Trial Notebook


Officer owed heightened duty to corporation

After ruling that Mark Oliver did not owe a fiduciary duty to a limited liability company (Combined Group LLC, or Combined) merely because he was one of the three equal shareholders in the corporation (Combined Holding Group Inc., or CHG) that was the LLC’s managing member, the Illinois Appellate Court considered whether Oliver’s status as an employee of Combined — and his role as an officer of CHG — supported a judgment against him in a breach of fiduciary duty case filed by Combined and CHG.

Stress Points


Are we in a Zoom meeting or a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch?

Michael heard me yell out “come here quickly” and he ran the few steps from his home office into my home office. There on my computer screen were live pictures of Amy’s toilet, Robert flossing his teeth, and several other people upside down and right-side up.

Aging Matters


Looking into no-contest clauses: What do they actually mean?

Suppose Adam and Barbara, residents of Chicago, have two children: Cathy and David. Adam and Barbara both pass, and in their joint will they leave 80% of their estate to Cathy and 20% of their estate to David. David is shocked by this and he is sure that Cathy played a part in this.

Legal History


June 4

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

Workplace Issues


ERISA claim stays in state court, which rules for plaintiff

While most ERISA claims are heard in federal court, claims for benefits may also be brought in state court. The ERISA statute provides for concurrent jurisdiction in both the state and federal courts for benefits due under the terms of an employee benefit plan, although ERISA claims filed in state court are removable to federal court.

For the Defense


Decision to bar reptile theory questions points to defense strategy

Before “social distancing” became the term de jure in insurance circles, the equally novel term “social inflation” and its corollary “nuclear verdicts” were used to describe the significant increase in verdicts across the country in a range of cases and in jurisdictions where such verdicts were not expected. There have been various explanations posited for this phenomenon.

Opening Statement


Rewatching ‘Do the Right Thing’

Disturbances like the ones over George Floyd's death and others through the years, were on the mind of the multitalented, prolific Spike Lee when he wrote, directed, produced and starred in his 1989 film “Do the Right Thing.”

Opening Statement


Knowing the territory

With the pandemic blackout, local theaters (and theater critics) have had to come up with all kinds of alternatives to attract and keep their audiences.

Non-Billable Hours


Detoured to Netflix, ‘Lovebirds’ flaunts its predictability

If you’ve been trapped indoors with your significant other for what seems like an eternity, your secret schadenfreudian self may take some satisfaction in “The Lovebirds.”

Sports Marketing Playbook


Protecting iconic sports trademarks benefits organizations, fans

When the International Olympic Committee made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it also decided to keep the name of the event intact — “Tokyo 2020.”

Opening Statement


New York troupe’s ‘Molly Sweeney’ is worth a watch

This past week, I watched New York’s Irish Repertory Theatre and its streaming production of Brian Friel’s excellent play “Molly Sweeney,” which happily assured me that despite the country’s long shutdown and the blackout of Broadway, live theater will not only survive but continue to thrive during and after the coronavirus pandemic is history.

Lex Sportiva


NCAA searching for new way forward amid Fair Pay to Play

The NCAA has been under immense pressure since California enacted the Fair Pay to Play Act last September. With the act going into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, the NCAA has imposed a deadline to reevaluate its amateurism model and formulate a plan to either ease its absolute restriction of student athletes’ ability to profit from their name, image and likeness, or develop a strategy to strike down the Fair Pay to Play Act.
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