Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his annual budget address at the Capitol Wednesday. His proposed budgets address two scenarios: One where voters pass a constitutional amendment regarding income taxes, and one where it doesn’t pass. – Pool photo, Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via Capitol News Illinois

Pritzker’s budget banking on ballot measure’s success come November

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s annual budget address on Wednesday sang the virtues of one state constitutional amendment and dismissed the wisdom of a commonly suggested overhaul.

Blagojevich comes home to little support

There was little support Tuesday at the former stomping grounds of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich for a decision by President Donald Trump to commute the remaining years of a 14-year corruption sentence being served by the disgraced former Democratic governor.

Woman arrested for filming outside courthouse can pursue suit

A woman arrested for filming outside a suburban Cook County courthouse got the go-ahead to pursue her claims that sheriff’s deputies violated her constitutional rights.

Springfield Dispatch

Comptroller’s new top attorney spent time at various state posts

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza hired Debjani D. Desai earlier this month as her office’s general counsel.

Springfield Dispatch

With law courses complete, Deputy Gov. Mitchell looks ahead

Earning a J.D. was an early goal for Illinois Deputy Gov. Christian L. Mitchell, who completed law school last month.

Law Firm Leaders

Attorney blends chemistry, law into interesting career brew

Caryn C. Borg-Breen, co-founder of Green, Griffith, Borg-Breen LLP, didn’t see herself using her chemistry background to pursue a legal career.

City to pay out $11.8M after police misconduct

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday gave final approval to four lawsuit settlement awards totaling more than $11.8 million, including a $10 million settlement with a man who was paralyzed when police officers shot him during a 2012 foot chase.

Use of maiden name doomed judicial candidacy, split panel rules

A split state appeals panel ruled a Cook County judicial candidate can’t run in next month’s primary after filing her candidacy under her maiden name.

Bill would weaken state’s attorney, add five districts

A bill introduced in the Illinois House would reshuffle the second-largest prosecutorial office in the United States.

ARDC board urges five-month suspension over bookkeeping

An Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission Review Board upheld a hearing board’s findings in the matter of a Belleville attorney charged with misconduct in the handling of client settlement funds and his response to the ARDC’s inquiries about the matter.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


‘Perpetual’ promissory note fantasy

In 1988, Thomas Heck Jr. signed a “perpetual 90-day note” that said his obligation to repay a $51,000 loan from Paul Heck would “renew automatically in full force” even if Paul never made any demands and Thomas never made any payments. And Paul didn’t ask for repayment until 2017, after Thomas died without having paid down the debt.

The Buzz


New use-it-or-lose-it estate tax exemption

Over the next five years we will see major changes in the estate tax climate. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress doubled the amount which could be passed estate tax-free from $5 million, adjusted for inflation, to $10 million, adjusted for inflation. However, what many don’t recognize is that this adjustment is not permanent.

Employment Law

Three new laws slated for summer will require employers to be ready

As addressed in Parts 1 and 2, 2020 ushers in a number of new laws for Illinois employers. Part 1 of this series summarized some of the new laws now in effect. Part 2 specifically discussed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Part 3 of this three-part series summarizes some of the new laws slated to take effect this summer.

Legal History


February 19

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

Sports Marketing Playbook


Facial recognition cameras bring mixed results to sports

Facial recognition systems have been part of the sports world for some time. But concern about individual privacy is growing, especially in the United States, where the regulatory framework for the most part has lagged behind the evolution of facial recognition software and biometric technology.

Opening Statement


Windy City Playhouse’s revival of ‘Boys in the Band’ still resonates

Through the years there have been a number of great plays concerning the embattled lives of gay men in our country.

Lex Sportiva


Minor league players win class status, but future uncertain

Major League Baseball is currently preparing its petition for a writ of certiorari after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals established class-action status for minor league baseball players in California, Arizona and Florida.

Opening Statement


Three stage productions to help you forget the winter doldrums

If you are looking for a little relief after a stressful week of watching the Super Bowl, the Iowa caucus chaos, Trump’s state of the divided union speech and his Senate acquittal vote, there are always a number of theatrical diversions in Chicago.

Opening Statement


Broadway-bound ‘Lehman Trilogy’ a sharp retelling of financial history

Recently, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see a film presentation on the Northwestern University campus of the National Theatre of Great Britain’s live production of “The Lehman Trilogy” which is scheduled to open for a limited engagement on Broadway March 7 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in New York City.

Social Scene


Jantz sworn in as magistrate judge

Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer administers the oath of office Wednesday at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse to Beth W. Jantz, who was sworn in as a U.S. magistrate judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Before joining the bench, Jantz served as a staff attorney with the Federal Defender Program since 2008. Photo provided by the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Legislative Inspector Generals testify in Springfield

Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope (left) and former LIGs Julie Porter and Tom Homer testified before the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform Thursday at the Capitol in Springfield. Pope said the office should have more independence and shouldn’t have to get permission from lawmakers – the very people the LIG is supposed to oversee – to perform her job.

Women Everywhere judicial reception

Women Everywhere held a judicial reception at the Daley Center on Jan. 29 to recruit volunteers for Education Day projects at several court sites later this month that will bring hundreds of girls from Chicago Public Schools on courthouse tours. Pictured is Chief Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans, who hosted the courthouse reception, with WE President Sarah F. King, a partner at Clifford Law Offices. Photo provided by Clifford Law Offices

CBA, judges and community leaders assist in reinstating driver’s licenses

Chicago Bar Association members, the Pilsen Neighbors Community Council and Malcolm X College hosted an event Saturday at the Near West Side school to assist former licensed drivers with obtaining fee waivers to file requests to reinstate their driver’s licenses. Pictured, from left to right, are Sam Williams of the court clerk’s office, Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli, Circuit Judge Sheree Henry, Circuit Judge Diann Marsalek, Circuit Judge Teresa Molina, Assistant State’s Attorney and CBA First Vice President Maryam Ahmad and Assistant State’s Attorney William Delaney. Photo courtesy of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

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