Latest News

Appeals panel: Attorneys didn't do enough to merit fees topping amount paid to plaintiffs in junk fax suit

By DM Herra | Aug 2, 2018

A federal appeals court rejected a request for attorney’s fees that exceeded the amount paid to claimants in a quickly settled lawsuit over faxed ads, as judges faulted the attempt by plaintiffs’ lawyers to lay claim to one-third of a potential settlement amount, rather than basing their fee request on the actual deal.

Appeals judges: Cook Forest Preserve's try to get horse ranch in foreclosure not unconstitutional seizure

By Scott Holland | Jul 27, 2018

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to the owners of a horse ranch near Barrington in their property ownership battle with the Cook County Forest Preserve District, as judges said the Forest Preserve’s attempt to use the foreclosure process to acquire the land did not amount to an unconstitutional taking.

Appeals panel: $15M fees not too big for lawyers behind $76M Caribbean cruise telemarketing settlement

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jul 27, 2018

A federal appeals panel will allow a group of Chicago lawyers to keep their potential $15 million to $18 million payday for their work in securing a $76 million settlement from a cruise line and others accused of using nonprofit surveys to mask telemarketing calls, as judges said the size of the fee award doesn’t necessarily mean it is too large.

Appeals panel revives black workers' hostile work environment claims vs Advocate Christ Medical Center

By Cook County Record | Jul 26, 2018

A federal appeals panel has partially reversed a federal judge's order, which had granted a win to Advocate Christ Medical Center, against claims brought by a group of African American hospital workers who alleged they faced a hostile work environment.

Appeals panel: Sanctions mostly OK vs animal rights activist for revealing info about Doe defendant on Facebook

By Charmaine Little | Jul 20, 2018

A state appeals court has largely upheld a county court's decision to hold in contempt an animal rights activist for allegedly violating a court order to keep under wraps the identity of the owner of a so-called "puppy mill," but said the lower court judge needed to offer better instructions for how the activist could have the contempt sanctions lifted.

Appeals court: Sellers can't enforce covenant restrictions on land after selling to forest preserve district

By Dan Churney | Jul 18, 2018

An appeals panel has affirmed a lower court’s decision the sellers of land to a west suburban forest preserve district gave up their rights to enforce a covenant to block ComEd from stringing power lines across that land, when they granted the Illinois Department of Natural Resources power to override covenant restrictions.

Court: IL tax collectors can’t ‘jump the queue’ of creditors to collect unpaid taxes from bankrupt debtors

By DM Herra | Jul 12, 2018

Illinois state tax collectors cannot jump ahead of other creditors when collecting unpaid taxes from bankrupt estates, a federal appeals panel has ruled, rejecting the Illinois Department of Revenue’s attempt to collect delinquent taxes from two bankrupt businesses whose debts far outweighed their assets.

Appeals court douses Oak Lawn’s attempt to require its firefighters live in Illinois

By Dan Churney | Jul 9, 2018

A Chicago appeals panel has affirmed a Cook County judge’s ruling that southwest suburban Oak Lawn cannot require village firefighters to live in Illinois, because the village doesn’t require fire department applicants to live in any geographic area to be hired in the first place.

Jam Productions alleges theatrical union bought votes to unionize workers

By Dan Churney | Jul 6, 2018

A Chicago federal appeals panel has ordered the National Labor Relations Board to hold a hearing into allegations by Jam Productions that Theatrical Stage Employees Union Local 2 gave lucrative jobs to non-unionized Jam workers so they would vote to install the union local at Jam Productions venues.

Appeals panel divides over number of 'sole' causes, denies paralyzed jockey's try for new trial vs Arlington

By DM Herra | Jul 5, 2018

A divided state appellate court sided with the jury in a lawsuit against Arlington Park Racecourse by a jockey paralyzed in an accident, reversing a Cook County judge’s decision to grant a new trial because the jury had been improperly instructed to consider whether two different things could be considered the “sole” cause of an injury, simultaneously.

Appeals court upholds dismissal of Chicago School of Professional Psychology student

By Sandra Lane | Jul 3, 2018

A federal appeals court in Chicago has shut down a legal action brought by a former student at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, who had alleged the school had improperly disciplined her over an image she posted to her personal Instagram account, and then later wrongly accused her of plagiarism.

SCOTUS takes Merck's Fosamax appeal, could boost GSK's appeal of $3M verdict over lawyer's suicide

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jul 3, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to wade into the contentious question over whether a pharmaceutical company can be held liable for failing to warn consumers and doctors of a drug’s potential effects, potentially portending significant implications for a $3 million verdict a jury awarded to the widow of a Chicago lawyer who committed suicide in the Loop after taking the generic version of an antidepressant drug.

IL Supreme Court decides to take up Six Flags fingerprint privacy case; spurs fresh rise in BIPA lawsuits

By Cook County Record | Jun 29, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has decided to hear arguments over the question of whether the rights of a mother and her teen son were violated under an Illinois privacy law when theme park operator Six Flags required the young man to scan his fingerprints to use his park season pass. And the court's decision to take up the case appears to have helped spur a renewed spurt of lawsuits brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

U.S. appeals panel lets lawsuit reform advocate Ted Frank explore possible class action 'objector blackmail'

By Dan Churney | Jun 29, 2018

A Chicago federal appeals court is giving a lawsuit watchdog group a chance to show whether attorneys for three objectors to a $9 million class action settlement allegedly tried to squeeze extra money for themselves from the settlement by lodging objections on behalf of their clients.

Appeals panel: IL law nixes Chicago Joe's Tea Room try to force open Broadview strip club

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jun 29, 2018

A group of investors – most of whom have remained concealed by what judges called an “obscure trail of contracts, trusts, and illusory commitments” – seeking to open a strip club in Broadview have suffered another setback as they try to force the suburban community to grant them the permit they need to open the establishment, in a ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Appellate: South Loop condo developers' suit vs ex-lawyers over parking space flap not too late

By Cook County Record | Jun 29, 2018

A state appeals court has given a new lease to a legal malpractice suit brought by the developers of a South Loop condo building, saying the plaintiffs were not too late in filing their legal action amid a squabble with the condo building's association over parking space rights six years after the developers thought required legal documents had been filed.

US Supreme Court: Forced collection of 'fair share' union fees unconstitutional, violates workers' free speech rights

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jun 27, 2018

Compelling non-union government workers to pay so-called “fair share fees” to unions they do not wish to join violates the First Amendment speech rights of non-union workers and is unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, finding in favor of an Illinois state worker who had sued to end the fees, also known as agency fees, in Illinois and across the country.

Appeals panel: Gidwitz, family, associates still owe $13M in legal fees to former Ungaretti lawyers

By Scott Holland | Jun 26, 2018

A prominent Illinois businessman and Republican, who was nominated by President Trump to serve as U.S. ambassador to Belgium, and some of his associates remain on the hook to pay millions of dollars in legal fees after an appeals panel upheld a judicial decision.

Appeals court upholds NCAA rule requiring transfers to sit out one season before playing

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jun 26, 2018

The NCAA can require student athletes to wait at least one full academic year before playing when transferring to a new Division 1 university or college, a federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled.

Appeals panel: 'Obnoxious' condo owner has right to free speech, to view evidence when accused by association

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jun 21, 2018

While condo associations are not extensions of the government, they still must respect the First Amendment rights of condo owners, and must disclose evidence to those accused of violating association rules before assessing fines, a divided state appeals panel has ruled. However, a dissenting justice warned the ruling had the potential to bog the courts down in near endless streams of intra-condo association squabbles.

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