Articles From Michael D. Bersani

Case summaries By Sonni Choi Williams, Michael D. Bersani, Phillip B. Lenzini, Matthew S. Dionne, Rita Elsner, & Joshua Herman Local Government Law, March 2015 Recent cases of interest to local government law practitioners.
Small verdict, large attorney fee award: A look at prevailing attorney fees in federal civil rights cases By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, October 2014 The recent decision in Montanez v. Simon exemplifies how even a small verdict can result in a relatively large attorney fee award.
Illinois Appellate Court strengthens the notice defense to liability for injuries occurring on public sidewalks: Zameer v. City of Chicago By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, October 2013 In Zameer v. City of Chicago, the Appellate Court recently interpreted the notice defense in a manner that should serve to limit municipal liability in residential sidewalk cases.
$1 nominal damages award in civil rights case nets plaintiff’s attorney zero attorney fees By Michael D. Bersani & Zrinka Rukavina Local Government Law, September 2011 The recent Seventh Circuit case of Frizzell v. Szabo may undercut the ability of civil rights plaintiffs to leverage larger-than-deserved settlements.
Case law updates By Michael D. Bersani, Rita Edsner, & Adam Margolin Local Government Law, August 2011 Recent cases of interest to local government lawyers.
Public disclosure of public employee disciplinary records under Gekas v. Williamson and the 2009 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, October 2010 A discussion of the reasoning and holding in the recent Gekas v. Williamson decision, as well as whether any portion of Gekas will survive the 2009 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act.
Supreme Court broadens law enforcement investigatory powers By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, March 2009 In an historical decision rendered on January 26, 2009, the United States Supreme Court in Arizona v. Johnson, unanimously upheld the authority of the police to “stop and frisk” a passenger detained pursuant to a valid traffic stop, when the officer reasonably suspects that the person is armed and dangerous but does not suspect criminal activity.
Appellate Court upholds village’s contractual right to indemnification for its own alleged negligence By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, April 2008 In two recent cases of interest, the Illinois Supreme and Appellate Courts have addressed the validity and enforceability of indemnification provisions, specifically provisions that require indemnification for one’s own negligence.
Appellate Court reaffirms tort immunity for liability stemming from building code enforcement and inspections By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, December 2007 In recent years, sensational stories have appeared in the media around the country concerning injuries and deaths resulting from faulty building construction.
Liabilities and immunities: An outline of the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, March 2000 A. Tort Immunity Act was enacted in 1965 in response to Illinois Supreme Court's abolishment of common law sovereign immunity.
Floodgates open to equal protection claims By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, March 1999 The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment provides that "[n]o State shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

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