Illinois Lawyer Blog

Can we put a fork in the de mimimus rule?

  The “de minimus rule” is a great example of a how a limited legal concept gets misused and misapplied.  In effect, the de minimus rule is a defense argument that is used in premises liability cases.  Reduced to its simplest form, the de minimus rule says that whatever the defect was, it was too small to matter and the injured party can&#… Read More
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Judge sleeps during a murder trial and Illinois Appellate Court is fine with it.

  Imagine a criminal trial where the defendant is charged with four separate counts of first degree murder.  Then imagine that while a detective is testifying regarding some videotape evidence, defense counsel notices that the judge is ….. asleep.  Sounds like the opening scenes from Law and Order.  But that exact scenario played out in a Whites… Read More
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Categories: CASES IN THE NEWS

The "Alford Plea": how to make sure victims of wrongful conviction never get justice.

  Megan Rose, a reporter for ProPublica, had a great op-ed in the New York Times detailing how prosecutors use the “Alford Plea” to insure that people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes – and who have often been incarcerated for decades –  never get full justice. An Alford plea typically comes into play after facts or e… Read More
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Categories: IN THE NEWS

Hobby for this 78 year old lawyer? Bullfighting.

  I almost missed this article by James Podger in the ABA Magazine.  Glad I didn’t. In their off hours, some lawyers like to golf.  Some like to travel.  And then there is Jame Pritikin. Mr. Pritikin, a Chicago divorce attorney, has a hobby as well.  He fights bulls.  He discovered bullfighting while a student at the University of Illinois.  He w… Read More
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The dreadful reality faced by women in lower paying jobs.

Claire Bushey had an excellent article in Crain’s Chicago Business a couple weeks ago detailing the awful reality female workers endure in lower paying industries.  Just a few of the dreadful statistics noted in the article: About 60% of women say they have been sexually harassed – typically at work; Minority women more likely to be targeted; Ac… Read More
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The Chicago way at the Zoning Board of Appeals.

  Greg Hinz had a very interesting article[read it here] in Crains a week or so ago about precisely how fruitless it is to say no to a developer in the booming Lakeview neighborhood.  Hinz wrote about how one of his Lakeview neighbors, a lawyer named James Faier,  was recently approached by a heavyweight zoning lawyer.  The zoning lawyer represented a… Read More
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Wilful violation NOT required for "missing witness" instruction per Illinois Appellate Court.

    The Second District Appellate Court handed down an important decision recently dealing with the failure to produce evidence.  In Meeks v. Great America LLC, the plaintiff, Shatoya Meeks, was enjoying a day at Hurricane Harbor Water Park.  While riding a water slide, Ms. Meeks suffered very serious injuries to her hands and wrists.  She filed… Read More
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Doctors claim uncertainty - and do harm.

  I took the deposition of an infectious disease doctor the other day in a Workers’ Compensation matter.  The doctor – let’s call him Dr. Smith – treated my client as he lay dying in a south suburban hospital.  My client  – Donald – was a plumber who worked for an HVAC company in the south suburbs.  By way of background, prior to… Read More
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Categories: TRIAL PRACTICE

What does "knowingly" mean under the Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act?

      What exactly is the burden of proof under the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act, 765 ILCS 77/1, [“the Act”]?  The operative language, found in Section 55, specifies that a personwho knowingly violates provisions of the Act is liable for actual damages, court costs and possibly attorney fees incurred by the prevaili… Read More
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Abraham Lincoln, open windows and supposed ethical lapses.

    Saw an excellent article in the Illinois Bar Journal by lawyers Guy Franker and J. Steven Beckett entitled Lawyer Lincoln’s Legacy – Honest Abe on Lawyer Honesty.  Their article offered an interesting analysis of a supposed ethical lapse Mr. Lincoln had whilst defending a woman on murder charges.  Before going much further, let me… Read More
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