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

February 2018 News

Lawyer's Mistake Dooms Client's Case at 7th Circuit

Once in a while, a case matters more to the lawyer than to the client.

That is no doubt the case in Jaworski v. Master Hand Contractors. The defendant appealed a $340,000 judgment, but the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.

Unfortunately for defense counsel, the appeals court also said it was the lawyer's fault. Add to that an attorney's fee sanction, and you're having a really bad day.

The former Subway pitchman turned social pariah, Jared Fogle, has filed a motion requesting Judge Tanya Pratt recuse herself from his case. The longshot motion is not only not likely to go anywhere, it has no bearing on his conviction or length of his sentence, as those appeals have already been taken and squashed.

In short, Fogle incredulously claims that Judge Pratt is biased against him because she has teenage daughters and Fogle's case involves convictions for child pornography with teen girls and for sex with teens as well. But at this point, Judge Pratt likely has little jurisdiction over Fogle's case and incarceration.

Sadly for the parents of a child in Illinois that lost his middle finger due to an injury at a Starbucks, the Seventh Circuit unanimously refused to overturn the lower district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing the claim over the child's lost finger.

The court found that Starbucks could not be held liable due to the fact that the child was being supervised by his parents at the time of the injury. Despite the danger inherent in the structure at the Starbucks that contributed or caused the injury, the appellate court agree that it was the parent's, and not Starbuck's, fault. The appellate opinion explains the seemingly harsh result:

In a unanimous ruling, the Illinois State Supreme Court has found that a state law banning firearms within 1,000 feet of a park violates the Second Amendment. The ruling rested upon the concept that Second Amendment rights cannot simply be categorically restricted unless there are very good reasons.

The law that came under question didn't just ban firearms from within 1,000 feet of a park, but also schools, courthouses, public transit facilities, and public housing. However, due to how restrictive the law made it to carry a gun near a park, the ruling only impacted that portion of the law.