Selected Publications

The following articles are written by Steven R. Merican.

"Writing An Appellate Brief, Or, How To Make Tax Law An Interesting Read," The Brief, Journal of the DuPage County, Illinois Bar Association, March 2007.

Summary: Suggestions for writing style and technique to improve your appellate briefs. get article


"How to Write an Appellate Brief That Judges Want to Read and Answers Their Questions." Publication, November 2006

Summary: Describes process for writing an appellate brief and insuring it addresses the issues important to judges. get article


"Appellate Jurisdiction in State Court", The DuPage County Bar Association Appellate Law Committee Seminar, March 2003

Summary: This piece was used in conjunction with a lecture I gave at the DuPage County Bar Association on appellate jurisdiction. It outlines the chief Illinois Supreme Court Rules on appealable orders and discusses selected recent case law concerning each rule.


"The New Rules of Federalism", The Heartland Institute, Sept. 1999

Summary: The United States Supreme Court is turning 65 years of Sovereign Immunity jurisprudence on its ear. This opinion piece discusses the ramifications of Alden v. Maine, ___ U.S. ___ (1999), in which the Court ruled that individuals cannot sue a State for violation of the Federal Labor Standards Act. get article


"Violence at ATMs: When is the Bank Liable?", Banking Law Journal, Oct. 1997

Summary: ATMs have become target locations for physical attacks by criminals on consumers. After all, that's where the money is. This article discusses the liability issues for banks and looks at some of the leading cases in the area of bank liability for criminal attacks on customers. get article


"Increasing Premises Violence Litigation Threatens Owner", Real Estate Law Journal, Fall 1997

Summary: Courts struggle with legal duty and liability questions in premises violence cases. Landowners very well may be responsible for attacks on members of the general public by unknown criminals. A seminal question in these cases is whether the crime was foreseeable so as to impose on the premises owner a duty to take reasonable preventative measures. This article describes the trend in how courts are assessing the question of foreseeability. get article


"Franchisor Liability", Marketing Management, Winter 1996

Summary: Franchisors may have a deeper pocket, and more insurance, than a typical franchisee. That's why plaintiffs now commonly sue franchisors for injuries they sustained at a franchisee location. Historically, these actions were difficult to maintain. But assertions against franchisors of vicarious liability may afford plaintiffs an avenue to pierce the historical protections franchisors had. This article discusses how the doctrine of "apparent agency" may further erode those protections. get article


"Back to the Future: Alternatives to Time-Plus-Expense Billing", Law Office Management & Economics, July 1993

Summary: A good argument can be made that time-plus-expense billing promotes inefficiency and pits lawyers and clients as adversaries. Many consumers of legal services are wary of hiring lawyers based on this old paradigm. This article discusses why project based billing, forcing lawyers and clients to share risk and reward, may be a suitable alternative.