Firm News and Recent Decisions
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.
January 29, 2018
Once again, SuperLawyers® Magazine has recognized nearly three-fourths of TDR partners for their high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. In addition, one associate has benn named a Rising Star
- Meredith Martin Addy
- Karina Zabicki DeHayes
- Gino L. DiVito
- Mark H. Horwitch
- Timothy A. Hudson
- Christopher D. Liguori
- Michael I Rothstein
- Caesar A. Tabet
- Uri Abt
- John M. Fitzgerald
- Brian C. Haussmann
The list of Illinois SuperLawyers 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.
January 25, 2018
TDR Partners Brian C. Haussmann and Kate M. O’Brien traveled to Washington, D.C. to brief the U.S. Conference of Mayors on the firm's work in Chicago v. Sessions and on immigration-related legal challenges facing Chicago and other cities.
Haussmann spoke on the second day of the Conference’s Winter Meeting on a panel titled "Immigration: Responding to Current Challenges." The panel discussion was led by Mayors Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Jorge Elorza of Providence, and Tom Tait of Anaheim. Haussmann was also joined on the panel by Mayors Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary and Steve Adler of Austin, as well as Avideh Moussavian, a Senior Policy Attorney with the National Immigration Law Center and Tony Choi, a DREAMer and activist for immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Haussmann’s presentation focused on TDR’s representation of the Conference in Chicago v. Sessions and recent steps taken by the Department of Justice and Attorney General to withhold federal law enforcement grant money to cities as a means of pressuring cities to change “Welcoming City” policies designed to maintain life-saving relationships with immigrant communities.
“The stakes for cities are very high,” Haussmann said. Noting that cities like Chicago have had Welcoming City policies in place for decades, Haussmann explained, “The evidence suggests that [Welcoming City] policies make . . . communities safer. They do not call for the harboring of criminal aliens. They call for the appropriate enforcement of local laws in a way that does not alienate communities that are absolutely essential for the enforcement of those laws.”
Haussmann also described and analyzed the course of the litigation in Chicago v. Sessions, offered his views on related litigation that is ongoing or likely in other cities, and answered the questions of mayors.
The discussion was aired on C-Span. Haussmann’s part of the discussion is available here, and the full presentation is available here.
January 4, 2018
On January 4, 2018, TDR partners Brian C. Haussmann, John M. Fitzgerald, and Katherine M. O’Brien filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in City of Chicago v. Sessions, Case No. 17-2991. TDR filed the brief on behalf of the County of Santa Clara, the United States Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the International City/County Management Association, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, and 23 additional cities, counties, and municipal agencies.
The brief supports the City of Chicago and urges the Seventh Circuit to affirm the lower court’s nationwide injunction against the Department of Justice. In the District Court, Judge Leinenweber enjoined DOJ from imposing unauthorized and unconstitutional conditions on the receipt of federal law enforcement formula grants under the Byrne JAG program. The Court found that DOJ lacked authorization from Congress to impose the enjoined conditions. The amicus brief argues that the lower court correctly granted a nationwide injunction against two challenged conditions, which aim to disqualify state and local governments from receiving critical law enforcement funds unless they agree to assist the federal government in enforcing federal civil immigration laws. The brief further emphasises that the unconstitutional and unlawful conditions undermine the ability of local law enforcement agencies to carry out their own considered judgments about how best to keep their communities safe.
This amicus brief was the first of 12 amicus briefs that argued in support of maintaining the nationwide injunction, and was joined by supporting submissions from, among others, certain members of Congress, 14 states and the District of Columbia, current and former law enforcment leaders, the National Immigrant Justice Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Anti-Defamation League.
The Seventh Circuit will hold argument in City of Chicago v. Sessions on January 19, 2018.
A copy of the brief is available here.