The outfield of Steel Yard in Gary, Ind., home to the Gary SouthShore RailCats minor league ballclub, in a June 2006 file photo. The RailCats were one of four franchises that left the independent Northern League in 2010. That departure led to the league suing its law firm for legal malpractice. A Cook County jury found in favor of that law firm, a result the 1st District appellate court upheld last month. – AP Photo/Joe Raymond

No legal malpractice in baseball league's breakup

A state appeals panel affirmed a Cook County jury’s defense verdict in favor of a law firm sued for legal malpractice by a now-shuttered baseball league.

Alliance of groups call for new federal data protection agency

Consumer advocates and the data-hungry technology industry are drawing early battle lines in advance of an expected fight this year over what kind of federal privacy law the U.S. should have.

Raoul, first new AG in 16 years, gets started

Attorney General Kwame Y. Raoul took the oath of office to become Illinois’ 42nd attorney general following Lisa M. Madigan’s 16-year tenure.

Law Firm Leaders

Legal ethics expert retires after 33 years

Thomas P. Sukowicz spent about 10 years writing his first novel, titled “The Administrator.” The story line involves a murder plot to kill the administrator of an attorney discipline commission by right-wing religious fanatics who want to take over the state agency.

Law School Notes

Following national trend, bar pass rates dip here

Law school graduates are preparing to take the Illinois bar exam next month. Newly released scores from last July’s exam suggest there might be a few more re-takers than a year ago.

Jury awards professor $900K after brain injury

A Cook County jury awarded $900,000 to a college professor who sustained a brain injury from a 2015 rear-end crash.

Pritzker signs gun shop licensing bill into law

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill that gives the state more control over gun dealers. But the Illinois State Rifle Association has already vowed a court challenge.

Computer law pioneer Davis wore many hats

Champ W. Davis Jr. was into computers before computers were into households. Davis, the founder and senior co-counsel at Davis McGrath LLC, died earlier this month at age 78.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Court rejects interrogatory as subjective

Based on a Winnebago County jury’s answer to a special interrogatory that followed the format approved for a crucial query about proximate causation, Circuit Judge J. Edward Prochaska reluctantly tossed out a $1.5 million verdict in a wrongful-death case against a social worker (Lori Ortberg) and her employer (Rockford Memorial Hospital) for allegedly failing to recognize that Keith Stanphill was suicidal when she evaluated his mental health a week before he killed himself.

Lawyers' Forum

Van Dyke convictions expose flaw in Illinois’ sentencing laws

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column originally ran on Oct. 10, 2018, shortly after the Van Dyke verdict. We’re reposting it outside our paywall following today’s sentencing.

Non-Billable Hours


Irony doesn’t stay ironic in Adam McKay’s ‘Vice’

Dick Cheney never had a heart that was any good. That is the reigning metaphor of “Vice,” director Adam McKay’s (“The Big Short”) cheeky recount of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s political ascension, astonishing appropriation of presidential power and flinty Wyoming resilience.

Sports Marketing Playbook


Lawsuits over signature dances latest effort at athlete identity

A new twist in the ongoing debate over athletes’ right of publicity may be on the way. Lawsuits over the alleged theft of dance moves were filed in courts last month against the makers of popular video games, including the NBA 2K video game series.

Opening Statement


Second City’s latest revue full of funny faces that’ll go places

As I recently sat in the darkened space of The Second City’s Mainstage theater, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is this a strange coincidence or what?

Non-Billable Hours


‘On the Basis of Sex’ shows how a star is born

If Gloria Steinem is the Martin Luther King Jr. of the women’s movement, then Ruth Bader Ginsburg is its Thurgood Marshall.

The Laws of Fitness


How to stay physically fit during winter months

Avoiding the winter blues by partaking in some fun winter activities here in the Chicago area.

Social Scene


Jury selection primer presented at CBA

Bradley M. Cosgrove, partner at Clifford Law Offices, and Charles R. Haskins, associate at the firm, spoke Friday at The Chicago Bar Association on “10 Things You Need to Know Before Picking a Jury.” The lunchtime program, sponsored by the CBA Torts Litigation Committee, offered Continuing Legal Education credit. It is available for viewing via the web by visiting and select Committees-Upcoming Meetings. Photo provided by Clifford Law Offices

NSBA Holiday party

The North Suburban Bar Association held its annual holiday party Dec. 6 at Maggiano’s Little Italy at Westfield Old Orchard Mall in Skokie. Pictured (left to right) are David P. Pasulka, principal at David P. Pasulka & Associates P.C. and past NSBA president; current NSBA President John F. Stimson, a Skokie sole practitioner; Richard L. Pullano, partner at Pullano Law Offices and past NSBA president; and Cook County Associate Judge Patrick J. Heneghan, NSBA’s president-elect.

‘Letters to Santa’

Clark Hill PLC participated in Dear Santa Letters, an initiative of The Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section in coordination with Direct Effect Charities. The program collects wish-list letters from disadvantaged Chicago students, then special gifts are bought, wrapped and delivered to those students’ schools. Pictured with 100 donated presents are (left to right) Clark Hill receptionist Marykay Polito, member Ray J. Koenig III, legal assistant Tammy Braun and associate Chris Hopkins. Photo provided by Clark Hill PLC

ITLA med-mal seminar

Clifford Law Offices partner Bradley M. Cosgrove presents on demonstrative exhibits during a medical-malpractice seminar on Dec. 10 hosted by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association at the JW Marriott Chicago. In addition to Cosgrove’s discussion, the event included presentations from nine other plaintiff’s lawyers and a Cook County judge on topics related to med-mal practice.

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