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Actor Jussie Smollett and family members arrive Monday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Smollett is accused of lying to police when he reported he was the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago nearly three years ago. He is charged with felony disorderly conduct, a class 4 felony. – AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Lawyer: Jussie Smollett ‘a real victim’ of attack in Chicago

Jussie Smollett “is a real victim” of a “real crime,” his attorney said Monday, rejecting prosecutors’ allegation that he staged a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago after the television studio where he worked didn’t take hate mail he had received seriously.
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Pritzker signs new Illinois congressional map into law

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Illinois’ new congressional district map into law Tuesday, formalizing political boundaries drawn to help Democrats in next year’s midterm elections, when Republicans are well positioned to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Kyle Rittenhouse cleared of all charges in Kenosha shootings

KENOSHA, Wis. — Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges Friday after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice in the U.S.

How I Did It

Attorney David Pritchard now explores big themes as author

Most in the Chicago law scene know the name David J. Pritchard — but perhaps not as a meditative author. Now retired from law, Pritchard has written a book about consciousness, drawing on experiences including decades of medical casework.

DuPage deputy who killed teen must face lawsuit

A federal appeals court held Monday that it lacks jurisdiction to consider whether qualified immunity shields a DuPage County sheriff’s deputy from a lawsuit filed by the estate of a 17-year-old he shot to death.

What are the charges in the Jussie Smollett trial?

The twists, turns and oddities of the legal saga surrounding Jussie Smollett’s claim in 2019 that he was the target of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago have culminated in an actual trial, which entered its first full day of testimony Tuesday.

Inmate’s case over discovery materials revived

A federal appeals court held Monday that a judge erred when he threw out a lawsuit accusing Wisconsin prison officials of losing or destroying an inmate’s legal materials without giving him an opportunity to amend the action.

Ill. House Democratic leader Greg Harris to retire

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Democratic Leader Greg Harris said Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022 and will step down from the General Assembly after eight terms in office.

Courts & Cases

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Contributors

Trial Notebook

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Bank must defend its accounting in overdraft penalty case

Wanda Sue Butcher alleged South State Bank violated a federal rule (“Regulation E”) when she signed up for “overdraft protection” by failing to disclose that it used an accounting technique (“the available balance bookkeeping method”) as an excuse for routinely slapping overdraft fees on customers who actually had enough money in their accounts to pay for transactions.

Employment Law

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Blackhawks’ response to abuse claim shows need for better crisis strategy

A sexual assault scandal has rocked the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL’s Original Six. Kyle Beach, a former Blackhawks player, alleges that he was sexually assaulted by a team video coach during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoff run.

Realty Check

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Paying real estate tax obligations when there is no escrow to cover the costs

When a residential property is free of liens, there is no longer a lender to assure that an escrow is in place to pay real estate taxes and insurance. If you are dealing with clients who may have paid off their mortgages and home equity lines of credit, you may want to check to make sure that your clients are paying their real estate taxes and maintaining insurance.

Cotter’s Corner

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The SCOTUS drip: Opinions will trickle out till summer brings the usual torrent

The Supreme Court resumes hearing oral arguments Monday, and the biggest case this week is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the abortion case out of Mississippi.

Opening Statement

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Fan favorite ‘Love, Actually’ tickles as on-stage farce

“Love, Actually” is a 2003 romantic comedy about the ups and downs of eight different but interrelated couples in London.

Opening Statement

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Pre-Broadway ‘Paradise Square,’ now in Chicago, needs shaping

Chicago has played host to many pre-Broadway theater openings and become the launching pad for a number of Broadway’s biggest hits.

Opening Statement

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‘Remember This’ takes stage as antidote to historical lies

Today “the big lie” often refers to the former president’s refusal to accept the results of the last presidential election. Remember he also charged that the failure of his reality TV show to win an Emmy was only because balloting was supposedly rigged.

Opening Statement

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Butler shines in ‘Fannie’ at Goodman’s Owen Theater

Ever since that day more than 400 years ago when they first arrived in America aboard slave ships from Africa, Black Americans have been the most maligned and oppressed of any group in this country.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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College athletes sprint to cash in on name, image, likeness ventures

University of Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King is showing what’s possible now that the National Collegiate Athletic Association has lifted its ban on college athletes making money off their own names and images.

Social Scene

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Ropes & Gray volunteers at Food Depository

Elizabeth Madsen, from left, Kori Fahrner and Kacie Brinkman were among Ropes & Gray lawyers and staff who volunteered at the Greater Chicago Food Depository earlier this month. The group prepared 7,920 pounds of apples, 8,920 pounds of food and 14,033 meals, the firm said. The Food Depository benefits hundreds of food assistance programs across Cook County. Photo courtesy Ropes & Gray
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Circuit Court of Cook County celebrates National Adoption Day

The Circuit Court of Cook County celebrated National Adoption Day at the Richard J. Daley Center on Friday. “It’s the end of uncertainty for these families and it is the beginning of a bond, a seal, that is forever, that is going to put these parents and these children together and enlarge all of their lives at the same time,” said Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, right. Associate Judge Patrick T. Stanton, left, presided over a virtual adoption. Courts open the typically private proceedings to the public on the holiday to encourage others to consider adoption. Grace Barbic/Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
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Kevin Conway accepts award at Lawyers for the Creative Arts event

Attorney Kevin Conway of Cooney & Conway accepts the 2021 Thomas Leavens Award for outstanding service to Lawyers for the Creative Arts at the group’s benefit lunch Nov. 11. More than 300 people attended the event at the Palmer House Hilton. Attorney-actor Ruth Kaufman and Perkins Coie LLP were also honored, as were several musicians and music-industry figures from Chicago. Photo by Rena Naltsas/Courtesy of LCA
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New Illinois attorneys sworn in

Illinois Supreme Court justices applaud in Springfield during Wednesday’s bar admission ceremony, held virtually for the 1,269 new attorneys in Illinois. Chief Justice Anne M. Burke, center, noted the new attorneys now “share in the grand history of the American legal system.” She quoted former Chief Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow: “Let us never, ever forget simple humanity. …Let us never forget that the law is first and foremost about human beings and their problems.” Of the new attorneys, 1,024 are in the 1st District; 127 are in the 2nd District; 41 are in the 3rd District; 48 are in the 4th District; and 29 are in the 5th District. — Screenshot via BlueRoomStream

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