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Publications by Year

2017

WGN-TV Chicago, July 18, 2017: Wrongful death lawsuit filed against CPD and officers.

Arlena Love says that three officers used excessive force when they shot and killed her brother, Derek Love, last July 21, near 18th and Calumet.

Read full article here


DNA Info Chicago, July 18, 2017: New Judge Assigned To 3 Chicago Cops Charged In Laquan McDonald Cover-Up.

Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes late last week filed a motion seeking to replace Cook County Judge Diane Gordon Cannon, who was assigned the case at random last Monday. Cannon replaced the first assigned judge, Mary Margaret Brosnahan, who recused herself without explanation.

Read full article here


The Washington Post, July 11, 2017: 16-year-old was found beaten, stabbed to death after being advertised as prostitute on Backpage.

And within a week of that, another woman told the FBI, Hazley began posting ads for Desiree on the classifieds site Backpage.com. On Christmas Eve, after meeting a man who contacted her through Backpage, Desiree was found beaten and stabbed to death in a garage outside Chicago, while Hazley dozed in his car nearby, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Chicago.

Read full article here


The Washington Post, July 11, 2017: Backpage has always claimed it doesn’t control sex-related ads. New documents show otherwise.

A contractor for the controversial classifieds website Backpage.com has been aggressively soliciting and creating sex-related ads, despite Backpage’s repeated insistence that it had no role in the content of ads posted on its site, according to a trove of newly discovered documents.

The documents show that Backpage hired a company in the Philippines to lure advertisers — and customers seeking sex — from sites run by its competitors. The spreadsheets, emails, audio files and employee manuals were revealed in an unrelated legal dispute and provided to The Washington Post.

After Ambrose sued Backpage in Chicago over the death of her daughter, her lawyers subpoenaed the Backpage data from CoStar for their civil case. Ambrose’s lawyers at Romanucci & Blandin then turned the data over to The Post.

Read full article here


NBC National News, July 1, 2017: Backpage Critics Find Surprise Ammunition in Philippines Raid.

It was a daring raid carried out with military precision in a remote city of the Philippines — an operation that yielded surprise ammunition for a legal battle over the classified ad site Backpage, which has been accused of promoting sex trafficking.

Read full article here


Chicago Sun-Times, June 25, 2017: Teen’s tragic death shows it’s business as usual at Backpage.com.
Authorities say a man twice Robinson’s age pimped her out to a man who sexually abused her, beat her, then slit her throat and left her on the floor of a garage in Markham.

Read full article here


Daily Southtown, June 21, 2017: Teen found slain in Markham garage tried to escape alleged pimp facing charges, complaint states.
Joseph Hazley, 33, allegedly arranged a “commercial sex encounter” for a 16-year-old girl that ended in the child’s murder in a south suburban garage on Christmas Eve.

Read full article here


DNAInfo Chicago, June 21, 2017: Chicago Man Charged With Driving Teen Sex Trafficking Victim To Her Death.
Joseph Hazley, of the 6300 block of South Racine Ave., was arrested Wednesday morning on one count of sex trafficking, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison up to a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Read full article here


Chicago Sun-Times, June 21, 2017: Feds charge man for prostituting 16-year-old girl before her murder.
Days before 16-year-old Desiree Robinson was found dead in a Markham garage, her throat slit and her body badly beaten, she confided on Facebook to a longtime friend that she was being “pimped.”

Read full article here


NPR Radio Orlando – 90.7 WMFE, June 12, 2017: Life After Pulse.

“We hope to bring money to them in order to replace some of the things they’ve lost in life. Many of them, the ones who’ve survived, have lost their jobs. They’ve got thousands, if not, hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. They need to continue on with their lives,” said lead attorney Antonio Romanucci of Romanucci & Blandin LLC.

Read full story here


Fra Noi, June 11, 2017: Justinians uphold legacy of giving.

The mission of the CEF is to assist disabled or disadvantaged children in our community. Since establishing the CEF in 2002 during his term as president, Romanucci & Blandin principal and partner Antonio Romanucci and the Justinian members have raised crucial funds for a wide range of recipients, including Make-A-Wish Foundation, Bear Necessities, and Ronald McDonald House of Chicagoland.

Read full story here


The New York Times, June 10, 2017: Year After Pulse Massacre, Blessings and Frustrations Abound.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Leonel Melendez leans in as he sips coffee at his bagel shop here, and politely asks: “What? I couldn’t hear you.” He is deaf in his left ear, and a hearing aid turbocharges his right one. But that’s not all. His vision is faulty. His right foot and his left elbow are stitched up. His left kneecap is far from supple. And the thick U-shaped scar on the back of his head, where his hair won’t grow back, is a permanent reminder of the sharp turn his life took on June 12, 2016.

Read full article here


Reuters, June 9, 2017: Alive but still reeling one year after Florida nightclub shooting.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) – Kaliesha Andino has spent the last year running from gunshots. At night, she flashes back to her hiding spot behind a bar in a Florida nightclub, where a bullet ripped through her arm during the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Read full article here


Chicago Tribune – Elmhurst, June 7, 2017: Elmhurst Attorney Welcomes New Board, Honors Leader Achievements at Justinian Society of Lawyers Installation of Officers Dinner.

“Since the founding of the Justinian Society in 1921, it has become one of the largest ethnic bar associations in the U.S. and continues to grow,” said 2016-2017 President, Frank A. Sommario. We are proud to have a remarkable group of leaders serving this next term on the Justinian Society of Lawyers’ Board and I am confident they will continue to lead this great organization into the future.”

Read full article here


Daily Southtown, May 17, 2017: Family of teen slain in Markham sues Backpage.

In a suit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, Yvonne Ambrose, who said she believes her daughter Desiree Robinson was a victim of sex trafficking, alleges that Backpage.com created an online marketplace for child sex traffickers. The suit also contends that the website facilitated child sex trafficking by assisting traffickers in the wording of their advertisements to avoid detection by law enforcement…Read full article here


Chicago Sun-Times, May 17, 2017: Mother of 16-year-old murdered in suburban garage sues Backpage.

The mother of a 16-year-old girl found dead in a garage last year in south suburban Markham is suing the classified website Backpage.com, saying the company was facilitating sex trafficking of minors…Read full article here


Reuters, May 17, 2017: Mother sues Backpage.com over slain daughter she says was sold for sex.

Backpage has been hit by lawsuits saying it promotes trafficking in its ads, offering children for commercial sex, but this is believed to be the first case in the nation linking Backpage to trafficking and a specific murder…Read full article here


NBC 5 Chicago, May 17, 2017: ‘I Lost a Part of Me’: Family of Murdered Girl Files Suit Against BackPage.com.

“BackPage.Com, through their actions, knowingly and recklessly conspired with pimps and child traffickers allowing children in this case Desiree to be sold for sex,” attorney Gina Arquilla Deboni said…Read full article here


WTTW – Chicago Tonight, May 17, 2017: Mother Sues Website Following Daughter’s Murder.

Desiree Robinson, 16, was killed last Christmas Eve. Cook County prosecutors have charged Antonio Rosales, 32, with her murder. He’s accused of beating her and slitting her throat following a party in a garage in Markham. Allegedly, Rosales had connected with Robinson via Backpage, where she was featured in ads for sex…Read full article here


Univision Chicago, May 17, 2017: Demandan a una popular página de compra-venta por internet.

Watch full video here


Courthouse News Service, May 17, 2017: Illinois Mom Blames Backpage.com for Daughter’s Murder.

Ambrose is suing the website for wrongful death and civil conspiracy, among other counts, and Rosales for wrongful death and battery. She is represented by Bhavani Raveendran of Romanucci & Blandin LLC in Chicago…Read full article here


CBS News Chicago, May 17, 2017: Mother Sues Ad Website, Backpage, For Playing A Role In Daughter’s Death.

“The tragic manipulation, sex trafficking and murder of Desiree Robinson exemplify the horrific abuses taking place on Backpage.com every day. This complaint goes after Backpage.com and others who knowingly encourage and make money off this disgusting activity. We are committed to making sure this egregious behavior stops and that those responsible are brought to justice,” said Gina Arquilla DeBoni, Managing Attorney, Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, in a statement…Read full article here


Yahoo! Finance, May 2, 2017: Prominent Chicago Civil Rights Attorney Antonio Romanucci Speaks at John Marshall.

In a wide-ranging conversation with John Marshall Dean Darby Dickerson, Romanucci shared insights with John Marshall students about his high-profile cases and ways that he hopes to impact the communities he works in…Read full article here


Chicago Tribune – Elmhurst, April 17, 2017: Elmhurst Attorney Helps Raise Funds for Children in Chicago and Beyond.

On Thursday, March 16, the Justinian Society of Lawyers held its 15th annual Children’s Endowment Fund (CEF) dinner at Lux Bar in Chicago. Over 60 Justinians were in attendance, including Elmhurst resident Frank A. Sommario, as the 2017 CEF recipients, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Reflections Foundation, each received a sizeable grant check for $3,625… Read full article here


Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2017: Sued, found unfit and a friend mysteriously shot — a Chicago cop’s rocky record.

A few hours before sunrise on Jan. 12, 2010, LaPorta crumpled to the dining room floor with a gunshot wound toward the back of his head. Chicago police classified the shooting an attempted suicide based largely on the account of LaPorta’s friend Patrick Kelly, the only other person in the house at the time… Read full article here


Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 14, 2017: In the News – The Justinian Society of Lawyers holds its 15th annual Children’s Endowment Fund dinner…Read full article here


Fra Noi, April 9, 2017: Romanucci, Sommario named Super Lawyers.

Antonio M. Romanucci and Frank A. Sommario are among several attorneys at the Chicago law firm of Romanucci & Blandin to be hailed recently by their peers… Read full article here


Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 4, 2017: No landlord liability for rooftop fall.  Read full article here


PATCH – Elmhurst, March 30, 2017: Frank Sommario Named a 2016 Illinois Super Lawyer.

CHICAGO (March 30, 2016) – Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, is pleased to announce that Frank A. Sommario, of Elmhurst, has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine. This is the first time Sommario has been selected to the Super Lawyer list following six consecutive years on the Illinois Rising Star list. Sommario joins four other Romanucci & Blandin attorneys with this prestigious honor… Read full article here


News 13 – Orlando, March 27, 2017: Pulse victims’ lawsuit grows, refiled in state court.
The plaintiffs allege the June 2016 massacre could have been prevented by G4S, Omar Mateen’s employer, and his wife, Noor Salman. The lawsuit says G4S had knowledge of Mateen’s mental instability and intent to harm before the mass shooting that left 49 people dead. The complaint also says Salman had prior knowledge of Mateen’s plans and didn’t report him to authorities…Read full article here


NBC 6 Miami, March 27, 2017: Pulse Lawsuit Against Employer, Wife Moved to State Court as Orlando Plans Anniversary Events.
A lawsuit brought by victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre against the gunman’s employer and wife was withdrawn from federal court and filed in state court in South Florida on Monday.
Attorneys for 61 Pulse victims and family members of those killed filed the lawsuit in state court in Palm Beach County, just days after a federal judge said in an order that he doubted federal court was the proper jurisdiction for the case…Read full article here


CBS Orlando, March 27, 2017: Lawsuit against Pulse gunman’s employer, wife moved to state court.
Attorney Antonio Romanucci said the federal lawsuit was filed March 22 against shooter Omar Mateen’s employer, the international security company G4S, and his wife, Noor Salman…Read full article here


U.S. News & World Report, March 27, 2017: Pulse Lawsuit Against Employer, Wife Moved to State Court.
A lawsuit brought by victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre against the gunman’s employer and wife is being withdrawn from federal court and filed in state court in South Florida… Read full article here


Orlando Sentinel, March 27, 2017: Pulse lawsuit against G4S moves to Palm Beach County.

A federal lawsuit filed last week against the Pulse nightclub shooter’s wife, Noor Salman, and his employer, G4S security firm, has been moved to state court in West Palm Beach… Read full article here


U.S. News & World Report, March 27, 2017: Pulse Lawsuit Against Employer, Wife Moved to State Court.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A lawsuit brought by victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre against the gunman’s employer and wife was withdrawn from federal court and filed in state court in South Florida on Monday… Read full article here


NBC National News, March 22, 2017: Pulse Nightclub Shooting Victims Sue Gunman’s Employer, Wife.
ORLANDO, Fla. — A personal injury attorney representing some of the families and survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the gunman’s employer and wife, claiming they were able to stop Omar Mateen before the attack but didn’t…Read full article here


FOX 35 News – Orlando, March 22, 2017: Pulse victims file lawsuit against shooter’s employer, wife.
Attorney Tony Romanucci, who filed the lawsuit in US District in West Palm Beach, told reporters at a news conference that G4S ignored warning signs about Omar Mateen’s mental instability and intent to harm people. He also said the security company could have taken action to prevent the shooting. Mateen opened fire with an automatic weapon at the Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others…Read full article here


Orlando Sentinel, March 22, 2017: Pulse victims sue shooter’s wife, employer G4S.
Attorney Tony Romanucci, who filed the lawsuit in US District in West Palm Beach, told reporters at a news conference that G4S ignored warning signs about Omar Mateen’s mental instability and intent to harm people. He also said the security company could have taken action to prevent the shooting. Mateen opened fire with an automatic weapon at the Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others…Read full article here


CBS Orlando, March 22, 2017: Pulse survivors sue Omar Mateen’s employer G4S, wife.
During a news conference Wednesday in Aloft Downtown Orlando Hotel Attorney Antonio Romanucci said the lawsuit was filed against shooter Omar Mateen’s employer, the international security company G4S, and his wife, Noor Salman…Read full article here


WDBO – 96.5 News Radio, March 22, 2017: Pulse Victims, Families Sue Shooter’s Former Employer; Wife Over ‘Preventable’ Crime.
“He was so vocal that the FBI even began to investigate him, but his employer refused to terminate him from his job, refused to terminate his license that he carried to purchase and conceal guns and ammunition. it was a woeful lack of supervision on the part of G4S,” said attorney Antonio Romanucci, during a news conference in Orlando on Wednesday…Read full article here


NPR Miami – WLRN, March 22, 2017: Pulse Victims, Family Members To File Litigation Against Shooter’s Employer.
They allege the security firm failed to report changes in Omar Mateen’s mental health and seize his weapon before the nightclub shooting that left 49 dead last June…Read full article here


NPR Orlando – WMFE, March 22, 2017: Update: Pulse Victims, Family Members File Litigation Against Shooter’s Employer, Wife.
“I feel angry when I think about the very clear warning signs that Omar Mateen gave”…Read full article here


WSB 95.5 News, March 22, 2017: Nightclub Shooting Victims Sue Gunman’s Employer, Wife.
Personal injury attorney Antonio Romanucci said Mateen’s employer, international security company G4S, knew he was mentally unstable yet allowed him to carry a gun in his job as a security guard. Mateen had a firearm license through his job, Romanucci told The Associated Press in an interview…Read full article here


Orlando Weekly, March 22, 2017: Pulse survivors and families sue shooter’s widow and employer.
The lawsuit, filed in a South Florida federal court, demands damages on claims of negligence, wrongful death and civil conspiracy. More than 50 survivors and victims’ family members from the June 12 tragedy are being represented by several firms including Romanucci & Blandin, from Chicago; Law Offices of Conrad Benedetto, from Philadelphia; and the Gregory Law Firm, from Jacksonville…Read full article here


Pink News, March 22, 2017: Orlando Pulse massacre survivors and families to sue terrorist’s wife and employer.
Terrorist Omar Mateen claimed to be part of Islamic State before opening fire on patrons, killing 49 and wounding 53 during the attack in June last year…Read full article here


Reuters, March 22, 2017: Florida nightclub shooting victims sue gunman’s employer, widow.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida accused the security firm that hired shooter Omar Mateen of ignoring his comments supporting violence prior to the rampage that killed 49 and injured dozens at a gay nightclub in Orlando…Read full article here


Chicago Tribune, March 22, 2017: Orlando nightclub shooting victims sue gunman’s employer, wife.
personal injury attorney representing some of the families and survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the gunman’s employer and wife, claiming they were able to stop Omar Mateen before the attack but didn’t…Read full article here


NBC News – Orlando, March 22, 2017: Pulse victims sue gunman’s employer, wife.
Personal injury attorney Antonio Romanucci said Mateen’s employer, international security company G4S, knew he was mentally unstable yet allowed him to carry a gun in his job as a security guard. Mateen had a firearm license through his job, Romanucci told The Associated Press in an interview…Read full article here


Business Insider, March 22, 2017: Orlando nightclub shooting victims are suing the gunman’s employer and wife.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A personal injury attorney representing some of the families and survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the gunman’s employer and wife, claiming they were able to stop Omar Mateen before the attack but didn’t…Read full article here


Florida Today, March 22, 2017: Pulse shooting victims sue gunman’s employer, wife.
Personal injury attorney Antonio Romanucci said Mateen’s employer, international security company G4S, knew he was mentally unstable yet allowed him to carry a gun in his job as a security guard. Mateen had a firearm license through his job, Romanucci told The Associated Press in an interview…Read full article here


The Washington Post, March 22, 2017: Pulse survivors sue gunman’s wife, employer, saying the massacre was preventable.
Survivors of the Pulse nightclub attack filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the gunman’s wife as well as his former employer, arguing that the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history could have been prevented had they acted…Read full article here


Rolling Stone, March 22, 2017: Pulse Nightclub Massacre Victims Sue Gunman’s Employer, Wife.
Attorney Antonio Romanucci filed the suit – which claims wrongful death and negligence, among other counts – in a South Florida federal court on behalf of more than four dozen survivors and family members of the deceased, The Associated Press reports. Forty-nine people were killed and dozens were injured during the massacre at the gay nightclub, which marked the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history…Read full article here


Chicago Tribune – Park Ridge, March 17, 2017: Stephan D. Blandin, Principal and Partner at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, Reappointed to Illinois Supreme Court Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission.
“I am humbled to be a part of the ARDC for the sixth year in a row,” said Mr. Blandin. “Ensuring the preservation of justice and integrity in the Illinois legal system is of the utmost importance. Citizens of Illinois should have confidence that their interests are protected with the checks and balances our legal system has in place. I’m proud to contribute,” he added…Read full article here


Patch – Chicago, March 10, 2017: Jared M. Wise Joins Romanucci & Blandin, LLC as Associate Attorney.
Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, a leading personal injury and civil trial practice law firm in Chicago, proudly announces Jared M. Wise has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Mr. Wise’s experience as a trial lawyer includes cases concerning catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, construction and workplace accidents…Read full article here


Patch – Chicago, March 10, 2017: Nicolette A. Ward Joins Romanucci & Blandin, LLC as Associate Attorney.
“We are pleased to welcome Nicolette to Romanucci & Blandin and know that she will immediately make a positive contribution to our firm’s culture and reputation as leading police misconduct and personal injury attorneys,” said Antonio M. Romanucci, Principal and Partner at Romanucci & Blandin. “Nicolette shares our passion to serve those harmed by violations of their civil rights and injured through the wrongful actions of others,” he added…Read full article here


Daily Herald, March 9, 2017: Attorney Martin Gould named a 2017 Illinois Rising Star.
“I am very pleased to be recognized for a second year on the Illinois Rising Star list,” said Gould. “In a state with over 90,000 attorneys, receiving this recognition is extremely humbling. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work with a team of lawyers who are not only ensuring that justice is being served but who are also helping to make important policy changes happen on a local and national level…” Read full article here


American Towns – Park Ridge, March 9, 2017: Michael Holden Named a 2017 Illinois Rising Star.
Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, is pleased to announce that Senior Associate, Michael E. Holden of Park Ridge, has been named an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine. 2017 marks the seventh consecutive year Holden has been selected to this prestigious list…Read full article here


Chicago Tribune – Park Ridge, March 8, 2017: Stephan D. Blandin Named a 2017 Illinois Top 100 Lawyer.
“It is humbling to be recognized amongst the ‘Top 100′ lawyers in Illinois by Super Lawyers Magazine,” said Blandin. “The support, dedication and perseverance of our team on exceedingly complex litigation over the past year has been extraordinary. I’m comforted to know that our team is driven by their dedication to serving our clients and ensuring our clients’ well-being…” Read full article here


Daily Herald, March 8, 2017: Antonio Romanucci named to 2017 ‘Top 100 Super Lawyer’ List in Illinois.
Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, is pleased to announce that Antonio M. Romanucci of Chicago has been named to the prestigious ‘Top 100 Super Lawyer’ list in Illinois by Super Lawyers Magazine for 2017. In a state with over 90,000 lawyers, being awarded a spot in the top 100 is a tremendous accomplishment. This is the 11th consecutive year Romanucci has been recognized as a ‘Top 100’ and the 13th consecutive year he has been selected to the list of Illinois Super Lawyers. Romanucci joins four other Romanucci & Blandin attorneys with prestigious honors this year…Read full article here


University of Wisconsin Alumni News – On Wisconsin Magazine, March 8, 2017: Antonio Romanucci Named to 2017 ‘Top 100 Super Lawyer’ List in Illinois.
Antonio Romanucci is recognized locally and nationally for his leadership, expertise, and technique in the field of personal injury. He has been an integral part in the settlement of many high-profile cases, including those yielding verdicts of $17 million, $24 million, and a record settlement of $30 million. For his successes, Antonio was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He has been named a ‘Top 100 Super Lawyer’ in Illinois for 11 consecutive years, an ‘Illinois Leading Lawyer’ since 2003, and a ‘Best Lawyer in Chicago’ since 2013 by U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, Antonio has a perfect Martindale Hubble AV rating and an AVVO rating of 10/10…Read full article here


CBA Record, February/March 2017 Issue: President’s Page – Facing Challenges in What We Do.
Read full article here


 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 1, 2017: Woman settles lawsuit after deputy kills son
Read full article here

Chicago Lawyer, March 2017 Issue: Conscientious Representation for the Catastrophically Injured

Read full article here


Chicago Tribune, February 21, 2017: Lake Zurich truth comes with whole number plus six zeroes
Rather than face a trial, Maine West agreed to pay $1 million divided among five students. It’s what District 207’s liability insurers wanted. What Maine West wanted was what all such defendants crave — we’ll pay if we’re allowed to say we did nothing wrong…Read full article here


Fra Noi, February 20, 2017: Illinois Supreme Court taps Romanucci.
The Illinois Supreme Court has reappointed personal injury attorney Antonio M. Romanucci vice chairperson of its Rules Committee. A founding principal and partner at Romanucci & Blandin, Romanucci has served on the Rules Committee since December 2011. He and 15 other committee members are responsible for analyzing and recommending new Supreme Court rules or modifications to existing rules that govern all proceedings in trial court. “Serving on a committee with such well-regarded attorneys, judges and educators is a true honor,” says Romanucci, who has been named a Top Superlawyer in Illinois for 10 straight years…Read full article here


Daily Herald, February 16, 2017: Inverness detective named in Lake Zurich football hazing lawsuit.
Lake Zurich Unit District 95, its superintendent, athletic director and football coaches, including Officer William Stutzman, are accused of allowing hazing and bullying in the team locker room in 2016. Monetary and other damages are sought in the complaint…Read full article here


Streets Blog Chicago, February 15, 2017: After an Officer Seriously Injured a Cyclist in Lakeview, Police Blamed the Victim.
Around 11 PM on Wednesday, January 18, Abigail Kruger was sitting on her couch in her Lakeview duplex, just south of Wellington and Racine, when the evening’s quiet was shattered by a loud bang…Read full article here


Chicago Reader, February 13, 2017: After an officer in an unmarked car seriously injures a cyclist, police blame the victim.
As Kruger went to her first-floor window, she heard a short burst of police sirens, then silence again, followed by a young woman crying, “Help, someone please help me.” On the west side of Racine she saw 19-year-old Annie Zidek lying on the pavement, surrounded by four or five Chicago police officers.

Read full article here


Columbia Chronicle, February 13, 2017: Hazing is criminal assault, not tradition.
Student athletes learn plenty of life lessons including the value of hard work, the power of determination and the strength of tradition. However, in the recent case of hazing at Lake Zurich High School in Illinois, tradition went too far.

According to a Feb. 2 Chicago Tribune article, two alleged victims have now filed a federal lawsuit against School District 95 arising from actions by the Lake Zurich High School football team. The lawsuit alleges that members of the football team committed sexual assaults and acts of degradation in the locker rooms and showers under the guise of “hazing” during the Fall 2016 football season, while coaches and administrators ignored the abuse.

Read full article here


Oak Forest PATCH, February 10, 2017: Teen Killed in Garage Was Sex Trafficking Victim, Family Says.
Gina Arquilla DeBoni, an attorney for the family of murder victim Desiree Robinson, said in court this week that her firm will investigate the role Backpage.com played in the death and potentially file a civil suit, according to a report from the Daily Southtown. DeBoni said Robinson was advertised as a paid escort on the site before she was killed by 32-year-old Antonio Rosales of Chicago in a garage in the 16200 block of South Hamlin Avenue on Dec. 24.

Read full article here


USA Today High School Sports, February 8, 2017: The investigation into Lake Zurich’s football hazing case cost more than $50,000 in November alone.
Make no mistake: The damage of a graphic hazing scandal to the Lake Zurich football program is more than reputational. It’s taking a major chunk out of the budget for the school’s athletic department, too.

As reported by the Daily Herald from suburban Chicago, the law firm which was hired to investigate the allegations of hazing billed more than $50,o00 to the district related strictly to its work on the hazing case in the month of November. The investigation was not concluded by Nov. 31, so it is almost a fait accompli that the total cost for the investigation will rise, and likely by a significant amount.

Read full article here


Pioneer Press – Lake Zurich Courier, February 8, 2017: Amid hazing fallout, Lake Zurich turns to new protocols, key hirings.
Two members of the 2016 Lake Zurich football team who say they were victims of hazing filed a federal lawsuit last week against Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 and various coaches and administrators.

Chicago attorney Antonio Romanucci, who is representing the players, said that the hazing included sexual assault and other degrading acts and resulted from a culture that dated back to 1997 and also reached the cross country and wrestling teams at some point during the last 20 years.

Read full article here


The Chadron Record, February 7, 2017: Parents hope lawsuit helps others
Fatima Larios “was a wonderful, beautiful daughter… with a big heart,” says her mother, Lissette Larios Roohbakhsh.

Her dad, Nelson Larios, recalls a “happy kid” who was “competitive by nature.” She learned to swim before she could walk, and while gifted in many athletic endeavors, she fell in love with softball early in life.

Read full article here


CBS News Chicago, February 7, 2017: Slain Teen’s Mom Seeks Answers About Alleged Sex Trafficking.
The mother of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly beaten and strangled by a man she met on Backpage.com, after having run away from home, has set her sights on the website.

Desiree Robinson’s mother, Yvonne Ambrose, was at the Markham Courthouse on Tuesday for the arraignment of 32-year-old Antonio Rosales, charged with murder in Robinson’s death.

Read full article here


Daily Southtown, February 7, 2017: Family of slain 16-year-old asserts she was victim of sex trafficking, hires lawyer to investigate.
The family of a 16-year-old Chicago girl found dead in a Markham garage on Christmas Eve believes she was a victim of sex trafficking and has hired a lawyer to conduct an investigation into the events leading up to her death.

Gina Arquilla DeBoni, an attorney with Romanucci & Blandin, LLC retained by the family of Desiree Robinson, said Tuesday that her firm’s investigation would target classified site Backpage.com, on which the teen had advertised as a paid escort, and all other responsible parties.

Read full story here


dnaInfo Chicago, February 7, 2017: Slain South Chicago Teen Was Victim of Sex Trafficking, Attorney Says.
MARKHAM — The 16-year-old girl found murdered in a Markham garage on Christmas Eve was the victim of online sex trafficking, attorneys for the girl’s family said Tuesday.

Desiree Robinson, 16, had been missing for several weeks when her naked body turned up in south suburban Markham on Dec. 24, 2016. The South Chicago teen had been beaten, stabbed and strangled.

Read full story here


WGN-TV Chicago, February 7, 2017: Family of teen killed by man she met on Backpage.com fights back.
A man accused of killing a teenage girl he met on a controversial website appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Anthony Rosales, 32, is accused of sexually assaulting and killing 16-year-old Desiree Robinson last year.

Read full story here


Lake County Chronicle, February 7, 2017: Sexual abuse alleged in Lake Zurich hazing lawsuit.
A civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages and “injunctive relief to end hazing rituals” has been filed against the Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95, three coaches, two district officials, and unnamed athletic support personnel, on behalf of two students from the 2016 varsity football team and their parents, following a Feb. 1 press conference, which was used to announce its filing that day.

Read full article here


KCSR Radio, February 6, 2017: Larios Lawsuit Picked Up By Media Around The World.
The federal lawsuit filed in Omaha by the parents of 19-year old Fatima Larios charges the school with failing to protect her from dating violence and failing to take the steps required by the federal Title IX law in such cases. California residents Nelson Larios and Lissette Roohbakhsh are asking for monetary damages to be established by a trial jury.

Read full article here


BuzzFeed News, February 4, 2017: A 19-Year-Old Killed Herself, And The Family Says Her School Could’ve Saved Her.
Two years ago, when Fatima Larios’s parents learned that their daughter had committed suicide at Chadron State College in Nebraska, they had no idea that school officials had been warned months earlier that her boyfriend might be beating her.

A federal lawsuit filed this week by Larios’s parents against Chadron claims the school violated the gender equity law Title IX in how it handled reports about their 19-year-old daughter’s suspected abuse by her boyfriend. The family originally filed a complaint, obtained by BuzzFeed News, with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which prompted an ongoing federal investigation. But their attorneys are also suing the school in federal court because they worry about how an investigation would be handled by an Office for Civil Rights run by the Trump administration.

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Lake County News-Sun, February 3, 2017: Lake Zurich H.S. should open up on alleged ‘hazing’.
Two alleged victims of the “hazing” and their parents filed suit this week in U.S. District Court in Chicago, contending a tradition of hazing rituals among student athletes has been going on for 20 years and that school officials ignored the abuse. Besides the district, a number of current and former Lake Zurich Bears football coaches are named in the suit, along with Superintendent Kaine Osburn. The filing seeks monetary damages; anti-hazing training for District 95 coaches, teachers and staff; anti-hazing assemblies for students; and a database to track hazing and bullying complaints.

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New York Daily News, February 3, 2017: Parents sue Chadron State College for allegedly ignoring relationship abuse that led to daughter’s suicide.
The parents of a Chadron State College student are suing the Nebraska school for failing to prevent the dating violence they believe led to their daughter’s 2015 suicide.

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Daily Mail, February 3, 2017: Parents of college softball player sue university for failing to ‘respond to reports of sexual violence’ which led to her suicide.
The parents of a college softball player are suing Chadron State College for neglecting to take proper action when their daughter was abused by her boyfriend.
Fatima Larios died by suicide on January 31, 2015 at the age of 19. She ended her life in her abusive boyfriend’s dorm room in Chadron, Nebraska.

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CNN, February 3, 2017: Parents sue Nebraska college over daughter’s suicide
The parents of a softball player at Chadron State College are suing the school, alleging the Nebraska school did nothing to prevent their daughter’s suicide.

Fatima Larios’ parents say in documents filed in US District Court that their daughter, who was found dead in her dorm room in January 2015, was physically and emotionally abused by her boyfriend, a football player, for months before her death.

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CBS Radio – 670 The Score: The Boers Bernstein Show, February 2, 2017: Antonio Romanucci Talks on the Boers Bernstein Show about the Lake Zurich High School Hazing Case.


USA Today High School Sports, February 2, 2017: Lawsuit: Lake Zurich (Ill.) football hazing included forced sex acts, goes back 20 years.
In early November the Lake Zurich (Ill.) football program was plunged into crisis when the majority of its coaching staff was placed on paid administrative leave on the eve of a playoff game. Days later it emerged that the coaches had been suspended — and players forced to sign a strange contract before competing — due to a situation that emerged which was clearly similar in nature to hazing.

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KWWL – NBC News Iowa, February 2, 2017: Lawsuit: High school coaches and administrators allowed players to haze and sexually assault teammates.
It surrounds Lake Zurich High School, and what allegedly happened inside a locker room in October 2016.

The suit, brought on by two of the victims, accuses the district, school officials and coaches of knowing that hazing and bullying was taking place…including forcing teammates to “strip naked and perform oral sex on one another.”

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New York Daily News, February 2, 2017: Football players at Ill. high school were sexually assaulted as part of hazing rituals that went back to 1997: lawsuit.
“The emotional and physical abuse that these current and former student athletes were forced to endure is unspeakable,” Chicago lawyer Antonio Romanucci said in a press release. “These inappropriate acts were clearly done without an understanding by the students of the long-term effects and ramifications that would ensue.”

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CBS News Chicago, February 2, 2017: Baffoe: Normalization Of Sports Over Dehumanization Brings Lake Zurich Scandal.
Remember toward the end of last year when Major League Baseball got rid of rookie hazing? How it was such an affront to the sanctimony of the locker room and travel practices that the players’ union stuck out its chest and … didn’t even contest the proposal?

If you’re decent and logical, you understood then how the move was a no-brainer. Besides hazing being stupid beyond remote rational argument, the big win of the hazing ban means players can no longer dress up like women. Yes, this puts a kink in the odd repressed psychosexual issues of so many adult male athletes, but the trade-off is that they can no longer send a message that femininity is inferiority.

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Cook County Record, February 2, 2017: Lawsuit alleges systematic hazing, mistreatment of athletes dating back decades at Lake Zurich H.S.
The Chicago firm of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, filed the 12-count complaint on behalf of two anonymous sets of parents and their children, naming as defendants Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 as well as Chad Beaver, dean of students and a football coach; David Profitt, a gym teacher and head varsity football coach; William Stutzman, a volunteer coach of the freshman and varsity teams; Rolando Vasquez, athletics director; Kaine Osburn, District 95 superintendent; and as many as 10 other football coaches.

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Comcast Sports Net Chicago, February 2, 2017: Lawsuit Filed Following Alleged Lake Zurich High School Football Hazing Scandal.
The lawsuit, filed by lawyers representing the parents of two Lake Zurich students who are victims of the hazing incident, alleges that coaches and school officials allowed “acts of hazing and bullying to occur within the team locker room, including forcing teammates to strip naked and forced un-consensual sexual assault.”

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Chicago Tribune, February 2, 2017: Editorial: Lake Zurich hazing: When adults look the other way.
The reports have been largely redacted. The school inquiries have concluded. Two athletic officials at Lake Zurich High School have resigned, with a third expected to leave at the end of the school year.

But that’s not the end to hazing allegations that arose a few months ago. An attorney for two alleged victims says the hazing involved sexual assault and acts of degradation involving football players. Parents of alleged victims filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the district, claiming school officials knew, or should have known, about locker room rituals that had been going on for years and were dismissed as tradition. Horseplay. Team bonding. Boys will be boys.

 


CLTV, February 1, 2017: Parents file lawsuit in Lake Zurich hazing scandal.
The suit lists Lake Zurich Unit District 95, school officials and football coaches as defendants.

District 95 is accused of allowing the hazing and bullying to occur in the team locker room where minors are supposed to be supervised.

Read full article here


The New York Post, February 1, 2017: High school football players sexually assaulted teammates: lawsuit.
A lawsuit filed by a pair of Illinois high school students and their parents alleges players on their school’s football, wrestling and cross country teams engaged in myriad acts of physical, mental and sexual abuse as part of hazing rituals condoned by coaches and school officials.

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Yahoo! Finance, February 1, 2017: Romanucci & Blandin Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Parents of Lake Zurich High School Students for Despicable Acts of Bullying and Hazing.
Personal injury law firm, Romanucci & Blandin, announced today that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the parents of two Lake Zurich High School (LZHS) students who fell victim to the abuses of bullying and hazing taking place on the school’s football team in Lake Zurich, Illinois. The lawsuit was filed against Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95, school officials and coaches at LZHS for allowing acts of hazing and bullying to occur within the team locker room, including forcing teammates to strip naked and forced and un-consensual sexual assault.

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ABC 7 News Chicago, February 1, 2017: Hazing Lawsuit Filed Against Lake Zurich High School.
Attorney Antonio Romanucci, who represents the parents of two alleged victims and filed the lawsuit, said at least three people associated with the football program, including the head coach and the athletic director, have been let go after the allegations surfaced.

Romanucci said football and school officials claimed they were unaware of any hazing.
The lawsuit alleges that hazing of athletes goes back at least two decades and is considered a rite of passage at the school.

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Deadspin, February 1, 2017: Lawsuit: High School Coaches, Administrators Allowed Players To Urinate On, Sexually Assault Teammates.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday morning alleges that coaches and officials at Lake Zurich High School in northern Illinois allowed “acts of hazing and bullying to occur within the team locker room, including forcing teammates to strip naked and forced un-consensual sexual assault.”

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Antonio Romanucci on behalf of two anonymous Lake Zurich students and their parents, alleges that wrestling, cross country, and football coaches at the high school engaged in, encouraged, and permitted physical, mental, and sexual abuse in the form of bullying over the past 20 years. Per NBC Chicago, the District 95 superintendent Kaine Osburn wrote the following in a letter to parents a week ago:

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Lincoln Journal Star, February 1, 2017: Mother sues Chadron State following daughter’s death.
A California woman on Tuesday sued Chadron State College in U.S. District Court, saying school officials failed to prevent dating violence that led to her daughter’s suicide in 2015.

In the suit filed in federal court in Omaha, Lissette Larios Roohbakhsh said her daughter, Fatima Lissette Larios, was regularly beaten and emotionally abused by her then-boyfriend over a three-month period before her death. Fatima Larios played for Chadron’s softball team.

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NBC 5 Chicago, February 1, 2017: Lawsuit Filed After Alleged Hazing Scandal Involving Suburban High School Football Team.
A lawsuit has been filed against a suburban school district Wednesday following a high school football hazing scandal that sent shockwaves through the community.

The suit reveals for the first time details on what is alleged to have happened inside a Lake Zurich High School locker room last October, sparking investigations from the district, law enforcement and other agencies.

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PR Newswire, February 1, 2017: Romanucci & Blandin Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Parents of Lake Zurich High School Students for Despicable Acts of Bullying and Hazing.
The bullying discussed in the lawsuit of both students was part of longstanding and prevalent hazing rituals and traditions of the Lake Zurich football team extending as far back as 1997, and known to coaches long-before the dates of the Plaintiffs’ assaults. These egregious events were taking place, for instance, after the team’s Thursday night “pasta dinners,” where upon the conclusion of the dinner, members of the team would proceed to the locker room and engage in the tradition of “roasts.” Information and belief indicate that the social pressure and bullying became so severe and intense that even unwilling participants were forced to take part in acts that were assaultive, illegal, and often sexual in nature.

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CBS News Chicago, February 1, 2017: Lawsuit Filed Against Lake Zurich High School After Abusive Hazing.
CHICAGO (CBS) – The parents of two Lake Zurich High School football players filed Wednesday a lawsuit against the school district and the team’s coaches for allegations of abusive hazing in the locker room and showers.

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WGN-TV Chicago, February 1, 2017: Parents file lawsuit in Lake Zurich hazing scandal.
The suit lists Lake Zurich Unit District 95, school officials and football coaches as defendants.

District 95 is accused of allowing the hazing and bullying to occur in the team locker room where minors are supposed to be supervised.

Read full article here


Chicago Tribune, February 1, 2017: Lawsuit: Lake Zurich High hazing included forced sex acts.
Antonio Romanucci, a Chicago attorney representing two former members of the 2016 football team, said the hazing goes back at least 20 years and remained hidden because of ” ‘Lord of the Flies’-type tactics” that kept participants and victims quiet.

“They were brutally mocked, teased, humiliated, embarrassed and emotionally harmed, all in the name of team bonding,” Romanucci said at a Wednesday news conference.

Read full article here


Daily Herald, February 1, 2017: Lawsuit: Lake Zurich sports hazing goes back nearly two decades.
Incidents of hazing among members of Lake Zurich High School athletic teams go back nearly two decades with knowledge of coaches and other officials, according to a federal lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of two football players and their parents.

The players, listed as Doe Children A and B in documents, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago against Lake Zurich Unit District 95, Superintendent Kaine Osburn, former football head coach and physical education teacher David Proffitt and other defendants.

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Fra Noi, January 2017 Issue: Justinian Society of Lawyers – Eminent Bar Association Hosts Glittering Installation

This fall, the Justinian Society of Lawyers held its annual Installation and Awards dinner before a crowd of more than 300 attendees at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Officers, including President Frank A. Somarrio, Partner at Romanucci & Blandin, were sworn in for 2016-2017, and the 2016 Justinian Award of Excellence was presented to Antonio M. Romanucci, Principal and Partner at Romanucci & Blandin. Read full story here


Athletic Business, January 13, 2017: HS Coaches, AD Resign Amid Hazing Allegations

Head football coach David Proffitt of Lake Zurich (Ill.) High School added his letter of resignation to those of athletic director Rolando Vazquez and assistant coach Chad Beaver shortly after the first two resignations were accepted by district board members at a meeting on Thursday.
Read full article here


Lake Zurich PATCH, January 13, 2017: Lake Zurich AD, Football Coach, Assistant Resign After Hazing Scandal

A hazing incident amongst football players in the locker room at Lake Zurich High School last fall has now lead to the resignation of the school’s athletic director, head football coach and coaching assistant.
Read full article here


Chicago Tribune, January 12, 2017: Lake Zurich athletic director, head football coach, assistant resign after hazing scandal

The resignations of athletic director Rolando Vazquez and assistant coach Chad Beaver, who also serves as student dean, were formally accepted by the District 95 school board at a special meeting Thursday evening.
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Daily Herald, January 12, 2017: Lake Zurich football coach denies wrongdoing as he, AD, assistant resign after hazing scandal

Lake Zurich Unit District 95 board members Thursday night approved the resignation of athletics boss Rolando Vazquez effective June 30. As part of a package of other personnel actions, the board also accepted the resignation of high school dean Chad Beaver, who was an assistant football coach, effective Jan. 20.
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Illinois Bar Journal, January 2017: Admissibility of Social Media Evidence in Illinois

Is social media evidence admissible in Illinois? The short answer is yes, if the proper requirements are met. However, there’s some uncertainty about what the proper requirements are in Illinois. This article looks at the law governing the admissibility of social media evidence and how to lay proper foundation in Illinois. Read the full story here.


Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, January 9, 2017: In the Courts – Antonio M. Romanucci reappointed as Vice Chair to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee.

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Daily Herald, January 3, 2017: Antonio Romanucci appointed as vice-chairperson of Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee.
The Illinois Supreme Court reappointed personal injury attorney Antonio M. Romanucci as vice chairperson to its rules committee, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Founding principal and partner at Romanucci & Blandin LLC, Romanucci has served on the state’s rules committee since December 2011. Along with 15 committee members, he is responsible for analyzing and recommending new Supreme Court rules or modifications to existing rules which govern all proceedings in trial court.

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