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Paul Morella is bringing his one-man show to Chicago’s legal community. “A Passion for Justice: An Encounter with Clarence Darrow” is hosted by the Chicago Bar Association. “He packed more into one lifetime than most people do,” Morella says after portraying Darrow onstage for more than 20 years. – Photo courtesy of Paul Morella

Actor Paul Morella explores layers of Clarence Darrow story

Paul Morella, the actor known for his long-standing portrayal of iconic trial lawyer Clarence Darrow, is bringing his one-man show to Chicago’s legal community.
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Larry Rogers Sr. remembered for record-breaking recoveries, high-impact cases

Larry R. Rogers Sr. of Power Rogers LLP was a “lawyer’s lawyer,” according to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Joy V. Cunningham.
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U.S. Supreme Court justices yet to decide any cases in term

The Supreme Court has never been so slow. For the first time, the justices have gone more than three months without resolving any cases in which they heard arguments, since their term began in early October.

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.

Employer won’t face claims it caused contractor’s fatal crash

A manufacturing company did not cause an independent contractor to get into a car accident that killed one person and injured several others, a state appellate panel held.

Grand jury gets case of July 4 shooting suspect’s father

Illinois prosecutors told a judge Thursday that they are presenting evidence to a grand jury for a possible indictment against the father of the man charged with fatally shooting seven people at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.

Senators say officials are blocking access to mishandled documents

Members of the Senate intelligence committee said Wednesday that they should have access to classified documents that were discovered in the homes of President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, arguing that Biden’s administration is stonewalling them over the matter.

Attorney disclosure of client health info reaches Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear 12 cases in its latest Petition for Leave to Appeal dispositions, including a case where a man brought claims against his attorneys after they disclosed his health information in a press release sent to numerous publications.

Courts & Cases

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Contributors

Trial Notebook

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District court ruling for Uber is ‘in tension’ with 7th Circuit

Granting Uber Technologies’ request to order individual arbitration of a driver’s class action complaint, a federal judge in New York acknowledged his decision is “in tension” with a 2012 decision from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals about the residual clause in Sec. 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act.

For the Defense

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Another attempt to stifle free speech on social media draws a challenge

The talk of threats to democracy of late is in direct contrast to the assault on free speech by governments and institutions across the country. As free speech is the precursor to a democratic form of government, it is critical that these attempts to deprive Americans of this right are challenged and defeated.

Life in the Workplace

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Documenting employee performance central to fending off potential lawsuits

In Bragg v. Munster Medical Research Foundation Inc., d/b/a Community Hospital, No. 21-2913 (Jan. 17, 2023) N.D. IN., the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals points out the significant impact documenting performance can have in an employment discrimination case.

Realty Check

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Escrow, insurance requirements spelled out in new mortgage form

Just as many Illinois lenders’ mortgage documents have been updated recently, Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s mortgage documents have also been updated to reflect changes in the way transactions have changed, through advances like e-signing and electronic transfers.

Opening Statement

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‘Tick, Tick ... Boom!’ features trans take on Jonathan Larson story

Famous for writing hit musicals such as “Rent” and “Tick, Tick … Boom!,” American composer Jonathan Larson died Jan. 25, 1996, at the young age of 35 after being misdiagnosed at a hospital. It was the day of the first off-Broadway preview performance of “Rent.”

Opening Statement

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‘Bald Sisters’ adds to nation’s onstage immigration tales

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free…” So go the famous lines by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the pedestal of our great ‘lady of the harbor’ — the Statue of Liberty — encouraging people seeking refuge from tyranny or just a better life to come to America.

Opening Statement

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Looking back at this year’s notable Chicago shows

When I started writing this column in the 80s, many of my entertainment critic colleagues were using stars as a rating system for reviewing a theatrical performance.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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Implosion of crypto firm draws suit against athlete brand ambassadors

Following the recent crash and bankruptcy filing of cryptocurrency platform FTX, an investor has filed a proposed class action seeking damages from defendants including superstar athletes who promoted the company as brand ambassadors.

Opening Statement

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Christmas season sparks joy and creativity

With Christmas around the corner, I searched for a relevant subject for this column. I stumbled upon an old one I wrote in my Jan. 7 column, which was personal and one that I wanted to highlight again.

Social Scene

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Firm names winners in oratory

Harper Williams, a fifth-grade student from Robert A. Black Magnet Elementary School in Chicago, won first place Friday in the fourth annual Foley & Lardner MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. Williams took on the persona of Dr. King to call for a renewed focus on the “culture of excellence” in the Black community. “Let [hope] serve as the energy necessary to move us into a stronger, more positive direction of unity and respect for one another, regardless of our skin tone,” he said. “Let’s allow hope to spark action and change mindsets.” Photo by Debbie Vyskocil
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Cosgrove speaks at ITLA seminar

Bradley M. Cosgrove, partner at Clifford Law Offices, spoke at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s annual Medical Malpractice Seminar at the Westin Chicago River North. He addressed “Aggressive Cross Examination of the Less Than Truthful Witness.” The seminar last month was sponsored by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Education Fund. Photo courtesy of Clifford Law Offices
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ABOTA honors Judge Budzinski

Illinois Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates President-elect Jill M. Webb, from left, of the Law Offices of Jill M. Webb, and President William J. Rogers of Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP presented Cook County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth M. Budzinski with a framed War of 1812 American flag. Budzinski was recognized as 2022 Judge of the Year at ABOTA’s fall luncheon at the Union League Club. Photo courtesy of ABOTA
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Romanucci delivers undergraduate commencement address

Antonio M. Romanucci delivered the undergraduate commencement address at the University of Illinois Chicago on Saturday at the Credit Union 1 Arena. More than 1,400 degrees were conferred and more than 5,000 people attended, Romanucci & Blandin said. “Class of 2022, social responsibility is not an option,” Romanucci said in his speech. “It is essential to our community that people pay attention, stand up for good and use their talents to help others.” Romanucci is a graduate of UIC Law School (formerly John Marshall Law School). Photo courtesy of Romanucci & Blandin

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