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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1251170581.jpgLast spring, Illinois dispensary workers and consumers noticed there was mold in a popular brand of pre-rolled marijuana joints. State regulators determined that numerous batches were potentially contaminated. The Chicago Sun Times “watchdog” section broke the story on December 10, 2021.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the licensing agency for Illinois marijuana dispensaries and their employees. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (Act) provides for the controlled legalization of adult-use cannabis in Illinois. Pursuant to the Act, IDFPR is charged with implementing and administrating multiple aspects of the program, including the licensing and oversight of dispensing organizations, dispensary agents, and agent education providers.

Despite its statutorily mandated oversight responsibilities, IDFPR never told the public about the mold infestation. Instead, IDFPR opted to send an email to dispensary operators which discretely instructed them to quarantine a cannabis flower product made by a certain producer. Dispensaries were left with a quagmire of compliance and liability issues which were compounded by IDFPR’s inaction and lack of guidance.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1817934827.jpgThe Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s (IDFPR) license renewal procedures recently underwent a conversion to permit online filing. As a result of the conversion, IDFPR was late in the initiation of accepting license renewals from several licensed professionals, including: 

  • Certified Public Accountants/Registered Certified Public Accountants

  • Cosmetologists

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_114938944-1.jpgThe Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, whose function is to consider any objection to an applicant's eligibility to obtain a Concealed Carry License (CCL), recently explained the various factors causing delay in issuing new licenses.  

A board member testifying in front of the Senate Executive Appointments Committee provided insights regarding the delay in the processing and review of hundreds of CCL appeals. The Board member offered valuable insight stating that sometimes the delays are the result of a lack of evidence and other materials provided by the objecting law enforcement agency.

The Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board is responsible for reviewing as many as 600 objections per month. Because of the sheer volume of applications, approvals are often delinquent. Teleconferencing has significantly improved the Board’s efficiency, but use of technology can only relieve the backlog so much.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1454438033.jpgThe Supreme Court of Illinois ruled that felons may apply for restoration of firearms civil rights and describes the discretion granted to the director and courts when making their determination. 

Recently, the Supreme Court of Illinois issued its opinion in Evans v. Cook County State’s Attorney, 2021 IL 125513. Evans considered whether Section 10 of the FOID Card Act – which establishes a process for relief from firearms disabilities – automatically and permanently makes this relief unavailable to convicted of felons. The Supreme Court of Illinois determined that Section 10 of the FOID Card Act was intended to be a mechanism for firearm civil rights restoration for some convicted felons. 

Evans was convicted of two felonies in 1994. Both were related to the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance. Evans applied for a FOID card in 2018 but was denied. The Illinois State Police’s (ISP) justification for the denial was based on federal law. The ISP argued that Section 922(g)(1) of the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm when that person “has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.” 

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Illinois Business License Defense AttorneyAccountants can face many potential issues throughout their career as a licensed professional. If one wants to pursue the field, one must be aware of the variety of situations that can come with providing a service to the public and being regulated by the state’s standard of codes.

Setting aside clientele interaction, there are certainly internal problems that can occur and can equally impact one’s ability to practice accounting. The office could have employees that are not following proper accounting practices, cutting corners, or even ignoring certain practices from their clients (i.e., distribution of funds, business tax returns, etc.). Equally important, it is the business’ responsibility to follow the current and exact protocols for recordkeeping, renew licensure, and, obviously, that their clients are not involved in fraudulent tax issues. If there are any faltering employees or practices within this machine, one’s license and ability to practice accounting could be put on the line. Thus, it is important to maintain an active role within the firm since one is held accountable regardless of complicity in any potential issue.

Accountants are privy to and responsible for individuals’ and businesses’ most private and sensitive financial information. It is of utmost importance to maintain these standards and protect this information with unmatched levels of professionalism. Because of the nature of these particular conditions, clients may be particularly sensitive about their financial information or what their tax situation involves/represents; having the ability to get the job done without placing a client in an uncomfortable situation or pushing them outside of their comfort zone is integral. If these standards are not maintained, the licensed professional runs the risk of being on the receiving end of a complaint from a disgruntled client.

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Illinois Business License Defense AttorneyFor licensed funeral directors and embalmers, there are a variety of potential issues that could occur within the profession, both industry-specific and even license-specific issues that could affect the individual’s ability to practice their profession.

Making sure the families of the decedent understand the process, the cost, the options, and other related conditions is integral to both the quality of the client’s experience, and the ability to avoid potential complaints placed against their license. If funeral directors communicate properly about the real costs of the services they provide, and genuinely attempt to provide the most appropriate funeral package to the individual instead of simply pushing the most expensive option regardless of the fit, clients are going to feel comfortable with their decision and feel supported during a very difficult time. Hiding costs/fees or purposefully pushing a specific package with a hidden agenda is not in best practice and could even create a licensing issue if the client decides to pursue a case against the funeral director for these behaviors.

It is also important to explain the options for the body of the decedent. Generally speaking, a few funeral directors may push for the embalming/funeral/casket route because it brings in more money. Although some clients will naturally go this route regardless of cost, the option to cremate is sometimes not even shared or touched upon with the client likely due to the fact that it is a much cheaper option and will generate less revenue. However, many clients would still prefer the full range of options provided to them, and if cremation is ignored, the individual could even file a complaint against them for failing to provide all possible options, or because the client feels like they were swindled by being led toward the more expensive and intensive option.

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Chicago Business License Defense LawyerCPAs have not been untouched by the pandemic; their industry, too, faces specific challenges directly pertaining to the pandemic. These challenges come in the form of different deadlines, IRS closures, various tax credits, stimulus payments, and amendments to law during tax season.

The IRS closed in March of 2020 due to the threat of the pandemic, and as of Summer 2021, was still in the process of slowly reopening facilities. This closure meant that employees were working from home, or on furlough, while tax returns and other tax-related communications rolled into the temporarily closed IRS facility. Citizens who mailed in their tax returns or estimated tax payments during this period of time are most likely still waiting for the process to be fulfilled as the IRS had millions of backlogged mail. Unfortunately for their clients and their own peace of mind, CPAs could do nothing to rectify this situation. It was certainly equally stressful for CPAs to not receive their clients’ filed tax returns, estimated tax payments, and other related matters. General communication with the IRS was/is also virtually impossible, which makes it even more difficult to determine the status of anything. These issues may take months, if not years, to fully unravel and rectify.

Despite the pandemic and the closure of the IRS, there were many federally implemented changes to either tax deadlines, tax law, or the creation of credits and payments that would eventually affect the accounting industry. While it is not necessarily uncommon for the government to move the tax filing deadline, the circumstances for this movement were unique, and the deadline was extended further out than normally done. Deadlines for tax extension payments and for retirement contributions were also altered. Licensed accounting professionals were expected to keep up with these random, sudden changes as they occurred to keep their clients informed, even when the occurrences weren’t clear or were unprecedented with no prior examples for reference.

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Illinois Business License Defense LawyerA widely-documented and much-discussed phenomena is occurring in the housing market right now – homes are being listed well above the estimated value, and furthermore, people are buying these houses at amounts even higher than the already inflated asking price. Home inspections are being waived and offers are being rejected if buyers try to suggest them. Sellers are heavily counter-offering. Buyers are putting down fully cash offers. Deals are closing within 3 weeks. The list goes on. If there were two words to describe the housing market for most of 2020 and 2021, the words would be “frantic” and “unprecedented.” Real estate brokers have adapted to these conditions now, but what about the theoretical inevitable stagnation of these conditions?

Many economics and real estate industry experts have been hypothesizing for months if, and when, these aforementioned conditions will change and the market will revert to a calmer, more seller-buyer balanced harmony. Generally speaking, there are multiple reasons why these conditions cannot be sustained or will not sustain themselves. Although the demand is extremely high, the reasons for it are subject to change. Conditions of the pandemic have created these circumstances by which people either have the freedom to move elsewhere due to the prevalence of remote work, or because staying at home for so long has caused individuals to reevaluate their home space and to pursue better ventures. Similarly, sellers are listing their houses solely, in many cases, just to get a chance to sell their houses at a higher price than valued due to the high demand from buyers. If a buyer purchases a home above the asking or listing price, they could have trouble reselling the home when the market calms down or lose their equity when the amount they purchased it for is impossible to recapture upon selling it. While this does not necessarily affect the market overall, it certainly affects the experience of the seller and buyer.

If the conditions of the pandemic effectively created the market as it is, then the eventual improvement of the current health crisis may also affect the duration of this frantic, unprecedented market. As infections reduce and businesses reopen, and society goes back to “normal,” priorities and needs will inevitably change. The waves generated by the fervency of buying and selling will calm down, and people will either stay rooted and enjoy their new neighborhoods and cities, or alternatively, feel trapped by their decision and unable to resell at the amount in which they purchased the house. Just as they had to learn to navigate the current market, licensed professionals in the real estate industry will also have to (re)learn how to navigate calmer and smoother waters. Market literacy is a must.

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Illinois Healthcare License Defense LawyerAlthough there are varying types of licenses for nurses, all types of licensed nursing professionals are equally underappreciated within their industry. It is a longstanding issue in our culture that nurses are simply there, and expected to be, with almost no acknowledgment of their incredibly difficult work environments and their understated utility in society. Simply put, we need nurses to survive, to heal, to navigate difficult medical situations, and despite the fact that we collectively know this, there is very little support given back to nurses. This lack of support manifests in extremely long hours, difficult clientele, difficult coworkers and management, devaluing from other healthcare professionals (such as physicians), and underpayment of wages comparative to the work that they do.

Understaffing, which we have previously written about, is the crux of many hardships that nurses face. Nursing applicants cannot apply fast enough to become licensed nurses. Because of the shortage of nurses, the work environment becomes much more tumultuous. People still get sick and need medical help at the same rate as they do whether nurses are prevalent or not, and there is little reprieve. This would already be difficult with an appropriate number of nurses, considering the work of caring for patients is very hard even if rewarding. However, due to the ongoing shortage, RNs, LPNs, and APNs all equally struggle despite having different licensure. Society generally does not understand the differences between these licenses, either, which places nurses in an undervalued position.

Nursing started out as a female-specific profession that allowed women to dip their toes into the medical field, without being able to be doctors. Although some things have certainly changed, including the fact that women are allowed to become physicians and nursing is no longer a female-only profession, there are a couple of factors that still align with this origin: poor pay because of the undervalued position, and the stigma of being relegated to a “lesser” position in the medical field. The reality is nurses are an integral, vital part of any medical environment and facilities would undoubtedly collapse without their presence. Despite this fact, nurses still struggle with inadequate pay comparative to their utility and necessity. When one is underpaid, feelings of underappreciation are commonly present. Being paid adequately is not just a fiscal matter, but also heavily factors into mental health, stress levels, and general self-value. Even if nurses continued to be overworked, being paid an amount that is appropriate for the work that they endure would tremendously improve working conditions and the self-valuation that occurs within the profession.

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Illinois Healthcare License Defense LawyerDoctors are lauded figures in society who represent stability, health, safety, and trust. We often turn to doctors when we feel something is wrong with our bodies, and they help us get better and improve the quality of our lives. They are also heroic figures who save us in emergency situations. Yet licensed medical professionals of varying types are often struggling with substance abuse issues, and this reliance on substances directly stems from the harsh and unforgiving working conditions they endure.

It should not be surprising to hear that many licensed medical professionals struggle with abuse of alcohol, opioids, stimulants, and other drugs. They endure long hours, and often are called back into work outside of their normal hours to attend to emergency matters. They are always “on call,” literally and figuratively. If the long hours do not affect their livelihood, then one can point to a variety of other factors, including tragic medical situations, patient death, difficult patients, tumultuous management within their medical facility, staffing issues including negative relationships with coworkers and understaffing, and so much more. It is inarguable to say that licensed medical professionals endure immense stress in their careers. There is a proven link between stress and subsequent substance abuse.

Many medical professionals do not have a support system to help them cope with their difficult experiences in their careers. If the professional has a spouse who does not work in the same industry, there is a disconnect despite the spouse’s best efforts, because they simply do not have the same experiences. Yet if the spouse is also in the same industry, with both individuals struggling with these elements, it can be impossible to find the energy to support one another. Therapy and other mental health related support are recommended, but many licensed medical professionals cannot find the time to attend, or even find a therapist who can provide services after normal working hours. Lack of support can simply exacerbate existing emotional and mental issues, and cause a greater reliance on substances to cope.

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Illinois Business License Defense LawyersEven before the pandemic began in March of 2020, the city of Chicago had been collecting data that residents are moving out of downtown to other parts of Illinois, or even out of state. Despite a couple of particularly pandemic-contingent experiences, the pre-pandemic reasons are mostly similar to the current conditions that are encouraging people to move away from the heart of the city.

Identifying a couple of pandemic-contingent situations that very obviously influence the want and need to leave downtown are lack of activity and lack of amenities. It is certainly a benefit to live downtown amongst numerous restaurants, museums, various stores, and pretty much every other possible resource a resident could possibly want. If one works downtown, there is also the allure of a short commute. The accessibility of all these experiences was also one of the main reasons why cost of living is/was so high downtown. With the pandemic, most people started working from home and most facilities closed. Suddenly there were no restaurants open, no stores, completely empty streets, and with this, lack of ability to use most or all the amenities of living downtown.

With downtown Chicago effectively being a ghost town, residents who paid what was considered high cost of living felt they were paying an exorbitant amount for a downtown residence with none of the benefits that they had previously experienced. Thus, with no incentive to stay downtown, many individuals took this rare and peculiar opportunity to move to the suburbs of Chicago, or further north. In general, real estate brokers have noted the surge of prospective homebuyers that are funneling out from downtown, which also leads to the current housing boom we are experiencing.

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Chicago Healthcare License Defense LawyersWhen the pandemic started in March of 2020, many individuals found themselves in an unfamiliar situation: they had unlimited time at home. Individuals were encouraged to quarantine and stay at home to help us better navigate the pandemic. With this situation came one simple trend: an extreme boom in pet adoption. People far and wide were adopting their first pet, or adding more pets to their home. This was, in part, perhaps due to boredom, or perhaps due to the desirable opportunity of being able to spend as much time with the pet as possible. Regardless of the reason, pet ownership has peaked in 2020 and into 2021.

Meanwhile, veterinarians, considered essential workers, stayed open during the pandemic. Protocols may have changed, but animals still needed to be seen. Licensed veterinary professionals widely experienced a notable surge in patients and clients. People who had never had pets before due to time and lifestyle constraints were needing to book appointments for their newly adopted cat or dog. Commonly, newly adopted pets will need vaccinations, boosters, medications, preliminary check-ups, and sometimes even health-related treatments early on in their lives. For example, purebred animals often have health issues due to inbreeding or improper care. Pet owners, especially those who have never had pets before, are usually wildly unprepared for the costs and time spent ensuring their pet is safe and healthy.

A new trend has started to emerge, as noted by professionals who work in the animal care industry: new pet owners are beginning to return their pets to shelters or other adoption centers, or even surrendering the pets at veterinary offices. There are several reasons why this is occurring. With the slowing of the pandemic and the return to normalcy, people are going back to work in offices, and no longer have time to take care of pets. Some may also feel guilt that their pet, who had been enjoying time at home with their owner, will now be alone during work hours. Pet owners, especially those who had not previously had a pet, may also be shocked and burdened by the sometimes-unexpected costs of pet ownership. Another fiscal issue might be that pet owners have lost their steady income due to the pandemic and can no longer afford basic care for their pets. These reasons, and more, are what professionals have noted as the impetus for returning pets.

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Illinois Business License Defense LawyersSince the global pandemic began in March of 2020, it has transformed and altered many professional industries. Although it is one of the most disturbing and tragic components of the pandemic, the rate of death associated with COVID-19 has severely impacted the working conditions and environment of, of course, physicians and nurses who work in a medical setting, but less often discussed are how licensed professionals in the funeral home industry have experienced and managed the COVID-19 Pandemic.

There are a variety of factors within the conditions of the pandemic that uniquely and directly affect funeral home directors and embalmers. When epidemics or pandemics occur, there is commonly a large increase in deaths, sometimes known as “excess deaths.” Funeral homes, which are equipped to handle sometimes just several deceased individuals in one day (depending on the size of the facility), become overburdened and overwhelmed with the deceased. This manifests in multiple ways. First, there is the physical and logistical issue of having too many bodies for the facility. This creates the conditions by which funeral homes must rent refrigerated trucks to store bodies in the interim while they work on others, or temporary storage solutions like pallets or wooden boxes. This can also result in mass storage sites for bodies that have already been prepared or unclaimed bodies. Alongside the logistical issue of having excess deaths is the emotional and mental toll upon the licensed professional. While funeral home directors and embalmers are very acquainted with death, the emotional turmoil of experiencing their facilities struggle to adapt to the surplus of deceased individuals, in addition to the trauma of the effects of the pandemic, can greatly affect their ability to perform their duties.

With the chaos of the pandemic as described above, it can lead to various situations and oversights that could invite investigation of one’s license or even generate complaints that the IDFPR will investigate. If facilities are unable to keep up with the demand, and these licensed professionals are subject to traumatic conditions, then it is inevitable that protocols might be adjusted, things might slip through the cracks, records might falter, corners might be cut, or a variety of other situations. It is important to try and maintain diligence and normalcy within these situations, yet the inevitability of error is always present in such situations.

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Illinois Healthcare License Defense LawyersThe dental industry experienced several unique conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, comparative to other licensed professionals. Prior to these conditions, dentists and hygienists certainly already had particularly sensitive working conditions with strict PPE protocols. Given the fact that their industry relies directly on work within the mouth, a pandemic that is spread through the nose and mouth is particularly detrimental to the ability to safely perform work.

Just like many industries, most dental practices initially closed at the start of the pandemic. However, due to the fact that their work requires access to the mouth, a threat of direct exposure during the pandemic from potentially ill clients was something that many professionals had to seriously consider when thinking of reopening. Many industries were able to implement strict social distancing protocols and mask mandates and greatly reduce the risk of spread and exposure; however, the dental industry is unable to follow all of these protocols since a mask cannot be worn during treatment. The common solution was to implement more stringent PPE protocols on behalf of the dentist or hygienist, who often wear a combination of face shield, (K)N95 masks, gloves, scrubs, hair nets, and other protective wear to help reduce their risk when treating clients. The costs of purchasing PPE increased exponentially and often became difficult to find for many professionals.

The particularly focused risk of exposure made many professionals delay reopening and remain closed as infection spread. Although remote work was/is an option for many industries, there is very little that can be done in the dental industry beyond internal billing and general administrative work. Income is produced almost solely from in-patient visits. If patients are not allowed in the office or the office is entirely closed, then income cannot be generated. Many dental professionals suffered from an extreme loss of income that could only be rectified if they reopened under what were considered to be generally unsafe conditions. This struggle placed many professionals in a precarious position with few options for help. The inevitability of reopening and the unwavering support of client demand has allowed many of those who struggled to bounce back as conditions improve in the pandemic.

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Illinois Business License Defense LawyersIn January 2020, the Adult Use Act 410 ILCS 705 came into effect. Adults over the age of 21 years old are now able to legally purchase cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries across the state.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDPFR) has the sole authority to regulate cannabis dispensaries and its employees. However, the rules governing dispensary agents are murky. We outline preventative measures all dispensary agents can take to reduce the risk of compliance violations.

Agents and Agents-in-Charge

Dispensary employees are designated as “agents” for purposes of regulation, while dispensary managers are designated as “agents-in-charge.” Both must hold valid agent identification cards and must comply with the following:

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Chicago Healthcare License Defense AttorneysThe clerical aspect of data collection in the medical industry is not often included in the immediate list of important concerns for licensed medical professionals. However, what data is collected, how it is collected, how it is distributed, and how it is accessed are just a few of the common, overarching issues that licensed medical professionals may personally encounter, and certainly a larger issue in the industry as a whole.

One component that makes the data itself problematic is the manner by which it is collected. A patient may see multiple providers, or go to multiple medical facilities. They may employ their insurance for certain visits, but other visits may not be covered. How does the patient’s medical history from one hospital visit make it into their file when they visit a completely different hospital or doctor? What about if they visit a hospital or medical facility in an entirely different city, state, or even country? Each individual facility certainly collects the data on the patient and retains it within their system. However, these systems are isolated and subject to the particular protocols of that specific facility that the patient visited. Of course, other medical facilities can “order” this patient history from different medical facilities, but this process is inconsistent and may take precious time that is needed to properly treat the patient.

In addition to the isolated nature of medical data collection, the issue is that a patient is often expected to self-report their entire medical history to help better guide their treating physician. Patients are unreliable for various reasons, including shame/guilt/embarrassment, forgetting and inadvertently omitting medical visits and information, improperly remembering specific medical issues, lack of knowledge on previously used medications, inability to correctly identify dates, times, and facilities, and so much more. If a patient enters a medical treatment facility, the licensed medical professional may simply rely on the patient to provide a relatively accurate snapshot of their medical history, and this is not reliable. This occurs, in short, because our nation does not have a systemwide medical data program that allows each person to have a conglomerate report of their medical history to easily provide to the person treating them.

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FOID Card Appeals LawyersThe Supreme Court of Illinois just issued its highly anticipated opinion in Evans v. Cook County State’s Attorney, 2021 IL 125513. Evans considered whether Section 10 of the FOID Card Act – which establishes a process for relief from firearms disabilities – automatically and permanently makes this relief unavailable to convicted of felons. The Supreme Court of Illinois determined that Section 10 of the FOID Card Act was intended to be a mechanism for firearm civil rights restoration for some convicted felons.

Evans was convicted of two felonies in 1994. Both were related to controlled substances. Evans applied for a FOID card in 2018 but was denied. The Illinois State Police’s (ISP) justification was based on federal law. ISP argued that Section 922(g)(1) of the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm when that person “has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.”

The circuit court agreed with the ISP and rejected Evans’s petition to have his firearm rights restored. The court reasoned that federal law barred Evans from obtaining a FOID and Evans had also failed to prove that his owning a firearm would not be contrary to the public interest. Evans had submitted various materials to the court in support of his rehabilitated character including letters of recommendation. However, the circuit court did not find those materials to be persuasive.

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Healthcare License Defense AttorneyLicensed chiropractors know that it requires extensive training, practice, and investment in time and money to become a professional licensed chiropractor in the state of Illinois. Despite the fact that chiropractors are governed by the Illinois State Medical Disciplinary Board, there is still a prevalent general stigma against licensed chiropractors due to years of false conflation/comparisons to other licensed medical professionals, and the general idea that chiropractors perform some kind of pseudo-medicine. We at Williams & Nickl know that is not the case, and we support our licensed chiropractors. However, we are aware of the particular stigmas that they face.

Arguably the most common misconception is that chiropractors are not “real” medical professionals and that their medical practices are not based in any kind of established science or medicine. In reality, as licensed professionals know, chiropractors are required by the state medical board to undergo extensive education and training, and this education often overlaps with all the basic medical and science studies that other medical professionals experience. They are also required to take and pass multiple national board exams to become licensed, in addition to their own state’s requirements. While there are distinct differences between a licensed physician and a licensed chiropractor, for example, both licensed professionals are rooted in a background of medicine and science with extensive education and training.

There is also the assumption that chiropractic medicine is not rooted in real medicine/science, and that the practices are just nonsense, or, worst case scenario, chiropractic techniques can irreparably harm a patient’s body. Just like in all medical and scientific fields, things can go wrong, or mistakes can happen. However, they are extremely rare, and occur in spite of the most stringent practices and protocols. If a medical mistake occurs, the stigma against chiropractors seems “justified,” and this is in part due to the overarching idea that chiropractors do not perform valid medicine. In reality, they have extensive knowledge of the body and this stigma largely stems from the baseless assumption that adjusting joints in the way that chiropractors do is simply random or meaningless.

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Business License Defense AttorneyWilliams & Nickl (W&N) authored two legislative bills that were both signed by the Governor in August 2021. These legislative changes to the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor and Locksmith Act (Act) were the product of the combined efforts of W&N, the Associated Detective and Security Agencies of Illinois (ADSAI) and the Illinois Security Professionals Association (ISPA).

Public Act 102-0152 made significant changes to the training requirements for private detectives and their employees and private security contractors and their employees. Another change is that all licensees and employees who were issued Firearm Control Cards (FCC) (or who wish to apply) will have changes in the number of hours required to obtain a firearm training certificate and the addition of annual refresher firearm training requirements. We include a short summary of the Act changes made by PA 102-0152. All licensees are urged to read through the Act changes:

20-Hour Basic Training

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Healthcare License Defense LawyerAny licensed social worker across the country faces similar commonplace issues that directly stem from nationwide systemic problems such as: poverty, racism, classism, domestic and community violence, accessibility to education, and so much more. Social workers often find themselves helping families who are struggling to get their basic needs met, and it can be extremely disillusioning/disheartening to witness the experiences and daily lives of these individuals. Worse yet, many social workers cite the inability to resolve these issues, or provide substantive assistance when the issues are deeply rooted in society.

In Chicago, social workers face the above-outlined challenges, and even more. For social workers who practice within the educational system, they likely find themselves in Chicago Public Schools, which is the third largest school district in the country, and publicly known to be rife with various shortcomings, specifically due to the large number of students coming from various backgrounds. Chicago is extremely diverse, but there is a clear divide of race and class across the North and South sides. Notably, people of color, specifically Chicago’s Black residents, are systemically disenfranchised and face unique experiences of poverty, violence, lack of community support, and lack of educational options. Social workers are often employed within schools, where it is easier to reach a larger number of struggling individuals, but certainly also interact with these folks on a community “door-to-door” level. Licensed Social Workers in Chicago specifically note this clear segregation between the quality of life for Chicago’s white residents and its residents of color.

Chicago social workers cite the greatest area concern with the prevalence of high caseloads. Due to racial and class inequality in Chicago perpetuated by the long history of segregation between the North and South sides, and the perpetuation of this inequality by the last few decades of local government, Chicago struggles immensely in providing a high quality of life to all of its residents. Social workers note that with such high caseloads, they are often travelling across the city to various residences, or, if they are working within an educational setting, they are often expected to provide care to multiple institutions, sometimes even in the same day. Social workers are forced to hop from location to location, and the ability to provide help is limited by these conditions.

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