Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, as their children Ashley and Hunter watch. – AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

On Day One, President Biden targets policies on climate, virus

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is moving swiftly to dismantle Donald Trump’s legacy on his first day in office, signing a series of executive actions that reverse course on immigration, climate change, racial equity and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Clock ran out on lame-duck session bills

SPRINGFIELD — The 101st Illinois General Assembly took historic action by passing legislation to end cash bail prior to electing a Black House Speaker for the first time in the 102nd General Assembly.

U.-Md. reaches $3.5M deal with parents of killed football player

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland has agreed to a $3.5 million settlement with the parents of football player Jordan McNair, who died of heatstroke following a workout in 2018.
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High court swears in 1,590 new attorneys

Congratulating them for “weathering the storm,” Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman swore 1,590 new attorneys to the Illinois bar in a virtual ceremony Thursday.

Illinois House names Welch speaker

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House on Wednesday elected its first Black speaker to replace the longest-serving legislative leader in modern U.S. history, picking Democratic Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch for the job and pushing aside Michael J. Madigan after he was implicated in an ongoing bribery investigation.

Unclear who presides at Trump trial if he’s out of office

WASHINGTON — The Constitution says the chief justice is to preside at the impeachment trial of a president. But what about an ex-president?

Challenge to state’s TRUST Act tossed

A judge Thursday threw out a lawsuit challenging Illinois’ TRUST Act, which limits the ability of state and local law enforcement officers to assist federal authorities seeking to detain undocumented immigrants.

White CPD trainee can pursue bias count

A federal judge Wednesday cleared the way for a white former Chicago police officer to sue alleging he was terminated by the department because of his race.

Former Ill. Supreme Court Justice James Heiple dead at 87

PEORIA — James J. Heiple, a former chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, has died from complications following a brain hemorrhage, the court announced Wednesday.

$4.05M for deadly downstate crash

Two estates have settled with an excavating company for a 2018 crash that killed three people in rural Douglas County.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Worker adds employment claims against doctor

After U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman decided Betty Summerland’s complaint against her employer (Exelon Generation Co.) stated valid claims for alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act, she filed an amended pleading that added FMLA claims against two of Exelon’s medical contractors (Dr. Betty Pohlman and Triangle Occupational Medicine) plus counts against all three defendants for alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy.

Law and Public Issues


Abortion issues will shift to state governments if Roe is overturned

What will happen if — more likely, when — the U.S. Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, the Jan. 22, 1973, decision that held that most decisions about abortion are to be made by a woman and her physician? Roe said that the right to make those decisions was a federal constitutional right.

Be That Lawyer


Developing your brand to drive new business with social media

One of the most common questions I’m asked as a business development coach for attorneys is, “Should I be posting on social media and is this a good use of my time and energy?” You’ll love my answer. It depends.

For the Defense


Pre-judgment interest bill will yield debacle

Criminal defense attorneys have long, and rightly, pointed out that there is a “trial penalty” against those criminal defendants who, when faced with a plea offer substantially less than the prison time they would face as a mandatory minimum if they exercise their constitutional right to trial, are essentially forced to forgo their right to have the government prove their guilt to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sports Marketing Playbook


Isolated sports fans find community through social media innovation

The sports world — and everyone else — has now been social distancing for most of 2020, and going into 2021, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when sports fans can’t attend events in person, view a game at the local bar or even watch from home with a group of family and friends, sports organizations have to work harder than ever to create a sense of community.

Opening Statement


Tepid magic, food spoil provide no wonder at home

Following a week of anguish and anxiety of witnessing thousands of protestors storm and defile our nation’s capital, I was looking forward to a quiet evening at home in quarantine last Tuesday.

Lex Sportiva


Social media battle pits Saint Xavier University against ex-coach

Back in 2012, I drafted a law review article published by Ole Miss that focused on new concerns for colleges that emerged with the proliferation of student-athlete social media accounts, largely focused on Facebook.

Opening Statement


Film adaptation of ‘Ma Rainey’s’ captures incredible spirit of play

The year 2020, seemingly one of the longest, most catastrophic in our country’s history is finally grinding to an end even as the pandemic and economic crises rage on. The nation’s racial injustices are still unresolved while a petulant president is still unwillingly to accept his election loss and commit to an uncontroverted and peaceful transfer of administration.

Opening Statement


TV special celebrates Broadway’s light in dark times

In my lifetime in America, there has been no place more representative or that has done more to change the culture of our society than the Broadway theater.

Social Scene


CBA panel on motion practice

The Chicago Bar Association hosted a CLE program, “Motion Practice in Cook County Circuit Court’s Law Division,” on Jan. 14 over Zoom, moderated by. Sarah F. King and Charles R. Haskins of Clifford Law Offices. Law Division Presiding Judge James P. Flannery talked about the pandemic’s impact on the division; Circuit Judge John H. Ehrlich addressed remote case management; Circuit Judge Christopher E. Lawler shared details on remote pre-trials; Circuit Judge James E. Snyder offered tips on the commercial calendar and Circuit Judge Lorna E. Propes explained Zoom jury selection and trials. Screenshot provided by Clifford Law Offices

Vaughan takes 5th District Appellate Court seat oath

Illinois Supreme Court Justice David K. Overstreet (right) administers the oath of office to 5th District Appellate Court Justice Barry L. Vaughan on Jan. 4. Vaughan, who was a 2nd Judicial Circuit Court judge, is on temporary assignment until the 2022 election. Photo provided by Barry L. Vaughan

Justice Martin takes the oath

Justice LeRoy K. Martin Jr. takes the oath of office Monday to join the 1st District Appellate Court. His appointment follows Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall’s retirement last month. While a circuit judge, Martin served as the presiding judge of Criminal Division starting in 2015. Photo courtesy of the Illinois Supreme Court
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ISBA holds joint midyear meeting

ISBA President Dennis Orsey presides over the association’s joint midyear meeting over Zoom. The event occurred Dec. 10-11 and featured a joint CLE program with the Illinois Judges Association on the topic of “The Remote Courtroom in the Time of COVID.” During the meeting, the ISBA Assembly posthumously honored attorney John Phipps with the ISBA Medal of Merit Award, recognized retiring Illinois Supreme Court Justices Thomas Kilbride and Lloyd Karmeier with official ISBA Resolutions, and ratified an ISBA letter outlining the association’s position against most of a Chicago Bar Association/Chicago Bar Foundation Task Force Report advocating for substantial changes in the delivery of legal services. Photo courtesy of ISBA

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