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"The Brief" - The ALA Blog

  • September 27, 2023 8:16 AM | Walker Mondt (Administrator)

    The Child Protection Division of the Cook County Circuit Court is looking for attorneys to represent indigent parties at both the trial and appellate level. There are two panels - one for trial work and one for appellate work. You can be on one or both. The fees are $112.50 for in court hours and $75 for out of court work.

    If you don't have experience in this area, the Child Protection Division will provide mentors. Most cases are conducted entirely by Zoom with occasional hearings/trials in person. Appellate cases are entirely electronic. Orders in both are electronically filed.

    If you are interested, contact Presiding Judge Robert Balanoff at robert.balanoff@cookcountyil.gov

    The Child Protection Division is also seeking a Court Coordinator. The annual salary is $59,828 and includes benefits. Individuals must have an Illinois Law License or J.D. and taking the bar exam. Qualified persons are invited to submit, via USPS or email, a letter of interest and a resume outlining their skills and experience to:

    Cristina Borjon (cristina.borjon@cookcountyil.gov), Supervisor of the Court Coordinators, Cook County Juvenile Court, Child Protection Division, 2245 W. Ogden Avenue, Rm. C23AW, Chicago, IL 60612.

  • September 13, 2023 1:40 PM | Walker Mondt (Administrator)

    The Illinois Supreme Court returns to session for the September Term, with oral arguments scheduled for September 12-14 and September 19-21.  A total of 24 cases will be heard this Term: 13 criminal and 11 civil.  The civil cases will be heard on the following dates:

    September 19, 2023

    128275 - Hart v. The Illinois State Police

    128575 - Pinkston v. The City of Chicago

    128602 - Alave v. The City of Chicago

    September 20, 2023

    128731 - Shawnee Community Unit School District No. 84 v. Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board

    128841 - Muhammad v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc.

    128867 - In re Estate of Mark A. Coffman

    128935 - M.U. v. Team Illinois Hockey Club, Inc.

    September 21, 2023

    129031 - Direct Auto Ins. Co. v. Guiracocha

    129081 - Mosby v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital

    129087 - Acuity v. M/I Homes of Chicago, LLC

    129097 - Doe v. Burke Wise Morrissey & Kaveny, LLC

    The Court will hear several cases of interest this term, including M.U. v. Team Illinois Hockey Club and Mosby v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital. Below are abbreviated summaries for these two cases.  Full summaries for these cases, as well as criminal and disciplinary cases pending before the Court, can be accessed by ALA members on our website: www.applawyers.org/casespending

    M.U. v. Team Illinois Hockey Club raises the question of whether section 5 of the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) applies to a youth hockey club that is not itself a “place of public accommodation,” but rents time at an ice rink that is, such that the club’s exclusion of a team member for a mental health condition would violate the IHRA.

    The minor plaintiff joined a girls’ hockey team operated by defendants Team Illinois Hockey Club and the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois. Defendants lease and operate a public ice rink which is generally open to the public and at which the team holds practices and games. In late 2019, defendants suspended plaintiff from participating in any team activities upon her disclosure of certain mental health conditions. Two weeks later, defendants lifted plaintiff’s suspension.

    Plaintiff sued defendants, alleging they violated article 5 of the IHRA, which states “[i]t is a civil rights violation for any person on the basis of unlawful discrimination to *** [d]eny or refuse to another the full and equal enjoyment of the facilities, goods, and services of any public place of accommodation.” 775 ILCS 5/5-102(A). Defendants moved to dismiss her complaint, arguing that the team did not constitute a “place of public accommodation” under the IHRA, and the trial court agreed. The Second District Appellate Court reversed. It held that defendants, as entities, are not places of public accommodation, but the ice rink is, and defendants “may nevertheless be subject to civil rights laws if they exercise sufficient control over a place of public accommodation by, for example, leasing or operating the venue where its public sporting events are held.”

    Defendants sought leave to appeal, primarily arguing that the Second District’s ruling subjects private organizations to liability under the IHRA simply by virtue of conducting private activities in public places (i.e. social clubs, political organizations, and church groups holding monthly meetings at a restaurant), without providing any parameters for how frequently or how pervasively a private organization must frequent a place of public accommodation before triggering liability under article 5 of the IHRA.

    * * * * *

    Mosby v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital addresses whether healthcare workers who are required to scan their fingerprints to use medication dispensing systems have their biometric information collected without consent in violation of BIPA. The employers moved to dismiss lawsuits brought by these health care workers based on section 10 of BIPA, which provides that biometric information does not include “information captured from a patient in a health care setting or information collected, used, or stored for health care treatment, payment, or operations under” HIPAA. They argued that dispensing medication fell within the definitions of “treatment” and “operations” under HIPAA and the collection of fingerprints for this purpose was exempt under section 10.

    The trial court denied the motions to dismiss, but certified a question under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 308 regarding whether section 10’s exemption applied to the collection of healthcare workers’ fingerprints for healthcare treatment or operations. The appellate court answered the certified question in the negative. The court interpreted the exemption to apply only to patient information that is already protected by HIPAA. And because information collected from healthcare workers is not protected by HIPAA, the exemption was inapplicable. The appellate court modified the opinion on rehearing, noting that section 10 made no mention of employee information; it applied to information collected “under HIPAA,” not information collected for treatment and operations “as defined by HIPAA.” Justice Mikva dissented, observing that section 10 exempted two distinct types of information: (1) information captured from patients; and (2) any other information collected for healthcare treatment, payment, or operations as those terms are defined under HIPAA. Justice Mikva believed that the majority’s reading of section 10 disregarded the General Assembly’s use of the word “information” twice, which suggested that it intended to exempt two distinct categories of information.

    In their petition for leave to appeal, the employers argued that Justice Mikva correctly interpreted section 10 and that the majority’s reading of that section conflicted with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidance directing healthcare facilities to use biometric scanners on medication dispensers. In their answer to the petition for leave to appeal, the employees argued that the employers’ reading of section 10 would amount to creating a BIPA exemption for the entire healthcare industry.

  • September 07, 2023 1:42 PM | Paul Coogan (Administrator)

    The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, has adopted updated rules, effective August 31, 2023. The updated rules reflect changes to Rules 2, 3, and 5 in order to address and comply with the requirements and effects of the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act. 

    The updated Rules will be available on the First District's website in the coming days. 

  • August 22, 2023 8:45 PM | Paul Coogan (Administrator)

    U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth have announced that they will begin accepting applications from those interested in serving as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. 

    A copy of the announcement can be found at this link.

    Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and a completed copy of this questionnaire to applications@durbin.senate.gov by 5:00 p.m. CT on Monday September 11, 2023. Applicants are requested to incorporate their cover letter, resume, completed questionnaire, and any attachments to the questionnaire into a single PDF document if possible. 

    The Senators will be assisted by a screening committee, which will review candidates and advise the Senators, who will make recommendations on potential nominees to the President. 

  • June 08, 2023 9:00 AM | Paul Coogan (Administrator)

    Justice Eugene G. Doherty of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, seeks a judicial law clerk/administrative assistant for an opening in his chambers in Rockford, Illinois. This position may be considered on a limited term or an indefinite basis depending on the strength of the application. 

    The judicial law clerk/administrative assistant conducts legal research and drafts memoranda, orders, and opinions for the justice, and may be asked to review and edit the work of other clerks. The position also requires sharing administrative duties with the other clerks, including paying bills, submitting reimbursement requests, etc. The administrative aspects of the position represent a very small part of overall clerking responsibilities. The successful applicant must have the ability to act in a manner consistent with the Court’s ethical responsibilities.

    Graduation from an ABA-accredited law school is required. Law Review/journal experience is preferred. Preference will be given to those with prior experience as a judicial law clerk and/or appellate lawyer or as a legal practitioner, but all applicants with an outstanding academic record and superior research and writing skills will be considered. Excellent computer and technology skills required.

    To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, official law school transcript, class rank, writing sample and three references to edoherty@illinoiscourts.gov . The position will remain open until filled; submissions received by Friday, June 16, 2023, will be given first consideration.

  • May 19, 2023 5:38 PM | Carson Griffis (Administrator)

    Justice Tom M. Lytton of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third Judicial District, passed away Wednesday, May 17, 2023.  Justice Lytton retired from the bench in July 2022 after 30 years of service on the appellate court.

    After graduating from Northwestern University's School of Law, Justice Lytton began his legal career volunteering for VISTA in West Virginia and working at Legal Services in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He then practiced law with his father in East Moline, Illinois, for 19 years.

    In 1992, Justice Lytton was elected to the appellate court, where he served the People of the State of Illinois for the rest of his career.  While on the bench, he served on the Illinois Continuing Education Committee, the Law and Literature Committee, and as president of the Council of Chief Judges of State Appellate Courts.  In 2018, he received the Honorable Richard J. Elrod Public Service Award from the Jewish Judges Association of Illinois.

    Funeral services will be at held at 10:30 AM on Monday, May 22, 2023, at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Rock Island, Illinois.  Services also will be livestreamed at www.wheelanpressly.com/live-stream.

    Justice Lytton's full obituary, which includes additional details on funeral services, how to send flowers or plant a tree in Justice Lytton's honor, and where to post memories of Justice Lytton, may be found here.

    On behalf of its membership, the Appellate Lawyers Association expresses its deepest condolences to Justice Lytton's family, friends, and colleagues.

  • May 14, 2023 11:10 AM | Carson Griffis (Administrator)

    Effective May 11, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court assigned Justice Margaret J. Mullen to the Illinois Appellate Court, Second Judicial District.  Justice Mullen is filling the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Donald C. Hudson.  The assignment will continue until June 1, 2027, or until further order of the Illinois Supreme Court.

    Justice Mullen was first appointed to the bench in 1992 as an Associate Judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit.  She was appointed by the Supreme Court as a 19th Judicial Circuit Judge in 1997 and won election in 1998.  She served as Chief Judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit from 2002 to 2004, and served as Presiding Judge of the Law, Juvenile, and Consolidated Family Divisions.  She retired from the circuit court in 2017.

    Before serving on the bench, Justice Mullen worked in private practice at Tressler, Soderstrom, Maloney & Priess (now Tressler LLP) and served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Lake and DuPage Counties.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois State University and her juris doctor from The John Marshall Law School.

    The Illinois Supreme Court's announcement of Justice Mullen's assignment may be found here. The Appellate Lawyers Association congratulates Justice Mullen on her assignment to the appellate court.

  • May 07, 2023 10:22 AM | Carson Griffis (Administrator)

    Justice Kathryn Zenoff of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth Judicial District, is seeking a judicial law clerk/secretary for an opening in early August in her Rockford, Illinois, chambers.  Reasonable remote work options, along with in-chambers work when needed, will be considered.  The annual salary for the position is $87,391.

    The judicial law clerk/secretary conducts legal research and drafts memoranda, orders, and opinions for the justice.  Duties also include reviewing and editing the work of other clerks.  The position also requires sharing administrative duties with the other clerks, including but not limited to corresponding with the Springfield courthouse and other chambers, tracking the status of motions and cases, paying bills, maintaining case files, and keeping the library up to date.

    Graduation from an ABA-accredited law school.  Law review or journal experience strongly desired.  Prior experience as a judicial law clerk and/or
    appellate lawyer is strongly preferred, but all applicants with an outstanding academic record in core courses and superior research, analytical and writing skills will be considered.  Excellent computer skills required.

    To apply, submit (1) a cover letter, (2) resume, (3) law school transcript, (4) class rank, (5) LSAT score, (6) one independent, self-edited writing sample and (7) three references to cnorberg@illinoiscourts.gov.  The position will remain open until filled.

    More information about the position may be found here.

  • April 11, 2023 4:45 PM | Carson Griffis (Administrator)

    Early today, Justice Donald C. Hudson of the Illinois Appellate Court, Second Judicial District, passed away following a courageous battle with cancer. 

    Justice Hudson began his service on the bench in 1993, when he was appointed as an associate judge in the Circuit Court for the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Kane County.  In 2000, he was elected as a circuit judge and was twice elected as Chief Judge in 2004 and 2006.  He served on the appellate court since 2009.

    While on the bench, Justice Hudson was appointed as Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court's Statewide Committee on Criminal Law and Probation Administration, served as a faculty member on the the Illinois Education Conference, was appointed to the Judicial Inquiry Board, and served as Chair of a Special Supreme Court Committee established to codify the law of evidence in the State of Illinois.

    The Illinois Supreme Court's announcement of Justice Hudson's passing may be found here.  Services are pending.

    On behalf of its membership, the Appellate Lawyers Association extends its deepest condolences to Justice Hudson's family, colleagues, and friends.

  • March 27, 2023 10:16 AM | Paul Coogan (Administrator)
    The Office of the State Appellate Defender (OSAD) is establishing a panel program to use private attorneys licensed in Illinois to represent clients in appeals under the Pre-Trial Fairness Act (PFA). Appeals will typically challenge the trial court's decision to either detain a defendant before trial or to impose conditions of pre-trial release. Contract attorneys will be responsible for reading the record on appeal and filing a memorandum in the appellate court making any necessary arguments on behalf of the client. OSAD will remain counsel of record and will provide guidance and clerical support in preparing and filing these appeals. Compensation will be $1000.00 per case. If the appellate court requests oral argument, which we expect will be very rare, additional compensation on an hourly basis will be available. Minority law firms are strongly encouraged to apply. If you are interested in participating in the panel program and would like further information, please email your contact information to PFAPanelAttorneys@osad.state.il.us.


DISCLAIMER: The Appellate Lawyers Association does not provide legal services or legal advice. Discussions of legal principles and authority, including, but not limited to, constitutional provisions, statutes, legislative enactments, court rules, case law, and common-law doctrines are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.

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