A U.S. Supreme Court police officer walks by during a voting rights rally at the Supreme Court in 2021 in Washington. High court personnel are showing up on college campuses, military bases and other venues to try to fill some of the many vacancies on the force that protects the nine justices and the court building. – AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File

Supreme Court offers bonuses, debt relief to lure police hires

Supreme Court police officers last fall staffed a table at Washington’s armory, where runners picked up their numbers and T-shirts for the Army 10-Miler road race. The officers were promoting an entirely different kind of competition, seeking to recruit new officers in a tight employment market.

Foxx says ‘justice has been served’ by R. Kelly’s previous sex-abuse convictions

A Cook Circuit judge dismissed sex-abuse charges against R&B singer R. Kelly on Tuesday based on the recommendation of county State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

Concerns over prayer breakfast lead Congress to take it over

The National Prayer Breakfast, one of the most visible and long-standing events that brings religion and politics together in Washington, is splitting from the private religious group that had overseen it for decades, due to concerns the gathering had become too divisive.

How I Did It

Chicago attorney Brian Wallach uses legal, political skills to fight for ALS patients

After being diagnosed with ALS in 2017, Brian S. Wallach resolved to use his experience in the courtroom and presidential politics to advocate for life-saving treatment answers for others suffering from the progressive neurological disease.

Suit against forklift manufacturer over loss of leg revived

A former forklift operator can reargue claims that a negligently designed machine caused an accident that led to her leg being amputated, a federal appeals panel ruled.

ARDC advises suspending attorney who made vulgar comments

An attorney who made vulgar comments to opposing counsel, failed to inform a former client of a judgment against them and failed to inform a client of garnishment funds owed to them should be suspended for six months, according to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission hearing board.

Salvation Army must face wage suit, judge holds

Three men who took part in residential rehabilitation programs run by The Salvation Army got the go-ahead to pursue accusations that the ministry violated wage laws by paying them only $1 to $21 for each 40-hour week they worked.

East Bank Club ex-controller gets 4 years in prison for embezzling

A judge sentenced a former controller of Chicago’s high-end East Bank Club to four years in federal prison for embezzling more than $4 million from the facility.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Courts split on ‘to be agreed’ term in lease options

On appeal from a ruling that U Street Music Hall’s option for a five-year renewal of its lease in the District of Columbia failed to “adequately set out definite price terms” — because the first year’s rent was supposed to be based on “fair market value” and annual increases were supposed to be set “at a rate agreed to by both the landlord and tenant” — the D.C. Court of Appeals explained that courts across the country are split on “whether an option that contains a price term ‘to be agreed upon by the parties’ at a later period is enforceable.”

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.

Opening Statement


‘Andy Warhol in Iran’ takes a fictional look at the iconic artist’s life

In the play “Andy Warhol in Iran,” there’s a moment when Warhol wonders if the encounter he had with a young Iranian revolutionary, who attempted to kidnap him for publicity for the revolution’s cause, really happened.

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.

Social Scene


Firm names winners in oratory

Harper Williams, a fifth-grade student from Robert A. Black Magnet Elementary School in Chicago, won first place Friday in the fourth annual Foley & Lardner MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. Williams took on the persona of Dr. King to call for a renewed focus on the “culture of excellence” in the Black community. “Let [hope] serve as the energy necessary to move us into a stronger, more positive direction of unity and respect for one another, regardless of our skin tone,” he said. “Let’s allow hope to spark action and change mindsets.” Photo by Debbie Vyskocil

Cosgrove speaks at ITLA seminar

Bradley M. Cosgrove, partner at Clifford Law Offices, spoke at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s annual Medical Malpractice Seminar at the Westin Chicago River North. He addressed “Aggressive Cross Examination of the Less Than Truthful Witness.” The seminar last month was sponsored by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Education Fund. Photo courtesy of Clifford Law Offices

ABOTA honors Judge Budzinski

Illinois Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates President-elect Jill M. Webb, from left, of the Law Offices of Jill M. Webb, and President William J. Rogers of Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP presented Cook County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth M. Budzinski with a framed War of 1812 American flag. Budzinski was recognized as 2022 Judge of the Year at ABOTA’s fall luncheon at the Union League Club. Photo courtesy of ABOTA
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Romanucci delivers undergraduate commencement address

Antonio M. Romanucci delivered the undergraduate commencement address at the University of Illinois Chicago on Saturday at the Credit Union 1 Arena. More than 1,400 degrees were conferred and more than 5,000 people attended, Romanucci & Blandin said. “Class of 2022, social responsibility is not an option,” Romanucci said in his speech. “It is essential to our community that people pay attention, stand up for good and use their talents to help others.” Romanucci is a graduate of UIC Law School (formerly John Marshall Law School). Photo courtesy of Romanucci & Blandin

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