A May 2018 file photo: Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was nominated Saturday by President Donald Trump to be the next associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Barrett will replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18 of cancer.

Barrett tapped to serve on SCOTUS; confirmation battle expected

In a move that stirred controversy even before he made it, President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to a seat on the highest court in the nation.

Limits of law overcome calls for justice

“Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” became a rallying cry this summer, emblazoned on T-shirts worn by celebrities and sports stars while protesters filled the streets demanding police accountability. In the end, none of the officers were charged with Taylor’s killing, although one was indicted for shooting into a neighboring home that had people inside.

Roberts: Ginsburg was 'tough, brave, a fighter, a winner'

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts says the words that best describe the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are “tough, brave, a fighter, a winner” but also "thoughtful, careful, compassionate, honest.”

Lawyer Legislators

Serving country, constituents and clients

In the Illinois General Assembly, a 38-member class of state legislators also practice as attorneys. Sens. Paul M. Schimpf, Michael E. Hastings and Jason A. Barickman hold rank as the only lawmakers with both a J.D. and a military I.D.

Lawyer Legislators

A different kind of House page

Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch’s series of conversations on Facebook Live began April 1 as a Q&A with his two kids — 8-year-old Tyler and 6-year-old Marley — about COVID-19.

BIPA suit preempted by federal labor law 

A lawsuit accusing an assisted-living facility of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act does not belong in federal court, a judge held Thursday.

Physicians again lose challenge to recertification program

The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Inc. has again lost a challenge to a program recertifying physicians in their field of practice.

Guards misclassified as contractors get unpaid wages  

A federal judge awarded more than $176,000 to security guards whose former employer misclassified them as independent contractors.

Senate confirms four to federal trial bench in Illinois

The U.S. Senate this week cleared the way for four new judges to take the federal trial bench in Illinois.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Choice of forums killed state law claim

Christopher See’s three-count federal complaint against the Illinois Gaming Board and several state employees included two federal claims (retaliation under the First Amendment and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act) plus a whistleblower claim under the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act that was promptly tagged as out-of-bounds based on the 11th Amendment’s general prohibition on suing states in federal court. At that point, See had an important choice. He could have voluntarily dismissed the remaining counts and pursued all three claims in state court. Or he could have continued litigating the federal claims in the district court.

Lawyers' Forum

Thank you, Justice

We are profoundly saddened by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman ever to become a United States Supreme Court Justice, and a remarkable and trailblazing champion of women’s rights and civil rights.

Judicial Retention


Former justice: Criticizing judges for COVID protocols ‘really unfair’

Former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas, the keynote speaker at an online event last week supporting judges seeking retention in Cook County, said it’s “really unfair” to hold individual judges accountable for COVID-related protocols that lawyers and litigants may not like, and it “shouldn’t figure” in retention elections.

Realty Check


Mortgage delinquency statistics show more loans on deferral

Forbearance is a lender’s agreement to stand down from collection efforts against a defaulted mortgagor, allowing the homeowner to hold off on payments for a period of time. Before COVID-19, I would often try to obtain a forbearance for clients who had a temporary loss of income and who could make up that arrearage given a short period of time — usually within a few months. Most lenders ignored the request for a forbearance and immediately considered the homeowner for a modification.

Opening Statement

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‘Lonesome’ Rhodes paved the way for rise of Trump

I recently rediscovered yet another gem of a motion picture while surfing the internet during the pandemic blackout.

Sports Marketing Playbook


COVID-19 may compel leagues to address gambling integrity issues

As the sports world grapples with the realities of starting or restarting seasons during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, gambling on sports has also returned — and the virus that brought sports to a standstill and continues to hamper efforts to return to some sense of normalcy is having an impact on sports betting as well.

Movie Review


Sundance darling ‘Cuties’ is startling and jarring

Marketing miscues that catapulted French-Senegalese director Maïmouna Doucouré‘s debut film “Cuties” into the stratosphere of controversy have been a benefit and a curse for the startling film about the sexual vulnerability of pre-adolescent immigrant girls in Western society.

Opening Statement


Broadway in Chicago sets schedule in hopes of return

Broadway in Chicago, having most of its last season canceled because of the pandemic, announced its preliminary lineup for the next season of productions in a grand display of optimism.

Opening Statement


A weekend of surprising broadcast fare

It is going to be tough to top the broadcast excitement of this past weekend, during the “most exciting two minutes in sports.”

Social Scene


DSF honors judges

The Diversity Scholarship Foundation held a virtual judicial recognition reception on Zoom Sept. 9 to honor three of its committee members, Cook County Associate Judges Amee E. Alonso, Michael J. Hogan Jr. and John A. Simon. Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans served as the event’s keynote speaker. DSF presented the chief judge with the its Spirit Award for his work to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in the community. Screenshot provided by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation; photo modified to remove computer cursor

Damage downtown after a night of unrest

Signs of unrest dot the Loop on Monday after looters damaged property across downtown overnight. The county and federal courts closed as a result of the unrest and security closures. Photo provided by Aaron Sidrow

Judges with shovels

The Lawyers Lending a Hand Committee of the DuPage County Bar Association assembled volunteers to do landscaping work at the Ray Graham Association’s Hanson Center in Burr Ridge on July 22. The nonprofit serves people with disabilities. Pictured are three DuPage County judges, from left to right: Associate Judge Brian J. Diamond, Circuit Judge Monique N. O’Toole and Associate Judge Paul A. Marchese.

NWSBA’s new officers

The Northwest Suburban Bar Association installed its new officers last month outside the Rolling Meadows Courthouse, then held a virtual cocktail party on Zoom the following week. Pictured left to right are the new NWSBA officers: President Gary A. Newland, partner at Newland & Newland LLP in Arlington Heights; First Vice President Mohammad “Moe” A. Ahmad, owner of Ahmad Law Firm LLC in Arlington Heights; Second Vice President Kenneth C. Apicella, partner at Drost Gilbert Andrew & Apicella LLC in Palatine; Treasurer Anthony F. Calzaretta, principal partner at Calzaretta Law P.C. in Arlington Heights; and Secretary Stephanie A. Garces Donat, owner of Garces Law LLC in Arlington Heights. Photo provided by the NWSBA

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