Trial Notebook


Special deadline stymied claim against lawyers

Two of Walter “Skip” Starck’s children and the administrator of the third’s estate relied on evidence gathered during a Cook County will contest to support a lawsuit against a lawyer and his firm for alleged malpractice and tortious interference with their inheritance expectancies.

For the Defense

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Petition grants highlighted by insurance coverage, arbitration and BIPA questions

The quarterly column in this space on the Illinois Supreme Court’s rulings on petitions for leave to appeal is here. On Jan. 25, the state high court allowed 12 petitions and denied multiple more.

Employment Law

Attorney-client communications should be thoughtful, deliberate

On Jan. 23, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed its grant of certiorari in In Re Grand Jury, after oral argument, with an anti-climactic: “The writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.”

Be That Lawyer

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All or nothing: Why lawyers need to be passionate about rainmaking

What do the movies “Rudy,” “Remember the Titans” and “Rocky” all have in common? While they are all highly entertaining movies, for me, it’s all about winning through passion, grit and determination.

Workplace Issues

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‘Full and fair review’ required insurer to share adverse report with claimant

The ERISA statute, at 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1133, guarantees benefit claimants the right to a “full and fair review” of denied claims. To flesh out the meaning of what constitutes a full and fair review, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a detailed set of regulations in 29 C.F.R. Sec. 2560.503-1 setting forth minimum standards plan administrators must meet.

Cotter’s Corner

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Can you DIG it? Why SCOTUS takes a pass on deciding cases it accepted

In the cult classic movie “The Warriors,” gang leader Cyrus challenges the gang members: “Can you dig it?” he asks. The First Street NE Black Robes heard Cyrus’ question and responded, yes we can.

Opening Statement


‘Cabaret’ rocks Porchlight Music Theatre

Congratulations to Chicago’s Porchlight Music Theatre at the Ruth Page Dance Center for the Arts. Once again, artistic director Michael Weber and his creative team have taken a classic musical and made the production as good, if not better, than the original.

Opening Statement


‘Tick, Tick ... Boom!’ features trans take on Jonathan Larson story

Famous for writing hit musicals such as “Rent” and “Tick, Tick … Boom!,” American composer Jonathan Larson died Jan. 25, 1996, at the young age of 35 after being misdiagnosed at a hospital. It was the day of the first off-Broadway preview performance of “Rent.”

Opening Statement


‘Bald Sisters’ adds to nation’s onstage immigration tales

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free…” So go the famous lines by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the pedestal of our great ‘lady of the harbor’ — the Statue of Liberty — encouraging people seeking refuge from tyranny or just a better life to come to America.

Opening Statement


Looking back at this year’s notable Chicago shows

When I started writing this column in the 80s, many of my entertainment critic colleagues were using stars as a rating system for reviewing a theatrical performance.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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Implosion of crypto firm draws suit against athlete brand ambassadors

Following the recent crash and bankruptcy filing of cryptocurrency platform FTX, an investor has filed a proposed class action seeking damages from defendants including superstar athletes who promoted the company as brand ambassadors.

Opening Statement


Christmas season sparks joy and creativity

With Christmas around the corner, I searched for a relevant subject for this column. I stumbled upon an old one I wrote in my Jan. 7 column, which was personal and one that I wanted to highlight again.
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