The decision yesterday in Liu v. Four Seasons Hotel, Ltd. creates another pitfall and need for employers in Illinois worrying about the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. We wrote a little while ago about the parade of horribles unleashed by the Illinois Supreme Court in determining that an actual injury is not necessary to receive the liquidated damages available under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Fingerprints are likely the way most employers might be in violation. Time clocks, door locks and other 21st Century revamps of 20th Century employment practices incorporate useful updates like accepting fingerprints or retinal…
Wednesday, April 10, 2019     Land use litigation arising out of the 2008 economic downturn continues to percolate through the courts as municipalities seek to complete long-delayed public improvements contracted for in annexation agreements. A recent court decision may help local governments looking to hold subsequent purchasers accountable for obligations entered into by bankrupt developers. In City of Yorkville v. Fidelity et al., an Illinois appellate court found two homebuilders liable for building public improvements a bankrupt developer had agreed to provide the City in a 2003 annexation agreement. Through various transactions, the Richardson Group (TRG) and William…
Although non-compete agreements were originally invented to keep executives from running off to competitors with trade secrets and/or client relationships, many businesses have started taking advantage of noncompete agreements by including them in employment contracts with all their workers – even those at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder. Workers earning minimum wage (or close to it) doing things like making sandwiches and entering data into a computer system are being made to sign employment agreements that prohibit them from working in any capacity for a similar company. Despite the fact that these are unskilled jobs (often held by…
Mon Ros Int’l. for General Trading & Contracting, W.L.L. v. Anesthesia USA, Inc., No. 17 C 7365, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2019) (Castillo, C.J.). Chief Judge Castillo granted in part plaintiff Mon Ros’ contempt motion in this Lanham Act trademark case involving Mon Ros’ ANESTHESIA marks for use with contact lenses. The Court previously entered a temporary restraining order (TRO) and then a permanent injunction preventing defendants from selling contact lenses using the ANESTHESIA marks and from claiming ownership over the marks. Of particular note, the Court held as follows: The Court was “troubled” by evidence that defendants…
As fewer physicians are forming their own practices, they are finding one potential disadvantage to hospital or physician group employment: non-compete agreements. Physician employment contracts, particularly for specialists, increasingly include non-compete agreements or non-solicitation agreements (sometimes referred to collectively as restrictive covenants). This can lead to expensive, protracted legal disputes when doctors attempt to leave one physician group for another or desire to form their own practices. Further, many patients lose contact with their doctors when they switch practices. In a recent survey of nearly 2,000 primary care doctors in 5 states, 45% of the physicians surveyed had covenants-not-to-compete…
“[W]hen an artist’s work has touched people so significantly, there are often usurpers that want to capitalize on that connection. A strong brand attracts parasites that attempt to create profits through no work of their own, based on the popularity of and love for an artist.” Strong words from this complaint recently filed by Biggie’s estate against the company that makes Yes snowboards. The estate claims that the company sold items utilizing an image if Biggie without obtaining the estates permission. The image cited in the complaint is that of Biggie in front of the World Trade Center from
Ancel Glink’s Quorum Forum podcast is back with a new episode: Episode 22: Defending Malicious Prosecution Claims Prosecutions are on the agenda, as Aaron Bitterman joins us from Ancel Glink Defense E-News (emus?) with new and proposed rules affecting ordinance enforcement for local governments. Then, experienced litigator and former prosecutor Kathy Kunkle discusses ways local governments can avoid malicious prosecution claims.  You can access this episode here. This podcast is provided as a service to our public and private sector clients and friends. It is intended to provide timely general information of interest, but should not be considered a…
State regulators, brewers, vintners and distillers benefit from clear and precise laws detailing functions and rights like contract brewing and custom crush arrangements. Idaho recently took a step that other brewers looking for clarifying legislation may find helpful in crafting their own state statutes. The state defined contract brewing through providing definitions of the two parties to such an arrangement: (d) “Contractee brewer” means a brewer producing fewer than thirty thousand (30,000) barrels of beer in aggregate annually, including any beer manufactured outside the state of Idaho, that enters into a contractual relationship with another brewer to produce beer on…
The concept of “notice” and how it complies with an individual’s constitutional due process rights is something local governments regularly encounter in their day to day work. Whether it involves a code violation, utility shut-offs, or a zoning hearing, proper timing and form of notice is essential and the failure to comply can result in the government being unable to enforce its ordinances. This issue arose recently in the City of Chicago with respect to its street cleaning ordinance resulting in a successful challenge to the imposition of a ticket and fine. On July 25, 2016, Todd Kooperman parked his…
Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Arch. LLC v. SB Yen Mgm’t. Group, Inc., No. 18 C 275, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Dec. 10, 2018) (Lee, J.). Judge Lee denied defendants’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, but granted defendants’ motion to compel mediation and arbitration, and stayed this architectural copyright case pending such proceedings. Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Noting the complexity of determining whether a claim was based in contract or copyright, the Court noted that the Seventh Circuit had squarely addressed the present situation in Nova Design Build, Inc. v. Grace Hotels, LLC, 652 F.3d…
Where a class of consumers sued an energy company for breach of contract, fraud, and unjust enrichment, the district court dismissed some, but not all, of the claims. The district court found that the consumers had sufficiently alleged that the energy company violated its agreement to charge rates for electricity based on market conditions and that the consumers had pled a claim for unjust enrichment in the alternative. However, the court found that the consumers failed to allege adequate details of a fraudulent scheme. Verde Energy USA, Inc. was sued by a class of consumers in federal court for the…
The FDA will hold a May 31, 2019 public hearing to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide the FDA with additional input relevant to the Agency’s regulatory strategy related to existing products, as well as the lawful pathways by which appropriate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds (including CBD) can be marketed. With a goal of understanding how the FDA can make those legal pathways more predictable and efficient. Industry members, stakeholders, and others interested in cannabis related products and regulations may provide the FDA the comments and can even ask to make a presentation at the hearing but must…
Under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..”  A nonprofit organization brought suit against the United States Treasury claiming a longstanding tax code exemption for religious housing violated the Establishment Clause because it did not have a secular purpose and instead provided aid to a group of religious persons. Recently, a federal court rejected the nonprofit’s claim because the law applied equally to nonsecular institutions, did not involve a subsidy, required a level of fact-finding that did not excessively entangle the government in religion,…
Perfect Brow Art, Inc. v. Glitzy Brows, No. 18 C 4594, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Nov. 15, 2018) (Guzman, J.). Judge Guzman granted defendants’ (collectively “Glitzy Brows”) Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss plaintiff Perfect Brow Art’s first amended complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction in this Lanham Act trademark, trade dress, false designation of origin and unfair competition case involving brow threading. Of particular note, the Court held as follows: Aside from the parties’ employment agreement, the only relevant evidence Perfect Brow Art submitted was the Illinois choice of law provision in the agreement, which did contain…
Many people don’t seek legal assistance because they simply don’t know that they need legal help. They don’t realize they have a legal problem that has a legal solution. This education gap is where the access to justice issue begins, but isn’t where it should end. Can technology help improve access to justice? Increased accessibility and technology that identifies and addresses legal problems are gradually reducing barriers to equal justice under the law for all. Yet, we have a long way to go. For instance, over 90 percent of Americans have a smartphone, yet only one percent have a legal…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, April 4. In Piccioli v. The Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System et al., the court ruled that a union lobbyist qualified for a public pension under a repealed law by spending one day as a substitute teacher. Piccioli v. The Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System et al. By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan This case, like Carmichael v. Laborers’ & Retirement Board, 2018 IL 122793, deals with pension issues which have arisen involving public union employees seeking pension benefits from…