House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, holds his first news conference after taking the Oath of Office to become speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives in the 102nd General Assembly on Jan. 13, 2021, at the Bank of Springfield Center. – Photo by Justin L. Fowler of The State Journal-Register via Capitol News

Welch, poised to continue as speaker, reflects on growing Illinois House majority

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who recently announced he has the support for another term as House speaker, says he looks forward to governing with an even larger supermajority than he had during his first two years.

Georgia high court reinstates ban on abortions after 6 weeks

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the state’s ban on abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy, abruptly ending access to later abortions that had resumed days earlier.

Wave of sex abuse lawsuits expected under New York law

Sexual assault victims in New York will get a one-time opportunity to sue over their abuse starting Thursday, under a new law expected to bring a wave of allegations against prison guards, middle managers, doctors and a few prominent figures including former President Donald Trump.

How I Did It

Chicago attorney Brian Wallach uses legal, political skills to fight for ALS patients

After being diagnosed with ALS in 2017, Brian S. Wallach resolved to use his experience in the courtroom and presidential politics to advocate for life-saving treatment answers for others suffering from the progressive neurological disease.

Arbitration ruled out in dispute over Ancestry’s yearbook database

The genealogy website Ancestry.com cannot force two men to arbitrate their claim that the site misappropriated their images when it put their yearbook photos into a database without their permission, a federal judge held.

Boundaries of Illinois Right of Publicity Act explored

Ruling in unrelated cases, a federal appeals court and a federal trial judge held entities that sell people’s personal information do not violate the Illinois Right of Publicity Act unless they disclose some of that information before a sale is completed.

Midterms free of feared chaos as voting experts look to 2024

Before Election Day, anxiety mounted over potential chaos at the polls. Election officials warned about poll watchers who had been steeped in conspiracy theories falsely claiming that then-President Donald Trump did not actually lose the 2020 election.

BIPA claim against Subaru of America stays in court

A federal judge rejected a bid by Subaru of America Inc. to force a woman to arbitrate her allegation that a safety feature on her Outback that uses a camera collected her biometric data without her permission.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Administrative warrant appeal was premature

Trying to keep the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from using an administrative warrant to conduct an inspection of a loading dock where an employee was allegedly injured, Anthony Marano Co. appealed from an order denying its motion to quash. But the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — rejecting AMC’s argument that a 1971 U.S. Supreme Court case created an “exception” to the “final decision” requirement — dismissed the appeal “for want of jurisdiction.”

Cotter’s Corner

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Call it Mambo Seat No. 8 – spotlight shines on Alito again in alleged leak

Each of the Supreme Court seats has a lineage of who has held it. Two seats, Nos. 5 and 7, were abolished, so there are a total of 10 associate justice seats currently accounted for.

For the Defense

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More problems with Proposal 22-08 to amend Rule 434 and overhaul Batson

Last week’s discussion in this space focused on Proposal 22-08, which would reverse the burden in the exercise of a peremptory challenge from the party objecting to the challenge to the party seeking to exercise it and the elimination of the requirement that purposeful discrimination be shown.

Insurance Matters

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Appellate court holds title insurers not subject to complete defense rule

The 1st District Appellate Court recently held that, unlike most liability insurers, a title insurer that covers some but not all claims against an insured has no obligation to provide a defense for both the insured and uninsured claims.

Opening Statement


Stoppard’s ‘Leopoldstadt’ is a loving tribute to the Jewish family he never knew

Upon my return from a weekend in New York City, I reviewed three Big Apple musicals in last week’s column. But there’s one more that I want to share. With the subject being the Holocaust, its mood is somber but the play is thoughtful and provocative.

Opening Statement


Porchlight’s ‘Rent’ should not be missed

I have just returned from a weekend trip to New York City, where I attended the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) Conference. While in the Big Apple, my wife and I also attended one play and three musicals. But more on that later.

Opening Statement


Chicago Shakespeare puts a different spin on ‘Measure for Measure’

Since the play was first performed, William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” has often been referred to as one of the Bard of Avon’s “problem plays.”

Opening Statement


‘Swing State’ could have been a great political drama

Prolific playwright Rebecca Gilman’s latest work, “Swing State,” has come to Chicago. Under the direction of Robert Falls, the show is playing through Nov. 13 at the Goodman Theatre.

Opening Statement


‘The Malignant Ampersands’ is a treat for Halloween

There’s an old joke about a sailor stationed in the south Pacific who sees a beautiful and rare fish. It costs thousands of dollars but only measures a few inches. He buys it and ships it to his elderly mother so that she can admire it.

Social Scene

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AABAR hosts installation ceremony

The board of directors, officers and incoming President Nura Yanaki of the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois (AABAR) celebrated its 32nd Installation Dinner & Award Ceremony Nov. 2 with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Honoree Justice Jesse G. Reyes and Chief Judge Timothy Evans. From left, standing: John Breen, Cory Cassis, Hon. Samuel Betar, Donna Haddad, Sandra Frantzen, Sana'a Hussien, Hon. Rouhy Shalabi, Jawad Shalabi, Tony Abou Ezzi, Joseph Homsy, Khaled Elkhatib. From left, seated: Hon. William Haddad (ret.), Hon. Jesse G. Reyes, President Nura Yanaki, Mona Naser and Marvet Sweis Drnovsek. Photo courtesy of Rush Productions

Students get a glimpse of firm life

Attorneys from Clausen Miller gave future lawyers a glimpse into law firm life as part of a “Day in the Life” program for students with diverse backgrounds, organized by the firm’s Diversity, Inclusion and New Talent Committee. Students heard presentations on topics ranging from business and operational considerations for law firms to the intersection of technology and the law. Photo by Andrew Collings Photography
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Interpreter honored for pro bono work

The National Immigrant Justice Center's Associate Leadership Board hosted an award reception sponsored by Perkins Coie LLP. Shown are NIJC Associate Leadership Board co-chairs Anna Mikulski of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, from left, and Caroline Gizem Tunca of Perkins Coie LLP with award recipient Bill Depenbrock of the Law Office of Mike Duffy. Depenbrock, an interpreter, was recognized as a non-attorney professional who has provided exceptional service on a pro bono matter. Photo by Folio Films

Lake County bar group hosts awards

Donna Johnson, center, mayor of the Village of Libertyville, was a keynote speaker at the Lake County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Awards and Luncheon at the Waukegan City Hall last month. She is shown with LCBA President and Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard partner Tara R. Devine and LCBA Executive Director Greg Weider. Photo courtesy of LCBA

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