Roth Fioretti LLC argued its motion to lift the court-ordered stay today in federal court. The motion in federal court requested a lift of the stay order, as a result of the latest construction related to the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. A Chicago Sun Times article published on August 6, 2018 uncovered the destruction of historic Jackson Park, including the removal of trees, to make way for the Obama Presidential Center. Many residents question the placement of the Center on historic public land.
Earlier this year a lawsuit was filed against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District. The lawsuit, brought on by plaintiffs Protect Our Parks, and advocates Charlotte Adelman, Maria Valencia, and Jeremiah Jurevis, assert that the city and Park District do not have the authority to use the public parkland for the Obama Presidential Center.
In June 2018, Chicago City Council voted to hand over the historic land to the private Obama Foundation, without a lease agreement or terms set between them. While city council passed this land transfer, no final review has been made by the National Environment Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act on the proposed project– a requirement before anything can proceed at Jackson Park. Even the proposed re-routing of several vital streets that surround the park has been passed by city council, without any direct specifics to taxpayers on how they will fund the $175 million dollar roadwork.
“Since your order of stay in June, the [Obama Foundation] has begun construction at Jackson Park. They’ve moved the track and field out of the center area” attorney Bob Fioretti said to the court. City and Chicago Park District attorneys argued that the new construction was unrelated to the Obama Presidential Center, stating that the new track and field was a separate project on a seperate piece of land in Jackson Park. Fioretti reminded the court that the project is allegedly being paid by the Obama Foundation. “I would like to remind the court that this [track and field] project, $3.5 million dollars, is being paid for by the [Obama] Foundation. This project is joined at the hip” said Fioretti.
The Honorable Judge Robert Blakey made the decision to lift the stay order. He has asked the City and Park District to submit their responses to the original lawsuit by October 22, 2018, with a status hearing also being set for October 24, 2018.
On Wednesday June 8, 2018 the law firm of Roth Fioretti LLC entered a motion in federal court requesting a temporary block to the latest construction related to the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. A Chicago Sun Times article published on August 6, 2018 uncovered the destruction of historic Jackson Park, including the removal of trees, to make way for the Obama Center. The latest move by the Chicago Park District to prematurely begin clearing trees from Jackson Park is simply the city of Chicago’s blatant disregard to abide by a June stay order set by the court.
This motion comes as an addition to the May lawsuit Roth Fioretti LLC filed against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District in attempts to block the Obama Presidential Center from being built in Jackson Park. The lawsuit plaintiffs, advocacy group Protect Our Parks, and advocates Charlotte Adelman, Maria Valencia, and Jeremiah Jurevis, assert that the city and Park District do not have the authority to use the public parkland for the Obama Center. What has been described as an “institutional bait-and-switch”, the original plan was to build a Presidential Library housing presidential items and managed by the federal government. Instead a plan for a Chicago Public Library and a community center was passed by city council, with no association to the National Archives and Records Administration. The proposed Obama Center will cover almost 20 acres and include a tower reaching 135 feet at more than 12 stories, a plaza with access to food trucks, an underground garage designed for 450 cars, and 3 additional buildings. Presidential items such as handwritten notes, original letters from dignitaries around the world, and other original material from Obama’s time in office will remain in boxes stored in various federal facilities, no where near the Center.
Just this week a Crains Chicago Business editorial questioned why the Obama Center had to be built on historic public land. Additionally, many concerned residents have voiced their thoughts that a center would best be built in economically struggling areas of the city that have plenty of vacant land available.
The entire process concerning the Obama Center can best be described as putting the cart before the horse. City Council voted in June to hand over the historic land to the private Obama Foundation, without a lease agreement or terms set between them. While city council passed this land transfer, no final approval has been given by the federal government on the proposed project’s environmental effects – a requirement before anything can proceed at Jackson Park. Even the proposed re-routing of several vital streets that surround the park has been passed by city council, without any direct specifics to Chicago taxpayers on how they will fund the $175 million dollar roadwork.
It is is a Miegs Field déjà vécu for residents of the city of Chicago to watch the Park District move head destroying precious urban woodland on historically protected land without protocol nor permission. To read the latest motion CLICK HERE.
Roth Fioretti LLC sets a precedent with the Harvey, Illinois pension settlement, setting the stage for other struggling communities. Under the settlement terms, Harvey has agreed to pay 35% of the money from the state sales tax earmarked from the City of Harvey to help fund the Harvey police and fire pensions. “This deal puts us on solid footing for the future”, says Bob Fioretti, attorney representing the City of Harvey.
The State of Illinois has more than 600 municipalities with police and fire pensions, of which approximately 400 are in dire straits with underfunded pensions. A new law in Illinois has come into effect and requires that all municipalities make good on their pension payments. The State Comptroller took action against Harvey, IL, the first municipality required to meet the state mandate. Fioretti called the pension settlement a “rational, reasonable solution.”
Bob Fioretti of Roth Fioretti LLC talks on Chicago Tonight about the precedent that the Harvey, IL settlement makes for hundreds of other Illinois towns and cities who may find themselves in de facto bankruptcy. Learn how the struggles of Harvey, IL and the efforts made between its government, pension boards, and citizens helped avoid bankruptcy and helped Harvey, IL meet state regulations.
Click photo below to watch the Chicago Tonight episode on the Harvey, IL pension settlement.
Roth Fioretti Receives National Attention After Filing Copyright Infringement Suit.
Roth Fioretti filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Chicago icon, Chance the Rapper. The suit alleges that Chance the Rapper infringed Roth Fioretti’s client’s copyright in the song “Bridge Through Time.” “Bridge Through Time” is the subject of a copyright registered in 1979, and was written by award winning jazz composer Abdul Wali Muhammad. The lawsuit garnered national headlines.
The Chicago Tribune and the Sun Times both published articles providing commentary on the suit. The article below published by The Chicago Tribune provides a audio comparison of the song with the registered copyright, “Bridge Through Time,” and the Chance the Rapper song “Windows,” of which includes the alleged infringement.
Roth Fioretti, LLC is pleased to announce that it successfully obtained a $900,000 settlement for the firm’s client from a major insurance company. The insurance company had denied Roth Fioretti’s client’s claim for damages to the client’s property. Roth Fioretti filed suit against the insurance carrier, and shortly after filing suit was able to settle the claim for $900,000, the approximate value of the claim.
Roth Fioretti’s attorneys represent corporations and individuals in complex litigation matters. Our attorneys are aggressive litigators. We represent clients in matters involving bankruptcy, contract, corporate and director officer liability litigation, employment, insurance, intellectual property and real estate matters. Our firm has litigated matters to the United States Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Illinois Supreme Court, Illinois Appellate Court, and District and Bankruptcy courts throughout the country.
Roth Fioretti wins full request in defense of the City and Harvey and the Harvey Police Department.
Attorneys Mark Roth and Kenneth Hurst went up against a plaintiff who was injured during a shootout and arrest. Plaintiff alleges a Harvey Police officer used excessive and unnecessary force that led to his injuries. Plaintiff has previously been arrested for armed robbery and was harassing and threatening tow-truck drivers in the area. Plaintiff was injured in a sting operation conducted by the Harvey Police Department.
A jury of twelve was selected and found the Harvey Police officer, and the City of Harvey itself, was acting justifiably based on the previous robberies and the Plaintiff’s criminal background.
Congratulations to the City of Harvey and the Harvey Police Department for all their hard work.
Cook County Circuit Court
Judge Ronald F. Bartkowicz
Plaintiff, Michael Powe, was paralyzed after an altercation with the City of Harvey’s Detective Julio Esparza during an undercover police sting operation. Powe claimed he was holding his cell phone when he approached Detective Esparza who was undercover at the time. The police officer fired a .45 caliber hollow point bullet into Powe’s left wrist. The force of the first gunshot caused Powe to spin around 180 degrees, and that a second gunshot was fired directly into his back. The gunshot to his back struck Powe’s spine, and he was paralyzed from the chest down.
Powe sued the City of Harvey and Detective Esparza in State Court alleging battery. Attorneys Mark Roth and Ken Hurst of Roth Fioretti LLC argued that Powe was holding a gun when he approached Detective Esparza, and did not follow the Detective’s demand to lower his weapon after the Detective identified himself as a police officer. The defense’s expert in police policies and procedures opined that the defendant did not use excessive force, and only used the force necessary to eliminate the immediate threat.
Powe sought recovery of $3.8 million, including $157,000 for past medical expenses, damages for his pain and suffering and damages for loss of a normal life. The defense denied Powe was entitled to any damages. The jury deliberated for less than an hour and rendered a defense verdict, finding that Powe was not entitled to any money.
Shown below are a happy Mark Roth and Ken Hurst, along with Roth Fioretti’s client Detective Esparza holding the signed jury verdict form.
Chicago, IL- January 15, 2017
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who never stopped asking the question “What are you doing for others?”, has inspired countless people to continue his spirit of giving. On Sunday, January 15, 2017 more than 100 children from the near west-side received new winter coats. This was a collaborative effort between Roth Fioretti LLC, Billy Goat Tavern & Grill , and Chicago Imports.
“We were moved when we learned that children were coming to class without coats, so we decided to do something,” said Bob Fioretti. Paul Sianis, an owner of the Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, graciously hosted the event for the children and families of the near west-side. Children from the ages of 3 to 15 received new winter coats to help brave Chicago’s unpredictable winter.
“As lawyers, it is part our public service to do what is right”, said Mark Roth.