation; contributions to the advancement of the Bar of Illinois and the legal profession generally; and service to the community.

Green is a partner at Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, where he has worked since 2010. His practice areas include business and commercial litigation as well as class action litigation. Last year, Green successfully petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court and obtained a unanimous reversal of the appellate court decision.  Green was also appointed as Special State’s Attorney to represent the Madison County Auditor in a dispute with the Madison County Board over privacy rights of citizens. Green, along with partner Tom Rosenfeld, has also litigated many large class actions over the years, including a class action against the St. Louis Rams that resulted in a $24 million settlement.

Dennis Orsey, President of the Illinois State Bar Association,  presents Kevin Green with the Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

“Kevin is an outstanding lawyer, and we’re proud to have him as one of our partners,” said partner and founder Mark Goldenberg.  “Kevin joined our firm after completing law school and passing the bar and has shown outstanding leadership in his progress to partner. He’s achieved significant results for our clients in a number of cases, and I’m certain that he will continue to utilize his talent throughout the rest of his career.”

Green graduated from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in commercial litigation law firms in Chicago and San Francisco as well as for the City of Chicago Department of Law; the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Illinois and the United States House of Representatives Committee on Small Business in Washington, D.C.

For more information about Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli., please visit www.goldenbergheller.com or call (800) 782-8492.

About Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C.

Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. is a full-service law firm specializing in the areas of business and commercial law, mesothelioma, personal injury, class actions, trusts and estates and intellectual property. Based in Edwardsville, Illinois, the firm has over 30 years of experience practicing law in the Metro East and St. Louis area and has won over a billion dollars in settlements for its clients. Their main office can be located at 2227 S. State Route 157, Edwardsville, Illinois.

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