You and your friends were hanging out in the alley with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka. A police cruiser spotted you with the booze. As a result, you were all arrested for drinking in public ways. The police then patted you down and found drugs and a gun in your pocket. You were then arrested for drinking in public ways and for possession of contraband. What is drinking in public ways? What can you do? Depending on whether you were actually on the public way, you may be able to suppress the evidence from your arrest. Most municipalities have…
Appeals Court Finds Business Successors Can Inherit Employment Discrimination Liabilities Companies or individuals acquiring an existing business should determine if the seller faces potential civil rights violations and, if so, take this fact into account in the acquisition process. If a buyer overlooks these liabilities, they could inherit them, despite longstanding Illinois precedent against such “successor liability,” at least according to one appeals court. In People ex rel. Dep’t of Human Rights v. Oakridge Nursing & Rehab Ctr., the First District Appellate Court held that the general rule of successor corporate nonliability may not apply to Illinois Human Rights Act…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down two opinions on Friday, October 18. In People v. Murray, the court reversed a defendant’s conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a street gang member on the basis that the Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act requires proof of specific offenses in order to satisfy the “course or pattern of criminal activity” element necessary to establish that an individual is a street gang member. In People v. Austin, the Supreme Court rejected a circuit court’s determination that a criminal charge against a woman who distributed private sexual images of her ex-fiancee’s lover…
Our Partner Jennifer Smith asked an important question during the Legislative Update session yesterday at IAASE’s 2019 Fall Conference: What can Illinois special education teachers and administrators do to help ensure that the legislature makes necessary fixes to Public Act 101-0515—or as IAASE aptly calls it, “That Pesky RTI and Special Education Bill”—during the upcoming veto session. We gave you the lowdown on the demanding new law in a blog post earlier this year. As might be expected, the pending proposal to amend the law and remove requirements that were intended to apply only to…
Overview This week, Pennsylvania Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) introduced a bill, the “Adult-Use Cannabis Act” (Senate Bill 350), that would legalize adult-use (i.e., recreational) cannabis in the Commonwealth. If passed, the bill would legalize adult-use cannabis for individuals 21 years of age and older, and establish a permitting process for growers, processors, and dispensaries; the current measure would not place a limit on the number of permits that could be issued. The bill would also allow for cannabis delivery, consumption (i.e., “bring your own” or BYO) lounges, and home grow. Under the proposed legislation, the Pennsylvania…
A few weeks ago, the United States District Court of Massachusetts issued its long-awaited decision in the lawsuit brought by Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. (“SFFA”) against Harvard University (“Harvard”).  In a 130-page decision, the court found in favor of Harvard, holding that Harvard’s race-conscious admissions process was lawful. After the ruling, SFFA President Edward Blum said in a statement that he was disappointed by the ruling and, “SFFA will appeal this decision to the First [Circuit] Court of Appeals and, if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College…
GC2 Inc. v. Int’l Game Tech., No. 16 C 8794, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 29, 2019) (Kennelly, J.). Judge Kennelly ruled on plaintiff GC2’s motion for costs after its jury trial win on copyright infringement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claims. Of particular note, the Court held as follows: Fees of the Clerk & Marshal The Court award the $400 filing fee. The Court also awarded $398 for service, billed at the Marhal’s rate of $65 per hour and $8 for one forward. The Court denied fees for pro hac vice admissions. Transcripts & Recordings The Court awarded…
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law has joined a national initiative aimed at creating a more diverse legal profession. The Move the Needle Fund, a first-of-its-kind experimental “laboratory,” will test innovative approaches to improving diversity and inclusion over five years at five U.S. law firms. These pilots will serve as roadmaps for diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal profession and beyond. The Move the Needle Fund is a unique collaboration between the Diversity Lab — an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law — law firms, more than 25 general counsel, community leaders and…
If you have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may have wondered what options you have to clear your record.  Illinois offers two distinct avenues – expungement and sealing – that may be available to you in these cases. Expungement is a process through which entries on your criminal and arrest record are removed.  Sealing a record does not remove the entries, but rather prevents the public from being able to view these things.  Only individuals or agencies connected to law enforcement or with special permission will be able to view items on a…
For many spouses, the thought of a peaceful divorce is a definite oxymoron. With so many factors contributing to the conflicts that often plague the divorce process, it may seem almost impossible to imagine a marriage ending on friendly terms. Sensitive issues such as the division of debts, spousal support, and parenting time have the power to amplify emotions and create overwhelming tension in the midst of a separation. Working through these issues can be extremely challenging and painful, especially when interactions between parties are hostile. However, psychology experts tell us that a peaceful divorce is not a…
Wages Employers frequently face a rash of absences and call-offs in the wake of a natural disaster. Generally, whether a business is required to pay an employee who misses work depends on whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). If an exempt employee misses work for personal reasons, but the business remains open, the employer may deduct a full day’s salary. This includes absences due to transportation problems caused by weather. Likewise, a business is not required to pay a non-exempt employee for time not worked. If a business is closed due to…
Nursing Home Caregivers Charged with Financial Exploitation of Elderly Resident Grace Watanabe is a 98-year-old woman who had her life savings robbed of her by two former nursing home caregivers employed at Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park, located at 2437 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago. Last year, Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert, with the aid of Levin & Perconti attorneys Steven Levin and Mike Bonamarte, filed a civil lawsuit accusing the workers of stealing $750,000 from Watanabe while she was residing at Symphony of Lincoln Park from 2009 – 2018. It was her bank that flagged the suspicious
  Thursday, October 17, 2019     In a decision that could be of interest to municipalities seeking to combat the growing drug epidemic, a federal court in Pennsylvania recently ruled that safehouses do not violate the Controlled Substances Act when they provide facilities where drugs are used under monitored, sterile conditions. U.S. v. Safehouse. Safehouse, a nonprofit directed at fighting drug addiction and overdose, sought to open an “Overdose Prevention Site” to offer a variety of services aimed at preventing the spread of disease, administering medical care, and encouraging drug users to enter treatment. Specifically, the Safehouse facility plans…
It can be tempting for a business to push back on a negative review on social media. However, health care providers cannot disclose patients’ protected health information (PHI) in response to negative reviews posted on social media. In June 2016, a patient filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) alleging that their dental service provider had responded to the patient’s social media review on Yelp by disclosing the patient’s last name and details of their health condition. The OCR investigation found the dental office had disclosed PHI of multiple patients…
In Re: Stepen Brian Gates, Jeremy Black Docket No. 2018-2331 MOORE, REYNA, STOLL October 16, 2019 Non-precedential Brief Summary: PTAB appeal decision affirming the examiner’s anticipation and obviousness rejections reversed and remanded since the prior art did not disclose the claimed device “arranged as claimed”. Summary: Patent applicant Gates appealed PTAB decision affirming the examiner’s rejection of the claims of their ‘668 application directed to an integrated handheld device that can operate via a computer mouse or a remote control depending on the proximity of the device to a surface (e.g., a table) for anticipation and obviousness. The claims include…