Trial Notebook


Judge erred on duty of ‘mandated reporter’

As a mandated reporter under Sec. 4 of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, Matthew Willigman, the principal of an elementary school in Aurora, had a statutory duty to immediately notify the Department of Children and Family Services if he had “reasonable cause to believe” that one of his students was abused or neglected.

For the Defense

Donald Patrick Eckler-10-27-21,ph01

Leases, insurance policies, subrogation claims, and an expanded duty to defend

In a decision more than a year in the making after the June 2020 argument stemming from a stove that exploded in a rental unit, the Illinois Appellate Court, 3rd District, has ruled to include an obligation to defend a tenant in a third-party action brought by a defendant in a subrogation action filed by an insurer.

Be That Lawyer

Steve Fretzin-10-26-21,ph01

When it comes to marketing, let’s make 2022 the Year of One Thing

When it comes to legal business development and marketing growth, I encourage you to not be “that kid in a candy shop.” Most attorneys share with me that there are countless options for marketing and, quite frankly, too many distractions related to marketing.

Cotter’s Corner

Daniel Cotter-10-25-21,ph01

Nothing ‘qualified’ about immunity as SCOTUS sides with police in two cases

The U.S. Supreme Court released orders on Monday, Oct. 18, including two per curiam (unsigned) unanimous decisions granting qualified immunity to police officers. The term qualified immunity might be recast as unqualified immunity.

Global IP

Doris Long-10-21-21,ph01

Copyright public-health exception would speed research access to AI

With the approval of boosters to combat the latest COVID variant, it has become painfully clear that we need to do more to stop the creation of new variants. According to the scientists, the best way to do that is to improve vaccination rates globally. Unfortunately, we are still far from using every IP weapon in our arsenal to achieve this critical goal.

For the Defense

Donald Patrick Eckler-10-20-21,ph01

One win, one loss, two lessons suggest a proposed change, a deepening trend

A mixed bag of results for defendants in two recent cases are important for defense counsel to take notice of and adjust accordingly in future matters. Following that, defense counsel should advocate for a change to 735 ILCS 5/2-104 as the current version has led to a fundamentally unfair result and will in the future as well.

Opening Statement


Farce in the round doesn’t do Rick Bayless story justice

I have never been a big fan of theater in the round. It was fine when it was part of summer stock for musicals being presented inside a tent or barn in the Chicago area. At least it allowed a larger part of the audience to view (and to purchase) better seats (at a higher price) from all directions.

Opening Statement


Maestro Muti of CSO should rank among the great conductors

Like many of you, or at least some of you, I readily admit I am not an expert in the world of classical music.

Opening Statement


‘Nobodies’ and other musical marvels ring out in Chicago again

Philosopher Henry David Thoreau wrote that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Opening Statement


Muhammad Ali battles explored in Ken Burns’ documentary on PBS

He was an egotistical, big-mouthed womanizer who rose to become one of the most popular men in the world. He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, became boxing’s heavyweight champion of the world and then, as Muhammad Ali, became one of the most controversial figures in America — and one of its greatest heroes.

Opening Statement


Audience makes a rousing return to Lyric Opera for ‘Macbeth’

After 18 months of darkness, there were many loud and prolonged audience ovations at the Lyric Opera of Chicago opening of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

Opening Statement


Clowns send in shows of spectacle, good cheer

For many years now, Chicago has been frequented by a bunch of clowns. And this is not a political commentary — I am referring to real clowns with painted faces, ridiculous costumes and flamboyant behavior.
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