Making the Case Test your knowledge of settlements for cauda equina syndrome.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer listens during a forum at the French Cultural Center in Boston in February 2017. Two sources told the Associated Press Wednesday that Breyer is retiring, giving President Joe Biden an opening he has pledged to fill by naming the first Black woman to the high court. – Steven Senne/Associated Press file photo

Justice Breyer to retire, sources say; Biden to fill vacancy

WASHINGTON — Liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring, giving President Joe Biden an opening he has pledged to fill by naming the first Black woman to the high court, two sources told The Associated Press Wednesday.

Justices to hear challenge to race in college admissions

The conservative-dominated Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to the consideration of race in college admissions, adding another blockbuster case to a term with abortion, guns, religion and COVID-19 already on the agenda.

Cook County judge put on restricted duties over disparaging comments 

A Cook County judge who mocked an attorney in comments broadcast live on YouTube has been placed on restricted duty off the bench.

How I Did It

Lessons from coming out in a job interview

As a young would-be associate, Eric Ledbetter sought a law firm that welcomed diverse attorneys. More than 15 years later, his experience revealing his own identity in a job interview informs how he leads as managing partner of Quarles & Brady’s Chicago office.

Menards must face negligence case over customer’s fall

A federal judge held that a jury should determine whether Menard, Inc. is liable for injuries a customer says she sustained when she tripped and fell over poles protruding from a cart at a Joliet store.

7th Circuit says suspect did not invoke right to counsel with mention of ‘lawyer’

A suspect being questioned in an attempted robbery did not unequivocally invoke his right to counsel when he asked law enforcement officers “Do I need a lawyer or something?” and said “I feel like I should have a lawyer,” a federal appeals court held.

3 Illinois Gaming Board members must face civil conspiracy claims

The Illinois Gaming Board and three of its members must face claims alleging they conspired to deprive two video gaming businesses of licenses following a prior lawsuit, a federal judge held.

Federal judge blocks challenge to city ordinance on short-term rentals

A federal judge knocked down a Chicago attorney’s request that the city’s short-term rental ordinance be declared unconstitutional, but ruled he can continue to pursue some claims against his homeowners’ association.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Judge in Google settlement expresses qualms about cy pres awards

Doing double duty, Circuit Judge Bridget S. Bade wrote the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion affirming a district judge’s approval of a class action settlement against Google — because there was no abuse of discretion under 9th Circuit precedent — and then added a specially concurring opinion “to express some general concerns about cy pres awards” where the class members get no money. Joffee v. Google, No. 20-15616 (Dec. 27, 2021).

For the Defense

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Damages means damages, not attorneys’ fees

Following on its line of cases culminating in Synder v. Heidelberger, 2011 IL 111052, in which the Illinois Supreme Court held that a single injury triggers the statute of limitations against attorneys and that the alleged injury must be real and tangible, the court held last week in Suburban Real Estate Services, Inc. v. Carlson¸ 2022 IL 126935, that the statute of limitations began to run when a judgment was entered against the legal malpractice plaintiff, not when the legal malpractice plaintiff began to incur attorneys’ fees in defending the suit that allegedly arose out of the defendant lawyer’s malpractice.

Cotter’s Corner

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Filibuster of the filibuster: Senate rejects move to add one more to 160 exceptions

Sixteen years is not a long period of time in the grand scheme of our nation or generally. But on Capitol Hill, the sea shift in how our bodies operate have indeed changed mightily. One need not look any further than the failed battle late last week in the Senate over voting rights.

Employment Matters

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7th Circuit assesses class certification for disparate impact discrimination claims

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently clarified the criteria for class certification, particularly focusing on the application of class characteristics to Title VII disparate impact claims in Simpson, et al. v. Dart, et al. (No. 21-8028, Slip Op., Jan. 6, 2022). The decision cautions that the requisite inquiry may be different for disparate impact claims as compared to disparate treatment claims, and each must be considered separately.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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Top prep football player’s surprise switch highlights new trend for HBCUs

Georgia high school student Travis Hunter is considered by many to be 2022’s No. 1 overall prospect in college football. So the cornerback’s decision to flip his longstanding commitment from Florida State University to Jackson State University in December shocked many in the college football world.

Opening Statement


A dark journey into secrets of ‘The Moors’

“The Moors,” Jen Silverman’s play at A Red Orchid Theatre through Feb. 27, can be described in three little words — odd, weird and dark.

Opening Statement


Philosophical ‘Pooh’ will be just what we need in March

As Chicago’s live theaters continue to go dark for now because of the COVID-19 surge, there is a little light out there to brighten us. “Winnie-the-Pooh” is scheduled to open onstage March 15 at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport.

Opening Statement


For now, it’s back to video for our theater fixes

It’s déjà vu all over again. With new strains of the COVID-19 virus plaguing our world and the number of cases increasing every day, the winter looks uncertain at best for live theater.

Opening Statement


Here’s hoping we can enjoy live theater highlights of 2022

It is traditional this time of year to look back on the past year to review the good things that took place. Unfortunately, 2021, like 2020 that preceded it, does not have a lot to commend.

Social Scene

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Sotomayor to speak via Chicago Public Library

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor holds her new children's book “Just Help! How to Build a Better World” on Capitol Hill last week. The book, her third for young readers and published in both English and Spanish, comes out Tuesday. Sotomayor will appear in a Zoom conversation hosted by the Chicago Public Library at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 with Chicago author and sociologist of education Eve L. Ewing to discuss her life and her writing. Visit for more information. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

WILPOWER panel examines paid family leave

Lauren Tuckey, president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, speaks at a panel discussion about how to pass a paid family leave bill in Illinois. The discussion and fundraiser was organized by WILPOWER, a political action committee of the WBAI. Sarah F. King, partner at Clifford Law Offices, serves as chair of the PAC. Among the speakers at Dentons in Chicago on Dec. 22 were U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Reps. Kam Buckner and Eva Dina Delgado, and New Trier Township Supervisor Gail Eisenberg. Photo courtesy of Clifford Law Offices

Family Law Foundation awards $5,000 grants

James M. Quigley, left, partner at Beermann LLP and president of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), presents a check to Susan Shulman, executive director of the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic in Highland Park. The AAML Foundation provided $5,000 grants to the clinic and to WINGS, a support and advocacy organization for survivors of domestic violence. Photo by Shin Lim/Courtesy AAML
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Smokeball celebrates 4th Season of Giving

Alison Lupel, center, director of client quality assurance at Smokeball, presents a check for $22,500 to Richard Klos, institutional giving manager, and other members of the Howard Brown Health team. Every year, Smokeball legal practice management software donates to charity as part of its Season of Giving event. HBH and Equip for Equality, which works to advance the human and civil rights of children and adults with disabilities in Illinois, were the 2021 beneficiaries. — Photo courtesy of Smokeball

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