THE BLOG

January 31, 2016

Alas, the sperm super-soaker is here!  The wait is finally over for those of us yearning to load donor sperm into a pressurized container and release it according to the specifications in the owner’s manual!

 

And now that the sperm banks and fertility clinics can rest satisfied that donor sperm inseminations may no longer carry the lingering aftertaste of seemingly impersonal and mechanical procedures performed at the doctor’s office, some of the legal consequences of using cryopreserved donor sperm will remain unchanged.  Namely, the issue of liability - or non-liability - for genetic disorders developed by children conceived with donor sperm is not going anywhere, at least for the time being.  Whether a sperm bank or a fertility clinic may be held liable will depend on whether the cryopreserved donor sperm is deemed a “product” or a “service.”  (Apparently, at least in the legal sense, it cannot be both).  If the cryopreserved donor sperm is deemed a “product,” plaintiffs alleging inj...

January 17, 2016

Legal observers (at least those whom I know personally) were hoping that the Szafranski case would provide greater clarity as to what legal standard Illinois court would adopt in embryo disposition disputes.  Unfortunately, the latest ruling of the Illinois appellate court may not be as “clear” as one would have hoped.

 

Background

 

The basic facts pertinent to this discussion are as follows:

 

Ms. Dunston and Mr. Szafranksi have been involved in an on-and-off relationship.  One day, Ms. Dunston finds out that she needs to resort to IVF to cryopreserve her oocytes or embryos.  She calls Mr. Szafranski at work to ask him whether he would be kind enough to provide his sperm to fertilize the collected oocytes.  Mr. Szafranski agrees on the spot, which happens to be his workplace bathroom.   Subsequently, Ms. Dunston’s oocytes are fertilized with Mr. Szafranksi’s sperm and a few resulting embryos are cryopreserved.  Ms. Dunston and Mr. Szafranski seem to have had no substantive discussions abou...

January 11, 2016

Illinois employers wishing to include an enforceable restrictive covenant into an employment agreement must realize that if these covenants were trousers, Illinois courts would frown upon a tight, slimming number that looks more like a compression stocking.  Rather, they would prefer to see those trousers tailored in a baggy cut.

 

Reasonable restrictive covenants are generally enforceable in Illinois.

 

In 2011, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a reasonable restrictive covenant may be enforceable.  (See Reliable Fire Equipment Co. v. Arredondo, 2011 IL 111871).   According to the court, whether a restrictive covenant is “reasonable” should be a case-by-case, “under the totality of circumstances” application of the following three-prong “rule of reason”.   Under this rule, a restrictive covenant is reasonable only if:

 

(1) it is no greater than is required to protect a legitimate business interest of the employer (such interest may be limited by type of activity, geographical...

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