Law Day 2021 Advancing the Rule of Law Now
Immanuel Baptist Church at 1443 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago. A federal judge denied the city’s motion to strike Reverend Jonathan W. Rich’s report and bar his testimony in a suit filed by the church. The suit claims the city unfairly targeted it with a zoning ordinance that requires religious assemblies to have at least one off-street parking space for every eight seats in their main auditorium. – Jordyn Reiland/Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Clergyman gets OK to testify as expert

A church that alleges Chicago’s parking regulations have hampered its ability to thrive will try to bolster its case with the testimony of a clergyman who has overseen the establishment of 39 churches and helped dozens of others design peaceful “ministry environments.”
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CBA’s Vanguard Awards honor 14 legal standouts

The Chicago Bar Association hosted the Vanguard Awards ceremony last week to honor individuals who have made the law “more accessible to and more reflective” of the Chicago community.

Judicial nominees, perhaps a potential justice, face Senate

WASHINGTON — Ketanji Brown Jackson is heading to Capitol Hill for an audition of sorts. Lawmakers are grilling her about her nomination to become a federal appeals court judge. But if the hearing goes well, the 50-year-old could someday get a callback for an even bigger role: Supreme Court justice.

Suit over online classes at IIT denied

An Illinois Institute of Technology student whose classes went virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic does not have a case against the school for breach of contract, a federal judge held.

Steakhouse fails to get rent suit tossed

A dispute over the decision by Ruth’s Chris Steak House to shut down its Chicago location permanently will continue to be fought out in federal court.

Generation ESQ

Bond Fund staff attorney adapts to evolving role

Less than two years after graduating from Harvard Law School Jianing Xie is putting her legal skills to the test in a rapidly evolving sector of the state’s legal system: securing bond for low-income defendants.

Challenge to city’s subpoena policy tossed

A woman challenging the $45 fee the city of Chicago charges for complying with document subpoenas does not have a case for a violation of her constitutional rights, a federal judge held Thursday.

In-person trials resume at Daley Center; verdict nets plaintiffs $43M

A Cook County jury returned a verdict of more than $43 million Thursday for a woman injured in a car-truck collision, in what is believed to be the first in-person trial since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions at the Richard J. Daley Center.

ISBA fellowship looks to bring more attorneys to firms in rural counties

Jacob J. Frost, who owns his own law firm in Spring Valley, is one of two practicing attorneys in the city.

7th Cir: Illinois is not where mistaken identity case belongs

A lawsuit alleging police in Indiana mistakenly identified a man as a fugitive from justice does not belong in Illinois, a federal appeals court held.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Injured plaintiff has privity for warranty claim

Forklift batteries can weigh from 1,000 to 4,000 pounds. Hoists are needed to switch them in and out. Alleging that a forklift battery fell on his foot when brackets broke on a “battery lifting beam” manufactured by Battery Handling Systems Inc., Kevin Cameron — an employee of a temp agency (Callos Resources) who had been assigned to work at Comprehensive Logistics Co. — sued the manufacturer for negligence, strict liability and breach of the implied warranty of merchantability. Attacking the merchantability claim (Count 3), Battery Handling Systems argued that Cameron’s allegations failed to satisfy the requirements for vertical and horizontal privity. But Chief U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow denied the motion. Cameron wasn’t obligated to allege that the manufacturer sold the device to Comprehensive Logistics. And although both sides had Illinois precedent on horizontal privity, the situation was closer to the case cited by Cameron. Cameron v. Battery Handling Systems, 20 CV 04079 (March 10).

Be That Lawyer


Finding business development gold takes a miner’s mentality

Let’s be honest, we all have our guilty pleasures on TV. For me, it’s a reality show called “Gold Rush.” You might find this a little sad or you may be impressed that I know more about gold mining than just about anyone. If you were to ask (and please don’t), I could find land, have the equipment built and direct a crew to pull this precious metal from the ground with significant confidence.

Business Divorce

Weighing options when a company rejects a books, records request

This two-part column addresses some of the relevant considerations when dealing with an Illinois corporation in Illinois courts (part one) and the different considerations at play when the company is a Delaware corporation (part two).

For the Defense


The relationship defines the duty

The first questions in any negligence claim are whether a duty is owed, and if a duty is owed, what the duty is. Fortunately for defendants, the determination of the existence of a duty is usually a question of law that can be decided by a judge on a motion to dismiss or on a motion for summary judgment.

Opening Statement


‘Measure for Measure’ stands up in audio play from Chicago Shakespeare Theater

During the past 30 plus years in this column I’ve been fortunate to have seen, thanks primarily to Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, many of the Bard’s classic plays.

Opening Statement


‘The Last Match,’ ‘Romeo & Juliet’ raise the bar of streaming performances

I recently streamed two filmed plays I highly recommend.

Opening Statement


The Oscars finally embrace diversity

This has been an interesting week. I got a glimpse of what our entertainment world will look like post-pandemic and after a year of becoming socially aware of our racial inequities.

Opening Statement


HBO Max docuseries goes deep on history of white supremacy

It was one of those strange yet interesting coincidences.

Opening Statement


Crouch’s work shines online at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

I have seen two productions of playwright Tim Crouch at Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier and found them both extraordinary.

Social Scene

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Lake County court Law Day event

The 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County held a virtual Law Day event May 7 and announced the winners of the 2021 coloring and essay contests. Grade school and junior high school students competed throughout the county, and the winners will be mailed certificates of achievement in addition to a gift card donated by the Lake County Bar Foundation. Pictured from left are Circuit Judge Reginald C. Mathews, Circuit Judge Marnie M. Slavin, Chief Judge Diane E. Winter, Associate Judge Patricia L. Cornell, Circuit Judge Michael G. Nerheim, Associate Judge Jacquelyn D. Melius and Associate Judge George D. Strickland. — Photo courtesy of the 19th Judicial Circuit Court

Lawyers Lend-A-Hand raises more than $80K

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White speaks during the 2021 Virtual Lawyers Lend-A-Hand Spring Awards Celebration on April 29. The Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation event was titled “Heroes at Work,” and White was honored with the Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Philanthropic Award for his decades-long work in Chicago with the Jesse White Tumblers. Clifford Law Offices Partner Erin E. Clifford and Hale & Monico attorney Brian Monico co-hosted the event that raised more than $80,000 for programs to help mentor and tutor disadvantaged children in the Chicago area. — Photo courtesy of Clifford Law Offices

Women Everywhere court tours go virtual

Nonprofit organization Women Everywhere and Chicago Public Schools virtually hosted its 22nd annual court tours and scholarship projects on April 20 and April 29. Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer opened the program, which hosted about 400 high school girls from more than 20 CPS high schools, discussing the courts and career opportunities in the legal industry. Photo courtesy of Women Everywhere

IBF Q&A with authors in legal profession

1st District Appellate Court Justice David W. Ellis (top left) and Chicago-based attorney Christie Tate (top center) were panelists on the Illinois Bar Foundation’s Virtual Author’s Q&A Wednesday. The event was moderated by John McNally (top right), managing editor of Chicago Lawyer magazine, a sister publication of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Tate and Ellis discussed their forays into a writing career while maintaining a legal career, their creative process and where they find inspiration. Both authors have graced The New York Times Best Seller list. Zoom screenshot

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