10-31-11; More Scary IL Legal Stuff

Web posted: 10/14/2011 Law firm sues confusingly named competitor, alleging trademark violations.



o   Case Number: 2011C7265   Type Of Case: Trademark Infringement

o   An Ottawa, Illinois based law firm is suing another law firm in the same city, alleging trademark violations.

o   We note Peter Ferracuti was licensed to practice law in Illinois in 1953. His son, Drew started as a lawyer in 1987. We understand Peter gave their last name to his son at birth without any fees, costs or non-compete contracts involved. We also note both lawyers are among the top of the practice in the central part of our state. We hope they can patch this up and continue to serve injured workers.

3.    The PPP opt-out form hit the web last week.

o   We continue to laugh about how long it took the powers-that-be to get a simple one-page form together.

o   We also laugh to see they used the word “declination” that will clearly be easy for Illinois workers to understand.

o   We can hardly wait for the powers-that-be to have it translated into Española and Polish and the other languages in regular use across Illinois. For you trivia buffs the word translates to declinación in Espanola!

o   We can hardly wait for the IL Department of Insurance to finally approve one PPP when they have had WC PPA’s in place for decades.

4.    We recently pointed out how difficult it will be for the attorneys who appear on the IL Workers’ Comp Advisory Board to appear before the Arbitrators who they recently selected.

o   We indicated a number of Arbitrators have “one-year” terms

o   It appears their terms are actually 8 month terms because they end on July 1, 2012.

o   Does anyone other than us feel this creates a conflict? Rule in my favor or you are out in eight months???

5.    Michael P. Latz is now a Commissioner. We were advised new Commissioner Latz is a “Double-Domer” or someone who attended Notre Dame for both college and law school.

o   He is admitted to the bars for the State of Illinois, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Federal District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Federal District Court trial bar for the Northern District of Illinois, Federal District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Mr. Latz served as a criminal prosecutor in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in Illinois from 1989 to 1994. He was the lead attorney for the prosecution in many bench and jury trials and was attorney of record in over 50 cases reported in the official reporters for the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts, and Federal District Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals.

o   Prior to becoming a Commissioner, his litigation practice focused on employment, civil rights and excess-exposure personal injury claims, as well as insurance coverage disputes. Mr. Latz concentrates his practice with a focus on the defense of municipalities and police agencies in employment and civil rights claims, and in other tort litigation.

o   Before beginning his career as an attorney, Michael Latz was a teacher and varsity wrestling coach at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois. Mr. Latz was as an adjunct instructor at Triton College and taught trial advocacy.

o   While joins a long list of folks who got jobs as WC Commissioners without any WC experience; with that resume, it looks like he will catch up quick. We wish him the best in his new position.