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Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman swears in new attorneys to the Illinois bar in a short virtual ceremony on Thursday from the courthouse in Springfield. – Blue Room Stream screenshot/Illinois Supreme Court

High court swears in 1,590 new attorneys

Congratulating them for “weathering the storm,” Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman swore 1,590 new attorneys to the Illinois bar in a virtual ceremony Thursday.

Illinois House names Welch speaker

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House on Wednesday elected its first Black speaker to replace the longest-serving legislative leader in modern U.S. history, picking Democratic Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch for the job and pushing aside Michael J. Madigan after he was implicated in an ongoing bribery investigation.

Unclear who presides at Trump trial if he’s out of office

WASHINGTON — The Constitution says the chief justice is to preside at the impeachment trial of a president. But what about an ex-president?

Attendants’ suit over grounded jets tossed 

Flight attendants who maintain they lost income as a result of the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft do not have a case against the plane-manufacturing giant, a federal judge held.

High court highlights: The January docket

The Illinois Supreme Court returns for its January 2021 term this week, with two new justices but a now-familiar pandemic.

After excusing violence, Trump acknowledges Biden transition

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump for the first time acknowledged his defeat in the Nov. 3 election and announced there would be an “orderly transition on January 20th” after Congress concluded the electoral vote count early Thursday certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Bill adds 9% prejudgment interest to injury suits

Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, Illinois lawmakers passed a bill that will add prejudgment interest to personal injury lawsuits.

VA officer gets new chance to pursue bias case

A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit filed by a police officer who alleges he was the target of discrimination and retaliation at a veteran’s hospital.

Search process is open for Cook Co. public defender

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is accepting nominations for the position of Cook County public defender — though the incumbent is seeking a new term.

No ADA protection where doctor ordered extended leave

An Indiana woman on a doctor-ordered extended leave is not protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal appeals panel ruled.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Insurer dodges millions in post-judgment interest

Three years after Marc and Deborah Jacobs received a $26 million judgment against Yellow Cab Affiliation and Cornelius Ezeagu, the tab for post-judgment interest under Section 2-1303 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure topped $6 million. Stymied because Yellow Cab and Ezeagu had only $350,000 in coverage from American Country Insurance Co., and both defendants wound up in bankruptcy court, Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs tried to hold American Country liable for the post-judgment interest based on Section 2-1303 and a promise in the policy’s supplemental-payments provision.

Realty Check


Industrial property continues to grow despite economic downturns

Industrial property is one of the few segments of the real estate market that has improved despite other recent downturns in the economy. Without fully understanding the strength of the industrial segment, as it is not an area in which I have much of a connection, I reached out to longtime commercial real estate broker and recovering attorney, David Liebman, SIOR, JD, for insights.

Prosecution and Procedure


SAFE unit case resurfaces in appeals court

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman (joined by Justice Thomas L. Kilbride) dissented in People v. Ringland, 2017 IL 119484 as follows: “The majority opinion restricts the State’s Attorney’s duty to investigate suspected illegal activity to situations in which ‘other law enforcement agencies inadequately deal with such investigation [citation] or where a law enforcement agency asks the State’s Attorney for assistance.’ Supra Para. 25. There is no support for this restrictive interpretation of the state’s attorney’s duties in our common law or the Counties Code.”

For the Defense


More standing, more BIPA

Consequentialist arguments are not usually nearly as persuasive to most people under most circumstances as those arguments grounded in principle. In the law, when the two converge though and combined with constitutional arguments, there is likely to be a powerful and compelling position.

Opening Statement


Tepid magic, food spoil provide no wonder at home

Following a week of anguish and anxiety of witnessing thousands of protestors storm and defile our nation’s capital, I was looking forward to a quiet evening at home in quarantine last Tuesday.

Lex Sportiva


Social media battle pits Saint Xavier University against ex-coach

Back in 2012, I drafted a law review article published by Ole Miss that focused on new concerns for colleges that emerged with the proliferation of student-athlete social media accounts, largely focused on Facebook.

Opening Statement


Film adaptation of ‘Ma Rainey’s’ captures incredible spirit of play

The year 2020, seemingly one of the longest, most catastrophic in our country’s history is finally grinding to an end even as the pandemic and economic crises rage on. The nation’s racial injustices are still unresolved while a petulant president is still unwillingly to accept his election loss and commit to an uncontroverted and peaceful transfer of administration.

Opening Statement


TV special celebrates Broadway’s light in dark times

In my lifetime in America, there has been no place more representative or that has done more to change the culture of our society than the Broadway theater.

Opening Statement


Have no fear, theater company holiday streaming releases are here

‘T’was two weeks before Christmas and all through the city, not a theater was open, it was such a pity.

Social Scene


Vaughan takes 5th District Appellate Court seat oath

Illinois Supreme Court Justice David K. Overstreet (right) administers the oath of office to 5th District Appellate Court Justice Barry L. Vaughan on Jan. 4. Vaughan, who was a 2nd Judicial Circuit Court judge, is on temporary assignment until the 2022 election. Photo provided by Barry L. Vaughan

Justice Martin takes the oath

Justice LeRoy K. Martin Jr. takes the oath of office Monday to join the 1st District Appellate Court. His appointment follows Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall’s retirement last month. While a circuit judge, Martin served as the presiding judge of Criminal Division starting in 2015. Photo courtesy of the Illinois Supreme Court
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ISBA holds joint midyear meeting

ISBA President Dennis Orsey presides over the association’s joint midyear meeting over Zoom. The event occurred Dec. 10-11 and featured a joint CLE program with the Illinois Judges Association on the topic of “The Remote Courtroom in the Time of COVID.” During the meeting, the ISBA Assembly posthumously honored attorney John Phipps with the ISBA Medal of Merit Award, recognized retiring Illinois Supreme Court Justices Thomas Kilbride and Lloyd Karmeier with official ISBA Resolutions, and ratified an ISBA letter outlining the association’s position against most of a Chicago Bar Association/Chicago Bar Foundation Task Force Report advocating for substantial changes in the delivery of legal services. Photo courtesy of ISBA

Martinez sworn in as new circuit clerk

Iris Martinez, a state senator for nearly 18 years, was sworn in Monday as the newest Cook County circuit court clerk. She replaces Dorothy A. Brown, who held the office since 2000 and did not run for re-election. Martinez, the first Latina to serve as the circuit clerk, was sworn in by 1st District Appellate Court Justice Jesse G. Reyes. Photo provided by Jesse G. Reyes

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