State Rep. Anna Moeller (right), D-Elgin, speaks on the House floor during debate on her bill to enact several reforms to the state’s insurance industry. The bill is an initiative of Gov. JB Pritzker, who is seated behind Moeller. The measure passed with bipartisan support. – Capitol News Illinois/Jerry Nowicki

Pritzker’s health insurance reforms clear House

Gov. J.B. Pritzker celebrated a partial legislative victory Thursday night when the House passed his initiative to end some practices health insurance companies use to control the amount and cost of health care services individual patients receive.

Boeing put under Senate scrutiny over safety culture

An engineer at Boeing said Wednesday that the aircraft company, in rushing to produce as many planes as possible, is taking manufacturing shortcuts that could lead to jetliners breaking apart.

Ruling eases way to sue for job bias in forced transfers

The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it easier for workers who are transferred from one job to another against their will to pursue job discrimination claims under federal civil rights law, even when they are not demoted or docked pay.

SCOTUS questions obstruction charges against Jan. 6 rioters, Trump

The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned whether federal prosecutors went too far in bringing obstruction charges against hundreds of participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. But it wasn’t clear how the justices would rule in a case that also could affect the prosecution of former President Donald Trump, who faces the same charge for his efforts to overturn his election loss in 2020.

Top feature

Judge Jeffrey Cummings draws wisdom from practice of law, music

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey I. Cummings of the Northern District of Illinois understands that most people involved in a legal dispute invest their emotions as well as their time and resources in the case.

7th Circuit tosses retaliation suit against South Suburban College

A woman who claims she was fired from her job in retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint cannot sue her former employer.

Appellate panel affirms $770,000 judgment against railroad

A freight railroad company must pay $770,000 to the estate of one of its former employees who allegedly developed cancer during the scope of his employment.

Senate advances bill to ban food additives linked to health problems

The Illinois Senate passed a bill Thursday that would ban four food additives that are found in common products including candy, soda and baked goods.

Initial suits over weed killer paraquat dismissed

A federal judge threw out four lawsuits that allege exposure to the weed killer paraquat can cause Parkinson’s disease, holding her rejection of the expert opinion offered by the plaintiffs doomed their cases.

Courts & Cases

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Trial Notebook


Lawyer erred on personal representative after learning defendant was dead

Answering a question certified for immediate appeal in a case where the plaintiff didn’t know the defendant was dead when the lawsuit was filed, the Illinois Appellate Court concluded that the maneuver used by plaintiff’s attorney to rectify the problem — having his secretary appointed as “personal representative” of the decedent’s estate under Sec. 13-209(c) of the Code of Civil Procedure and then naming her as defendant in an amended complaint — was the wrong move.

For the Defense

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Current proposal isn’t enough to stem mushrooming MDLs

Assigned a multidistrict litigation (MDL) that grew from a couple of dozen cases to nearly a thousand, and observing cases that were not properly investigated or attended to by counsel, a judge in the Middle District with Georgia expressed a famous frustration with a process that has only gotten worse in the eight years since.

Lawyers’ Forum

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A judge’s ethical imperative: Follow the law or face the JIB

“The law that applies to this case is stated in these instructions, and it is your duty to follow all of them.” So states Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction 1.01(2), which the judge reads to the jurors in every criminal case before the jury begins its deliberations. If we expect jurors to follow the law, we surely must expect judges to lead by example and do the same thing.

Insurance Matters

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Court assesses offsets against employee’s underinsured claim

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, construing Illinois law, recently held that an employee injured in an automobile accident was entitled to recover underinsured coverage from his employer’s automobile liability policy, subject to certain reductions.

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.

Sports Marketing Playbook

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As NFL protects lucrative Super Bowl IP, some businesses retort

By now, everyone knows that brands pay big bucks to air commercials during the Super Bowl. This year, advertisers shelled out roughly $7 million for a 30-second spot, for an estimated total of $650 million, according to estimates by the Sports Business Journal.

Opening Statement


‘Just for Us’ brings back golden age of standup comedy

Back in the day, standup comedians used to be a dominant force in Chicago. There was Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen. By coincidence, they were all Jewish, as were many of their female counterparts such as Joan Rivers, Elaine May and Totie Fields.

Social Scene


Justices visit NIU to ‘Ride the Circuit’

The Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb in March as part of its “Ride the Circuit” event. John M. Fitzgerald of Tabet DiVito & Rothstein is shown presenting arguments in a case about attorney fees before justices including Elizabeth M. Rochford, left, and Lisa Holder White. The case is Andrew W. Levenfeld and Associates, Ltd., et al. v. Maureen V. O’Brien, et al., No. 129599. Photo courtesy of Northern Illinois University

Cook County judges sworn in

Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans swore in associate judges Antara Nath Rivera, from left, Federico M. Rodriguez and Kenya A. Jenkins-Wright on Monday at the Daley Center. Judges selected them from a list of six finalists. Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis and other justices attended and gave remarks. Also, the Illinois Supreme Court announced 12 judges will join the Cook County Circuit Court ahead of the fall election. Grace Barbic/Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

WBAI honors judges

The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois presented judges with the Mary Heftel Hooton Award at its Judicial Reception. Shown from left are Soobin Lee, Molly Condon Wells, Hon. Sanjay T. Tailor, Hon. Janet Adams Brosnahan (ret.), WBAI President Whitney K. Siehl, Hon. Maryam Ahmad, Hon. Mary M. Rowland, Joanne Flannery accepting the award on behalf of her late father, Hon. James P. Flannery, Jr., Caidi Mammas Vanderporten and Katie Twardak. Hon. Ann Claire Williams (ret.) was also honored. Photo courtesy of WBAI

UIC group honors Justice Reyes

The UIC Law Latinx Law Student Association hosted its annual fiesta event and awards ceremony Friday. 1st District Appellate Justice Jesse G. Reyes, second from left, received the 2024 Alumni of the Year Award for outstanding achievement in the judiciary and public service. Other recipients include Diego Valencia, from left, Edith Munoz and Daisy Huerta. Photo by Miguel Zuno

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