Firm News and Recent Decisions
Opioid Addiction Rehabilitation Facility Development Approved
June 12, 2019
On August 4, 2017, TDR filed a five-count complaint in the Northern District of Illinois to redress the unlawful acts of Kane County that resulted in the deprivation of a special use permit to develop and operate an alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation center on a 120-acre site located in Kane County, Illinois. Maxxam Partners, LLC and Glenwood Academy v. County of Kane, et al., 17-cv-5707 The Complaint asserted claims under several federal anti-discrimination statutes, including the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and state zoning law. Plaintiffs claimed that notwithstanding the need for such facilities to address the nationwide public health epidemic relating in part to the abuse of opioid painkillers, as detailed in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 and the 2017 United States President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, the County denied the permit application based on illegal and discriminatory stereotypes about those seeking to recover from addiction (commonly referred to as “not in my back yard” or “NIMBY”).
On August 14, 2018, after months of negotiations and several local government hearings before the Zoning Board of Appeals and the full Kane County Board, Kane County voted to grant special use approval for the rehabilitation facility pursuant to a newly passed Kane County Zoning Ordinance and the terms of a Consent Decree. On November 30, 2018, the Northern District of Illinois – Judge Jorge Alonso – entered and approved the Consent Decree. Among other things, the Consent Decree enforced the granting of the special use for the property and secured for our client the right to develop and operate the rehabilitation facility. In addition, Kane County agreed to pay our client $4.6 million as part of the overall settlement of the lawsuit.
In securing the Consent Decree and the settlement, TDR also defeated a third-party’s eleventh hour effort to intervene in the action in opposition to the Consent Decree, successfully persuading the Court that the putative intervenor’s motion was untimely and improper. TDR also obtained the dismissal of a state court challenge filed by adjoining neighbors to the property, who alleged that the passage of the Ordinance violated their procedural and substantive due process rights.
Caesar Tabet, Christopher Liguori, Brian Haussmann and Jordan Wilkow secured this important result.
March 14, 2019
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin recently published Tabet DiVito & Rothstein associate Jacob Berger’s article (subscription may be required) regarding the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., 2019 IL 123186. That decision may have significantly expanded the scope of liability under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, 740 ILCS 14/1 et seq.
The Illinois Biometric Privacy Act requires any company that collects biometric data to establish written policies regarding the handling of biometric data and to make them available to the public. To permissibly collect biometric data, a company must (a) inform the subject in writing that the company is collecting biometric data, (b) inform the subject in writing as to the purpose for which the biometric data will be collected and how long it will be stored, and (c) obtain written consent from the subject to collect his or her biometric data. The Act also requires a company to store biometric data at least as securely as other confidential information, such as social security numbers.
In Rosenbach, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a plaintiff could sue for a violation of the Act without the need to allege an additional injury or adverse effect beyond a violation of the Act. As a result, companies may face significant liability risks for technical or procedural violations of the Act.
The effects of this decision could be significant and far-reaching. As a result, as soon as possible companies should develop and/or review their written policies regarding handling biometric data or other confidential information to ensure that they comply with the Act.
February 21, 2019
Tabet DiVito & Rothstein proudly announces that 12 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Congratulations to all of them for attaining this high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
2019 Super Lawyers
- Karina Zabicki DeHayes
- Gino L. DiVito
- John Fitzgerald*
- Mark H. Horwitch
- Timothy A. Hudson
- Christopher D. Liguori
- Michael I Rothstein
- Caesar A. Tabet
2019 Rising Stars
- Uri Abt
- Melody GaalI*
- Brian C. Haussmann
- Katherine M. O'Brien*
* - First Time Honoree in this category
The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. The list of Super Lawyers includes no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state. Rising Star is a distinction reserved for the top 2.5% of Illinois lawyers who are under 40 or in practice for 10 years or fewer.
February 20, 2019
The Judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois have appointed Tim Hudson to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Court on the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Program (“MIDP”). On April 27, 2017, Chief Judge Ruben Castillo of the Northern District of Illinois issued General Order 17-0005, establishing a three-year pilot program – the MIDP – for all cases filed on or after June 1, 2017, and assigned to participating judges. The MIDP created a new set of early discovery disclosure responsibilities and obligations on the vast majority of civil litigants appearing in cases filed in the District. The judges in charge of this pilot program appointed the Advisory Committee to facilitate communications regarding the MIDP between practitioners and the Court, and to assist in evaluating the program. The 10-member Advisory Committee represents a cross-section of federal practitioners from the Northern District of Illinois, including in-house counsel.
Federal Court in Illinois Denies Motion to Certify Class for TCPA Claims
February 11, 2019
On February 8, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied a motion to certify a class action against our client for claims arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Gordon, et al. v. Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc., 14-cv-5848 (NDIL, February 8, 2019).
Plaintiff alleged that he received unsolicited text messages from our client, a marketer of cruise vacation packages. Although Plaintiff alleged that the text messages violated the TCPA, we presented evidence that, among other things, the text messages at issue were sent only to people who had previously consented to receive such communications.
In a 27-page opinion, the Federal District Court found that plaintiff failed to satisfy Rule 23(a)(4)’s adequacy requirement because of the named plaintiff’s significant business ties to plaintiff’s counsel. The Federal District Court also agreed that “a multitude of mini-trials will be unavoidable” with respect to our client’s contention that the individuals who received the text messages had consented to being contacted. Finally, the Federal District Court concluded that the manageability problems of litigating the claims as a class action outweighed the benefits.
TDR lawyer Tim Hudson secured this important opinion.
January 22, 2019
TDR partner Tim Hudson has been appointed by the Chicago Bar Association to serve on its Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC). The JEC investigates and evaluates the qualifications of persons who seek, or may be considered for nomination, election, appointment to or retention in judicial office. “The administration of justice in our community is largely a function of the quality of our judges,” said Mr. Hudson. “I am excited to work with the Chicago Bar Association and my colleagues on the Judicial Evaluation Committee to further its mission of informing and educating the public about upcoming judicial contents in primary and general elections.”
November 8, 2018
Once again, Meredith Martin “Mimi” Addy and Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as being among The Best Lawyers in America and the Best Law Firms.
Firms included in the 2019 Edition of "Best Law Firms" are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.
The 2019 rankings are based on the highest number of participating ﬁrms and highest number of client votes received on record. To be eligible for a ranking, a ﬁrm must have a lawyer recognized first in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top ﬁve percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S. Over 16,000 lawyers provided more than 1,125,000 law ﬁrm assessments, and almost 12,000 clients provided more than 107,000 evaluations.
The 2019 "Best Law Firms" rankings can be seen in their entirety by visiting bestlawﬁrms.usnews.com.
August 29, 2018
On August 29, 2018, TDR attorneys won an impressive victory for our client the United States Conference of Mayors in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Conference represents the interests of cities throughout the country.
As a result of the Seventh Circuit’s decision, the Attorney General is enjoined from imposing three unlawful, immigration-related conditions on critical federal funds awarded to Conference member cities under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.
The litigation began in June 2018 when the Conference and the City of Evanston brought a lawsuit against the Attorney General in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois challenging the Attorney General’s imposition of the three conditions on Byrne JAG funds. As a result of the Attorney General’s conditions, cities faced a Hobson’s choice: agree to unconstitutional grant conditions or forfeit crucial federal grant funds.
On August 9, 2018, the district court granted the Conference and Evanston’s motion for preliminary injunction, and enjoined the Attorney General from imposing the conditions on Evanston and the Conference’s other member cities. However, the district court stayed the injunction as to the Conference’s members. In response, TDR filed an emergency motion in the Seventh Circuit on behalf of the Conference.
On August 29, 2018, the Seventh Circuit granted the Conference’s emergency motion to lift the district court’s stay and ordered that the district court’s original preliminary injunction go into effect.
The district court case is City of Evanston and United States Conference of Mayors v. Sessions, Case No. 18-cv-4853. The Seventh Circuit case is United States Conference of Mayors v. Sessions, Case No. 18-2734.
TDR partners Brian C. Haussmann, Katherine M. O’Brien, and John M. Fitzgerald, and associate Kyle A. Cooper represent the Conference.
April 25, 2018
Tabet DiVito & Rothstein partner Katherine M. O’Brien has been awarded the Amicus Service Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association.
The IMLA Amicus Service Award recognizes lawyers who have been actively involved in legal advocacy for and on behalf of local governments and IMLA, and who have done exemplary work to protect and advance local government interests.
Ms. O’Brien is being recognized for her service to the IMLA Legal Advocacy program in the City of Chicago v. Sessions case. She will be honored during an awards ceremony on April 20 at the IMLA Mid-Year Seminar in Washington, D.C.
February 6, 2018
On Feb. 6, 2018, the Federal Circuit upheld for the second time the validity of the patent that TDR client Thales Visionix, Inc. asserts covers the helmet-mounted motion-tracking system worn by pilots of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, over the objections of Elbit Systems of America, which is one of the suppliers of the helmet systems.
The Federal Circuit affirmed the 2016 decision of the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) rejecting the arguments made by Elbit during inter partes review that Thales’ patent claims were invalid based on prior art. The Federal Circuit held that substantial evidence supported the PTAB’s decision and that the PTAB properly interpreted the law when it rejected Elbit’s argument.
This is Thales’ third consecutive win, following the PTAB's 2016 decision and the Federal Circuit's March 8, 2017 opinion upholding the validity of Thales’ patent against Elbit’s argument that the patent did not claim patent-eligible subject matter as required by 35 U.S.C. § 101.
Thales' infringement claim, in which Elbit is named as a third-party defendant, is pending in the Court of Federal Claims.
TDR partners Meredith Martin Addy and Daniel Konieczny represented Thales Visionix, Inc. before the PTAB and in both Federal Circuit appeals. The latest opinion is available here.