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Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Broad Construction of Gaming Board’s Jurisdiction

Is a contract purporting to assign rights to place video gaming terminals in certain establishments from one unlicensed operator to another within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Illinois Gaming Board where the terminals had not yet been placed and began operation? In late September, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court held that the answer was “yes,” … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Employer Liable for Part of Employee’s Legal Fees in Workers Compensation Dispute

When attorneys for a worker covered by the Workers Compensation Act successfully sue a third party for injuries sustained by the worker in the course of his or her employment, the employer can get reimbursed for some or all of the workers compensation benefits it paid to the employee. In recognition of the benefit the … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Dispute Over Alleged Predatory Real Estate Practices

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a petition for leave to appeal in People ex rel. Madigan v. Wildermuth.  Wildermuth, a decision from Division Five of the First District, poses the following question: “Whether the State may claim a violation under the Illinois Human Rights Act pursuant to … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Clarify Conduct Sufficient to Overcome Schools’ Immunity

Section 3-108 of the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act provides that local public entities and their employees are immune from tort liability caused by a failure to supervise an activity on public property except where their failure to supervise rises to a level of willful and wanton conduct. 745 ILCS 10/3-108(a). … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Six-Person Limit on Jury Size Unconstitutional

Late in its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its unanimous opinion in Kakos v. Butler, holding that Public Act 98-1132, a 2015 statute in which the Illinois legislature limited civil juries to six persons, was facially unconstitutional.  Here’s our report on the oral argument, predicting that the Court would strike down the … Continue Reading

Divided California Court Finds Specific Jurisdiction over Claims of Nonresidents against an Out-of-State Corporation

In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court has found specific jurisdiction over the product liability claims of nonresidents against Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS), a Delaware company headquartered in New York with substantial operations in New Jersey. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v.  Superior Court (Anderson), S221038.  It was undisputed that California plaintiffs had specific jurisdiction for … Continue Reading

Sharply Divided Illinois Supreme Court Keeps Redistricting Reform Off November Ballot

Last night, in a case that produced four opinions from the seven-member Court, a sharply divided Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in Hooker v. Illinois State Board of Elections holding that a ballot initiative which would have fundamentally rewritten the legislative redistricting procedures in Illinois was not constitutionally eligible for the ballot. … Continue Reading

Divided Illinois Supreme Court Holds No Property Disputes Between Ex-Domestic Partners

In Blumenthal v. Brewer, the Illinois Supreme Court was asked to overrule its thirty-seven year old decision in Hewitt v. Hewitt and hold that Illinois would join the vast majority of states in recognizing a cause of action for equitable division of property between unmarried domestic partners. Last Thursday, a divided court declined that invitation, … Continue Reading

Anti-SLAPP Protection Extends To City Council Vote Under Allegations of Conflict of Interest in California

  In a 5-2 decision, the California Supreme Court reversed the appellate court and held that the votes of city officials in favor of a public contract were a protected activity under an anti-SLAPP motion, despite allegations that they each had an improper conflict of interest.  City of Montebello v. Vasquez, S219052.  Through outside counsel, … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies the Constitutional Law of the Takings Clause in O’Hare Flooding Case

Earlier this month, the Illinois Supreme Court clarified Illinois constitutional law on compensable takings with its unanimous decision by Chief Justice Garman, reversing in Hampton v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Our detailed summary of the underlying facts and lower court decision in Hampton is here. The plaintiffs in Hampton own property in … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Decide Whether Four-Year or One-Year Statute of Limitation Applies to a Prisoner’s Negligence Action

The Florida Supreme Court will review the First District’s decision in Green v. Cottrell, 172 So. 3d 1009 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015), which certified the following question of great public importance: Which statute of limitations, whether one- or four-year, should be applied to actions brought by a prisoner relating to the conditions of his confinement? … Continue Reading

California Adopts Sophisticated Intermediary Doctrine

In Webb v Special Electric Company, Inc., the Supreme Court unanimously adopted the sophisticated intermediary doctrine in California, and then split 5-2 on how it should be applied. Webb was injured by exposure to products containing asbestos and sued the raw asbestos supplier – raising the question of what duty the raw material supplier had … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Whether the Discovery Rule Applies to Wrongful Death

The discovery rule provides that under certain circumstances, the statute of limitations is tolled until the plaintiff knows not only of his or her injury, but knows or reasonably should know that the injury was likely negligently caused. Does the discovery rule apply to wrongful death claims? The Illinois Supreme Court debated that issue last … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Whether Occupational Disease Disability Pension Triggers Health Insurance Benefit

Section 10 of the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act provides that when a covered employee sustains a “catastrophic injury” under certain enumerated circumstances, the employee is entitled to have his or her health insurance premiums, as well as those of his or her partner and/or dependent children, paid by the employer.  During the May term, … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Constitutional Challenge to Property Tax Exemption Statute

According to Article IX, Section 6 of the Illinois Constitution, the legislature may exempt from property taxes only the “property of the State, units of local government and school districts and property used exclusively for agricultural and horticultural societies, and for school, religious, cemetery and charitable purposes.”  According to Section 15-86 of the Property Tax … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Facial Challenge to Park Regulations in Occupy Case

May the City of Chicago constitutionally enforce its park-closing ordinance against political protestors from the Occupy movement?  That’s the question posed by The City of Chicago v. Alexander, a case from the First District, Division 2 which the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear in the closing days of its May term. The Occupy movement … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Ice Patches From Allegedly Negligent Maintenance Can Create Liability

In order to encourage property owners to remove snow and ice from their property, the Illinois Legislature enacted the Snow and Ice Removal Act, 745 ILCS 75/1.  According to the Act, barring willful or wanton misconduct, property owners are not liable for injuries caused by natural accumulations of snow and ice on their property.  But … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Clarify Administrative Review Issues in Teacher Termination Case

Just how much deference are downstate boards of education required to grant the decisions of hearing officers in connection with disciplinary proceedings for teachers?  The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to clarify that issue, allowing a petition for leave to appeal in Beggs v. Board of Education of Murphysboro Community Unit School District No. 186, a … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Clarify Scope of Automatic Public Employee Grievance Procedure

Are all disciplinary actions against public employees, up to and including termination, subject to a rebuttable presumption of arbitrability absent an express carve-out in the parties’ collective bargaining agreement?  In the closing days of the May term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to address that question, allowing a petition for leave to appeal in Village … Continue Reading
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