Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot holds the Sandra J. Otaka Trailblazer Award she was awarded Tuesday evening at the St. Jane Hotel during the annual Asian American Bar Association installation and award dinner. Standing to Lightfoot’s right is Jane Funk, an attorney at Xact Data Discovery and AABA board member, with new bar association President Gary Zhao with SmithAmundsen LLC on the mayor’s left. – Bill Richert

Asian bar leader Zhao aims to raise profile

A recent study, “A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law,” revealed Asian Americans make up nearly 5% of lawyers in the country but remain woefully underrepresented in leadership positions throughout the profession.

Amtrak derailment victims awarded $17M

A team of attorneys at Clifford Law Offices obtained a nearly $17 million verdict Friday on behalf of victims injured in a 2017 Amtrak derailment in Washington state.

Judge OKs suit against defunct racetracks’ directors

It’s off to the races for a bankruptcy trustee, who got the go-ahead to seek $20 million he alleges was misappropriated by the directors of two defunct horse-racing tracks.

Amicus Curious

Chicago attorney led legal effort in $725M forced-buyout dispute

When biotech pioneer Dr. Wayne Ryan was forced out of the multimillion-dollar company he founded and led for decades, there was bound to be a legal dispute.

In Chambers

In juvenile court, Ramirez rewards good schoolwork

When Cook County Circuit Judge Cynthia Ramirez took the bench in the court’s Juvenile Justice Division five years ago, she didn’t want to just hear cases. She made it her goal to create a courtroom “theme” around the importance of education.

Law Firm Leaders

Ex-congressman returns to law with years of political know-how

Former U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, who recently joined Sidley Austin LLP as a partner, has only lost two elections during his 25-year career in elected office.

Cook County Jail’s book limit ruled as proper

Cook County Jail officials did not violate the constitutional rights of an inmate by confiscating more than 30 books from him, a federal judge ruled.

City’s tobacco tax add-on argued before high court

The state’s high court will decide if the city of Chicago is able to tax tobacco products that aren’t cigarettes.

Activist Bauer championed LGBT judges, public officials

When Illinois public schools begin teaching about the role and contributions of LGBT in local and national history, there’s a good chance Michael Bauer will make the curriculum.

Lawmakers announce new bill to control ethylene oxide gas

A bipartisan group of lawmakers hope to vote on a bill restricting emissions of ethylene oxide as early as next month.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Spreadsheet tells tale on dissipation

The judge handling the dissolution of Mary L. Hamilton and Donald R. Hamilton Jr.’s marriage struggled with the question of whether spreadsheets Mary prepared based on Donald’s bank records were sufficient to establish a prima facie case that he allegedly dissipated more than $160,000 in marital assets with a series of modest cash withdrawals and expenditures over 5½ years.

Origination Station

Steve-Fretzin-empowering-women-in-law 9-19-19,ph01

For a female attorney to succeed, develop a plan and execute 

The legal landscape is always evolving. In the not too distant past, the idea that a woman could or should make it rain or run her own firm was considered absurd. It was a “man’s world,” and women were merely allowed to be in it. Well, today it’s a very different story.

Legal History


September 18

See if you know what happened on this day in Legal History with Karen Conti.

Opening Statement


Mercury’s medieval-mockery musical ‘Spamalot’ is one to see

As a midsized venue, Lakeview’s Mercury Theater has been quite successful in presenting musicals with complex and unusual special effects, costuming and characters.

Sports Marketing Playbook


New social media marketing site spotlights lesser-known athletes

Athletes have been treated as bona fide celebrities for decades with marquee players achieving a similar level of fame as music and acting luminaries. Yet relatively few athletes hit this celebrity stratosphere and, in general, athletes tend to struggle more than other celebrities and influencers to build their own personal brands.

Lex Sportiva


California case may turn TV rights question on its collective ear

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the a U.S. District Court’s dismissal of an antitrust action brought against the NFL and DirecTV for its Sunday Ticket television package on Aug. 13.

Opening Statement


At Windy City Playhouse, an inadvisable ‘Recommendation’

Immersive theater, where a staged production interacts with the audience, is an age-old tradition.

Social Scene


Sotomayor at Senn

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor visited Senn High School in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood on Wednesday for a discussion and signing for her new children’s book, “Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You.” The discussion was moderated by Abby M. Mollen, a partner at Bartlit Beck LLP. Pictured is Sotomayor (center) with several event attendees, including attorneys Claudia Elizabeth Castro and Anna M. Lozoya and Cook County Circuit Judges Beatriz Santiago, Rosa Maria Silva and Diana Rosario. Photo provided by Judge Beatriz Santiago

Professionalism pledge

U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang administers a professionalism pledge to first-year students at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law earlier this month. Each year, the state’s nine law schools host orientations on legal professionalism facilitated by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. Photo provided by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

WBAI golf outing

The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois held its 24th annual WBAI Golf Outing Friday at Glenview Park Golf Club. The event drew 120 golfers including, from left, Betsy Nelson, WBAI President Corinne C. Heggie, Deane Brown and Annika Mitchell. The outing also featured a cocktail and dinner reception as well as raffle prizes such as signed Chicago Bears jerseys, boat cruises and hotel getaways.

Autopsy on Epstein

New York City medical examiner personnel leave their vehicle and walk to the Manhattan Correctional Center where financier Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide Saturday in New York while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. Story on page 3. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

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