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In a recent decision, Bluestein v. Central Wisconsin Anesthesiology, S.C., Nos. 13-3724, 14-1256 and 14-1257, the Seventh Circuit upheld the dismissal of Bluestein’s claim that she was wrongly terminated in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 12101, et seq. and other civil rights statutes.

The problem with the claim was that Bluestein was an owner of the practice and even voted on her own termination. There was and is well-settled law that owners cannot sue under the ADA or other civil rights statutes.

The district court found that “the undisputed facts demonstrated that Bluestein was an employer rather than an employee; … that she did not demonstrate that she was disabled within the meaning of the ADA because she produced no evidence of a substantial limitation in a major life activity; ..”

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Last week I gave a presentation on Avoiding Legal Malpractice in Family Law Matters at the Chicago Bar Association Family Law Committee. Thanks to my host, Mallory O’Connor, and Stephanie Capps for help with the presentation.

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This is a legal malpractice case in which the plaintiff, after enormous effort, obtained a damages award of $2000 at trial. The Appellate Court affirmed the damage award.  Unfortunately, the Appellate Court issued an unpublished opinion, Hubertus Investment Group v. Smiegelski & Wator, P.C., 2014 IL App (1st) 131927-U. This case is an example of a case where there may have been negligence, but the damages were minimal.

On May 7, 2009, Hubertus entered into a contract to purchase 12 vacant properties in Chicago, Illinois, from Dragan Radojcic for the sum of $190,000. The closing was scheduled for June 1, 2009. Hubertus alleged that the lawyer defendants were negligent because they failed to secure water certificates from the City of Chicago and because they failed to obtain title to a lot at 4407 West Fulton in Chicago, Illinois. The Fulton lot was appraised at a value of $2000. The water certificate (when obtained) proves that the water bill of the City of Chicago has been paid.

Hubertus also alleged a breach of title commitment against Chicago Title. However, on January 23, 2013, CTIC “produced, executed and recorded quitclaim deeds encompassing 11 of the 12 properties; the remaining property at 4407 West Fulton had been sold for taxes.” The trial court ultimately granted summary judgment in favor of Chicago Title. The case proceeded to trial against the lawyer defendants.

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Hospital Sues Law Firm For Losses Related To Lehman Brothers


This is a case alleging legal malpractice in the context of corporate law. Passavant Memorial Hospital has sued a law firm that allegedly provided negligent legal advice concerning a commercial transaction. The Hospital, acting on advice of the lawyers, attempted to terminate a bond interest swap. The notice of termination was sent by fax, not by regular mail. Lehman Brothers claimed it had no record of receiving notice. Litigation ensued and the Hospital was required to pay $2,975,000 to settle the litigation.  The lawyers were negligent because they sent the termination notice by fax, instead of by mail.

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