John Sammon News

Attorneys: US Supreme Court's Masterpiece Cakeshop decision important win for exercise of 'sincere' religious beliefs

By John Sammon | Jun 12, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision, granting a win to a Colorado baker accused of violating the civil rights of a gay couple by refusing to bake a custom-designed cake for their wedding, could signal that, while the courts are upholding the civil rights of same-sex couples, it does not create a legal "open season" on others - including business owners - whose religious beliefs may not allow them to walk in step with society's rapidly changing values, say two attorneys who specialize in litigating religious freedom cases.

Illinois attorney general's billions in collections part of job, also something to be watched: Economics prof

By John Sammon | Jun 5, 2018

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced her office has brought in more than $14 billion in collections since she took office in 2003, including $864 million in 2017. But how much of the mission of the attorney general falls under collecting money for the state?

Seventh Circuit decision continues trend favoring debtors over collectors in debt dispute lawsuits, attorneys say

By John Sammon | Jun 1, 2018

A federal appeals panel has affirmed a judgment for debtors in a dispute with a debt collector over whether a debt was actually disputed, and the decision only continues a trend within Chicago's federal courts of moving the needle in such cases in favor of those owing disputed debts, said lawyers following such cases.

States' lawsuit vs Trump over car emissions rules could alter industry, set precedent for future executive actions

By John Sammon | May 26, 2018

An attempt by a group of state attorneys general to bar the Trump administration from undoing Obama administration rules related to vehicle fuel economy could have far-reaching implications for the future of the auto industry, while also establishing legal precedent over the ability of succeeding presidential administrations to implement policies, particularly if they differ wth environmental bureaucratic rules made by the EPA.

Illinois unlikely to copy Wisconsin on third-party litigation financing disclosure law, observers say

By John Sammon | Apr 26, 2018

While Wisconsin has enacted a new law requiring the disclosure of the identity of anyone who lends money to fund a lawsuit, Illinois appears unlikely to follow the lead of its neighbor to the north.

Employer groups ask Rauner to veto Dem-backed bill to transfer enforcement powers from Labor Dept to A/G

By John Sammon | Mar 16, 2018

A prominent Democratic Illinois state lawmaker, who is now seeking his party's nomination as the state's next attorney general, has lined up behind new legislation intended to give the attorney general new powers to pursue businesses embroiled in wage disputes - new powers that will come at the expense of the state's Labor Department, according to business groups.

'Social enterprise' companies will get bidding edge for Cook County contracts under new ordinance

By John Sammon | Mar 9, 2018

A new Cook County ordinance will give preference on bidding to vendors who the county believes are set up to serve the public benefit.

Attorney says 7th Circuit ruling in exploding grain bin case could narrow property damage coverage

By John Sammon | Mar 1, 2018

A recent federal appeals court decision could reduce future property damage coverage provided by commercial general liability insurers in Illinois and other states, according to an attorney experienced in such cases.

New EEOC sexual harassment guidelines due this year are needed to provide clarity, attorneys say

By John Sammon | Jan 25, 2018

New federal sexual harassment guidelines coming from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before the end of this year had been planned before a recent spate of media publicity over alleged sexual abuse cases, including some involving celebrities.

Attorney says Second Circuit decision in Illinois biometric data case provides roadmap to deal with future cases

By John Sammon | Dec 14, 2017

A Chicago-area attorney is advising employers that they should take more steps to make sure they are protected from lawsuits alleging the improper storage of fingerprints and other so-called biometric identifying information gathered from employees. And, he said, the attorneys representing them can look to a recent decision from a New York federal appeals court for guidance on one successful avenue of defense.

IL appeals court: Alleged assessor clerical error won't excuse $58K back tax bill for improper homestead exemption

By John Sammon | Dec 5, 2017

A state appeals court has ruled an alleged clerical error from the Cook County Assessor's Office does not excuse an Illinois woman from owing back property taxes, penalties and interest totaling $58,377 under an improper homestead exemption for the years 2007 through 2013.

Illinois appellate court rules FedEx shipping label does not prove foreclosure letter was sent

By John Sammon | Nov 28, 2017

A state appeals court has ordered U.S. Bank to offer more proof it actually notified a couple of its intent to foreclose on their home mortgage, saying a FedEx shipping label is not enough to prove a lender actually sent the notices, as required under federal regulations.

New York court considers Illinois biometrics data case against Take-Two Interactive Software

By John Sammon | Nov 10, 2017

A New York federal appeals court will consider the reach and scope of an Illinois privacy law now being used by many plaintiff attorneys to target many different businesses with class action lawsuits alleging technical violations.

City of Chicago passes zoning ordinance to ensure 'affordable housing' in three hot residential zones

By John Sammon | Oct 30, 2017

The Chicago City Council has passed an ordinance intended to compel developers of new apartment buildings and other residential housing to set aside a greater percentage of "affordable housing" within certain zones in or near the city's downtown.

Federal judge says general contractor had enough control of construction site to prevent fatal accident

By John Sammon | Oct 27, 2017

A federal judge has rejected a call for summary judgment that attempted to dismiss a case involving the death of a construction worker who fell from a second-story balcony that allegedly had been left unsecured.

Chicago orders hotels to provide workers with panic buttons to reduce risk of sexual assault

By John Sammon | Oct 23, 2017

Chicago hotels will provide portable “panic buttons” to workers who venture alone into hotel rooms to do cleaning and other chores, according to a newly passed city ordinance.

Illinois among top jurisdictions for growing number of TCPA class actions, new report shows

By John Sammon | Oct 13, 2017

The number of lawsuits targeting businesses under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is surging, as many businesses struggle to "decipher and implement" the law's provisions amid a proliferation of modern technology, like smartphones and text messaging, says an attorney specializing in assisting clients on federal communications policy and enforcement.

Illinois appeals court: Chicago can’t bill Fannie Mae for demolition of Englewood building

By John Sammon | Oct 9, 2017

A state appeals court has denited the city of Chicago's bid to charge federal mortgage lender Fannie Mae for the cost of demolishing a South Side building the lending company did not own when it was torn down.

Judge lets suit continue vs casino tech biz Scientific Games over patent fraud, antitrust claims

By John Sammon | Sep 19, 2017

A federal judge has denied a request made by Scientific Games Corporation and its subsidiary Bally Technologies Inc. and Bally Gaming Inc. to fold up the sole remaining count in a competitor's antitrust lawsuit over casino card shuffling technology.

Bloomington abused 'pending litigation' exception in closing meeting, IL attorney general rules

By John Sammon | Jul 27, 2017

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has concluded city leaders in downstate Bloomington violated the state's Open Meetings Act in discussing potential litigation in closed session when litigation was not probable or imminent.

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