Judge John Z. Lee, center, with Michael Freeborn, from left, and partners Jill Anderson, Andrew Nordahl and David Gustman of Freeborn & Peters LLP attended Lee’s investiture to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday. Lee previously worked at the firm. – Photo courtesy Freeborn & Peters

‘Blessed’ Judge Lee sets milestone on 7th Circuit

Even before he went to law school, Judge John Z. Lee of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals displayed the qualities that later made him successful in his career and life, a longtime friend said.

Welch, poised to continue as speaker, reflects on growing Illinois House majority

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who recently announced he has the support for another term as House speaker, says he looks forward to governing with an even larger supermajority than he had during his first two years.

Georgia high court reinstates ban on abortions after 6 weeks

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the state’s ban on abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy, abruptly ending access to later abortions that had resumed days earlier.

How I Did It

Chicago attorney Brian Wallach uses legal, political skills to fight for ALS patients

After being diagnosed with ALS in 2017, Brian S. Wallach resolved to use his experience in the courtroom and presidential politics to advocate for life-saving treatment answers for others suffering from the progressive neurological disease.

High court Justice Anne Burke hangs up her robe with eye on pro bono work

After Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke finished her final oral arguments as an active justice, she hung her robe for the last time, packed her car piled high with boxes and made one last road trip from Springfield back to Chicago.

Illinois Supreme Court accepts 10 PLAs

The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear 10 cases in its latest Petition for Leave to Appeal dispositions, including a case over birth defects allegedly caused by the medication Depakote.

Lawyer who kept funds should be suspended, ARDC board says

An attorney who neglected three client matters and failed to refund $1,000 in unearned fees should be suspended for one year, according to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) hearing board.

Cook County hospital data sought by Sun-Times ruled not exempt under FOIA

Documents related to Cook County hospital system protocols for informing law enforcement about unaccompanied gunshot wound patients are not exempt under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in a case filed by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Bank receives tardy notification of mortgagor’s death

A judge in Macoupin County ordered Associated Bank to give the administrator of Thomas F. Topal’s estate a written release of its mortgage on a house Topal owned in Benld, Illinois.

For the Defense

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Thanksgiving week arguments at state Supreme Court: Turkeys or valid claims?

For the first time since 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The four disparate civil cases heard that day have a through line that may result in some of the parties giving thanks and will potentially clarify an important issue for civil litigators in Illinois. That commonality is that each of the cases involves a contention that one side forfeited its chief argument.

Law and Public Issues

Ann Lousin-11-29-22,ph01

Lyman Trumbull – a principled Illinois lawyer who was true to his convictions

We admire those extraordinary people who act upon the courage of their convictions, whatever the cost. Lyman Trumbull, Illinois lawyer and statesman, was such an exceptional person. All but forgotten today, he was once a notable force in Illinois public life and a principled advocate for what he thought was right.

Letter to the Editor

Frye vs. Daubert: ‘Gatekeeping’ function better left for juries, not judges, to decide

In the Nov. 9, column For the Defense, a recent appellate decision, Molitor v. BNSF Railway Company, 2022 IL App (1st) 121486-U, is maligned to argue for replacing our Frye standard, codified in Illinois Rule of Evidence 702, with the federal Daubert standard.

Opening Statement


Stoppard’s ‘Leopoldstadt’ is a loving tribute to the Jewish family he never knew

Upon my return from a weekend in New York City, I reviewed three Big Apple musicals in last week’s column. But there’s one more that I want to share. With the subject being the Holocaust, its mood is somber but the play is thoughtful and provocative.

Opening Statement


Porchlight’s ‘Rent’ should not be missed

I have just returned from a weekend trip to New York City, where I attended the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) Conference. While in the Big Apple, my wife and I also attended one play and three musicals. But more on that later.

Opening Statement


Chicago Shakespeare puts a different spin on ‘Measure for Measure’

Since the play was first performed, William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” has often been referred to as one of the Bard of Avon’s “problem plays.”

Opening Statement


‘Swing State’ could have been a great political drama

Prolific playwright Rebecca Gilman’s latest work, “Swing State,” has come to Chicago. Under the direction of Robert Falls, the show is playing through Nov. 13 at the Goodman Theatre.

Opening Statement


‘The Malignant Ampersands’ is a treat for Halloween

There’s an old joke about a sailor stationed in the south Pacific who sees a beautiful and rare fish. It costs thousands of dollars but only measures a few inches. He buys it and ships it to his elderly mother so that she can admire it.

Social Scene


Hellenic Bar group gives awards

The Hellenic Bar Association Foundation awarded $60,000 in scholarships to seven law students at its 72nd Scholarship Gala and celebrated Dr. Leonidas Platanias (Hellene of the Year), Judge Anthony Kyriakopoulos (Service Award) and Maria Tabrizi (Professional Achievement), alongside Harry Secaras as Lawyer of the Year. From left are Hon. Tom Sianis, Hon. Pamela Stratigakis, Hon. Peggy Chiampas, Hon. Frank J. Andreou, HBAF president Eleni Katsoulis, Justice Jesse G. Reyes, Hon. Anthony C. Kyriakopoulos, Hon. Stephanie Saltouros, Hon. Anna Demacopoulos, Hon. Diann K. Marsalek, Hon. George Canellis, Hon. Lorraine Murphy and Hon. Jeffery G. Chrones. Photo by Lex Alexander Photography
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AABAR hosts installation ceremony

The board of directors, officers and incoming President Nura Yanaki of the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois (AABAR) celebrated its 32nd Installation Dinner & Award Ceremony Nov. 2 with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Honoree Justice Jesse G. Reyes and Chief Judge Timothy Evans. From left, standing: John Breen, Cory Cassis, Hon. Samuel Betar, Donna Haddad, Sandra Frantzen, Sana'a Hussien, Hon. Rouhy Shalabi, Jawad Shalabi, Tony Abou Ezzi, Joseph Homsy, Khaled Elkhatib. From left, seated: Hon. William Haddad (ret.), Hon. Jesse G. Reyes, President Nura Yanaki, Mona Naser and Marvet Sweis Drnovsek. Photo courtesy of Rush Productions

Students get a glimpse of firm life

Attorneys from Clausen Miller gave future lawyers a glimpse into law firm life as part of a “Day in the Life” program for students with diverse backgrounds, organized by the firm’s Diversity, Inclusion and New Talent Committee. Students heard presentations on topics ranging from business and operational considerations for law firms to the intersection of technology and the law. Photo by Andrew Collings Photography
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Interpreter honored for pro bono work

The National Immigrant Justice Center's Associate Leadership Board hosted an award reception sponsored by Perkins Coie LLP. Shown are NIJC Associate Leadership Board co-chairs Anna Mikulski of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, from left, and Caroline Gizem Tunca of Perkins Coie LLP with award recipient Bill Depenbrock of the Law Office of Mike Duffy. Depenbrock, an interpreter, was recognized as a non-attorney professional who has provided exceptional service on a pro bono matter. Photo by Folio Films

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