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2011 Articles

$1 nominal damages award in civil rights case nets plaintiff’s attorney zero attorney fees By Michael D. Bersani & Zrinka Rukavina 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 update December 2011 Recent cases of interest to local government attorneys.
Case law update October 2011 Recent cases of interest to local government practitioners.
Case law updates By Michael D. Bersani, Rita Edsner, & Adam Margolin August 2011 Recent cases of interest to local government lawyers.
Case notes and civil case summaries June 2011 Recent cases of interest to local government lawyers.
Case summaries January 2011 Recent cases of interest to Local Government lawyers.
Is information on privately-owned electronic devices subject to FOIA?—What Public Access Binding Opinion No. 11-006 means to you and your government clients By John Redlingshafer December 2011 Opinion 11-006 of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Bureau firmly establishes that electronic communications, whether shared on publicly or privately-owned devices, can be considered “public records” and therefore, may be subject to FOIA.
Lessons learned from FCC v. AT&T: A look at the recent U.S. Supreme Court case By Lisle A. Stalter June 2011 Although there are some fundamental difference in the federal Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and the Illinois equivalent, lessons can be learned from the analysis of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T.
Line of duty disability pensions—What is an act of duty? By John H. Brechin August 2011 Two recent cases illustrate the difficulty in resolving an application for a line of duty disability pension.
Negotiating tax increment financing redevelopment agreements By Herbert J. Klein April 2011 As redevelopment agreements typically exist for a number of years, care should be taken to address all known and reasonably anticipated issues in a clear and unambiguous manner. Here's a look at some of the items the agreement should address.
Official misconduct—What constitutes a law? By John H. Brechin August 2011 Defendant maintained that he was not guilty of official misconduct because the regulations he violated are not “laws” within the meaning of the Statute.
Personal property replacement taxes and public libraries By Phillip B. Lenzini August 2011 If a library existed before 1978, it should be receiving personal property tax replacement funds, either directly from the State or through its host municipality or township.
The Political Question Doctrine applied—A look at Moore v. Grafton Township Board of Trustees By Lisle A. Stalter September 2011 A brief look at the Moore v. Grafton case and the political question doctrine as it has been applied to local governments in Illinois.
Revenue sharing analysis for traffic citations By Marty Shanahan January 2011 A look at how revenues are shared among the different departments within a municipality.
Second District Appellate Court reaffirms ground rules on SSA objection petitions By Michael J. Smoron, Kevin G. Costello, & Carlos S. Arévalo April 2011 A look at the significance of the Peeples v. Village of Johnsburg case.
Synthetic drugs: Playing catch-up with chemicals By Mark C. Palmer December 2011 A multi-pronged plan that stresses education, prevention and public awareness along with updated laws and their enforcement should address the expanding danger of synthetic drug use.
Troubled times require new approaches By Kathleen Field Orr October 2011 Only time will permit the market place to absorb the thousands of foreclosures of both commercial and residential properties. In order to participate in modest growth and reasonable expansion to sustain the infrastructure that has been put into place, communities must revisit their demands upon developer for impact fees, land dedications and renegotiate recapture agreements.
Who’s that knocking at my door? A synopsis of door-to-door solicitation cases By Mark C. Palmer January 2011 The local powers granted to municipalities to protect the health and welfare of its citizens, including prevention of crime, fraud and invasion of privacy, must be fairly balanced with any prior restraints on the Constitutional rights of the salespersons.