Trial Notebook


Judges disagree on anticommandeering doctrine

An attack on the Indian Child Welfare Act generated 300 pages of dueling opinions during en banc review by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, including a debate between Judges James L. Dennis and Stuart Kyle Duncan about whether ICWA imposes obligations on state agencies and courts that violate the 10th Amendment’s anticommandeering doctrine.

For the Defense


Trials should start, but only after changes that have advantaged plaintiffs

It was heartening that on June 15, one of the most influential lawyers in the state called for jury trials to commence in Cook County.

Racial Justice


One year later, high court’s racial justice statement is just the start

When the Illinois Supreme Court issued their statement on racial justice one year ago, it seemed as if we were on the precipice of meaningfully addressing systemic racism. The judicial titans who have privileged access to the truth of our sacred documents, like our state constitution, unequivocally declared that racism exists. It went even further saying when “confronted with racial injustices that the Courts have the ability to nullify and set right” these wrongs.

Federal Courts


No civil rights claim for prisoner who was given wrong medication

Today’s 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals case involves a civil rights claim by a jailed prisoner who was given the wrong medication by the prison’s health services nurse. It involves a federal claim and a state common law negligence claim.

Cotter’s Corner


Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito might have had a bad day

A few years ago, Daniel Powter released the song “Bad Day,” maybe with a day in mind like Justice Samuel Alito had Thursday, with two lone dissents and one 77-page concurrence.

Realty Check


Be aware of rules when trying to sell a recapture mortgage property

Fifteen years ago, a client of mine purchased a 900-square-foot condo subject to a city of Chicago recapture mortgage. Not surprisingly, 15 years later, 900 square feet was not large enough to raise a family, so the property needed to be sold.

Opening Statement


We are in a communication and entertainment revolution

We are in the middle of a revolution. Well, a couple of them actually.

Opening Statement


Broadway is warming up for its September return

Broadway is back! Well, it’s coming back in September.

Opening Statement


‘The Niceties’ pits generation against generation

Eleanor Burgess’ play “The Niceties,” which had run at Writers Theatre in Glencoe in 2019, was recently screened by the Manhattan Theatre Club in association with The Huntington. While it was beautifully acted and wonderfully presented, it is still at times, difficult to watch.

Opening Statement


‘Brutal Imagination’ still resonates after 20 years

This past week we marked one year since the horrendous death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer that resulted in repercussions throughout the world.

Opening Statement


Places please: Venues ready to put on a show

Finally, some good news — with the slowing of the COVID-19 crisis, the world of entertainment is opening up.

Opening Statement


‘Measure for Measure’ stands up in audio play from Chicago Shakespeare Theater

During the past 30 plus years in this column I’ve been fortunate to have seen, thanks primarily to Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, many of the Bard’s classic plays.
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