Gretchen Harris Sperry, the new Appellate Lawyers Association president, at her Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP offices. Sperry said she wants the association to make an impact for necessary changes in the judicial system. – David Thomas

Hinshaw partner steps up as ALA president

Gretchen Harris Sperry’s plans for the Appellate Lawyers Association are an outgrowth of the values that drove her into becoming a lawyer in the first place.

CLE program focuses on transgender issues, a first for Illinois

The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago presented a panel on laws affecting the transgender population in the workplace on Thursday at investment firm AllianceBernstein LP.

Law School Notes

Northwestern names 26-year staff lawyer Graham as general counsel

Northwestern University this week named Stephanie M. Graham as its vice president and general counsel.

$9.4M deal ends birth injury case

The family of a child born with severe brain injuries has settled their Winnebago County case for $9.4 million.

High court takes fizz out of Walgreens fraud suit

A man who said he paid an unnecessary tax when purchasing sparkling water at a Walgreens drug store does not have the basis of a claim for statutory consumer fraud, the state’s top court said.

Brodsky gets interim suspension to go with prior federal timeout

Filing pleadings that revealed a client’s business secrets, divulging emails that contained a divorcing couple’s confidential mental health information and launching into what one judge called an “unhinged attack” on an expert witness are among the disciplinary charges facing Chicago attorney Joel A. Brodsky.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Shifting of rent leaves no recourse

After defaulting on more that $20 million in nonrecourse mortgage loans, Springfield Prairie Properties LLC bet that it could transfer $3 million in rental income from the property into the client trust accounts of its lawyers without triggering a provision that automatically converted the obligations into recourse debt if collateral was transferred without permission from the creditors.

Lawyers’ Forum


Twenty years after Olmstead ruling, challenges for disabled remain

Historically, people with disabilities have been segregated from the rest of society and unable to participate in everyday life that we all take for granted.

Through Glazed Eyes


Ex-city alderman uses clever logic in effort to avoid prison

After admitting helping himself to the proceeds of a donors’ fund earmarked for ward activities, former Chicago Ald. Willie Cochran asked the court for six months’ home confinement, rather than the 12 to 18 months in prison indicated under federal sentencing guidelines.

Opening Statement


Judy Garland’s songs still sizzle 50 years after performer’s death

At Walter Stearn’s classy, intimate Venus Cabaret room at 3745 N. Southport Ave., you can see “Get Happy: Angela Ingersoll sings Judy Garland” — the talented Ingersoll doing her signature tribute to the late legendary star on the 50th anniversary of Garland’s unfortunate passing on June 22, 1969.

Opening Statement


Unusual production shows us how far we've come as nation

I’ve had an interesting, and contrasting, several weeks of theatergoing. This week, I suddenly I found myself face to face in an encounter with the outrageous Joan Jett Blakk, who is running for president of the United States as “the first queer, black drag-queen presidential candidate.”

Non-Billable Hours


‘Rocketman’ takes a trip through Elton John’s highs and lows

“Rocketman,” the life story of Sir Elton Hercules John, born Reginald Dwight, is an old-style movie musical that juxtaposes the spangly world of a 1970s rock star against the solitary existence of a pudgy piano prodigy, pounding away on a parlor upright in a drab inconsequential corner of postwar London.

Opening Statement


An ode to Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson in ‘Style and Grace’

More often in smaller venues and cabarets, shows have a theme where they emulate, rather than imitate, those to whom they pay musical homage. Such is the case at the Black Ensemble Theater in Ravenswood, where “Style and Grace: In Tribute to Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson,” is being presented through June 30.

Social Scene


Reyes hosts externs

On Thursday, 1st District Appellate Court Justice Jesse G. Reyes hosted externs from the city of Chicago Law Department and the Will County Circuit Court. The externs attended oral arguments and had lunch with the appellate court justices. Reyes is pictured with Will County Associate Judge Jessica Colon-Sayre along with the externs. Photo provided by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation/Jeffrey Harris

YLS Walk for Survivors

The Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section held its YLS Walk for Survivors 2019 on June 6, a rally to raise awareness about domestic violence. Dozens of members of YLS joined the mile-long march through the Loop and River North that raised funds for WINGS, a nonprofit that provides housing and services to victims of domestic violence. Photo provided by The Chicago Bar Association/Bill Richert

Expungement summit

Several Cook County Circuit Court judges participated in an expungement summit on June 1 at Westinghouse College Prep High School in East Garfield Park. The judges reviewed fee waiver applications from residents seeking to expunge a criminal record. Pictured (left to right) are Circuit Judges Diann K. Marsalek, Daniel O. Tiernan, Lloyd James Brooks and Daniel E. Maloney. Photo provided by the Office of Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court

CBA Alliance for Women luncheon

The Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women honored Linda F. Friedman (second from right) and Kathryn C. Liss (second from left) at its annual luncheon May 30 at the Standard Club. Friedman is managing partner of Stowell & Friedman Ltd. and Liss is director of DePaul University’s Family Law Center. They’re pictured alongside Alliance for Women co-chairs Kimber Russell (far left) and Lauren S. Novak and CBA President Steven M. Elrod. Photo provided by The Chicago Bar Association/Bill Richert

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