November 23, 2015


The Illinois Supreme Court recently reversed the Third District Appeals Court and found that an engineering firm’s pre-development services supplied to an unfinished real estate project were still lienable even though the services didn’t physically alter the land or improve the property value.

In Burke Engineering, Lt...

November 19, 2015


Davis McGrath, LLC recently obtained a successful settlement for one of its contractor clients in a mechanics lien case filed in the Cook County Chancery Division.


The firm’s client, a commercial fuel distributor, supplied fuel to a demolition contractor on a large industrial project near Evanston Illinois.  When the...

August 25, 2015


In 6030 Sheridan Road, LLC v. Wright Management, LLC, 2011 IL App. (1st) 093282-U, the plaintiff real estate developer sued defendants – an LLC property owner and its principal – for tortious interference with business relationship after a planned condominium conversion tanked.

The plaintiff sued when the defen...

August 25, 2015


The Illinois First District recently considered whether a non-member of a closely-held corporation could be held personally responsible for debts of that LLC in Buckley v. Abuzir, 2014 IL App (1st) 130469, a trade secrets case involving rival Chicago-land bakeries.  The plaintiff sued a corporate defendant (a competi...

August 25, 2015


Sometimes it’s difficult to determine who the contracting parties are.  A common example is where the contract text names the parties are two corporations but it’s signed by an individual.  Or, the contract signer clearly notes his corporate affiliation (by stating his job title) next to his signature, but the body o...

August 25, 2015

 Dent v. Renaissance Marketing Corp., 2015 WL 3484464 (N.D.Ill. 2015) involves a royalty dispute over the 1985 “Super Bowl Shuffle” – a storied (locally, at least) song and video performed by several Chicago Bears football players – the Shufflin’ Crew – to commemorate the Bears’ Super Bowl thrashing of the New England...

August 24, 2015


Spears v. Ass’n of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, 2013 IL App (4th) 120289 summarizes the general rules and exceptions that govern exculpatory clauses in Illinois.  In the case, the plaintiff college student who signed up for a utility “pole climbing” class the defendant – a non-profit entity – offered through plai...

August 18, 2015


Malibu Media, LLC v. Funderburg, 2015 WL 1887754 (N.D.Ill. 2015) discusses the governing standards for obtaining a default judgment in Federal court in a decidedly post-modern fact context.  The plaintiff adult film producer sued the defendant for copyright infringement based on the viewer defendant’s unauthorized mo...

August 17, 2015


Liquidated damages clauses appear frequently in a variety of commercial contracts and similar agreements. Several Illinois cases – some old and some very recent – examine liquidated damages clauses in multiple factual settings.

Here are some bullet-point liquidated damages rules, gleaned from the caselaw:

– Liquidate...

August 13, 2015


The Illinois Commercial Real Estate Broker’s Lien Act, 770 ILCS 15/1 (the “Act”), provides a broker whose owed commission money with a strong remedy against a breaching property owner, buyer or tenant. Here are some of the Act’s key provisions:


1. What It Applies To:

“Commercial real estate.”  This...

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Copyright Act Doesn’t Pre-empt Shufflin Crew’s Right of Publicity Suit – Northern District of Illinois

August 25, 2015

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