Trial Notebook


Michigan judge ponders legislative entrenchment

Relying on the rule against “legislative entrenchment” to counter a clever maneuver by Disney Co., Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law on May 5 that ostensibly authorizes the Central Florida Tourism Development District, formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to ignore a long-term development agreement that was approved by Disney-appointed board members shortly before they were replaced by DeSantis’ appointees.

Cotter’s Corner

Daniel Cotter-6-5-23,ph01

Three decisions, nearly 30 to go as court’s term draws to a close

A lot of things became victim to the debt ceiling negotiations, but one thing that survived was the penny, which costs the U.S. Mint more than 2 cents (2.72 cents) to make. Also surviving another week was the divided opinions soon to come in the next few weeks, as June opinion Thursday seems to be the new norm.

For the Defense

Patrick Eckler-6-1-23,ph01

Illinois Supreme Court active on merits, orders, ‘shadow’ dockets

Just like the Supreme Court of the United States, the Illinois Supreme Court has a merits docket; an orders docket, including rulings on petitions for leave to appeal, and a “shadow docket.” The state high court has been active on all three of late.

Family Law

Changes to 529 accounts allow tax-free rollover to ROTH IRAs

Late last year, President Joe Biden signed into law a $1.7 trillion federal spending bill that included a provision to allow families to roll over funds from their Section 529 college savings plans to Roth individual retirement accounts — free of tax — starting in 2024.

Workplace Issues

Mark DeBofsky-5-30-23,ph01

Updated standard of care cements ruling in health benefits dispute

Proton beam radiation therapy is used to treat various forms of cancer. Rather than using X-rays, proton therapy directs focused energy from protons at tumors.

For the Defense

Patrick Eckler-5-25-23,ph01

As legislative session closes, that’s when the action starts

As has been discussed frequently, and perhaps ad nauseum in this space, the way in which the Illinois General Assembly functions using shell bills is truly galling. This procedure is often blatantly unconstitutional and entirely unnecessary as the General Assembly has supermajorities in both chambers.

Opening Statement


Rat Pack show brings a trip down memory lane

Years ago in Chicago, there was a unique attorney named Oscar Brotman, who was more interested in show business than law.

Opening Statement


‘Ernest Shackleton Loves Me’ speaks to beatnik generation

Back in my day, when the beatniks and hippies of the 1960s were beginning to populate the theatrical scene of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and Chicago’s Old Town, productions bordering on the psychedelic would have drawn shouts of “far out, man” and “right on” by an enthusiastic counterculture.

Opening Statement


‘Big River’ scores big in Chicago

In an age of the banning of certain books in public libraries and schools, I recommend seeing “Big River,” Roger Miller’s musical based on Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” It’s playing through June 11 at Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave.

Sports Marketing Playbook

Masters Rose-5-2-23,ph01

Women’s March Madness scores big with brands, breaks records

Louisiana State University’s 102-85 victory over Iowa in the National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s Division 1 basketball championship game proved women’s hoops can bring as much on-court excitement and trash-talking controversy as a men’s final.

Opening Statement


‘Damn Yankees’ knocks it out of the park

I recently learned that composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical “Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-running show in Broadway history, has closed its curtain after almost 14,000 record-breaking performances since it first opened in 1988.

Opening Statement


Joshua Jay brings magic to Chicago

Rhapsody Theater is a truly unique theater in Rogers Park. Originally built in 1912, it was known as Morse Theater and later operated as the Co-Ed Theater and the Mayne Stage.
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