Contributors

Trial Notebook

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Judge rejects ‘specific patient rule’ in case over false claims, kickbacks

Two of Allergan’s former sales representatives accused the pharmaceutical manufacturer of violating the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by using a “speaker program” to give physicians illegal payments for prescribing two of its medications — Linzess and Viberzi — but the company insisted the complaint was defective because it didn’t “identify a specific patient to whom a doctor allegedly prescribed Linzess or Viberzi in exchange for a kickback.”

Realty Check

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Estate plans should account for effective disposition of real estate

There is a huge drop in the number of people who are drafting their estate plans since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to USA Today, only 32% of adults acknowledge that they have an up-to-date estate plan.

Be That Lawyer

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LinkedIn branding for lawyers: 5 easy, effective posting options

When I started using LinkedIn back in 2007, I knew it would become the huge success story that everyone now knows it to be today.

Cotter’s Corner

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Opinions shed light on how justices view shadow docket

The shadow docket has grown at the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years, especially during President Donald J. Trump’s term. In a recent decision by the court, Labrador v. Poe, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh wrote concurrences, and Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote a dissent. They address issues of emergency applications in some detail.

For the Defense

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Current proposal isn’t enough to stem mushrooming MDLs

Assigned a multidistrict litigation (MDL) that grew from a couple of dozen cases to nearly a thousand, and observing cases that were not properly investigated or attended to by counsel, a judge in the Middle District with Georgia expressed a famous frustration with a process that has only gotten worse in the eight years since.

Lawyers’ Forum

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A judge’s ethical imperative: Follow the law or face the JIB

“The law that applies to this case is stated in these instructions, and it is your duty to follow all of them.” So states Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction 1.01(2), which the judge reads to the jurors in every criminal case before the jury begins its deliberations. If we expect jurors to follow the law, we surely must expect judges to lead by example and do the same thing.

Opening Statement

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‘Purpose’ brings family drama, politics to light

In the playbill for the Steppenwolf Theatre production of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ world premiere of “Purpose,” artistic directors Audrey Francis and Glenn Davis announce that “since the beginning, family drama has been this company’s signature.”

Opening Statement

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Goodman’s ‘Penelopiad’ makes myth beautifully contemporary

In 2005, celebrated author Margaret Atwood (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) responded to Canadian publisher Jamie Byng’s commission to solicit contemporary authors to rewrite ancient myths with “The Penelopiad.” The novella set forth her current interpretation of Homer’s classic “The Odyssey,” the tale in which Odysseus leaves his bride, Penelope, for 10 years to fight in the Trojan War.

Opening Statement

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‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ ‘Flyover Chicago’ offer entertainment for entire family

The late Robin Williams has always been one of my favorite actors and comedians. His brilliant career included many celebrated performances such as those in “Good Morning Vietnam” and “Dead Poets Society,” as well as Academy Award-winning in “Good Will Hunting.” Unfortunately, his career tragically came to an end when he committed suicide at 63.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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As NFL protects lucrative Super Bowl IP, some businesses retort

By now, everyone knows that brands pay big bucks to air commercials during the Super Bowl. This year, advertisers shelled out roughly $7 million for a 30-second spot, for an estimated total of $650 million, according to estimates by the Sports Business Journal.

Opening Statement

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‘Just for Us’ brings back golden age of standup comedy

Back in the day, standup comedians used to be a dominant force in Chicago. There was Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen. By coincidence, they were all Jewish, as were many of their female counterparts such as Joan Rivers, Elaine May and Totie Fields.

Opening Statement

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From ‘Richard III’ to ‘Champion,’ Chicago has something for everyone

I had the pleasure of seeing three excellent, but different, examples of performing arts over the past week.
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