U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

December 2014 News

2014 at the 7th Cir.: So Many Posner Benchslaps

As part of our ongoing year-in-review series across all of FindLaw's Legal Professional blogs, we decided to take a look back at the 10 most popular posts of the past year in the Seventh Circuit.

What posts were a hit with you, our dear readers? Posner. Posner benchslappings. And sanctions slapped down on unsuspecting parties.

Above The Law(Suit): $50M Defamation Claim Can Proceed

Arguably, it was a simple reporting mistake. But that simple mistake could cost legal tabloid-blog Above The Law as much as $50 million.

Meanith Huon, 44, is a Chicago attorney. He was once accused of and charged with rape. A jury, however, made short work of the charges and acquitted him. An ATL blogger, while the case was pending, mistook past news reports about the same incident as prior accusations of rape, falsely branding Huon as a serial rapist with a few careless keystrokes.

Huon responded by branding the reporting mistake as defamation. And earlier this month, a district court judge allowed his claim against ATL to move forward.

Ill. Legislature Passes New Eavesdropping Law

In a pair of cases in March, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state's eavesdropping law. Illinois was a two-party consent state, meaning both parties had to consent to the recording. As interpreted by the court, however, the law's fatal flaw was that it also applied to speech made even in a place where people had no privacy expectation -- like out in public.

Apparently not one to say "no," both houses of Illinois' legislature passed a new version of the law that critics say suffers from the same constitutional defects as the old one.

No Tax-Free Cake and Eating Antitrust Protection Too For Motorola

Motorola makes phones. It makes nearly all of those phones in Asia. It buys its components from Asian suppliers. So, for all you 1Ls out there, here is the question: can a U.S. company sue on behalf of its Asian subsidiaries over price fixing that occurred in commerce that was exclusively carried out in Asia?

It is, after all, a U.S. parent company. But the subsidiary companies are Asian and the suppliers are Asian. The answer to this law school hypothetical (and Seventh Circuit case) is a resounding no.