Bellas & Wachowski, Attorneys at Law

George Bellas started what is now Bellas & Wachowski Attorneys at Law after leaving his position as a prosecuting attorney in 1973. The firm consists of six attorneys and six support team members working in areas such as business law, business litigation and personal injury claims. Our law offices are located in the Chicago area, near O'Hare Airport and easy for our clients to reach from anywhere in the Chicago area.

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How private is your cell phone? Smartphones provide all kinds of information that advertisers might find useful, including the user’s locations throughout the day. While this information is aggregated and anonymized—excluding names and other identifiers—it’s possible that hackers or other malevolent actors could gain access to a user’s raw data. Location tracking can be useful for a number of reasons, ranging from targeted advertising from stores and brands, to traffic monitoring and reporting on the…
The Dangers of Payroll Tax Deferment As part of a series of executive actions rolled out in early August, President Trump ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to allow the deferral of the 6.2% payroll tax on employees from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 for workers making less than about $104,000 on an annualized basis.  The plan was brought forth by the White House after it became clear that Congress did not plan to play ball with the…
The Key to Surviving as a Small Business How can your business – and you – survive the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s a tall order.   But small business owners have means of surviving.   The corollary shutdowns have impacted 20% of small businesses, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and restrictions have affected a far greater number. A study by the University of Illinois, University of Chicago and Harvard University and its business school estimates more…
Entrepreneurial Business Concepts  Companies like GE, Disney and HP got their start during the Great Depression, while Airbnb, Uber, Slack and Venmo launched in cyberspace during the Great Recession.   Taboola’s analysis of more than 8 billion page views, along with data from the aggregated readership among 1,000 of its publisher partners, collected in March and April, shows several promising growth markets, as Singolda noted in an article published on CNBC.com. Creating the next great…
Cyber Security Insurance The sudden expansion of remote work arrangements in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis has created a buffet of opportunities for would-be cyber criminals. And the newly reconfigured, decentralized satellite workplaces in people’s homes look to be with us for some time.   In addition to protecting themselves from the network vulnerabilities created by these off-site offices, businesses need to undertake a thorough review of their cyber insurance policies to ensure that if…
The Supreme Court decided two years ago in Carpenter v. United States that the Fourth Amendment requires police to obtain a warrant, in most circumstances, to access GPS location information spanning seven days or more from a cell phone user.   Prior to that decision, the court had held that voluntarily providing this information to third parties like technology companies did not have Fourth Amendment protections and thus litigants did not have any reasonable expectation of…
Tenant Evictions Chicago landlords have extra hurdles in front of them if they want to evict tenants between now and September 25 as stipulated by the COVID-19 Eviction Protection Ordinance that passed City Council, and all Illinois landlords face a different terrain under Rules 120 and 139 promulgated by the Illinois Supreme Court, both of which occurred last month. Chicago Ordinance Continue reading
Workman’s Comp for Essential Workers An emergency rule promulgated in April by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission gave certain classes of “essential” workers the ability to claim COVID-19 as an occupational disease vis-à-vis the ability to collect workers compensation.  This is a change that every Illinois business should be aware of. The commission withdrew the rule after a court challenge, but last month Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation amending the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act…
Evictions Due to Pandemic Issues The moratorium is scheduled to end on July 31, 2020, it may very well be extended again. Once the moratorium period ends, Illinois landlords can file eviction suits due to the non-payment of rent. NOTICE TO LANDLORDS:  Chicago residential tenants, who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, can respond to their landlords within five days of receiving an eviction notice under a Chicago Ordinance.  The notice…
Health and Safety Regulations On June 24, Virginia became the first state in the country to implement workplace health and safety rules to protect workers from coronavirus infections. Could Illinois be next?   Whatever happens, these actions should serve as an example of what every  business should do.    Virginia’s health and safety board agreed to create finalized rules after the state’s Department of Labor and Industry drafted an emergency temporary standard in late May. The…