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Appeals court pauses judge's order forcing Cook courts clerk to let public immediately access lawsuits

A federal appeals court in Chicago has slapped a hold on a federal judge’s order to force Cook County’s courts clerk to begin providing the press and public immediate access to publicly filed court documents, at least until the appellate judges can rule on the court clerk’s claims that the federal judge had no business issuing the order, on the grounds of protecting the public’s First Amendment rights to public information.

Cook Courts Clerk appeal: Federal judge wrongly stepped into dispute over public access to court files

Moments after a Chicago federal judge chided her for creating a system designed to take an “end-run” around the First Amendment’s guarantee of public access to public information, the clerk of Cook County’s courts has asked a federal appeals court to put a hold on the judge's order and further remove the matter from the judge’s consideration entirely.

IL appeals court upholds dismissal of class action challenging Chicago red light camera program law

Saying state law designates Chicago’s red light and speed camera enforcement programs as something different from ordinary traffic laws, a state appeals court has again handed a defeat to a class action attempting to overthrow the city’s automated traffic citation program, which annually adds millions of dollars in fines from ticketed motorists to the city’s coffers.

Judge: Public access to court documents not a 'frill' of court system; denies court clerk's request for delay

Saying public access to publicly-filed legal documents is not “some sort of frill” feature of a modern court system, a Chicago federal judge has denied a request from the Cook County court clerk’s office for more time to comply with the judge’s order to begin providing immediate access to all electronically filed lawsuits filed in her office.

Judge: Cook County didn't violate speech rights of fired ex-staffer who ran vs Elmwood Park's Silvestri

A Chicago federal judge is closing the door on an ex-Cook County government staffer’s attempt to sue powerful Cook County politicians, saying he can’t demonstrate the county violated his constitutional rights by firing him after he helped expose alleged political corruption in Elmwood Park, and then campaigned to take the county board seat held by Peter Silvestri, Elmwood Park’s mayor.

Court asked to OK $36M deal to end tortured Pella defective window class action; attorneys to get $9M

About three and a half years after a federal appeals panel led by former Judge Richard Posner smashed a $90 million settlement agreement the judges described as “scandalous,” a new set of lawyers have introduced a new, smaller deal once again intended to a nearly 12-year old class action lawsuit against window and door maker Pella over allegedly defective windows.

Judge guts Edelson's suit vs Bandas; 'meritless' class action objections for payoff 'bad faith,' not racketeering

While agreeing their conduct and tactics were “in bad faith” and “inconsistent” with legal ethics, a federal judge has refused to let a prominent Chicago class action trial law firm continue with a class action lawsuit accusing a rival firm of racketeering for acting as “professional objectors” bent on extorting payoffs, as the judge said letting the case go forward would leave parties involved in other lawsuits rightly worried about getting tagged with similar racketeering actions over legitimate negotiating tactics and maneuvers.

Cook Courts Clerk asks IL Supreme Court for relief from 'dilemma' over public access to lawsuits

As she prepares to make her case to a federal appeals panel, the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court is also awaiting an intervention from Illinois’ highest state court on her request for relief from state court rules she argues preclude her from abiding by a federal judge’s order to make publicly filed lawsuits immediately available to the press and the public.

Court asked to sign off on red light camera settlement; lawyers defend $11M fee request

A Cook County judge could grant final approval later this week to a $38.75 million settlement deal intended to end a class action lawsuit against Chicago City Hall over the city’s red-light traffic camera enforcement program. And the lawyers behind that lawsuit are defending their request for more than $11 million in fees.

Cook Circuit Clerk appeals ruling ordering her to provide immediate public access to e-filed lawsuits

With just days to spare before her office would need to comply with a federal judge’s order to begin providing the public and the press immediate access to electronically filed lawsuits, the clerk of Cook County’s courts has appealed the ruling.

Cook County judge: Chicago alderman's personal emails, texts generally not subject to FOIA

Emails and text messages sent and received by Chicago aldermen on their personal accounts and devices generally may not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a Cook County judge has ruled, partially thwarting an attempt by Chicago lawyer Ameer Ahmad to uncover what he believed were efforts by his neighbors to use connections to Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno to allegedly improperly block Ahmad from obtaining a permit for a home improvement project.

Judge: Federal law does not entitle retired corrections officers to obtain concealed carry permits

Correctional officers in Illinois are not entitled to permits to carry concealed firearms under federal law, a Chicago federal judge has ruled, saying the federal law does not compel the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, or any other county or state correctional agency, to classify the corrections officers as law enforcement officers.

Man suing Madigan asks court to order release of inspector general's 2014 report detailing Speaker's clout

A former candidate who is suing Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and some of his supporters for allegedly using political tricks to sabotage his campaign, is now locked in a fight in Chicago federal court to secure the release of a 2014 inspector general’s report his lawyer says is needed to shed light on how the longest serving state house speaker in U.S. history and his political organization work, to help substantiate the candidate’s claims.

Jury declares Abbvie's Androgel didn't cause man's lung clots, Abbvie didn't falsely market medication

After split verdicts in two prior trials over alleged harmful side effects and alleged misleading marketing of its testosterone replacement drug led to questionable verdicts worth more than $140 million each, drugmaker Abbvie has scored a clean win in the latest jury review of a plaintiff’s claims over the promotion and health impacts of Androgel.

Mom's T-Mobile contract terms can't force arbitration for son's class action vs Subway over text message ad

A federal appeals panel has reactivated a man’s class action lawsuit against sandwich seller Subway, saying the restaurant chain can’t invoke T-Mobile’s contract to force to arbitration the man’s claims Subway broke federal telecommunications law by sending text messages to T-Mobile users advertising “T-Mobile Tuesday” sandwich deals.

Franchisee can't sue KFC for restricting marketing of halal fried chicken at Chicago area restaurants

KFC will be allowed to tell a Muslim Chicago area franchisee he is not allowed to advertise the use of halal chicken at his Chicago area restaurants, after a federal judge ruled the fast food chain’s franchise agreements can give the mother brand the power to restrict restaurant owners’ advertising decisions.

Burr Ridge trucking firm sues ex-lawyers, saying missteps cost millions in Texas motorcycle crash verdict

A Burr Ridge-based trucking company has sued its ex-lawyers for malpractice, asserting they should pay for allegedly mishandling the trucking firm’s defense in a personal injury lawsuit in Texas, resulting in a jury order to pay $32 million.

GOP state lawmakers join Supreme Court brief asking to reject challenge to compulsory union fees

A group of nine Republicans currently serving in the Illinois General Assembly, including two rookie state lawmakers, have signed their names to a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court to uphold the state’s ability to allow unions to extract fees from government employees who don’t wish to join a union, arguing the country’s founding federalist principles should allow the 50 states to decide such policy questions for themselves.

National frat off hook for NIU pledge's alcohol hazing death, but chapter can be sued: IL Supreme Court

A local fraternity chapter and certain women from a different sorority at Northern Illinois University can be held liable for a pledge’s 2012 alcohol-related death amid hazing during an initiation ritual, but the national organizations can’t be held responsible for the “criminal conduct” of the NIU chapter and its officers, the Illinois State Supreme Court has ruled.

Cook Sheriff: Backpage's fraud accusations vs Dart merely deflection from 'damning' sex trafficking ad evidence

Saying the online classifieds site is merely trying to “deflect” a judge’s attention from its “own fraudulent acts,” the Cook County Sheriff’s Office has asked a federal judge to put a quick end to an attempt by to pin the sheriff for allegedly lying about a CCSO staffer’s job status to protect thousands of documents from disclosure under the auspices of a nonexistent attorney-client relationship.