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Author Archives: ChicagolandLawFirm

Counsel’s Failure Wins Convict New Trial

A Streamwood felon will get a new trial after appellate judges in the First District ruled that he’d been poorly represented and wrongly sentenced when tried in connection with a parole violation in 2014. James Utley claimed ownership of the drugs and guns found in his wife’s home when cops and parole officers went there… Read More »

Proximate Cause Escapes Lake County Trial

So, too, the teens that were with a 14-year-old who lost his life when a bullet fired by a homeowner in Old Mill Creek struck him in an August burglary attempt. This after Michael Nerheim, the State’s Attorney in Lake County, said he won’t seek murder charges against the five who were with Jaquan Swopes… Read More »

Are Lost Wages Taxable?

Judges from the First District Appellate Court say they apply to a South Side railroad worker’s compensation after he was injured on the job. Rafael Munoz sued the Norfolk Southern Railway for negligence when he was hurt at the Calumet Yard, with a jury last year awarding the freight conductor more than $800,000 under the… Read More »

Appellate Court Affirms Bright Line on Jury Trials

A convicted drug dealer will get a new trial thanks to appellate judges in the First District, who agreed the man had the right to face the bench even as preparations were well underway for a date with a jury. A three-member panel reversed a Cook County judge’s decision to let the jury that subsequently… Read More »

Hearsay Keeps Gangland Killer Behind Bars

The hearsay of fellow gang bangers is enough to keep a convicted killer behind bars, according to a majority of First District Appellate Court judges, who upheld a 2010 jury verdict that hinged on their testimony. While no member of the Two-Six street gang saw Dennis Jaimes fire at two members of a rival gang,… Read More »

Battle Fatigue No Cover for Road Rage Shooter

A combat veteran who claimed that post-traumatic stress disorder led him to fire on a vehicle in an act of self-defense got no sympathy from the First District Court of Appeals, which ruled his 2012 conviction for aggravated discharge of a firearm at a Calumet City stoplight should stand. A Cook County judge took Wendell… Read More »

Red Flag Flies in Gun Law Challenge

A law that allows the state of Illinois to confiscate the firearms of licensed gun owners remains in place after a judge in federal court dismissed a challenge to the statute on Constitutional grounds. DeKalb county resident Charles Gudbrandsen sought to have the so-called Red Flag law that lets cops and others petition courts for emergency… Read More »

Fourth Time Lucky for Malicious Prosecution?

A Rockland man exonerated for a 1995 murder conviction is hoping so after appellate judges heard a fourth round of arguments over whether his suit against cops in Normal can move ahead this week. Attorneys for Alan Beaman claim that three now-retired officers should be held to account for mishandling the investigation into the death… Read More »

Legislators Aim at Extending Overdose Immunity

With Illinois averaging high rates of death from opioid abuse, state lawmakers want to extend immunity to those with criminal records who alert first responders when an overdose occurs. Sponsored by West Side Democrat La Shawn Ford, a bill that confers protections under the state’s 2012 Good Samaritan law to parolees and those on supervised release is… Read More »

Inmate Deaths Demand More Scrutiny

So say campaigners who want the state Department of Corrections to do a better job of documenting the demise of prisoners who perish behind bars. Prompted by a spate of deaths at the Menard Correctional Center in September 2018, a public records probe showed that the department couldn’t identify the cause of around half of… Read More »