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Category Archives: Jurisdictions

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Sharply Divided Illinois Supreme Court Abolishes “Public Duty Rule” Protecting Government Officials from Tort Suits

Posted in Illinois
A long-standing common law principle called the “public duty rule” holds that local government entities and their employees owe no tort duty of care to individual citizens to provide governmental services such as police and fire protection – such duties are owed to the public as a whole. In the closing days of its January… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court In 2015: A Year In Transition

Posted in Appellate Practice, California
Originally published on Law360, Feb. 4, 2016. Posted with permission. 2015 was a year of transition for the California Supreme Court as two new justices appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Justices Mariano-Florentino Cuellar and Leondra R. Kruger, took office in early January. Because the new justices replaced Republican appointees, there has been widespread speculation that… Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Decide Whether Attorneys’ Fees Limitation in Claim Bill Is Constitutional

Posted in Florida
The Florida Supreme Court has accepted review of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. v. State, No. 4D13-3497, 2015 WL 4269031 (Fla. 4th DCA July 15, 2015), which will require it to decide whether a claims bill* that awarded $15 million to a minor plaintiff, but limited attorneys’ fees to $100,000, when the law… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Resolve Conflict Regarding Whether a Proposal for Settlement Must Reference Attorneys’ Fees When There Is No Fee Claim Pled

Posted in Florida
The Florida Supreme Court will review the First District’s decision in Borden Dairy Co. of Alabama, LLC v. Kuhajda, 171 So. 2d 242 (Fla. 1st DCA Aug. 14, 2015), which certified conflict with the Fourth District’s decision in Bennett v. American Learning Systems of Boca Delray, Inc., 857 So. 2d 986 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003).… Continue Reading

FLORIDA APPELLATE COURT CONFIRMS THAT PEDESTRIAN MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR COLLISION WITH VEHICLE

Posted in Appellate Practice, Florida
On December 2, 2015, the Second District Court of Appeal, in Panzera v. O’Neal (Case No. 2D14-4302), held that the plaintiffs did not present any admissible evidence to support their negligence claim against the defendant-truck driver and his employer or to refute the conclusion that the decedent-pedestrian caused the highway collision. Accordingly, the court affirmed… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Sides With Chicago Board of Education in “Do Not Hire” Union Dispute

Posted in Illinois
This morning, a majority of the Illinois Supreme Court sided with the Chicago Board of Education in a dispute with its teachers union, holding in The Board of Education of the City of Chicago v. The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board that the Board of Education was not required to participate in mandatory arbitration over… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Broad Construction of Judge Challenge Statute

Posted in Illinois
A litigant files suit, litigates for several years, and then, prior to trial, exercises her right to voluntarily dismiss the action without prejudice. Not long after, she refiles the action and is assigned (apparently by chance) to the same judge. The litigant attempts to exercise her statutory right to one automatic substitution of judge under… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Clarify When Workers’ Comp Settlement Eliminates Contribution Claim from Third-Party Tortfeasor

Posted in Illinois
According to Section 2 of the Contribution Act, when a party settles a claim in good faith against one tortfeasor, the finding of good faith automatically discharges that tortfeasor from any liability for contribution to another tortfeasor. (740 ILCS 100/2.) On the final day of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a petition… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Constitutionality of Property Tax Exemption for Aviation Firm

Posted in Illinois
It’s not at all uncommon for state and local governments to use targeted tax breaks as a tool for encouraging economic growth, giving various types of businesses – and sometimes, single major employers – incentives to expand their operations. On the final day of the November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide the… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Revisit 67-Year-Old Precedent Holding that Temporary Flooding Cannot Constitute a Taking

Posted in Illinois
On the final day of the November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear Hampton v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Hampton poses a simple question: should the Court overrule its 1948 decision in People ex rel. Pratt v. Rosenfield holding that temporary flooding caused by government action can never constitute a… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Requiring Attorneys in Administrative Hearings

Posted in Illinois
During the recently concluded November term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Stone Street Partners, LLC v. City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings, a decision from the First District of Division One. Stone Street poses a question with possibly serious implications for administrative law in Illinois: do corporations have to be represented… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Judgment Against Buyer in Foreclosure for Pre-Sale Condo Assessments

Posted in Illinois
Can the person or entity buying a condominium in a foreclosure sale ever be held liable for condominium assessments which accrued prior to the sale? This morning, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court held in 1010 Lake Shore Association v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company that the answer was “yes.” Our detailed summary of the facts… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Engineer’s Services on Cancelled Project Subject to Lien

Posted in Illinois
An engineering firm surveys a tract of land, prepares and records a plat, conducts a wetlands survey, and provides various services for planning roads, utilities and sewers for a proposed subdivision. But ultimately, the developer declares bankruptcy and the project is cancelled. Can the engineering firm record a valid mechanics lien? In Christopher B. Burke… Continue Reading

Divided Illinois Supreme Court Clears Way For Lawsuit Challenging Construction of Condo Development

Posted in Illinois
In early November, a sharply divided Illinois Supreme Court cleared the way for claims against the developer and contractor involved in a now 19-year-old condominium development, narrowly affirming the Appellate Court decision in Henderson Square Condominium Association v. LAB Townhomes, LLC. Our detailed summary of the underlying facts and lower court opinions in Henderson Square… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Whether State Union Deals Conditional on Appropriations

Posted in Illinois
The state government enters into a contract with an employee union calling for pay increases for thousands of employees. The state legislature fails to appropriate enough money to cover the increases. Is the state in breach of contract, or was the state’s contractual promise to pay the increases conditional on the legislature actually appropriating the… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Seems Skeptical of Narrow Misconduct Exception to Unemployment Benefits

Posted in Illinois
In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Petrovic v. The Department of Employment Security, a case posing the question of exactly what has to be proven to trigger the exception to unemployment compensation for employees terminated for misconduct. Based upon the content and number of questions,… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates FutureGen Jurisdictional Dispute

Posted in Illinois
During its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Illinois Commerce Commission, which poses important issues about the scope of the Illinois Commerce Commission’s jurisdiction over Illinois utilities. Our detailed summary of the underlying facts and court rulings is here. In 1997, the Illinois legislature sought to restructure… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Whether Foreclosure Sale Extinguishes Association Lien for Condo Assessments

Posted in Illinois
In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in 1010 Lake Shore Association v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company. 1010 Lake Shore poses the question of whether a foreclosure sale on a condominium unit extinguishes the homeowners’ association’s lien for assessments which came due before the sale closed.… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Summary Certification Motion Filed Concurrently With Class Complaint Prevents “Pick-Off”

Posted in Illinois
In Barber v. American Airlines, Inc., the Illinois Supreme Court held that a class action complaint may be rendered moot if the defendant tenders full relief to the plaintiff before a class certification motion is filed – what’s been called a “pick-off” of the putative class representative. But what qualifies as a “class certification motion”… Continue Reading