Illinois public unions don't have to repay fees to nonmembers, court says

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a recent pair of decisions of interest to anyone who followed last year’s Janus Supreme Court union-dues case and might be interested in its implications for Illinois public employees. Specifically, the appeals court said that despite the 2018 SCOTUS ruling, union nonmembers aren’t entitled to recover any past... Read more »

State supreme court upholds anti-"revenge porn" law, says it doesn't violate free speech

They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The scorned woman in this case was part of a romantic triangle. She was a jilted fiancée who electronically shared nude photos of her ex-fiance’s lover, who happened to be the girl next door. All the juicy details—and they are juicy—can be read here. This... Read more »

Is pricey prescription pet food just a racket?

Anyone who has had to purchase prescription diet food for their pet knows how crazy expensive these products can be. Even if you have pet health insurance, it usually doesn’t cover prescription food. I had a cat with digestive problems, so my vet at the time recommended Royal Canin prescription dry cat food, upwards of... Read more »
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Are cruise lines responsible when a passenger gets raped?

If an underage girl is plied with alcohol and sexually assaulted by fellow passengers on a cruise ship, can the cruise line be held responsible? This was the question at the center of a recent case decided by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In December 2015, “K.T.,” whose exact age at the time is... Read more »

Are mass shootings Twitter’s fault?

With three tragic mass shootings dominating the headlines in as many weeks, it brought to mind a recent federal court decision which didn’t seem to get much play in the media at the time. Many of these shooters feed their radical, hateful ideologies from content on Internet websites and especially social media.  But should those... Read more »

Buyer beware: The truth behind some of those 5-star ratings on Yelp

The consumer review site Yelp.com is one of my favorite social media sites and my go-to for everything from restaurants to dentists. But do you ever see a business with an average 5-star Yelp rating and wonder if the place really is as amazing as all that, or if they have manipulated their reviews in... Read more »
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How to move without losing your mind, by someone who's moved 14 times in 25 Years

Moving, as most people know, is the definition of Hell. It never gets easier no matter how many times you do it. If you’re like me you start out with the best of organizational intentions. Systematically categorizing and labeling the contents of boxes with careful attention to detail.  This move is going to be different.... Read more »

Easter reflections on how the Notre Dame fire united us, for a moment

In the midst of all the political and social discord roiling America and Europe at the moment, in the middle of all the angst and discontent playing out in our streets and legislative houses, the world collectively paused for a few hours this past Monday in a rare if brief display of unity and one-mindedness,... Read more »

Don’t like the price Zillow puts on your home? Don’t bother suing—you’ll lose

It seems that people either love Zillow or hate it. Home buyers tend to be in the first group, and home sellers in the latter. While it can empower consumers with knowledge, it can frustrate homeowners when the “Zestimate” falls considerably below their asking price or what they believe their property is worth. Zestimates are... Read more »
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To understand why things go down in Chicago like they do, read "The Jungle" & "Boss"

The past several weeks have witnessed a powerful, longtime alderman arrested on federal corruption charges; the acquittal of four Chicago cops in a conspiracy trial; and most recently, the lenient sentence handed down by a judge to the officer who shot and killed Laquan Macdonald. It’s funny but even before Patti Blagojevich chimed in, I was... Read more »