Top News

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 On Sept. 22, the Illinois Supreme Court rescinded the law in a unanimous 5-0 vote, declaring unconstitutional the law, which would have had deep implications for the state's civil justice system.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.

US Supreme Court refuses to revive overturned $10 billion tobacco verdict vs Philip Morris

Ann Maher Jun. 20, 2016, 1:23pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied review of an Illinois Supreme Court decision that cleared tobacco company Philip Morris of a $10 billion judgment. On June 20, the justices rejected a petition from plaintiff Sharon Price, who won the judgment in the court of former Madison County circuit judge Nicholas Byron in 2003. The Supreme Court had denied review of the same case in 2006, after the Illinois Supreme Court reversed Byron.

Nine IL lawyers disbarred, 12 others suspended by State Supreme Court

Jonathan Bilyk Jun. 20, 2016, 10:05am

Nine lawyers – including one convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman in her hotel room, and a former downstate prosecutor who allegedly tampered with official state’s attorneys computer files after learning he wouldn’t be promoted to the top prosecutor job in his county – have been disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court. The state’s high court also suspended an additional dozen other attorneys for a range of alleged violations.

Independent Maps supporters' filing: Redistricting amendment fits IL constitution

Dan Churney Jun. 13, 2016, 12:02pm

Supporters of a proposed amendment that would reform how state legislative districts are laid out, have struck back at a lawsuit to block a referendum on the amendment, which was filed by a group aligned with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, saying the amendment – contrary to what opponents claim – would comply with the state constitution. 

IL high court: More than lost money, damaged reputation needed to sustain doctors' peer review suit vs hospitals

Dan Churney May 31, 2016, 9:41am

The Illinois Supreme Court has strengthened the hand of hospitals in a ruling that took a physician’s suit off life support, because he failed to allege a north suburban hospital system inflicted “physical” harm upon him when it terminated his hospital privileges – which the court said is the necessary standard under state law for the hospital group to enjoy immunity from liability.

IL Supreme Court to tackle hospital property taxes, rights of protesters in Grant Park

Jonathan Bilyk May 25, 2016, 4:21pm

The Illinois Supreme Court will weigh in on the question of whether Illinois law can constitutionally exempt hospitals from paying property taxes, and whether the city of Chicago can use curfew laws to keep protesters out of Grant Park over night.

IL Supreme Court declines to answer whether state can tell utilities where to buy electricity

Dan Churney May 23, 2016, 3:31pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has shied away from ruling on a question brought by a group of electricity suppliers, who had asked the court to limit the power of the Illinois Commerce Commission to dictate from whom the suppliers must buy their electricity, ruling the question became moot when a largescale coal power plant project folded for lack of funds.

IL Supreme Court: If home seller has waived warranty, new buyer can't sue builder for defects

Jonathan Bilyk May 19, 2016, 4:55pm

Saying any other conclusion would place a potentially “unreasonable” burden on the state’s home builders, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court has ruled a man whose patio collapsed cannot sue the builder who built the home, because the previous owner from whom he purchased the home had waived her rights to an implied warranty and so could not pass the warranty to future owners of the home.

No movement on bill to reinstate lawsuit protections for paramedics, police, firefighters

Jamie Kelly May 17, 2016, 2:26pm

With just days left in the Illinois General Assembly's spring legislative session, there has been almost no movement on a bill that would reinstate the so-called public duty rule, a legal principle protecting police, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency responders from lawsuits brought by people who may believe those responders didn't provide the level of care the accusers thought was appropriate.

IL Supreme Court to hear arguments in special evening session May 17, in Lisle May 19

Karen Kidd May 13, 2016, 9:05am

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court has again invited the state's lawmakers and chief executive to a special evening session to observe the court in action. And two days later, the court will convene before an auditorium filled with students, teachers and other members of the public in Chicago's western suburbs during a rare session outside of Springfield, offering many a chance to see the court in action who may not otherwise get the chance. 

CTA retirees OK to sue over health benefit changes, but modifications not forbidden

Jonathan Bilyk May 5, 2016, 4:03pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has again sided with public worker retirees, saying retired Chicago Transportation Authority workers have a right to sue the CTA under the Illinois constitution’s so-called pension protection clause for requiring retirees to pay more for their health insurance.

Illinois Supreme Court to hear arguments at Benedictine University in Lisle in May

Greg Travis Apr. 27, 2016, 5:06pm

SPRINGFIELD–Citizens in the DuPage County area will get a rare public opportunity to see the Illinois Supreme Court in action as it will hear oral arguments in one civil case and one criminal case on the campus of Benedictine University in Lisle. The event, scheduled for May 19, is the first time in two years that the Court has heard oral arguments outside of Springfield or Chicago and this program will mark the first time that it will have heard arguments at an educational institution.