Jeannice Williams Appenteng, the first black woman to serve as magistrate judge in the Northern District of Illinois, reflected on her journey to the bench, including the interruption of her Tulane University law school education by Hurricane Katrina. – Photo by Jim Slonoff

Appenteng praised as ‘full package’ at Northern District investiture

At her investiture as a U.S. magistrate judge for the Northern District of Illinois, Jeannice Williams Appenteng reflected on what it means to be a Black woman serving on the bench.

BIPA reform is ‘huge step in the right direction,’ proponents say

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is near a significant reform in language related to claim accrual, a win for Illinois businesses facing mounting litigation and for the attorneys who represent their interests.

Pritzker administration says all revenue options remain on table

While the governor’s office instructed its agency directors to prepare for $800 million in potential budget cuts last week, all facets of his plan to raise $1.1 billion in revenue to avoid those cuts remain under consideration.

Biden marks Brown v. Board of Education anniversary

President Joe Biden marked this week’s 70th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that struck down institutionalized racial segregation in public schools by welcoming plaintiffs and family members in the landmark case to the White House.

Top feature

Sharon Oden Johnson hones persuasive speaking in improv class

Despite her accomplishments within the judiciary, Justice Sharon Oden Johnson said she sometimes struggles with being shy and reserved.

Insurer didn’t breach duty in blocking settlement, judge rules

An insurance company did not breach its duty to a client in rejecting a $2 million settlement in a wrongful death and survival action, a federal judge ruled.

Senate confirms 200th federal judge under Biden

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the 200th federal judge of President Joe Biden’s tenure, about a month earlier than when Donald Trump hit that mark in his term, though Trump still holds the edge when it comes to the most impactful confirmations — those to the Supreme Court and the country’s 13 appellate courts.

Judge signs off on $600M settlement for Ohio train derailment

A federal judge has signed off on the $600 million class action settlement over last year’s disastrous Norfolk Southern derailment in eastern Ohio, but many people who live near East Palestine are still wondering how much they will end up with out of the deal.

Nursing homes still grappling with worker shortage

It’s been four years since some of the worst scenes of COVID-19 played out in locked-down nursing homes during the early months of the pandemic.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Shareholders claim theft-loss deductions on federal tax returns

Three people who used to own a controlling interest in a defunct savings and loan institution relied on the broad definition of “property” in the Illinois theft-by-deception statute when they claimed $3.8 million in theft-loss deductions on their federal tax returns.

Realty Check

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Foreclosure law amendment opens door to online sales

Legislative notes indicate that this General Assembly session may very well see a change to the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law.

Law and Public Issues

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Leopold and Loeb – 100 years after ‘the crime of the century’

On May 21, 1924, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb murdered a 14-year-old named Bobby Franks. Newspapers called it “the crime of the century.” But what happened afterward?

Cotter’s Corner

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Court examines appropriations clause to save CFPB from death

In a 7-2 decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas for the majority, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited, the U.S. Supreme Court turned back challenges to the way that the CFPB was funded.

Opening Statement


‘Seinfeld’ actor plays attorney in wickedly funny ‘Judgment Day’

If you’re a fan of the late Neil Simon and his many successful stage comedies like “Barefoot in the Park,” “The Odd Couple” and “The Sunshine Boys,” you’ll probably enjoy the world premiere of “Judgment Day,” playing through May 26 at the Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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Roberto Clemente family battles Puerto Rico over license plates

Trademarks can provide a lucrative revenue stream for sports stars and generate significant income for their families long after the athletes’ deaths. Conflicts over trademark rights usually erupt between an athlete’s family and businesses seeking to capitalize on a player’s brand.

Opening Statement


‘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


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


‘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.

Social Scene


Hot topic: Taylor Swift and the law

The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and Lawyers for the Creative Arts hosted a “Pay Equity for Artists (Taylor’s Version)” CLE and an “Eras”-themed networking reception last month at the Instituto Cervantes. The panel discussed Taylor Swift’s legal cases, including the re-recordings tactic and her impact on the legal landscape. Shown are Rick Morris, from left, Jennifer Nacht, Elsa Hiltner, WBAI President Whitney K. Siehl and Cynthia Pietrucha. Photo courtesy of WBAI

CBA hosts Vanguard Awards

The Chicago Bar Association hosted its annual Vanguard Awards on Tuesday at the Union League Club honoring 16 members of the legal community from various bar associations. Among the recipients are (top row, from left) Janaan Hashim, Mary Alice Melchor, Erika N.L. Harold and Monica Llorente and (bottom row, from left) Judge Jerome C. Barrido, Jennifer L. Rosato Perea, Marvet M. Sweis, Tara M. Raghavan, Nancy E. Sasamoto, Soo Yeon Lee, Judge Jonathan Clark Green and Judge Nancy Katz, who appeared on behalf of the late Judge Patricia Logue. Grace Barbic/Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Catholic Lawyers Guild president installed

Pamela Rubeo of the Office of the State Appellate Defender’s office was sworn in as the 2024-25 president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago at its annual meeting May 8 at Jenner & Block. Shown from left are Pamela Sakowicz Menaker of Clifford Law Offices, a former CLG president; Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans; Elise Rubeo; Pamela Rubeo; Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis, who swore Rubeo into office; Mena Rubeo; and Pamela’s parents, Theresa and Daniel Wardzala. Photo courtesy of the CLG

CBA hosts 150th anniversary party

Chicago Bar Association President Ray J. Koenig and Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis celebrate the CBA’s 150th anniversary Friday at Union Station with a crowd of justices, judges, bar leaders and attorneys. The inaugural Robert A. Clifford Champion of Justice Award was introduced and presented to Clifford, a past president. It will be given annually to an outstanding CBA member. Photo courtesy of the CBA

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