The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in conjunction with the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, have recognized Sean and Kaitlyn with an Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service. They were nominated for the award by U.S. District Court Judge John Z. Lee and attorney Julia Lissner for their work in the Sanchez Guzman v. Mera Cabrera case. This case was a proceeding under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.
In 2008, Illinois became the first state to regulate the collection of biometric data and which spawned a wide range of private class action claims brought under the Biometric Information Privacy Act. Today, the Illinois Supreme Court gave a boost to those claims by holding that actual harm is not required to state a claim under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). Rather, violation of the statute itself “constitutes an invasion, impairment, or denial of the statutory rights of any person or customer whose biometric identifier or biometric information is subject to the breach.” The ruling is consistent with the interpretation of the BIPA by the California federal district court in In Re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation and is sure to encourage more such class actions in the future. With the proliferation of commercial use of biometric data, it is more important than ever to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place. For more information on the decision, please click below.
After successfully moving to decertify the class in a lawsuit alleging the Firm’s health insurer client violated the TCPA by sending faxes to the insurer’s contracted agents without the specific opt-out notice required by FCC regulations, CMN lawyers have now defeated the class plaintiff’s challenge on appeal. Previously, in related litigation before the FCC, CMN secured a waiver of the regulation for the faxes in question. On December 3, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion affirming the class decertification holding that in light of the waiver, the evidence CMN presented showing putative class members’ consent to receive the faxes raised individual issues that precluded class treatment of their claims. The Opinion is available on the link below.
Julie Wall spoke at DRI’s Life, Health, Disability & ERISA Seminar in Boston on April 11, 2018. The topic was “Affirmative Claims in ERISA actions.”
FINRA is seeking to amend the Customer and Industry codes to provide for optional streamlined arbitration procedures in matters involving claims of $50,000 or less.
As currently constituted, these FINRA claims are determined (1) based on the parties’ pleadings and submitted materials, or (2) at the request of a claimant, through a full, in person hearing that is not limited in duration and permits cross examination. FINRA determined, however, that parties are often unhappy with arbitration on the papers and the cost associated with a full hearing, along with the prospect of cross examination, may dissuade certain claimants from requesting a hearing.
FINRA is consequently seeking to implement a third arbitration option that falls between the current choices. This proposed intermediate process would generally (1) be held over the telephone, (2) limit claimants and respondents to two hours each to present their case and 30 minutes for rebuttals and closings, (3) limit the proceedings to two hearing sessions in a single day, exclusive of prehearing conferences, (4) remove the opportunity for cross examination, and (5) prevent parties from calling opposing parties as witnesses. Arbitrators would still be permitted to question witnesses and the ability to choose this intermediate process would rest with the claimant.
FINRA submitted the proposed rule change to the SEC in January 2018 for regulatory approval. Should the SEC approve the proposal, FINRA would announce the effective date of the change in a Regulatory Notice to be published not more than 120 days after the approval and the effective date would be no later than 60 days thereafter. The proposed rule change is available on the link below.
Proposed Rule Change
Chittenden, Murday & Novotny LLC proudly announces that Law & Politics Magazine and the publishers of Chicago Magazine have again named Bill Chittenden a “Super Lawyer” in Business Litigation in 2018. The process began with thousands of ballots sent to attorneys across the State of Illinois asking them to nominate the best lawyers they had “personally observed.” A panel of recognized top lawyers in the commercial/business litigation practice area was assembled to review the nominations and evaluation criteria. Through this process, the panel identified the nominees with the highest scores. The attorneys chosen represent the top 5% of attorneys in the State of Illinois.
Companies that are, or that employ, registered Illinois lobbyists will soon be required to comply with a new law that requires implementation of sexual harassment policies and a specific training regimen. Effective January 1, 2018, lobbyists and companies that employ or contract with lobbyists must comply with new Section 4.7 of the Lobbyist Registration Act, which requires annual completion of a sexual harassment training program provided by the Secretary of State and implementation of a written sexual harassment policy. Companies should ensure that any of their employees who are registered as lobbyists in Illinois comply with the annual sexual harassment training program and, upon registration or renewal, confirm to the Secretary of State that their sexual harassment policy meets the minimum requirements under the statute.
While not specifically required by the terms of Section 4.7, companies who retain independent contractors as lobbyists may want to confirm that their lobbyist contractors have complied with the training requirement. For more information, you can download the complete Bulletin here.
CMN lawyers moved to decertify the class in a lawsuit alleging the Firm’s health insurance client violated the TCPA by sending faxes to its contracted agents without the specific opt-out notice required by an FCC regulation. CMN successfully petitioned the FCC for a waiver of that regulation and, on August 28th, federal Judge Robert Blakey granted the Motion to Decertify. He agreed that the FCC waiver, as well as the D.C. Circuit’s recent holding in Bais Yaakov v. FCC that the opt-out regulation was invalid as applied to solicited faxes, made each class member’s consent to receive the faxes a critical and predominant individual issue that effectively precluded resolution of the litigation as a class action. The Opinion is available on the link below.