Top News

City Hall: Toss class action over bogus ParkChicago parking tickets; plaintiff never paid ticket

Jonathan Bilyk May 25, 2017, 3:27pm

Chicago City Hall has asked a Cook County judge to toss a class action lawsuit which alleged the city has wrongly issued parking tickets to motorists who had actually paid to park using the ParkChicago smartphone app, as the city says the man who brought the lawsuit actually had never been made to pay an improperly issued parking ticket.

Judge refuses class action vs lawyers, IT vendor accused of using crash reports to drum up business

Jonathan Bilyk May 24, 2017, 12:51pm

Saying plaintiffs would be hard pressed to demonstrate precisely how otherwise-protected information may have ended up on police vehicle crash reports, a Chicago federal judge has refused to allow a class action lawsuit to proceed against St. Louis-based personal injury firm Meyerkord & Meyerkord, accused of purchasing traffic crash reports and using personal information from those reports to solicit business from potential clients.

North suburban lawyer expands court fight with Zillow over low 'zestimates' to class action

Jonathan Bilyk May 23, 2017, 11:45am

A north suburban lawyer has expanded her quarrel with real estate website Zillow, agreeing to shelve her personal lawsuit over her home’s “zestimate” – an online estimate of a home value, created and published by Zillow - to pursue a class action lawsuit representing untold numbers of others whose efforts to sell their homes have been hampered by Zillow’s popular estimating feature.

IL high court deadlocks on whether title companies' attorney payments are kickbacks

Jonathan Bilyk May 22, 2017, 4:54pm

A divided Illinois Supreme Court has let stand a lower court’s decision to allow lawyers to earn fees – even fees that appear overly large, compared to the amount of work being done – from real estate title companies, despite accusations that the fee-splitting arrangements amount to little more than a kickback scheme.

Prenda Law's Steele disbarred; six other IL lawyers also disbarred, nine suspended, IL Supreme Court says

Jonathan Bilyk May 19, 2017, 3:27pm

John L. Steele, a Chicago lawyer already indicted for his role in the Prenda Law shakedown scheme targeting downloaders of online porn, has been disbarred. On May 19, the Illinois Supreme Court announced its action against Steele, as well as six others who were disbarred by the court in attorney disciplinary orders handed down May 18. The court also suspended nine other attorneys and censured or reprimanded six more.

Meroni IP law firm sues ex-attorney, client, says owe $5M for subverting business

Jonathan Bilyk May 18, 2017, 4:27pm

Chicago intellectual property law firm Meroni & Meroni has sued one of its former attorneys and a former client, demanding they pay $5 million for their roles in an alleged scheme to siphon off business from the firm to its ex-attorney.

IL high court: Atty fee-splitting deals valid even if don't include verbiage declaring 'joint responsibility'

Jonathan Bilyk May 18, 2017, 3:57pm

Lawyers in Illinois who benefit from clients sent their way under referral agreements with other lawyers will still need to pay the referring attorneys, even if the referral agreements don’t include language explicitly declaring the lawyers agree to share “joint financial responsibility” for the case, the Illinois Supreme Court has declared.

Ritchie Capital demands $100M from McGladrey auditing firm for aiding convicted Ponzi schemer Petters

Jonathan Bilyk May 16, 2017, 9:21pm

Suburban Chicago capital investment group Ritchie Capital Management is demanding Bloomington, Minn.-based auditing firm McGladrey & Pullen, and related defendants, pay at least $100 million for the firm’s alleged role in helping to steer hundreds of millions of dollars in investments into a massive multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme with convicted businessman Thomas Petters.

Mariano's parent company sued for allegedly improperly storing employee fingerprint scans

Jonathan Bilyk May 15, 2017, 6:00pm

The owners of the Mariano’s supermarket chain have carted to federal court a class action lawsuit brought by one of its workers, who claimed the Chicago area grocer has been improperly requiring its employees to use their fingerprints to check in and out for work, without getting the employees’ permission to store their biometric data.

Class action says Fannie May bumps box size to ease sales of 7 oz candy boxes for $10

Jonathan Bilyk May 12, 2017, 10:18am

Iconic Chicago candymaker Fannie May has been hit with a class action lawsuit by consumers who claim they overpaid for $10 boxes of candy after discovering the boxes were only about 60 percent full.

Class action: Animals chewing through soy-based insulated wires in Honda cars

Jonathan Bilyk May 12, 2017, 12:23am

While noting the product may be better for the environment, a new class action lawsuit asserts automaker Honda hasn’t done enough to stop mice and other small animals from persistently nibbling through its cars’ electrical wires, which are coated with a soy-based insulation.

Appeals panel: IL law applies to asbestos claim, though Alabama drywaller spent only 3-4 months in IL

Jonathan Bilyk May 10, 2017, 12:21am

The family of an Alabama drywall worker who died after contracting mesothelioma will be allowed to return to a jury trial in Cook County over the family’s claims the drywaller’s illness was caused by inhaling asbestos from drywall joint compound dust on job sites on which he worked for just a few months in the Chicago area in 1965.

Appeals panel: Sybaris can't shake potential liability for 2006 plane crash that claimed founder's life

Jonathan Bilyk May 5, 2017, 4:27pm

Sybaris Clubs, the company that owns and operates a chain of romantic getaway resorts and hotels in and around the Chicago area, can’t yet shake a lawsuit brought by the family of a man killed in a 2006 airplane crash that also claimed the life of the company’s founder, as a state appeals court said courts have not yet determined how much business the Sybaris founder was doing on the ill-fated trip aboard the aircraft he – and not Sybaris - co-owned.

Lawyer: Zillow 'Zestimate' illegal appraisal hampering home's sale; Zillow: Only estimate, not appraisal

Jonathan Bilyk May 3, 2017, 6:54pm

A lawyer in suburban Glenview who is attempting to sell her home has asked the courts to step into her dispute with real estate listing site Zillow over the site’s “Zestimate” of her home, calling the site’s approximation of her home’s value a “sloppy, computer-driven appraisal” of her home, created without her consent and in violation of state law.

Rauner seeks court guidance on what to do with illegally hired patronage workers in wake of special report

Jonathan Bilyk May 2, 2017, 9:04pm

In the wake of a scathing report from a court-appointed “special master” empowered to investigate political hiring abuses under former Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and other state officials and lawmakers, current Gov. Bruce Rauner has asked for the court’s guidance on whether those improperly hired, thanks to political connections, should now be able to use collective bargaining agreements to leverage the experience they gained in those positions to land in different positions or even move up in the state’s employment ranks.

Judge OKs wording change to let Chicago Teachers Union salvage lawsuit vs CPS over teacher layoffs

Jonathan Bilyk May 1, 2017, 6:31pm

Over the objections of the Chicago Public Schools board, a federal judge will allow the Chicago Teachers Union to pursue a class action lawsuit alleging CPS discriminated in focusing past teacher layoffs at African American teachers and staff working in schools in predominantly African American neighborhoods.

Judge dismisses CPS suit vs IL over schools funding; says demands would 'inject chaos,' not fix problem

Jonathan Bilyk Apr. 28, 2017, 9:51pm

Saying the demands sought by the Chicago Public Schools “would inject widespread chaos into the entirety of the State’s public education system,” a Cook County judge has denied the request by CPS and other plaintiffs to force the state to funnel more money into Chicago’s public education system, dismissing a lawsuit CPS said it brought to address systemic and illegal discrimination within the state of Illinois’ educational funding system.

Seventh Circuit denies injunction request to block Chicago Airbnb rules

Jonathan Bilyk Apr. 28, 2017, 11:14am

A federal appeals court has refused to step in, for now, into the dispute over whether the city of Chicago has trampled the rights of homeowners and others wishing to share their homes with guests through Airbnb and similar platforms, denying the request to slap a hold on a city ordinance designed to regulate such short-term rental activity in Chicago.

Appeals court: Chicago can't slap hotel tax on booking fees charged by Expedia, other travel sites

Jonathan Bilyk Apr. 27, 2017, 6:33pm

The city of Chicago will not be able to collect $29 million it believed it was owed by Expedia and other online travel booking sites, after a state appeals court ruled the city’s hotel taxes can’t be applied to the fees charged by the booking services.

Newly elected Cook County judge facing discipline for refusing to accept assignment to traffic court

Jonathan Bilyk Apr. 26, 2017, 12:29pm

A Cook County judge just a few months into his term in office could be subject to discipline from the state board that handles complaints about judicial misconduct after he refused to accept orders from his judicial superiors to begin his judicial career – just as most new judges - presiding in Cook County traffic court.