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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Marijuana became legal in Illinois on January 1, yet licensed cannabis dispensaries are generally forced to operate like their street-corner, black-market counterparts in at least one respect: They are cash-only businesses because they have no access to banking services. Illinois Cannabis Laws create new issues That’s because federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, and classifies marijuana businesses as illegal. And since banking is regulated by federal law, banks technically could be…
Borrowing a line from Leynrd Skynrd’s song, three quick steps to the doorway of business organization will get you into today’s preferred format for your business – a limited liability company (“LLC”).    So here are the three quick steps: Draft and file the Illinois Articles of Organization.  This is a required form offered by the Illinois Secretary of State and gives the State all of the required details for your LLC.  This…
If you’ve watched any of the Democratic presidential debates, you might have heard candidate and entrepreneur Andrew Yang – you know, the guy with the $1,000 per month guaranteed income plan – talk about something called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”   This is a recognition that technology is imploding and changing everything about our lives. In describing the ways social media and technology have redefined communication, in 2009 journalist Graeme Wood said that  “Change has never…
The Illinois Freedom to Work Act, which prevents non-governmental employers from requiring that low-wage employees enter into non-compete agreements, has begun to impact case law in the past three years since it was enacted. Employers would be wise to take note. Chicago Business Lawyers The act, which defines “low-wage employees” as those earning the greater of $13 per hour, or the federal, state or local minimum wage, pushes back against employers who insert such agreements…
We all get them … and we get them all the time … and we are all tired of them … and we all cuss them out! Many of those calls are illegal.   Some of the robocalls you may have agreed to receive when you signed up for certain services – like those reminders that your prescription needs to be refilled – and those are legal.  But the automated, unsolicited calls coming from other countries…
Can a business ban guns from the business and workplace? If a customer walked into your retail business or professional office carrying a gun, would you be comfortable with that, or would it feel a little too much like the O.K. Corral? What if they were carrying their weapon openly? Businesses in Oklahoma (postal abbreviation: OK) have had a new reason to ask themselves those questions since November 1, when a change in state law…
Non-competition agreements (“non-competes”) have long been viewed as viable means for Chicago area business owners to prohibit former employees from taking confidential information and using it to unfairly compete against the business.   Non-competes are actually prohibited in some states, but not Illinois. Illinois allows the use of non-competes with some limitations.  Illinois employers are allowed to use non-competes provided they reasonably protect the employer’s legitimate business interests.  What this means has been left to the…
Illinois Cannabis Laws create new issues for Property Owners Cannabis may be legal in Illinois after January 1, but it is still illegal under federal laws.  This will make for some interesting discrepancies in how the laws will be applied.  Federal law remains in direct conflict with the new Illinois state law.  There are a number of issues that property owners should be concerned with on January 1. Federal Subsidized Housing:  In federal subsidized housing…
Lung injuries related to vaping began to appear on hospitals’ radar screens last summer, and the e-cigarette industry has been singed by criticism ever since. Chicago Business Lawyer George Bellas warns about health issues with vaping The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported 42 deaths based on e-cigarette or vaping product use as of December 10, along with more than 2,400 cases of lung injury related to the products. In response, some…
The threshold for white-collar employees to be classifiable as “exempt” will rise about 50% to $684 per week (about $35,568 per year) on January 1, 2020. Employers will need to make adjustments to ensure they’re compliant with this updated rule, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, announced on September 24 by the U.S. Department of Labor.  By “exempt” I am referring to employees who do not qualify for overtime pay. The rule change—which boosts the…