Chicago Legal Blog

Are you facing a commercial real estate dispute?

It doesn't matter if you're renting commercial real estate or recently made a purchase, it's possible you could face a dispute at some point.

If this happens, it's critical to review your contracts and related paperwork to better understand your position and legal rights.

A single mom sues Chicago Police for violating her civil rights

A 38-year-old single mother filed a federal lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department at the middle of last month. She accuses them of having used excessive force and of violating her civil rights during several raids of her home earlier this year.

According to the court filing, the single mom's South Side home was raided by Chicago Police on three separate occasions so far this year. In at least one instance, the woman's children were present when the tactical officers broke into her apartment. She alleges that they pointed guns in their faces on that occasion. They ultimately searched her home and left without pressing any charges against her.

Are you at odds with your business partner?

When you go into business with a partner, you hope that it will put the both of you in position to achieve great success.

Even if you take an abundance of caution up front, you're likely to disagree with your partner every now and again. While this is all part of going into business with someone, it's important to protect against more serious issues.

Federal police department faces allegations of police misconduct

The police are meant to serve and protect the citizens of the jurisdictions they work in. That was often taken as a given for much of the modern history of law enforcement, but new perspectives have shown that many officers failed to act with proper restraint in the past and the present.

Municipalities across Illinois have faced lawsuits alleging police misconduct, including excessive force and illegal search and seizure. There are issues related to figuring out the right jurisdiction for a civil lawsuit, and those extend to federal law enforcement agencies.

Children and Families Services to have violated consent decree

The Cook County Public Guardian (PG) wrote a letter to the federal judge responsible for overseeing the consent decree with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The letter outlined how teens in DCFS custody have been forced to sleep on floors since there aren't enough beds to hold them. They noted that this is a violation of their civil rights.

Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) were successful in filing for a federal consent decree that would protect the rights of DCFS wards back in the mid-1990s. They did so after children were found being forced to sleep on the state agency's floors back then.

Garbage truck company, Chicago, say each breached their contract

Back in February, the city of Chicago sued Motiv Power Systems, the California-based manufacturer of an electric trash truck, for $1.3 million in the Cook County Circuit Court system. They did so to try to recoup the cost of a largely inoperative truck that they'd purchased from them in 2014. Just last month, the manufacturer filed their own suit alleging that the city breached its contract with them.

The city's original case was moved from the Cook County Circuit Court to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in March.

Reasons that police may turn to violence too quickly

Every time that the police turn to violent force and take a life, it feels like people start asking if it was really necessary. They look at the rates of police shootings in the United States, for instance, and compare them to other countries. Do U.S. police turn to violence too quickly? If so, why do they do it?

One potential reason is simply that officers have to make stressful decisions in the moment. They need to "adjust on the fly," as one expert put it. This can lead to crucial mistakes.

Did your arrest come as a result of illegal racial profiling?

Racism is still a serious problem in the United States. Far too many people are quick to judge another human based on the color of their skin instead of the contents of their character. The sad result of prevalent racism is that it has infiltrated every aspect of American culture.

Even those who are supposed to do their jobs without racial bias often fall victim to their subconscious issues with people from other racial backgrounds. Law enforcement officers should respect the civil rights and freedoms of everyone they encounter and only detain or question those they suspect of illegal activity. Unfortunately, sometimes police engage in a practice known as racial profiling.

What should you do if stopped by the police?

If you are stopped by the police here in Chicago, it's important not to surrender your Constitutionally-protected rights. But because these encounters are often a surprise and quite emotionally-charged, you may be unsure what you should, and shouldn't do.

First and foremost, your overriding goal is to survive the encounter. There are, sadly, far too many instances where the police executed a stop and the detained individual wound up dead. With that in mind, the following tips may be helpful.

  • You have the right to remain silent.

Tips to help a business avoid dispute litigation

When you operate a business, it's highly unlikely that you will always be able to avoid being sued by someone, whether it is a customer, a supplier or an employee.

There are many ways you can avoid litigation, and the main one is to properly manage business disputes.

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