Top News

Ex-Wrigley rooftop owner among four lawyers disbarred, eight suspended in Illinois in January

Jonathan Bilyk Jan. 17, 2017, 11:17pm

A lawyer and businessman who formerly owned the Skybox on Sheffield rooftop club overlooking Wrigley Field has been disbarred just days after he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for allegedly concealing more than $1 million in revenue. Marc Hamid was one of four Illinois attorneys disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court in January; eight others were suspended.

IL Supreme Court mulls legality of hospital property tax exemptions; could await better test case

Jonathan Bilyk Jan. 13, 2017, 5:23pm

The Illinois Supreme Court could soon decide whether hospitals in Illinois should be allowed to avoid paying property taxes, or whether a state law used to grant them tax exemptions should be declared unconstitutional. Or the court could simply sidestep the matter for now, and instead await the arrival of a different case better suited for addressing the sticky legal questions.

IL Supreme Ct: Broadview term limits referendum not too 'vague'; appeals court chided for sending 'local' case

Scott Holland Jan. 3, 2017, 12:01pm

The Illinois Supreme Court determined a Broadview term limits ordinance can stand, affirming an appellate decision which said the referendum's language concerning to whom the term limits would apply was not too "vague" to allow voters the chance to impose term limits on current and future village presidents in the suburban community.

Disease linked to firefighting not 'catastrophic injury' allowing free health insurance: IL Supreme Court

Jonathan Bilyk Dec. 30, 2016, 1:11pm

A Rockford firefighter who officials determined contracted cardiomyopathy through his decades of service at the city’s fire department cannot also assert the disease should be considered a “catastrophic injury” entitling him and his wife to free health insurance under a “line-of-duty” pension, the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled.

Woman can't sue Chase for distress over contractors sent to secure foreclosed home: IL Supreme Court

Dan Churney Dec. 19, 2016, 2:18pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled plaintiffs need to suffer “physical impact” to pursue a lawsuit claiming negligent infliction of emotional distress, saying a lender had not breached the bounds of decency by sending contractors to change the locks and perform other maintenance on her home, which was in foreclosure, while she was still inside. 

Write-in judge candidate OK to log votes, but no winner yet vs law clerk accused of impersonating judge

Jonathan Bilyk Dec. 12, 2016, 8:07pm

An Illinois appeals panel has backed up a Cook County judge in declaring the law should be interpreted to allow a write-in candidate who is seeking to win a judicial seat against a former law clerk accused of impersonating a judge to receive votes cast for her on Election Day. However, neither the appellate justices nor a Cook County judge have yet declared the write-in candidate the winner of the Nov. 8 election, saying the answer to that question should come from the Illinois Supreme Court.

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