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In this new seventh circuit federal case, Camelot Banquet Rooms and about 50 other businesses that offer live nude (or nearly nude) dancing filed suit against the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) for its denial of funding to said businesses under the second round of funding under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), as authorized by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plaintiffs alleged the decision violated their Free Speech rights under the First Amendment. The Eastern District of Wisconsin had issued a preliminary injunction. The government appealed to the seventh circuit, seeking a stay of the preliminary injunction issued by
Continue Reading A Review of Camelot Banquet Rooms, Inc. v. United States Small Business Administration, Which Upheld the Use of Content Based Discrimination in Certain Federal Funding

In 2020, Illinois voters overwhelmingly voted down a signature initiative of Governor Pritzker that sought to enact a graduated income tax system in the State of Illinois. Senator Martwick proposed SB2105 this past week, the bill proposes installing a graduated income tax in Illinois.

While this legislation has been brought forward, it is important to note that this specific bill does not propose a constitutional ballot initiative. Instead it seeks to change the income tax system by statute, something that is expressly not authorized by the state constitution.

The Illinois Constitution clearly lays out that the state’s income tax system
Continue Reading SB2105 Looks to Impose Graduated Income Tax Without Constitutional Amendment

The Internal Revenue service issued guidance Friday that answers lurking questions about whether payments issued by 21 state governments will be considered taxable income.

The guidance largely breaks down to whether the payments were simply a rebate of state and local taxes paid, or if it was general welfare and disaster relief. The guidance states that “people in the following states do not need to report these state payments on their 2022 tax return: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island . . . Alaska is
Continue Reading IRS Releases Guidance Relating to Certain State Refund and Relief Payments

Citigroup Inc. will no longer be allowed to operate in the roughly $3.4 billion municipal bond market in the state of Texas. Texas Attorney General Brent Paxton announced in December that he would investigate to determine whether Citi discriminates against gun manufacturers.[1]

This investigation stems from a 2021 initiative that Governor Abbott signed into law, which prohibits companies bidding for state contracts to not have discriminatory policies in relation to the firearm industry. [2] The Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act of 2021 provides for the Attorney General to investigate compliance. [3]


This is
Continue Reading AG Concludes Investigation, Citigroup Banned From Texas Municipal Bond Market Over Firearm Policies

Marathon Petroleum Co. v. Cook County Department of Revenue, 2022 IL App (1st) 210635)

This is a recent decision released from the First District Appellate Court, Justice Walker, who was joined by Justices Mikva and Tailor delivered the opinion of the court. This is an interesting case that involves some of the nitty-gritty details of a motor fuel tax assessment.


The Cook County Department of Revenue assessed fuel taxes and penalties under the Cook County Retail Sale of Gasoline and Diesel Tax Ordinance for so-called “book-out transactions.” In these transactions, no fuel physically changes hands or locations. When parties
Continue Reading Appellate Court Affirms Tax Assessment, Rejects Penalties (Marathon Petroleum Co. v. Cook County Department of Revenue)

Butler Brothers Supply Division, LLC v. HN Precision Company, 2022 IL App (2d) 220418-U

NOTE: I will post several articles going through different portions of this case. The Second District’s 34 page opinion provides instructive guidance and thorough reasoning on several interesting issues. The case background is fairly fact-intensive, I tried to simplify it as much as possible.


In a long and procedurally intensive decision, the Second District Appellate Court reviewed on appeal claims against several parties alleging common law fraud, aiding and abetting fraud, and benefiting from a scheme to defraud. The three fraud related counts were brought
Continue Reading Final and Appealable or Interlocutory; Jurisdictional Questions (Butler Brothers v. HN Precision)

Ortiz v. State, 869 A.2d 285 (2005)

Juan Ortiz was convicted of first degree murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and arson in the second degree. The jury voted eleven to one to sentence Ortiz to death. This article will primarily review the issue that involves the trial judge’s decision to deny Ortiz the supplemental voir dire questionnaire.

After his conviction, Ortiz appealed and brought up six issues. The issues primarily pertain to questions issues jury questions and certain evidence that was admitted during the trial. For example the victim’s wounds were repeatedly shown to
Continue Reading Trial Judge’s “Broad Discretion in Voir Dire (Ortiz v. State)

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

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)


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

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

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)

This past year, I have written about state noncompete regulations in both Illinois and California. I noted that the Illinois regulation seems to be fairly well-tailored, so far as it still allows executives (and any employees making more than $75,000) to be subject to these agreements, includes notice requirements, and it categorically precludes noncompete agreements for low-wage workers.

I also wrote that the California noncompete ban goes to far, as it bans noncompete agreements across the board. While there are still trade secret, intellectual property, and similar concerns to protect companies. Even a narrowly tailored agreement, say to restrict
Continue Reading FTC Proposes New Noncompete Regulations