A Sparta police vehicle. The Illinois Supreme Court last week struck down the southern Illinois city’s performance review policy that relied in part on how many citations police officers issued, finding it violates an Illinois law prohibiting ticket quotas. – Facebook photo/Sparta Police Department

High court: Cops can’t get ‘points’ for ticketing

SPRINGFIELD — The state’s highest court has struck down a southern Illinois city’s policy that partly evaluates police officers on the number of citations officers issue, finding it violates an Illinois law prohibiting ticket quotas.

New N.J. law makes judges’ info private

TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge whose son was slain at their home by an attorney who had stalked her invoked his memory Friday at the signing of a New Jersey law aimed at protecting judges’ personal information from being publicly accessible.

Protesters sue Chicago Police over ‘brutal, violent’ tactics

CHICAGO — Activists who protested in Chicago over George Floyd’s death and the killing by police of other Blacks across the U.S. filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing city police officers of brutally attacking and falsely arresting them during the demonstrations.

Four indicted in ComEd bribery scheme

CHICAGO — Four people, including an associate of Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges they orchestrated a bribery scheme with Commonwealth Edison.

Trump suit over Pa. vote gets day in court

A hearing on the Trump campaign’s federal lawsuit seeking to prevent Pennsylvania officials from certifying the vote results remains on track for Tuesday after a judge quickly denied the campaign’s new lawyer’s request for a delay.

COVID-19 measures tighten in Cook Co.

Cook County’s chief judge tightened the circuit court’s COVID-19 restrictions, ordering all matters to be held over videoconference except in “extraordinary or compelling circumstances.”

7th Circuit: Would-be bomber’s 16-year sentence unreasonably light

A judge was too lenient when she sentenced a would-be terrorist to 16 years in prison for crimes that included trying to detonate a bomb in Chicago’s Loop, a federal appeals court held.

New Leaf program ready to help expungement of marijuana offenses

The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation launched New Leaf Illinois, a program created to help thousands of Illinois residents remove marijuana related arrests or convictions from their records.

Levin & Perconti bolsters birth-injury practice with Md. duo

The plaintiff’s firm Levin & Perconti added two attorneys from Baltimore this month as part of its effort to expand its practice nationally.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Plaintiffs invoke terrorism treaty, Alien Tort Statute

The second-amended complaint two Lebanese citizens filed in New York under the Alien Tort Statute against officers of a Lebanese bank who allegedly laundered millions of dollars a year for Hezbollah — which reportedly used the money to finance terrorist attacks on civilians — relied on the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. A district judge ruled that the SAC stated a valid claim, because the convention qualifies as the kind of “universal, specific, and obligatory norm of international law” that would support a lawsuit under the ATS. But the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, granting the defendants’ request for interlocutory review because the case presented complicated questions about international law, wound up reversing based on Section 29 of the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm (2010) (“an actor’s liability is limited to those harms that result from the risks that made the actor’s conduct tortious”). Nahl v. Jaoude, No. 19-1467 (July 30, 2020).

The Buzz


Well crafted estate plan could be perfect gift for an adopted child

November is National Adoption Month, which aims to celebrate families that have grown through adoption, and raise awareness of both the adoption process and the need for adoptive families for children in foster care.

Cotter’s Corner


Judicial independence back in conversation after Alito speech

Since Sept. 22, the court has rescheduled Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization seven times. The conference schedule showed that the court once again rescheduled considering this petition. We will report once the court issues its order in this case addressing Mississippi’s abortion laws.

Realty Check


The death of a borrower and what issues arise without a joint tenant

When I am counseling real estate purchasers, I always remind them that a mortgage transaction is actually two transactions: (1) the promise to pay back the money borrowed; and (2) the security agreement granting a lien against the property, which secures the repayment of the borrowed money (or so the lender hopes!).

Opening Statement


‘Fiddler,’ ‘Leopoldstadt’ have ties that bind

I hope you have had the chance to view PBS’ “Great Performances” documentary, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles.”

Opening Statement


Sports movies are a ‘Natural’ fit for celebration

It looks like the tumultuous presidential election of 2020 is finally grinding to a conclusion.

Lex Sportiva


Student-athletes sidelined as coronavirus pandemic plays out

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, high school associations throughout the country were faced with the decision of how, if at all, interscholastic fall sports would operate. These decisions varied greatly nationwide.

Sports Marketing Playbook


Boycotts postpone games, raise questions about political activism

As social turmoil and protests continues around the country, athletes’ social justice demonstrations have morphed into team boycotts disrupting game schedules across multiple leagues — with unprecedented support from the leagues. At the same time, a handful of Black sports figures have resisted calls to boycott their sport in favor of making their own statements.

Opening Statement


Prescient performances to ponder pre-polls

The Broadway League, which represents theater producers and owners, recently announced there will be no Broadway shows until May 30, 2021 at the earliest.

Social Scene


Protests precede Senate Barrett vote

A protester opposed to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett is confronted by police after sitting atop the “Contemplation of Justice” statue at the Supreme Court building in Washington on Sunday. Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, is expected to be confirmed to the high court in a floor vote Monday night. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

CLG hosts Red Mass — virtually

The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago held its Votive Red Mass of the Holy Spirit on Oct. 6 at Old St. Patrick’s Church in the West Loop. Because of the pandemic, the annual event, which is in its 86th year honoring judges, lawyers and other public officials, hosted 180 guests online and another 50 in person. The CLG honored sole practitioner Tanya Woods (left) as the Catholic Lawyer of the Year, Deacon Dan Welter with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Judge Patricia Mendoza with the Special Service Award. CLG President Kevin Murphy is also pictured. Photo courtesy of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago.

DSF honors judges

The Diversity Scholarship Foundation held a virtual judicial recognition reception on Zoom Sept. 9 to honor three of its committee members, Cook County Associate Judges Amee E. Alonso, Michael J. Hogan Jr. and John A. Simon. Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans served as the event’s keynote speaker. DSF presented the chief judge with the its Spirit Award for his work to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in the community. Screenshot provided by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation; photo modified to remove computer cursor

Damage downtown after a night of unrest

Signs of unrest dot the Loop on Monday after looters damaged property across downtown overnight. The county and federal courts closed as a result of the unrest and security closures. Photo provided by Aaron Sidrow

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