Top News

IL Supreme Court: Law shields homeowners from suits over snow removal, not 'unnatural' ice

Dan Churney Dec. 5, 2016, 2:13pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has put the freeze on certain slip-and-fall suits, by affirming an appellate ruling that the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act immunizes homeowners against suits arising from weather-caused slippery sidewalks, but not from ice buildup caused by negligent drainage. 

Alzheimer's diagnosis renders Cook Co. judge accused of letting ex-clerk hear cases unfit, report says

Jonathan Bilyk Dec. 2, 2016, 3:21pm

A Cook County judge accused of urging and allowing a now-fired law clerk to preside over cases from the bench as if she were a judge has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is no longer fit to continue as a judge, a state judicial discipline board has reported.

IL Supreme Court: Berrios can't block county Inspector General's investigation at Assessor's office

Jonathan Bilyk Dec. 1, 2016, 12:27pm

The state’s highest court has declared Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios must comply with subpoenas issued by the county’s Inspector General, saying a Cook County ordinance empowering the Inspector General to “detect, deter and prevent corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement, unlawful political discrimination or misconduct in the operation of County government” can be constitutionally applied to investigations of potential misconduct in the offices of elected county officials, like Berrios.

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.

Time to file medical wrongful death suit open to more liberal view of discovery date

Dawn Geske Nov. 2, 2016, 5:09pm

A decision by the Illinois Supreme Court may liberalize the time frame in which to file lawsuits in medical malpractice wrongful death cases.

IL Supreme Court bars ex-Cook law clerk accused of impersonating judge from becoming real judge

Jonathan Bilyk Nov. 1, 2016, 11:14am

The Illinois Supreme Court will not allow a law clerk accused of impersonating a judge and presiding over cases in a Cook County courtroom to take the judicial oath of office, should she win election to the bench in the Cook County Circuit Court this month, pending the outcome of a state disciplinary investigation into her alleged misconduct.

Illinois considering adopting Uniform Bar Examination; Chicago Kent College law dean in support

Karen Kidd Oct. 28, 2016, 4:13pm

Illinois is considering whether to adopt the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), a nationally recognized standardized legal bar exam that is rapidly gaining acceptance nationwide. And a Chicago law school dean on the committee weighing the question said he believes adopting the UBE would be a smart move.

IL Supreme Court declines to reconsider decision on umarried couples' property rights

Dan Churney Oct. 26, 2016, 12:08pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its position that domestic partners do not enjoy the same rights as married couples when it comes to ending the relationship and dividing assets – but with two justices dissenting, stating a 1979 high court ruling, on which the majority relied, is out of date. 

Worker can't sue Union Pacific for legs amputated in accident while scrapping RR bridge: IL Supreme Court

Scott Holland Oct. 22, 2016, 1:45am

The Illinois Supreme Court restored a ruling in favor of Union Pacific Railroad in a court fight with a worker, employed by a third-party contractor,whose legs were amputated while removing and scrapping an abandoned railroad bridge in Chicago, as the court’s majority said a state appeals court was wrong to overturn the ruling of a Cook County judge who found the railroad owed no duty in this case to the scrap contract worker. 

State Supreme Court asked to block clerk fired for impersonating judge from becoming real judge

Jonathan Bilyk Oct. 14, 2016, 12:03pm

Regulators of Illinois’ legal profession have asked the Illinois Supreme Court to take immediate action to block Rhonda Crawford, an attorney and fired Cook County Circuit Court law clerk, who was terminated this summer over allegations that she impersonated a judge from the bench, from being sworn in as an actual judge, should she win election in November.

IL Supreme Court rejection of law to reduce jury size sheds light on key legal, justice principles

Andrew Burger Oct. 14, 2016, 1:49am

As he was about to leave office, former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill, strongly supported by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, that would have reduced the number of jurors in state civil trials from 12 to six. On Sept. 22, the Illinois Supreme Court rescinded the law in a unanimous 5-0 vote, declaring unconstitutional the law, which would have had deep implications for the state's civil justice system.

Illinois Supreme Court disbars 13 attorneys, suspends 16 others, in September

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 30, 2016, 12:14am

An Oak Brook lawyer convicted of bank fraud for allegedly providing legal cover to help a South Side real estate seller offload property onto buyers “who could not legitimately qualify for mortgage loans” and to help a South Loop condo developer sell unsold units to straw buyers, was among 13 attorneys disbarred in September by the Illinois Supreme Court. The state high court also suspended 16 other attorneys for a range of rules violations, as part of the  most recent round of lawyer disciplina

Appeals panel: IL governments can pare back retiree health coverage, if benefits included 'expiration date'

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 22, 2016, 12:02pm

Illinois governments do not have an obligation under the Illinois constitution to continue to pay certain benefits to retirees if those benefits had been secured under a negotiated agreement that included "an expiration date," a state appeals court has ruled.

IL high court's remap rehearing denial erects 'roadblock that seems insurmountable' to reform: Dissent

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 20, 2016, 3:56pm

Saying the Illinois Supreme Court missed out on an opportunity to provide helpful guidance to citizens seeking to exercise their constitutional rights, as well as to more fully explain its decision in light of longstanding precedent, the man who will serve as the court’s next chief justice, together with two of his colleagues on the state high court, teed off on the court majority’s decision to simply deny a request to rehear arguments over a proposed amendment intended to rewrite the ways Illin

Court pans pizza tax class action suit, says take-and-bake pie not 'essential' enough to dodge higher tax

Dan Churney Jul. 18, 2016, 4:44pm

An Illinois appeals court has flattened a would-be class-action suit against the Papa Murphy’s pizza chain, by affirming a lower court ruling that, under Illinois law, a take-and-bake pizza is not a necessity, as alleged by plaintiff in an effort to reclaim an allegedly excessive pizza sales tax. 

Panel: Judge erred in dismissing lawsuit over suburban Walmart store, denying new judge request

Scott Holland Jul. 15, 2016, 2:00pm

Two suburban communities in northern Kane County engaged in a custody battle over a Walmart store are headed back to circuit court — with a new presiding judge — after a state appellate panel weighed in on the dispute. 

IL Supreme Court: Flooding can be private property 'taking,' but maybe not in NW suburban case

Jonathan Bilyk Jul. 13, 2016, 3:22pm

The lllinois Supreme Court has thrown cold water on a lawsuit brought by a group of northwest suburban Cook County homeowners who claimed the state’s largest stormwater management agency unconstitutionally violated their property rights when the agency, taking action to prevent flooding elsewhere during a heavy rainfall six years ago, diverted water into creeks near the plaintiffs’ homes, flooding their neighborhoods in the process.

Georgia negligent animal death case on value of killed pets not likely to make huge impact in Illinois

Sean Fowler Jul. 13, 2016, 2:15pm

CHICAGO - Area pet owners who saw a recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling on the value of pets in negligent death cases might be wondering what impact the ruling will have in regards to their animal friends; however, an area attorney is saying that the impact of the ruling should be rather limited.