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The Client Counseling teams Chase M. Gruszka coached over the weekend of February 6-8 were tremendously successful.  After defeating ten teams from five other Midwestern law schools (including Northern Illinois University, Marquette, Loyola University, the University of Illinois and Valparaiso Law School), John Marshall’s two teams took first place and second place at the Midwestern Regional Competition.  By winning the Regional Competition, John Marshall qualified for the National Championship Tournament at the University of North Carolina in March.  This is the second year in a row Chase has coached John Marshall to a regional championship and a birth to the National Championship.

The current American Bar Association Client Counseling Competition originated as the Mock Law Office Competition at the University of Southern California in 1969.  It has been held each year since then, with the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division administering the competition.  The purpose of the competition is to promote greater knowledge and interest among law students in preventative law and counseling functions of the practice of law.

This year’s National Championship is being held at the University of North Carolina in Raleigh over the weekend of March 12-14.

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Illinois State Representative Jack Franks (D-Marengo) recently introduced HB 1441 to the Illinois General Assembly that would amend the Premises Liability Act, 740 ILCS 130/1, et seq. The bill provides that whether a condition is open and obvious may be considered by the trier of fact only in assessing the degree of comparative fault, if any, and may not be considered with respect to any other issue of law or fact, including duty. The bill was introduced on February 5, 2015, and was referred to House Rules Committee.

Whether a condition is open and obvious has traditionally been part of the duty analysis (and, therefore, a question of law decided by the court) in premises liability and some products liability matters.    Representative Franks’ Bill is more reason why defendants in Illinois need strong legal representation.

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Cray Huber Partners Daniel K. Cray, James K. Horstman, Michael D. Huber, Stephen W. Heil and Rodney E. VanAusdal have been selected to the 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers list.  Their names and contact information will be included in the February 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine and Chicago magazine.

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Daniel K. Cray has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal 2015 in the areas of Life Sciences and Products Liability.

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On March 10, Michael D. Huber and Rodney E. VanAusdal will be attending the 2015 Podiatry Insurance Company of America (PICA) Defense Counsel Symposium followed by the 2015 ProAssurance Defense Counsel Meeting on March 11 at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco.

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Chase M. Gruszka coached The John Marshall Law School’s ABA Client Counseling Team. They competed at The Regional Competition on February 7-8 at the Valparaiso School of Law.  The American Bar Association Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition simulates a law office consultation in which law students, acting as attorneys, are presented with a client matter. They conduct an interview with a person playing the role of the client and then explain how they would proceed further in the hypothetical situation.  This year’s topic is family law.  When Chase participated as a competitor, they took second place in the region.  As a coach last year, his team took third place in the nation.