Civil Litigation

Adams v. Commissioner, 160 T.C. No. 1 (U.S.T.C. January 24, 2023)

Last month, the U.S. Tax Court considered a pro se litigant’s challenge to the Commissioner’s decision to revoke his passport over $1.2 million in assessed tax liability. Cross motions for summary judgment were filed, with Adams alleging that the tax liabilities assessed were improper and that revoking his passport was unconstitutional. The Tax Court held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the constitutional challenge and that the revocation was proper because there is no requirement under the Internal Revenue Code that the tax was properly assessed, just that it
Continue Reading Tax Court Affirms Passport Revocation, Lacks Jurisdiction for Constitutional Challenge

Our Insurance Law Blog 2022 year-end review encapsulates significant jury verdicts and decisions affecting insurance cases across the nation. View the post for a non-exhaustive list of insurance cases with national and regional implications that deserve attention.


  • M.O. v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., 2023 Mo. LEXIS 4 (Mo. banc. 2023).

A couple’s back seat dalliance became the basis of an insurance claim that attracted national attention in 2022. The plaintiff alleged that she contracted HPV after engaging in sexual activity with defendant in his vehicle, which was insured by GEICO.  After making an insurance claim, the plaintiff and
Continue Reading Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas 2022 Notable Insurance Law Decisions

In Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co. v. Spike’s Pub & Grub, No. 3:21-CV-1722-NJR, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1360 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 4, 2023), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois found that an insurance company owed no duty to defend a pub for a stabbing that took place on its premises, but denied the insurance company’s request for a declaration that it owed no duty to indemnify the pub.

In the underlying action, Devin Elliott filed a lawsuit against Spike’s Public House in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois, alleging that Spike’s
Continue Reading Illinois Federal Court Re-Affirms Insurance Coverage Exclusions Matter

Tims v. Black Horse Carriers, Inc., Docket No. 127801 (February 2, 2023)

The Illinois Supreme Court today released its groundbreaking decision involving statute of limitations in the notorious Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). I have written extensively on the onslaught of complaints on this issue pending in both federal and state courts.

In Tims v. Black Horse, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the First District Appellate Court and found that the five-year statute of limitations period in section 13-205 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure applies to sections 15(a), 15(b), and 15(e) of BIPA, and the one-year statute of
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court’s Major BIPA Decision (Tims v. Black Horse)

In an opinion handed down on January 27, the Supreme Court of Kansas affirmed a previous decision of the Court of Appeals reversing a judgment against a liability insurer. The plaintiff had taken a multi-million dollar judgment against the insured, who had only minimum coverage and assigned his claim against the insurer to the plaintiff. Following a bench trial, the District Court found that the insurer had breached its duty of good faith and reasonableness in allegedly failing to settle, thus causing the excess judgment. While refusing to hold the insurer owed no duty to the insured before the plaintiff
Continue Reading Supreme Court Sides with Liability Insurer in Baker Sterchi's Appeal of Bad Faith Verdict

Illinois River Access and River Rights, Holm v. Kodat – The Mazon River Fossil Case When the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Holm v. Kodat was filed on June 16, 2022, both Supreme Court Justice Neville and advocates of recreational Read More….
The post Illinois River Access and River Rights, Holm v. Kodat – The Mazon River Fossil Case appeared first on Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C..
Continue Reading Illinois River Access and River Rights, Holm v. Kodat – The Mazon River Fossil Case


The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that largely regulates pension, 401(k), and similar employer provided retirement benefit plans. The statute is intensive, it provides strict regulations pertaining to fiduciary duties by employers and similar sorts of requirements. While lawsuits arising from ERISA are often initiated by employees, there is also an enforcement mechanism from the Department of Labor. The Supreme Court’s decision in Hughes v. Northwestern considered whether the University breached its fiduciary duty of prudence by failing to remote certain low performing retirement options from its basket of options. The Seventh
Continue Reading Hughes v. Northwestern: ERISA’s and the Duty of Prudence

On February 9, Baker Sterchi Member Jackie Longfellow will present at a live virtual seminar on the topics of ADA accommodations, hiring and firing employees, and discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims. The ”Missouri Employment Law 2023” seminar is presented by the National Business Institute, a continuing legal education provider.
The seminar will focus on current trends and best practices in employment law, from essential guidelines for accommodating employees to recent developments concerning non-compete and confidentiality agreements. Longfellow will discuss reference check considerations, discipline and termination dangers, burdens of proof, and more.
Longfellow focuses her practice on labor and employment matters.
Continue Reading Jackie Longfellow to Present at NBI Missouri Employment Law Seminar

Baker Sterchi recently obtained dismissal of an appeal from a summary judgment ruling in favor of its client, a telecommunications company. In December, the Circuit Court granted summary judgment in favor of Baker Sterchi’s client on the parties’ cross-motions for declaratory judgment on the interpretation of an LLC operating agreement. The Circuit Court found that the plain language of the operating agreement did not permit a minority LLC member to expel the other majority members. The Circuit Court had previously granted Baker Sterchi’s client a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction, prohibiting the opposing party from taking any actions in
Continue Reading Baker Sterchi Obtains Dismissal of an Appeal of a Favorable Summary Judgment Ruling

Baker Sterchi attorney Betsy Miller recently graduated from the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions Leadership Program.
Established in 1976, Centurions is an intensive two-year leadership development program for individuals selected as emerging leaders in Greater Kansas City. Extended to 29 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller’s class included individuals representing 40 Kansas City companies.
Miller served as co-chair of the May 2022 Task Force and as a mentor to a subsequent class participant. She was also a member of the Centurions Projects Committee, responsible for the program’s service hours, with her class completing over 3,000 hours of
Continue Reading Betsy Miller Graduates from the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., 138 S. Ct. 2080 (2018)


The Supreme Court’s 2018 decision, South Dakota v. Wayfair, is the most significant case in the realm of State and Local Taxation over the last several decades. This case nixed the physical presence rule that had been originally established in the 1967 case, National Bellas Hess v. Illinois Department of Revenue,1 and later reaffirmed the 1993 case, Quill v. North Dakota.2


The Quill decision established a physical presence rule which stated that states were not allowed to require out-of-state businesses to collect sales tax if they did not
Continue Reading The Supreme Court’s Decision to Overrule Quill’s Physical Presence Requirement and its Impact on State Sales Tax (South Dakota v. Wayfair)

People v. Sandoval, 2023 IL App (2d) 220155

The Second District Appellate Court in Illinois recently heard the case of People v. Sandoval. Sandoval is being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The case centers around the question of whether the trial court should have considered the official reports from the arresting officer, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Kim as evidence, in its decision to rescind the summary suspension of Sandoval’s driving privileges. While the court took judicial notice of the police officer’s sworn report, it did not admit the report into evidence. The State appealed this
Continue Reading DUI Case Remanded, After Trial Court Admits Officer’s Reports by Judicial Notice, Rather Than as Evidence (People v. Sandoval)

HB1188 Phase Out Corporate Giveaways Act

HB 1255 Local Government Business Anti-Poaching Act


Two bills have been recently introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives that look to limit governments’ ability to attract businesses, manufacturing, and jobs. The bills aim to limit the ability of states and municipalities (respectively) from offering corporate incentives tied to relocating projects, developments, or headquarters. While these bills, HB1188 and HB1255, aim to address different issues but share the common theme of limiting incentives to businesses and corporations.


HB1188, the Phase Out Corporate Giveaways Act, aims to create the Phase Out Corporate Giveaways
Continue Reading Pair of Bills Proposed in Illinois House Meant to Limit Corporate Incentives

City of Rockford v. Gilles, 2022 IL App (2d) 210521

Arellano v. McDonough, U.S., No. 21-432 (January 23, 2023)


The first case decided in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2023 term is Arellano v. McDonough, a unanimous decision authored by Justice Amy Coney Barrett. In its opinion, the Supreme Court denied a veteran’s disability benefit application due to missing the one year statutory deadline. The Court ruled that equitable tolling was not available to remedy the missed deadline, primarily due to the fact that Congress included 16 different exceptions to the statutory period, which does not include equitable tolling.

Continue Reading Different Reasons for Denying Equitable Tolling: A Comparative Analysis of Arellano v. McDonough and City of Rockford v. Gilles

Baker Sterchi recently obtained dismissal of all claims against its client, a publicly traded waste management and environmental services company, in a negligence and contractual indemnification action. The action arose out of a city street cave-in incident that plaintiff-employee alleged caused him permanent injuries for which he sought damages from the city. The city filed a third-party complaint asserting a contractual indemnification claim against Baker Sterchi’s client.  The client filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings and the city filed a motion for summary judgment regarding the city’s third-party claim.  The District Court of Douglas County, Nebraska, held oral
Continue Reading Baker Sterchi Obtains Dismissal for Waste Management and Environmental Services Company

On January 20, 2023, Judge Morrison of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Effingham County ruled in favor of guns rights activists by issuing a temporary restraining order for HB 5471. HB 5471 is the gun control legislation that was recently signed into law by Governor Pritzker. The plaintiffs in the case are represented by Tom Devore, the former Republican nominee for Illinois Attorney General who was recently defeated by Kwame Raoul by double digits. The pair are now likely to continue to face off in court, as Attorney General Raoul’s quickly filed its notice of appeal.

Plaintiffs sought an emergency
Continue Reading Effingham County Judge Issues TRO on New Illinois Gun Legislation (Accuracy Firearms v. Pritzker)