As usual, the Chicago Tribune reports about a peculiar zoning issue with a famous rock star's tea shop in Highland Park, IL. Smashing Pumpkins lead Billy Corgan, recently installed a 4 foot neon sign of the name of his tea shop, Zuzu's. The famous tea shop owner decided to fight for his right to have an uncharacteristically large neon sign in the affluent suburb. Corgan also fought with the zoning commission in Highland Park about his desire to paint the exterior all black. Zoning disputes are common business and personal legal issues that face property owners in all areas. This simple case study can reveal useful steps property owners of all types can explore to enhance the ways they can use their property.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Pella Corp., of Iowa, manufacturer of self-branded windows, has reached a settlement with a Lake Forest doctor who sued Pella over issues with his ProLine series of windows in his home. The doctor brought a class action against Pella Corp. in the name of all owners of ProLine series windows and Pella has agreed to pay those owners between $750 and $6,000 as well as warranty against wood rot.
ESPN reports that the NFL has pressured a fan who clairvoyantly predicted this year's Superbowl matchup to give up his application for "Harbowl." The NFL asserted that Harbowl and Superbowl are so similar as to create a likelihood of confusion among consumers.
ESPN, of all sources, is reporting about an irate attorney who purchased a ticket to see the San Antonio Spurs play against the Miami Heat in Miami is suing the Spurs under Texas' Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The attorney purchased a ticket for himself and his son. Shortly before the game, the coach of the Spurs, Greg Popovich, sent their best players back to San Antonio to rest rather than play their fourth game in five nights. The attorney is suing because he feels he was deceived into purchasing tickets and paying a premium for two teams loaded with star players. Instead, he watched the B and C squad Spurs take the Heat to the brink in a 100-105 loss.
As the calendar year turned, many new local, state, and federal laws came into effect. One of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is also called "Obamacare", has raised the hackles of a pair of privately held corporations. These corporations are religiously objecting to complying with PPACA's birth control access requirements, because as we know, corporations are people except for the purposes of carpooling, but they must have religious beliefs, right? As it turns out, (surprise!) not many courts are buying the argument that closely held private corporations have religious beliefs. Clearly these Court have not run into the cultish Apple devotees.
Weak jokes aside, Hobby Lobby's attempt to escape the regulatory clutches of PPACA is a novel attempt at imputing further First Amendment rights on corporations. It is a bold strike at enlarging recent caselaw and enhancing their position as a corporation.
The Chicago Tribune reports that two brewery business partners, Isaac Showaki and Andres Araya, are engaged in litigation over a widespread dispute. Having met 7 years ago while working for Bain Capital and consulting in Latin America for a brewer, the business partners set up a brewery in Chicago a bit less than two years.
Despite commercial success, including distribution deals with several local Chipotle franchises as well as other accolades, the business partners have a deeply personal dispute that has boiled over into the courtrooms.
Rishi Nair owns Nair Law LLC and practices as Of Counsel at Keener and Associates, P.C.