Top News

Judge's temporary order on overtime rule could hint at its fate, attorney says

Taryn Phaneuf Dec. 2, 2016, 5:03pm

Days before the rule was set to take effect, a federal judge in Texas blocked a U.S. Department of Labor rule that would have extended overtime pay to upwards of 4 million salaried workers. The Department of Labor has appealed. The decisions in the meantime could produce confusion, a Chicago employment lawyer said.

New Chicago tax on bags will yield revenue, but maybe not environmental benefits

Taryn Phaneuf Nov. 28, 2016, 3:28pm

The city of Chicago will begin charging people next year a tax for each bag they use to haul groceries and other items purchased at retailers in the city. But while the tax will produce income for the city, it remains to be seen how much the tax will actually do to reduce the number of plastic bags Chicagoans use - a major selling point for such taxes in Chicago and other locales.

Ruling in Wisconsin redistricting lawsuit could provide pathway for reform in Illinois

Taryn Phaneuf Nov. 23, 2016, 10:33pm

A legal fight over the way legislative districts are drawn in Wisconsin could have implications for Illinois voters who have called for similar reform.

Voters OK'd term limits for their towns, but barriers make applying limits statewide difficult

Taryn Phaneuf Nov. 22, 2016, 6:34pm

On Election Day, four Cook County communities took action on an issue that many voters in Illinois want to see addressed on a much larger scale: term limits.

Change in chief justices not likely to produce other significant changes at IL Supreme Court, experts say

Taryn Phaneuf Nov. 22, 2016, 12:03am

Justice Lloyd Karmeier’s selection as chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court won’t have much effect on the way the court makes decisions, political scientists in the state say.

Illinois treasurer pulls $30 billion investment business from Wells Fargo due to scandal

Taryn Phaneuf Oct. 27, 2016, 1:53pm

The state of Illinois has joined the public retribution against Wells Fargo as the bank deals with the aftermath of its admission that employees opened accounts without customers’ authorization, and that could send a warning to other financial institutions, as it potentially harms the bank's future business prospects.

Illinois governments would face large legislative hurdle to follow Detroit's path on bankruptcy, pension cuts

Taryn Phaneuf Oct. 11, 2016, 3:09pm

A federal appeals court in Ohio has upheld a ruling rejecting claims that Detroit retirees’ pensions were unfairly cut,  demonstrating that declaring bankruptcy may be a viable, if extreme, way to deal with a city’s overwhelming pension obligation.

Chicago pensioners will appeal to IL Supreme Court, demand city pay health benefits for life

Taryn Phaneuf Oct. 7, 2016, 6:10pm

CHICAGO — Pensioners who retired after working for the City of Chicago and are fighting to keep their health care benefits will appeal their case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Serial false-claims litigant loses case vs California wine company; no 'reckless disregard' for IL tax law

Taryn Phaneuf Sep. 22, 2016, 11:59am

A Cook County Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of a California wine company accused of violating the Illinois False Claims Act (IFCA), saying the facts don’t support a serial litigator's claim the company acted with “reckless disregard” of its obligation to collect state taxes on shipping and handling.

Partial impasse declaration partial wins for taxpayers, union; more talks to come

Taryn Phaneuf Sep. 15, 2016, 5:16pm

The state has entered unfamiliar territory after an administrative law judge determined Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the largest state employee union have reached a partial impasse in contract negotiations, said an attorney who focuses on labor relations for the Illinois Policy Institute.

NLRB rules employers must bargain with unions before disciplining workers ahead of first contract

Taryn Phaneuf Sep. 14, 2016, 11:36am

While unions and employers focus on bargaining points like pay and benefits ahead of their first contract, they’re also obligated to put discretionary discipline on the table, according to a recent National Labor Relations Board decision.

Porch collapse trial ended by record-setting $4.5 million settlement

Taryn Phaneuf Sep. 1, 2016, 10:39pm

CHICAGO – Three years after a man leaned against an allegedly ill-maintained balcony railing while visiting a tenant of a Chicago apartment, the property manager settled the liability lawsuit for $4.5 million.

Advocate hopes case of judge letting fired clerk hear cases should prompt greater voter attention

Taryn Phaneuf Aug. 30, 2016, 3:03pm

The head of an Illinois coalition that monitors judges says the news that a Cook County Circuit Court judge may have allowed a recently-fired law clerk to hear cases while wearing judge's robes should inspire voters to carefully consider who they’re electing to the bench.

Jury sides with small manufacturer in TV mount patent infringement case

Taryn Phaneuf Aug. 25, 2016, 5:19pm

CHICAGO — A jury has saved a small manufacturer $4 million after siding with the defendant in a lawsuit over patents and trade secrets.

Appellate court opinion makes 'clear statement' of taxpayer's right to challenge school board's policy violation

Taryn Phaneuf Aug. 12, 2016, 9:29am

For school boards, local governments and other public bodies that may be subject to taxpayer lawsuits, a recent appellate court decision reminds public officials to keep an eye on enforcing their own policies, as well as local, state and federal laws, an education lawyer said.

Infrastructure council applauds Cook County's 25-year transportation plan

Taryn Phaneuf Aug. 6, 2016, 1:41pm

CHICAGO —  With the introduction of a long-range transportation plan, Cook County officials have outlined priorities for the county that will impact local decisions, as well as plans across the region.

Jury awards $925K to family of man who suffered aortic dissection; state med society says reform needed

Taryn Phaneuf Jul. 28, 2016, 4:00pm

CHICAGO — In a recently publicized example of a large payout in a health-care lawsuit, a doctor and hospital accused of not diagnosing a man’s fatal aortic dissection in time agreed to pay $925,000 to the deceased patient’s family.

Ideas to reduce Cook County elected officials to save money, boost effectiveness, not going away

Taryn Phaneuf Jul. 28, 2016, 1:19am

While some ideas are moving ahead and others are on the backburner, the concept of reducing the number of the county's elected offices remains a hot topic in Cook County, as supporters believe the reforms could both save money and make the local government more effective by installing the best people for the job, rather than the most popular.

U.S. women's soccer players say they deserve equal pay to USMNT, and may have a case

Taryn Phaneuf Jul. 23, 2016, 12:18am

Members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team are mounting a campaign on the field and under the law to secure pay equivalent to their male counterparts. And since the men's and women's players work for the same parent organization, the women may have a case, a local economics professor and former litigator said - and may make it harder for other female athletes to follow.

IL high court home warranty decision prevents unneeded home price markups, limits impact, builders say

Taryn Phaneuf Jul. 1, 2016, 4:09pm

Home builders breathed a sigh of relief when a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision upheld the status quo for home builders' liability when a defect is found years down the line.