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Attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez walks with clients Abimbola Osundairo, left, and Olabinjo Osundairo, far right, as they arrive at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse to testify in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett Thursday in Chicago. Smollett’s legal team was seeking to dent the credibility of Olabinjo, a state witness, who testified that Smollett recruited him and his brother to stage a racist, homophobic attack three years ago. The man trailing the trio identified himself as a bodyguard. – Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

2nd brother testifies Smollett paid for attack

A second man testified Thursday that Jussie Smollett plotted a racist and anti-gay attack on himself and paid the man and his brother to carry it out, giving them lines to shout and pointing out a surveillance camera the former “Empire” actor said would capture the hoax on video to use for publicity.
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Police: Jussie Smollett ‘upset’ camera didn’t record attack

Jussie Smollett, who is accused of lying to police when he reported he was the victim of racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago, appeared troubled when he was told that a surveillance camera did not record the alleged assault, a police detective testified Wednesday.

Pritzker signs new Illinois congressional map into law

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Illinois’ new congressional district map into law Tuesday, formalizing political boundaries drawn to help Democrats in next year’s midterm elections, when Republicans are well positioned to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

How I Did It

Attorney David Pritchard now explores big themes as author

Most in the Chicago law scene know the name David J. Pritchard — but perhaps not as a meditative author. Now retired from law, Pritchard has written a book about consciousness, drawing on experiences including decades of medical casework.

Judge OK’s workplace COVID-19 death case

A Cook County Circuit Court judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against a contractor accused of infecting a man who died of COVID-19 with the virus at his workplace.

Cook County associate judge on restricted duty after DUI  charge

Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Mohammed M. Ghouse has been placed on restricted duty after a drunk driving charge.

Clerk of Cook Circuit delivers state of court address, focuses on tech

Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Iris Y. Martinez addressed technology and other issues in her first State of the Clerk’s Office address Wednesday at the Cook County Administration Building.

Schiff Hardin to merge with Arent Fox

Schiff Hardin LLP, one of the oldest and largest law firms based in Chicago, and Arent Fox LLP announced Wednesday that they would merge, creating the new firm ArentFox Schiff as of March 1.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Defendant won’t get to see other settlements over credit reports

The late Daniel Hoerchler’s credit history wound up in financial reports on his brother David Hoerchler. Chase Bank rejected David’s application for a mortgage loan because of this mix-up. David sued four credit reporting agencies (Equifax Information Services, Experian Information Solutions, TransUnion and CoreLogic Credco), alleging they violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. All but Equifax settled, and during discovery it asked Magistrate Judge Heather K. McShain to order David to hand over copies of the settlement agreements.

Balancing Life and the Law

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Our ‘get to’ career: Helping clients seek, win justice is what it’s about

Michael Johnson, the son of TNT Sportscaster Ernie Johnson, died at 33 years old. Michael was adopted from Romania in 1991 and had muscular dystrophy. Did I know Michael? No. Do I know Ernie? No.

Racial Justice

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Book chronicles justice system’s disparate treatment of Black and white juveniles

At the start of Professor Kristin Henning’s new book, “The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth” (Pantheon 2021), she shares the story of a former client she calls Eric, which is not his real name.

For the Defense

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New batch of PLA grants and denials by the Illinois Supreme Court

Last Wednesday the Illinois Supreme Court ruled on hundreds of petitions for leave to appeal and granted 14, only a handful of which will be of interest to civil litigators, but as always the broader implications of the cases taken and those not taken are important.

Opening Statement


Fan favorite ‘Love, Actually’ tickles as on-stage farce

“Love, Actually” is a 2003 romantic comedy about the ups and downs of eight different but interrelated couples in London.

Opening Statement


Pre-Broadway ‘Paradise Square,’ now in Chicago, needs shaping

Chicago has played host to many pre-Broadway theater openings and become the launching pad for a number of Broadway’s biggest hits.

Opening Statement


‘Remember This’ takes stage as antidote to historical lies

Today “the big lie” often refers to the former president’s refusal to accept the results of the last presidential election. Remember he also charged that the failure of his reality TV show to win an Emmy was only because balloting was supposedly rigged.

Opening Statement


Butler shines in ‘Fannie’ at Goodman’s Owen Theater

Ever since that day more than 400 years ago when they first arrived in America aboard slave ships from Africa, Black Americans have been the most maligned and oppressed of any group in this country.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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College athletes sprint to cash in on name, image, likeness ventures

University of Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King is showing what’s possible now that the National Collegiate Athletic Association has lifted its ban on college athletes making money off their own names and images.

Social Scene

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Ropes & Gray volunteers at Food Depository

Elizabeth Madsen, from left, Kori Fahrner and Kacie Brinkman were among Ropes & Gray lawyers and staff who volunteered at the Greater Chicago Food Depository earlier this month. The group prepared 7,920 pounds of apples, 8,920 pounds of food and 14,033 meals, the firm said. The Food Depository benefits hundreds of food assistance programs across Cook County. Photo courtesy Ropes & Gray
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Circuit Court of Cook County celebrates National Adoption Day

The Circuit Court of Cook County celebrated National Adoption Day at the Richard J. Daley Center on Friday. “It’s the end of uncertainty for these families and it is the beginning of a bond, a seal, that is forever, that is going to put these parents and these children together and enlarge all of their lives at the same time,” said Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, right. Associate Judge Patrick T. Stanton, left, presided over a virtual adoption. Courts open the typically private proceedings to the public on the holiday to encourage others to consider adoption. Grace Barbic/Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
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Kevin Conway accepts award at Lawyers for the Creative Arts event

Attorney Kevin Conway of Cooney & Conway accepts the 2021 Thomas Leavens Award for outstanding service to Lawyers for the Creative Arts at the group’s benefit lunch Nov. 11. More than 300 people attended the event at the Palmer House Hilton. Attorney-actor Ruth Kaufman and Perkins Coie LLP were also honored, as were several musicians and music-industry figures from Chicago. Photo by Rena Naltsas/Courtesy of LCA

New Illinois attorneys sworn in

Illinois Supreme Court justices applaud in Springfield during Wednesday’s bar admission ceremony, held virtually for the 1,269 new attorneys in Illinois. Chief Justice Anne M. Burke, center, noted the new attorneys now “share in the grand history of the American legal system.” She quoted former Chief Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow: “Let us never, ever forget simple humanity. …Let us never forget that the law is first and foremost about human beings and their problems.” Of the new attorneys, 1,024 are in the 1st District; 127 are in the 2nd District; 41 are in the 3rd District; 48 are in the 4th District; and 29 are in the 5th District. — Screenshot via BlueRoomStream

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