State Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, speaks to reporters after passing an amendment to the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act through the Senate on Thursday. It now heads to the House for consideration. – Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s BIPA law

It’s been more than a year since the Illinois Supreme Court “respectfully suggest(ed)” state lawmakers clarify a law that’s led to several multi-million-dollar settlements with tech companies over the collection of Illinoisans’ biometric data.

O.J. Simpson, acquitted in famous murder trial, dies at 76

O.J. Simpson, the football star and Hollywood actor acquitted of charges he killed his former wife and her friend in a trial that mesmerized the public and exposed divisions on race and policing in America, has died. He was 76.

Pritzker names new head of state insurance oversight agency

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced a change in leadership at the agency in charge of regulating the state’s insurance industry.

Norfolk Southern to pay $600M over train derailment in eastern Ohio

Norfolk Southern has agreed to pay $600 million in a class-action lawsuit settlement related to a fiery train derailment in February 2023 in eastern Ohio.

Top feature

Judge Jeffrey Cummings draws wisdom from practice of law, music

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey I. Cummings of the Northern District of Illinois understands that most people involved in a legal dispute invest their emotions as well as their time and resources in the case.

Cook County jury awards $10M in mesh sling case

A Cook County jury awarded $10.4 million to a woman who alleged she sustained permanent injuries from an improperly placed mesh sling meant to treat urinary incontinence.

State civil rights act can apply retroactively to Title IX suit

VanderCook College of Music must face a claim under the Illinois Civil Rights Remedies Restoration Act (CRRRA) in a lawsuit by a former student who alleged that it violated Title IX.

Alleged victims of data breach can pursue negligence suit

Two women who maintain their sensitive personal information was exposed to third parties in a data breach have stated a claim for negligence against the company storing the information, a federal judge held.

Giannoulias calls for disclosure of lobbyist contracts

For decades, lobbyists in the Illinois Statehouse have been required to report how much they spend wining, dining and entertaining lawmakers.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Aggregation supports corporate liability in case against Walmart

Count 2 of a civil complaint that accused Walmart of violating the Controlled Substances Act — by “knowingly” filling “ineffective” prescriptions from June 2013 to November 2017 — relied on mashup that combined the conduct of innocent pharmacists with the allegedly culpable knowledge of Walmart’s CSA “compliance team.”

For the Defense

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PLA on Dramshop Act time limit among latest high court denied

Building on last week’s column on rulings on petitions for leave to appeal from the Illinois Supreme Court on March 27, this week we review more of the numerous and important denials.

Racial Justice

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Books open window to difficult topic of injustice, violent deaths

During Black History Month, scores of judges from the Illinois Latinx Judges’ Association went to read to elementary school children across the city of Chicago. I had the honor of reading to a group of Brighton Park fourth-graders on the Southwest Side.

Workplace Issues

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Physician with long COVID wins claim seeking long-term benefits

Studies have shown that long COVID, a constellation of debilitating symptoms that persist after an initial COVID-19 infection, has resulted in significant disability for many. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that symptoms of long COVID such as brain fog and fatigue have affected nearly 7% of all American adults and limited their ability to work.

Opening Statement


‘Purpose’ brings family drama, politics to light

In the playbill for the Steppenwolf Theatre production of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ world premiere of “Purpose,” artistic directors Audrey Francis and Glenn Davis announce that “since the beginning, family drama has been this company’s signature.”

Opening Statement


Goodman’s ‘Penelopiad’ makes myth beautifully contemporary

In 2005, celebrated author Margaret Atwood (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) responded to Canadian publisher Jamie Byng’s commission to solicit contemporary authors to rewrite ancient myths with “The Penelopiad.” The novella set forth her current interpretation of Homer’s classic “The Odyssey,” the tale in which Odysseus leaves his bride, Penelope, for 10 years to fight in the Trojan War.

Opening Statement


‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ ‘Flyover Chicago’ offer entertainment for entire family

The late Robin Williams has always been one of my favorite actors and comedians. His brilliant career included many celebrated performances such as those in “Good Morning Vietnam” and “Dead Poets Society,” as well as Academy Award-winning in “Good Will Hunting.” Unfortunately, his career tragically came to an end when he committed suicide at 63.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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As NFL protects lucrative Super Bowl IP, some businesses retort

By now, everyone knows that brands pay big bucks to air commercials during the Super Bowl. This year, advertisers shelled out roughly $7 million for a 30-second spot, for an estimated total of $650 million, according to estimates by the Sports Business Journal.

Opening Statement


‘Just for Us’ brings back golden age of standup comedy

Back in the day, standup comedians used to be a dominant force in Chicago. There was Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen. By coincidence, they were all Jewish, as were many of their female counterparts such as Joan Rivers, Elaine May and Totie Fields.

Social Scene


WBAI honors judges

The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois presented judges with the Mary Heftel Hooton Award at its Judicial Reception. Shown from left are Soobin Lee, Molly Condon Wells, Hon. Sanjay T. Tailor, Hon. Janet Adams Brosnahan (ret.), WBAI President Whitney K. Siehl, Hon. Maryam Ahmad, Hon. Mary M. Rowland, Joanne Flannery accepting the award on behalf of her late father, Hon. James P. Flannery, Jr., Caidi Mammas Vanderporten and Katie Twardak. Hon. Ann Claire Williams (ret.) was also honored. Photo courtesy of WBAI

UIC group honors Justice Reyes

The UIC Law Latinx Law Student Association hosted its annual fiesta event and awards ceremony Friday. 1st District Appellate Justice Jesse G. Reyes, second from left, received the 2024 Alumni of the Year Award for outstanding achievement in the judiciary and public service. Other recipients include Diego Valencia, from left, Edith Munoz and Daisy Huerta. Photo by Miguel Zuno

Justinian Society of Lawyers awards grants

The Justinian Society of Lawyers hosted its 22nd annual Children’s Endowment Fund Grant Reception at Lux Bar and gave grants of $5,000 each to Almost Home Kids and La Casa Norte. Shown from left are Justinian Society president Michael D. Pisano of Ice Miller, Jose M. Munoz of La Casa Norte, endowment fund chairman Frank A. Sommario of Romanucci & Blandin, Raeann P. Olsen-Jackson of Almost Home Kids, and endowment fund founder Antonio M. Romanucci of Romanucci & Blandin. Photo courtesy of Justinian Society

Polish-American Attorneys officers installed

The Association of Polish-American Attorneys hosted its annual Installation Dinner and Award of Merit Feb. 29 at the Union League Club of Chicago. Incoming president Hon. Michael J. Chmiel was sworn in by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth M. Rochford. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans administered the oath to officers Hon. Thomas E. Nowinski, Kathy E. Bojczuk, Roman Drewniak, Julia Jensen Smolka, Hon. Michele Gemskie and Alon Stein. The Award of Merit was presented by Hon. Aurelia M. Pucinski to Marta Almodovar, a Chicago lawyer born in Poland. Photo courtesy of The Association of Polish-American Attorneys

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