Recent Developments



      

Jeffrey I. Cummings Appointed as Hearing Officer for the Chicago Police Board

On July 21, 2016, Jeffrey I. Cummings was appointed to serve as a Hearing Officer for the Chicago Police Board. “The Chicago Police Board is an independent board of nine civilians responsible for deciding the most serious police disciplinary charges brought against Chicago Police Officers." The Board’s disciplinary hearings are open to the public and the final votes for action on all charges are recorded on the Chicago Police Board’s website, www.ChicagoPoliceBoard.org

University of Michigan Law School announces Charles Barnhill Jr. Scholarship Fund, endowed by former MB&G client

The scholarship endowed in co-founder and current Of Counsel attorney Charles Barnhill's name is based on the former client’s admiration and regard for Chuck, including his work in a matter that was ultimately resolved by the United States Supreme Court. The victory in the Supreme Court established the principle that federal employees are entitled to a full hearing at some point in the discharge process. Warm congratulations to Chuck Barnhill! Read more

MBG Honored by Demos at 2016 Gala

Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C. was recently honored by Demos for its commitment to pro bono work at the 2016 Transforming America Awards & Gala. Demos is an organization working to create a society where everyone can participate equally in every respect, “to reduce both political and economic inequality, deploying original research, advocacy, litigation, and strategic communications to create the America the people deserve.” – demos.org

Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in conjunction with The Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association recently presented Jeffrey I. Cummings with the Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service.

Knowing Your Rights: The Fair Labor Standard Act

Nancy Maldonado was invited by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and Univision Chicago, to discuss the primary requirements of the Fair Labor Standard Act and how it protects worker’s rights. In the above video Maldonado explains minimum wage requirements, overtime calculations, and the rights of undocumented workers.

Results are in for the 2016 Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent Ratings

                                     

The 2016 recipients of the Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent Rating For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability are: Benjamin Blustein, Elizabeth Eberle, Scott A. Entin, George F. Galland, Jr., Robert S. Libman, William A. Miceli, Judson H. Miner, Deanna N. Pihos, Sarah E. Siskind, and Laura E. Tilly.  "The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are an objective indicator of a lawyer's high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada." -Martindale-Hubbell

MB&G Assists Chicago Lawyer's Committee on Voting Rights Project

The Voting Rights Project at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has been working for the past year to increase minority representation in Greater Chicago. The Blue Island City Council voted to adopt a new redistricting plan, “after months of public hearings that were instituted in response to a pre-litigation letter sent by the Chicago Lawyers' Committee with the expert assistance of Jeff Cummings and Judd Miner of Miner, Barnhill & Galland and Jorge Sanchez of MALDEF.” -Kent, Clara. “Voting Rights Success for Minority Representation” Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. 10 Feb. 2016.

Hispanic National Bar Association Appoints Nancy Maldonado to National Task Force

The Hispanic National Bar Association has formed a national task force to address Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis and evaluate legal solutions to the island’s financial situation. Nancy Maldonado has been appointed to the panel, “which will conduct a 10-week review to study the current crisis and make recommendations on how the White House and Congress can help the U.S. territory recover from its current economic and humanitarian crisis.” -Hispanic National Bar Association. “HNBA Announces Formation of Task Force on Puerto Rico Debt Crisis” HNBA 19 Jan. 2016.

Class Certification Granted in Grain Processing Corporation Lawsuit

Iowa district court Judge Tom Reidel granted class certification—certifying the state-law nuisance, trespass and negligence claims for lost use and enjoyment of property caused, plaintiffs claim, by pollution from the plant. The class (certified in two-subclasses) covers the close to 2000 households within 1.5 miles of the plant perimeter, or approximately 4000 residents. Scott Entin and Sarah Siskind at Miner Barnhill & Galland are lead class counsel. Jim Larew and Claire Diallo of Larew Law Office, Iowa City, are our co-counsel.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the Judge’s decision that the neighbors’ common law claims for lost use and enjoyment of their property can be managed effectively in a class action.” —Sarah E. Siskind

LAW360: Iowa Homeowners Win Class Cert. In Milling Pollution Suit

Muscatine Journal: Judge certifies class in lawsuit over Muscatine plant's emissions

Quad-City Times: Judge certifies class in lawsuit over Muscatine plant's emissions

The National Law Review: Iowa Trial Court Certifies Class of 4,000 Residents in Corn Mill Nuisance Suit

Click here for PDF.

MB&G Presented with the Commitment to Justice Award

Chicago Council of Lawyers and Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice present Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C. with the Commitment to Justice Award at the 2015 Annual Luncheon. The firm was honored for their, “dedication to civil rights work and protecting the public interest,” and, “stands out for the individual commitment of its attorneys to public service as well as the firm’s litigation work in support of subsidized housing, in opposition to racially-gerrymandering in voting districts, and against predatory lending practices.” – Chicago Appleseed Fund For Justice. “2015 Annual Luncheon.” 16 Oct. 2015.

Leading Lawyers Selects Jeffrey I. Cummings

Jeffrey I. Cummings has been selected by Leading Lawyers as a top lawyer in Illinois for Civil Rights and Constitutional Law. Leading Lawyers is a peer generated listing of top lawyers. The distinction of being a Leading Lawyers has been earned by fewer than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice in the State of Illinois.

What's Old is New Again:

State Common-Law Tort Actions Elude Clean Air Act Preemption

"It usually takes at least three to start a trend, but two recent appellate-level decisions suggest a new air pollution enforcement trend is in the making: Environmental plaintiffs may be able to avoid Clean Air Act (CAA)1 preemption by bringing state common-law tort claims against an intrastate emitting source. The plaintiffs in both Bell v. Cheswick and Freeman v. Grain Processing Corp. successfully convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Iowa Supreme Court, respectively, that the CAA did not preempt their tort claims based on state common law."

-Morrison, Matthew and Bryan Stockton "What's Old is New Again: State Common-Law Tort Actions Elude Clean Air Act Preemption." Environmental Law Reporter April 2015.  

Click here for full article.

© 2015, Environmental Law Institute ®. Reprinted with permission of ELI®

The Best Lawyers in America 2015

George F. Galland, Jr. was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 in the fields of Litigation - Labor and Employment.

Materials to Be Released in Pharmaceutical Company Investigation

"USA Today's attorney, Jeffrey I. Cummings of Miner, Barnhill & Galland P.C., said he is pleased with Tailor's ruling.  The marketing of opioids to people they were not designed to aid, he said, is a matter of public concern."  

-Manson, Patricia "Drugmakers lose round in marketing suit." Chicago Daily Law Bulletin 4 Mar. 2015. 

Click here for full article.

Recent MBG Decision Upends Conventional Wisdom on Clean Air Act Preemption of Common Law Torts

"Two recent appellate-level decisions allowing state common law tort claims against an intrastate emitting source to avoid Clean Air Act (CAA) preemption have surprised many CAA litigators. The outcome in both Bell v. Cheswick and Freeman v. Grain Processing Corporation - as well as the Supreme Court's recent denial of certiorari in both cases-was unexpected to many because the Supreme Court has held previously that the CAA preempts similar tort claims based on federal common law."  - Morrison, Matthew, and Bryan Stockton. "Recent Cases on Clean Air Act Preemption of Common Law Torts Upend Conventional Wisdom." JDSupra Business Advisor. 29 Jan. 2015.  

To continue reading, please click here for full article.

Cummings, Galland, Jr., & Miner Named as 2015 Super Lawyers

                                             

Jeffrey I. Cummings, George F. Galland, Jr., and Judson H. Miner have been selected to the 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers list.  No more than five percent of the lawyers in Illinois are selected by Super Lawyers.  Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. -SuperLawyers                    

Maura Anne Stuart Wins Appeal in 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

"Jeffrey I. Cummings of Miner, Barnhill & Galland P.C. argued the case before the 7th Circuit on behalf of Stuart.  He said the decision represents a 'fresh start' in the litigation. 'My client is quite pleased with the court's ruling, and we look forward to returning to the district court to prove her allegations,' he said."

-Manson, Patricia. "7th Circuit resurrects bias suit." Chicago Daily Law Bulletin 18 Nov. 2014.

Click here for full article.

Honoring Martin Luther King's Lawyers

Miner, Barnhill & Galland, sponsors Northwestern Law's Journal of Law and Social Policy's 8th Annual Symposium, Martin Luther King's Lawyers: From Montgomery to the March on Washington to Memphis. The symposium profiled, "Dr. King's activism in Chicago, including a panel of local attorneys who partnered with Dr. King to combat housing discrimination during the Chicago Freedom Movement." -NJLSP

Race Harassment and Retaliation Case Settles

Jeffrey I. Cummings co-counsels with Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on a Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5, and Section 1981 case.  Filed in the United States District Court for The Northern District of Illinois, plaintiff Ellis Cole cited a repeated pattern of racial harassment, and the employer's failure to stop the discriminatory actions of its supervisors and employees.  Parties reached an agreement on August 11, 2014, the terms of the settlement are confidential.  

Complaint for Ellis Cole v. APC Stores, Inc., d/b/a Lee Auto Parts, et al.

Sarah Siskind Invited to Speak at NELA's 2014 Annual Convention

On June 26th, Sarah Siskind attended The 2014 Annual Convention of the National Employment Lawyers Association to speak on Discovery of Comparator Evidence for Wage & Hour Law.  Ms. Siskind was invited to speak about the significance of comparator evidence (for both individual and even classwide comparisons) and how to convince judges to order its production. 

NELA 2014 Annual Convention: Blazing the Trail, Courage, Challenge, Change

Grain Processing Corporation Lawsuit to Proceed (June 13, 2014)

Muscatine Journal: Iowa Supreme Court overturns GPC lawsuit dismissal, orders case to proceed.

The Des Moines Register: Court rules lawsuit against Muscatine grain company can continue.

Law 360: Iowa High Court Says Residents' Pollution Row Not Preempted.

KWWL.com: Iowa high court reinstates major pollution lawsuit.

Judson H. Miner Honored as 2014 Legal Legend

In June 2014, The Chicago Chapter of the American Constitution Society For Law and Policy, honored its 2014 Legal Legends.  Judson H. Miner was recognized for his years of service to the legal profession and community of Chicago, including his time as Shareholder for Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C. and as Former Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago.

Photographs by Andrew Collings Photography.