BMW Dealership Defeats Fraud Suit On Statute of Limitations Grounds

Occasionally, I’ll have a case that appears to be governed by two or more conflicting statutes of limitations. For example, one statute will give a plaintiff four years to file suit while an apparently equally applicable one compresses the time to sue to two years. As plaintiff, I usually (not always) argue for the longer limitations period to apply, while as defendant, I want the shortened time span (so I can move to dismiss the too-late complaint). In Belsky v. Fields Imports, Inc., 2013 WL 5819232 (N.D.Ill. 2013), the Northern District methodically analyzes which of two seemingly applicable (and conflicting) limitations periods (is it 10 years or 4 years?) applies to a breach of contrac

Land Trust Beneficial Interest is Personal Property: Corporate-Owned Real Estate Can’t Be Liened by

It’s easy to robotically parrot the “beneficial interest in a land trust is personal property” rule but First Clover Leaf Bank v. Bank of Edwarsville, 2014 WL 6612947 (5th Dist. 2014) actually examines the rule’s impact against the factual backdrop of a judgment creditor trying to lien a debtor’s residence. The creditor plaintiff obtained a $400,000-plus judgment against a husband and wife (the “Shareholders”) on various commercial guaranties they signed. A corporation that the Shareholders each held a 50% stake in was the beneficiary of a land trust that held title to the Shareholders’ home (the “Property”). When plaintiff learned that the Shareholders were trying to sell the Property for

Copyright Files: Blogger’s Use of Copyrighted Photo Is ‘Transformative’ Use: Illinois Northern Distr

‘Shuffle’ Case is Just in Time for Football Season Since football season is upon us, I thought it would be appropriate to write about one of the most amazing football films ever made. No, it is not “Knute Rockne, All American” (1940) or “Rudy” (1993). It’s not “Friday Night Lights,” “The Blind Side” (2009) or even “Brian’s Song” (1971). It is “The Super Bowl Shuffle” (1985). I know it is not really a film per se, but it has all the drama and artistry of “Remember the Titans” (2000). Denzel Washington is talented, but have you seen how back-up quarterback Steve Fuller delivers his lines flawlessly while awkwardly dancing the “Shuffle?” The screenplay of “Shuffle” is impeccable, and the musica

Hitler’s Copyright: Even Villains Can Own Copyrights

On January 30, 1939, Adolf Hitler gave a speech to the Nazi Reichstag. He told his followers, “In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet, and usually been ridiculed for it….Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside of Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!” A horrifying statement to be sure, yet not a surprise to anyone at that time; Hitler’s anti-Semitic views had been made known to the world over fifteen years earlier with the publication of his book Me

‘Jumpman’ Lawsuit Focuses on Scope of Copyright Prosecution for Photographs

Who knew that the most famous image of the greatest basketball player of all time was inspired by a Nureyev-like ballet move called a grand jeté? The basketball player, of course, is Michael Jordan and the image is the ubiquitous silhouette that can be seen on every pair of Air Jordan shoes. It has become known as Nike’s “Jumpman” logo and it has served as a Nike trademark since 1987. Brand Jordan has been a significant element of Nike’s amazing success over the past quarter century. In 2014, Nike’s Basketball Division, of which Brand Jordan is a large part, had revenues of $3.2 billion. Though MJ scored his last NBA points on April 16, 2003, he still has the mystique that sells shoes. The J

Bill McGrath Shares Legal Expertise in Chicago's Daily Law Bulletin

Bill McGrath, a Davis McGrath LLC partner and founding member, has contributed to a variety of legal publications throughout his career. Bill's insights can be seen most frequently in Chicago's Daily Law Bulletin. You can access a selection of his legal writings in our blog's archive. Popular articles include: "Hall of Fame Cybersquatters End Up in Federal Court." (Jan 2011). "Meet John Doe – Copyright Defendant." (Dec 2010). "Regulation of Behavioral Advertising on the Internet." (Nov 2010). "The Copyright Legacy of Learned Hand." (Oct 2010). "Jury Awards of Statutory Damages." (Sept 2010). "Trademark Dilution and Unicorns." (Aug 2010). "YouTube Finds Safe Harbor from Copyright Claim." (Jul

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