2 020 has been a year of trials. Not the legal kind, but the life kind. America has been dealing with a public health crisis, an economic crisis, a political crisis, and a civil rights crisis – all at the same time. Any of them alone would induce immense worry. But four simultaneously? In the words of OprahWinfrey, well-known philoso- pher and talk-show host, “You get to know who you really are in a crisis.” These trials have paraded life’s impermanence, ironies, and vicissitudes, and have reminded us that nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing. These trials have taught most of us something about our individual capacity to adapt in a crisis, and to sacrifice for the sake of our collective well-being. These trials have unveiled America’s injustices, inequities, and conflicts, and given us names, faces, and headlines, which have aroused public outcry the likes of which have not been seen since the mid-1960s. Sadly, it also ignited hate groups and hate incidents. Will this finally be the end of America’s complacency, and the onset of the next stage in the process of fulfilling Dr. King’s dream? These trials have caused us to refuse the lie, and to question what is truthful, what is mis- information, and what is disinformation. As events have demonstrated, unconcern with truth, as well as with science and history, can have dire consequences. These trials have further stoked divisions in a nation divided on almost any point, includ- ing this one. These trials have made us rethink our own priorities, take nothing for granted, and, as my grandmother liked to say, “Count our blessings.” These trials have altered the way lawyers and judges operate, testing our professional resilience and our personal coping skills. There will be no returning to the practice of law as it was before March 2020. As a Forbes magazine recently reported, “Distance learning, remote workforces, and online courts are just the beginning of a transformed legal function and the new models what will drive education/training, delivery, and dispute resolution. The pandemic has illuminated the opportunity for law to do better.” As for the local legal world, we have taken a digital leap that will make our legal systemmore efficient and agile. And, at long last, we may be able to bid a permanent adieu to the Circuit Court of Cook County’s use of that holdover from the early 1800s, carbon paper. These trials have left us, at times, feeling vulnerable; at times, feeling numb; at times, feeling anxious; at times, feeling lonely; at times, feeling disillusioned; and, much too often, feeling shellshocked. On the other hand, we have witnessed acts of bravery by front line responders, by essential workers of all kinds, by patients and their families, and by many others. And we have experienced, though not enough, a sense of connection, a sense of gratitude, a sense of empathy, a sense of hope. Evan after the immediate health threat has passed and a safe and effective vaccine becomes available, these and other trials of 2020 will remain with us, especially the legacy of systemic racism, joblessness, health care and education disparities, and other social needs. Hopefully, America will move forward and address each of the issues in a structural and durable manner. About 2021, I am reminded of something Henry Kissinger once said, “There can’t be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” My advice: fasten your mask tightly around your face and stay buckled, because there is a strong possibility of experiencing more tumult next year. Oh, and enjoy the ride. Rehearing “We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.” — George Bernard Shaw BY JUSTICE MICHAEL B. HYMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The Trials of 2020 EDITOR’S BRIEFCASE
EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Justice Michael B. Hyman Illinois Appellate Court
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anne Ellis Proactive Worldwide, Inc.
SUMMARY JUDGMENTS EDITOR Daniel A. Cotter Howard and Howard Attorneys PLLC
YLS JOURNAL EDITORS Kruti Patel Wintersteen Law Group Alexander Passo Latimer LeVay Fyock LLC Kaitlin King Hart David Carson LLP
Carolyn Amadon Samuel, Son & Co. Daniel J. Berkowitz Illinois Attorney General’s Of fi ce Amy Cook The Farmer Chef Alliance Nina Fain Janet Sugerman Schirn Family Trust Anthony F. Fata Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP Clifford Gately Hinshaw & Culbertson Jasmine Villaflor Hernandez Cook County State’s Attorney’s Of fi ce Lynn Semptimphelter Kopon Kopon Airdo LLC John Levin Kathryn C. Liss DePaul University College of Law Bonnie McGrath Law Of fi ce of Bonnie McGrath Clare McMahon Law Of fi ce of Clare McMahon Pamela S. Menaker Clifford Law Of fi ces Peter V. Mierzwa Law Bulletin Media Kathleen Dillon Narko Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Adam J. Sheppard Sheppard Law Firm, PC Richard Lee Stavins
Robbins, Saloman & Patt, Ltd. Rosemary Simota Thompson Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. Circuit Court of Cook County
THE CHICAGO BAR ASSOCIATION Sharon Nolan Director of Marketing