U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit News

Citing ministerial exception, appellate court rules Hebrew teacher wasn't discriminated against

A federal appeals panel in Chicago has barred an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by a former Hebrew teacher at a Milwaukee Jewish school, saying the teacher held a "ministerial role." The decision could help shed light on which employees of religious organizations should be considered exempt from federal anti-discrimination laws.

Appeals panel: Man who fired lawyer right before signing settlement can't escape $87K attorney fees

A federal appeals court in Chicago has cleared the way for an attorney to collect $87,500 in fees owed by a former client, who the lawyer said refused to pay him after helping him navigate the path to a six-figure settlement in a legal dispute over an allegedly defective hip implant.

Cook Courts Clerk: No First Amendment obligation to provide immediate public access to lawsuits

The clerk of Cook County’s courts has asserted she has no obligation under the First Amendment to provide the press or public with immediate access to lawsuits publicly filed in court, making the claim as part of her bid to persuade a federal appeals panel to undo a federal judge’s injunction ordering her to create a system to provide swifter access to all electronically filed documents.

Appeals panel: Ex-Redflex executive can't claim share of $20M paid to city to settle red-light camera bribes claims

Saying to find otherwise would give “fraudsters” the chance to profit from bribery, a federal appeals panel has upheld a lower court’s decision to bar a figure at the center of Chicago’s red light camera bribery scheme from claiming a cut of the settlement paid to City Hall by the city’s former red light camera vendor.

Indiana Supreme Court decision in fantasy football case won't be 'a show-stopper,' entertainment attorney says

Whether fantasy sports companies may use players' likenesses without their permission, a question now before both Chicago's federal appeals court and the Indiana Supreme Court, could have implications for some real-life athletes, but likely won't kill the virtual game.

Appellate court affirms dismissal of ex-Cook transportation worker's wrongful firing suit, despite 'intrigue'

A federal appeals panel has affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a case "filled with intrigue" brought by a former Cook County Transportation Department worker who had accused the county of firing him under false pretenses.

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

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.

Wheaton College wins order vs Obamacare contraceptive mandate; Judge: Violates religious freedom

In the wake of a decision by the administration of President Donald Trump to reinterpret federal health regulations requiring religious employers to pay for contraceptive health insurance coverage, a federal judge has granted Wheaton College a permanent injunction barring the federal government from forcing the prominent evangelical Christian college in Chicago’s western suburbs from having to pay for its employees’ contraception, which the college had argued would violate its religious rights.

Union member sues Lincolnshire, says village can't support group that lobbied for Rauner reform agenda

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepared to hear arguments on the question of whether state rules requiring non-union workers pay fees to unions violate the Constitution, a union member in suburban Lincolnshire has sued his village government, demanding the court declare the rights of union members have been similarly violated by local governments which use taxpayer money to fund lobbyists to seek reforms opposed by unions.

Appeals court tacks on sanctions for construction firm's 'frivolous' appeal of unpaid wages order

A federal appeals court in Chicago has slapped a construction company with sanctions, including ordering it to pay the legal bills for one of its former workers, for sending to the court a “patently frivolous” appeal of a lower court’s order in favor of three men who claimed the company had wrongly attempted to deny them pay and had wrongly classified at least one of them as an independent contractor.

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.

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.

Split appeals court says disabled Evanston H.S. runner can't expect lower IHSA standards

In a 2-1 decision, a Chicago federal appeals panel upheld a lower court's finding that a physically disabled Evanston High School athlete can’t use federal disability law to force the Illinois High School Association to lower standards for track and cross-country events.

Woman OK to press class action vs MetLife over bait-and-switch accusations, appeals judges say

A federal appeals panel has cleared an Illinois woman to continue a class action complaint accusing Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of bait-and-switch tactics.

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.

Appellate court: Parents, not Starbucks, responsible for amputation of finger of child playing in restaurant

A federal appeals court has shut off a lawsuit brewed by parents against Starbucks, as judges said the coffeehouse chain is not responsible for injuries that led to the amputation of a finger from a child who was playing in the store, because the child’s parents should have prevented the injury.

Appeals panel says Chicago investments firm can't sue FL rival in IL to protect its trademark 'Ariel'

While a Chicago federal judge had determined a Florida investment firm had trespassed the trademark of a more established Chicago company, a federal appeals court has said the Chicago firm can’t sue to protect its rights in Illinois, because the Sunshine State firm doesn’t do business in the Land of Lincoln.

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.

Appeals court upholds Chicago Heights ward map, says objectors can't present counter map

A federal appellate court ruled that the city of Chicago Heights set proper boundaries when it redrew aldermanic ward maps, agreeing with a lower court that the map’s opponents, who alleged the city’s map violated a court decree addressing racial discrimination, do not have authority to submit their own alternative map for the court’s consideration.