Latest from The Bar News

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the opinions handed down Thursday, April 4, 2024, by the Illinois Supreme Court.
People v. Johanson, 2024 IL 129425
By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Korem Johanson was convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child based on an allegation that he caused his sex organ (penis) to make contact with the hand of the minor victim for the purpose of his sexual gratification or arousal. The minor’s trial testimony was that she touched Johanson’s penis two or three times when she was eight years old. At issue
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, April 4

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the three civil and six criminal opinions handed down Thursday, March 21, 2024, by the Illinois Supreme Court.
People v. Gray, 2024 IL 127815
By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Demetrius Gray was arrested and charged with being an armed habitual criminal after a woman flagged down police officers on patrol and reported that a man in a parked vehicle had a gun. When the officers approached the vehicle, they observed Gray in the passenger seat with the door open, and they found a small chrome handgun in
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, March 21

A leading appellate attorney reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down Friday, March 8.
M.U. v. Team Illinois Hockey Club, Inc., 2024 IL 128935
By Amelia Buragas, J.D., Illinois State University

In M.U. v. Team Illinois Hockey Club, Inc., a unanimous Court applied standard rules of statutory construction to consider the language and parameters of section 5-102(A) of the Illinois Human Rights Act. After examining the plain language of the statute and the allegations contained in the plaintiff’s complaint, the Court held that a youth hockey club that leases and operates a portion of a public ice arena
Continue Reading Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Friday, March 8, 2024

A leading appellate attorney reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down Friday, February 16.
People v. Fair, 2024 IL 128373
By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Darrell Fair was arrested for an armed robbery and murder in Chicago in September 1998. He was interrogated at Area 2 and made statements implicating himself and two others. Prior to trial, Fair filed a motion to suppress statements, alleging “physical, mental, and psychological coercion” and denial of counsel, but counsel later withdrew the motion without a hearing. Fair’s inculpatory statement was admitted against him at trial, and
Continue Reading Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Friday, February 16, 2024

In a proactive move to enhance insurance offerings for solo lawyers and small law firms in Illinois, ISBA Mutual Insurance Company and Sidebar Insurance Solutions have formed a strategic partnership. The collaboration provides a complete comprehensive suite of property and casualty insurance products tailored to meet the needs of Illinois law firms.

ISBA Mutual Insurance Company holds the distinguished position of being the top insurer of Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance for law firms in Illinois. With a robust history spanning over 35 years, ISBA Mutual has consistently delivered quality insurance coverage and additional services to over 4,000 small firms in
Continue Reading Empowering Illinois Lawyers: ISBA Mutual and Sidebar Insurance Solutions Partner to Deliver Comprehensive Insurance Coverage to Illinois Lawyers

A leading appellate attorney reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down Thursday, February 1.
People v. Huff, 2024 IL 128492
By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In 2000, Richard Huff was convicted of first degree murder. The State sought the death penalty, and Huff waived his right to a jury determination of death eligibility, instead opting to have the trial judge consider the issue. The judge found Huff death-eligible, but ultimately declined to impose a death sentence because Huff had no prior convictions. Huff was sentenced to life in prison. On direct appeal, and
Continue Reading Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, February 1, 2024

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the five civil and two criminal opinions handed down Friday, January 19, 2024, by the Illinois Supreme Court.
People v. Frey, 2024 IL 128644
By Jay Wiegman, Assistant Appellate Defender

The Post Conviction Hearing Act, 725 ILCS 5/122 1(a)(1), provides a mechanism for a criminal defendant to assert a substantial denial of his rights under the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Illinois, or both. At the first of three potential stages of post-conviction proceedings, the circuit court must, within 30 days of its filing, independently review the
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Friday, January 19, 2024

A leading appellate attorney reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down Thursday, December 14.
Alave v. City of Chicago, 2023 IL 128602
By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

This plaintiff, while riding his personal bicycle in a city street encountered a pothole within a crosswalk he was transiting. He fell and sustained injury. The location of his fall was approximately 100 feet from a Divvy bike share station. Plaintiff filed this case against the City of Chicago, alleging that the City knew or should have known of the pothole, contending that it was caused
Continue Reading Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, December 14, 2023

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the seven civil and ten criminal opinions handed down Thursday, November 30, 2023, by the Illinois Supreme Court.
People v. Webb, 2023 IL 128957
By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In March 2018, Dante Webb was driving a semi pulling a partially loaded car hauler when he was stopped by the police because the semi lacked the federally-required DOT markings and failed to display proper registration. The sheriff’s deputy who initiated the stop observed that Webb was in a “panic.” He was disorganized, provided the deputy with information
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, November 30, 2023

The Illinois Supreme Court announced today amendments to Supreme Court Rule 299 regarding compensation for attorneys appointed to represent indigent parties. Amended Rule 299 doubles compensation for an attorney appointed by a court in this state to represent an indigent party to $150 per hour (from its previous minimum of $75 per hour) and $150 per hour for time reasonably expended out of court (from its previous minimum of $50 per hour).

“The Illinois Supreme Court is committed to improving access to justice for all and especially indigent parties,” Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis said. “This amendment will help improve
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Amends Rule 299 to Increase Compensation for Attorneys of Indigent Parties

A leading appellate attorney reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down Thursday, October 26.
Lichter v. Porter Carroll, 2023 IL 128468
By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde & O’Meara LLP

In this case, the Illinois Supreme Court was called upon to interpret Section 13-209 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/13-209 (West 2020)). Specifically, the Court answered the question of whether a plaintiff in a personal injury action who did not know the defendant was deceased at the time the action was filed and before the statute of limitations had expired, could proceed after learning of
Continue Reading Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, October 26, 2023

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the one civil and three criminal opinions handed down Thursday, October 19, 2023, by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Givens v. City of Chicago, 2023 IL 127837
By Amelia Buragas, Illinois State University

Eleven years ago, three men, John Givens, Leland Dudley, and David Strong, broke into an electronics store in Chicago. A witness heard the burglary and called the police. The three men attempted to escape by backing their van out of a closed garage door at a high-rate speed but in the process, hit a police officer with their vehicle. The
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, October 19, 2023

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the two civil opinions handed down Thursday, September 21, 2023, by the Illinois Supreme Court.
MB Financial Bank, N.A. v. Brophy, 2023 IL 128252
By Amelia Buragas, Illinois State University

In MB Financial Bank, N.A. v. Brophy, the Illinois Supreme Court overruled the appellate court’s judgment holding that the City of Joliet owed more than $6 million in back property taxes to the former owner of a property subjected to condemnation proceedings. The unanimous opinion authored by Justice Cunningham, concluded that the plaintiff was not entitled to repayment of property taxes that
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, September 21, 2023

A leading appellate attorney reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down Friday, August 11.

Caulkins v. Pritzker, 2023 IL 129453
By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

In a 4-3 decision addressing the General Assembly’s recent enactment of a criminal code provision restricting the purchase, sale and possession of assault weapons, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a Macon County circuit court’s order finding the Protect Illinois Communities Act (Act) unconstitutional. Plaintiffs included a business, two individuals, and a voluntary unincorporated association with hundreds of individuals and businesses, all of whom alleged that they “possessed or
Continue Reading Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Friday, August 11, 2023

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the one civil and one criminal opinion handed down Tuesday, July 18, 2023, by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Rowe v. Raoul, 2023 IL 129248
By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde & O’Meara LLP

This case involves the constitutionality of the Safety Accountability, Fairness and Equity (SAFE-T) Act (Pub. Act. No. 101-652 (eff. Jan. 1, 2023)), as amended by Public Act 102-1104 (Pub. Act. No. 102-1104 (eff. Jan. 1, 2023)) (together referred to as the Act). Among other things, the Act amended statutory provisions governing pretrial release of criminal defendants, such as eliminating the
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the one civil and three criminal opinions handed down Thursday, June 15, 2023, by the Illinois Supreme Court.
PML Development LLC v. Village of Hawthorn Woods, 2023 IL 128770
By Amelia Buragas, Illinois State University

In PML Development, LLC v. Village of Hawthorn Woods, the Illinois Supreme Court considered whether the parties to a contract retained any claims for breach of contract in a scenario where both parties breached the agreement but elected to keep the contract in force. The Court discussed the “fork in the road” created when a party breaches
Continue Reading Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, June 15, 2023