In the News
February 2, 2018
Ross Secler on WBEZ election podcast to discuss getting (and staying) on the ballot
Ross Secler spoke on 91.5 FM WBEZ's 2018 Illinois election podcast concerning the challenges of getting - and staying - on the ballot. With the March primary right around the corner, this podcast explores the ins and outs of Illinois elections. Tune in every Friday afternoon to hear the latest news.
Click Here for more.
January 10, 2018
Burt Odelson and WGN's Meghan Dwyer discuss the Illinois election process
Tune in as WGN's Investigative Reporter Meghan Dwyer covers the election process in Illinois with Burt, going over the difficulties of getting on the ballot.
Click Here for more.
December 20, 2017
Leslie Kennedy appointed to newly created Illinois Senate Task Force
Attorney Leslie Quade Kennedy was appointed by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady to the newly created Illinois Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention. Leslie is proud to be on a task force that will work to make recommendations for combating sexual discrimination and harassment in both the private and public sectors. The task force will conduct a review of the legal and social consequences of sexual discrimination and harassment. The task force will submit a report to the General Assembly by December 31, 2018. The initial task force meeting was held on December 14, 2017.
Leslie is a partner at Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. in Evergreen Park, IL. She primarily represents governmental bodies and religious organizations. As part of her representation of governmental bodies, she specializes in numerous areas including labor and employment. As part of this practice, she has advised clients and conducted investigations into sexual harassment complaints. Before joining Odelson & Sterk, Leslie worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County for 16 years. She also served as an Alderman for the City of Blue Island and as a member of the School District 130 Board of Education.
November 29, 2017
91.5 WBEZ interviews Burt Odelson about the Illinois petition process
This morning, Burt Odelson was interviewed on 91.5- WBEZ to discuss the petiton process in Illinois and Cook County and the politics (and sometimes shenanigans) that come into play.
Click Here to tune in.
August 9, 2017
Burt Odelson on CBS News defending the coroner he threw off the ballot
Burt Odelson appeared on CBS Channel 2 News regarding the former Coroner of Lake County, Dr. Thomas Rudd, who Burt threw off the ballot. Dr. Rudd was subsequently indicted for perjury, and Burt and Ross are now on the defense team to help him in his criminal defense.
Click Here to see the story.
March 25, 2017
Claudia Castro appears on ABC 7's Emmy Award-winning "The Ñ Beat"
The half-hour special airing at 6:00 pm profiles Claudia Castro, the head of the Chicago Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. Latinos remain one of the fastest growing groups in the U.S. yet, they account for only four percent of the nation's attorneys. And when it comes to 'Latinas' in the ranks of U.S. lawyers, that number shrinks to a dismal 1-percent! But Castro defied some enormous odds to earn her way into that elite circle and she's working hard to see that others do the same!
Click Here to watch Claudia's clip!
October 21 and 23, 2016
Burt Odelson weighs in on 2016 Presidential Race
Tune in to CLTV's "Politics Tonight" at 10 pm on October 21, 2016, to hear Burt discuss the 2016 Presidential Election, Trump's claims of a rigged election, and the topic of voter fraud. You can also watch the interview on WGN's morning news at 8:00 am on Sunday, October 23, 2016.
October 21, 2016
Odelson files emergency motion for supervisory order with Illinois Supreme Court in Rhonda Crawford case
Click here to read the Emergency Motion for Supervisory Order or for Leave to File Writ of Prohibition or Mandamus filed by Burt Odelson and Mary Ryan Norwell today with the Illinois Supreme Court.
September 22, 2016
WGN visits with Burt Odelson to discuss candidate who allegedly impersonated a judge
A judge can direct courtroom proceedings, issue subpoenas, decide civil cases, and issue sentences in a criminal case. A lawyer can do none of these things.
Click here to see Burt's interview on WGN.
August 3, 2016
Burt Odelson appears on "Connections" to discuss upcoming elections
Click here to see the YouTube video of Burt's interview with Eileen Walsh on "Connections."
July 28, 2016
Burt Odelson to appear on "Connections" on August 3, 2016, to discuss upcoming elections
Tune into the cable program "Connections" on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, between 3:00 and 5:00 pm to watch leading Illinois election attorney, Burt Odelson, discuss the upcoming election season. The show, which is hosted by Eileen Walsh, airs on Channel 4 and is broadcast to the south suburban neighborhoods of Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Hickory Hills and Worth. As election season begins for local municipalities, Burt will cover many topics that incumbents and potential candidates will find helpful. He will also weigh in on issues affecting state and federal-level elections. Be sure to check it out!
May 18, 2016
Alderman Brian Hopkins speaks at City Club
Yesterday, Brian Hopkins, 2nd Ward Alderman in the City of Chicago, was the featured speaker at the City Club. Brian began his political career as a student at Moraine Valley Community College working on a referendum and re-election campaign for then Chairman of the Board, Burt Odelson. Brian’s career in politics moved from Moraine Valley to eventually working for Finance Chairman, County Commissioner John Daley, and then to his successful campaign as Alderman. Burt is extremely proud of Brian’s early political roots culminating in Brian’s election as Alderman.
Check out the link below for more on Brian’s career:
February 17, 2016
State Board of Elections finds multiple violations of state laws against Kim Foxx
On February 17, 2016, Burt Odelson argued before the 8-member bipartisan State Board of Elections who unanimously found that a complaint filed against Kim Foxx was filed with good cause. The Board voted 8-0 to find that Kim Foxx violated the Illinois Election Code at least 3 times by failing to disclose a $25,000 in-kind contribution. Foxx filed her campaign statement of organization on June 3, 2015, when it should have been filed on February 3, 2015, when she received $25,000 in-kind contribution for a poll to test her viability as a candidate. That is a violation of section 5/9-3 of the state statutes. The fine that is called for in the law is $50.00 per business day, or a maximum of $5,000.
Further, Foxx violated section 5/9-10 of the Election Code by not filing an A-1 disclosure report within 5 business days of receiving the benefit of the contribution on February 3, 2015. The A-1 report is required to be filed with the State Board of Elections if a contribution of $1,000 or more is made to a candidate. The $25,000 for the poll the Board found is an “in-kind” contribution to Foxx. Since the date of payment was February 3, 2015, non-disclosure is a “continuing” violation, which the Board “shall” assess a civil penalty. The penalty could be as high as 150% of the total amount of the contribution (150% of $25,000 = $37,500); but in no event, less than 10% of the amount not reported, or $2,500.
The Board also unanimously found Foxx violated sections 5/9-10 and 5/9-11 of state law, which requires candidates to file quarterly reports of all campaign contributions and expenditures. Foxx failed to file a complete and accurate quarterly report by April 15, 2015. The civil fines set forth in the statutes call for a maximum of $5,000 for each report not filed.
The Board ordered Foxx to file the required reports by 5:00 p.m. on February 29, 2016, and the staff review the filings for the imposition of all applicable civil penalty assessments.
For more on this State Board of Elections decision, please click on the links below.
January 22, 2016
Judicial candidate in DuPage County removed from ballot on basis of fraud and wrong description of office
Burt Odelson, Luke Keller and Lauren Glennon were successful in challenging the petitions and candidacy of attorney, Thomas Laz, a candidate for Resident Circuit Court Judge in the 18th Judicial District (DuPage County). Laz's removal from the ballot leaves incumbent Resident Circuit Court Judge Liam Brennan the only candidate in the Republican primary.
Thomas Laz filed 726 signatures for the judge's race. The requirement was 542 in order to be on the ballot. After a review of signatures by the DuPage County Board of Elections Commission staff and the Board, pursuant to objections filed by Odelson & Sterk, Ltd., 170 signatures were found invalid. Mr. Laz was 14 signatures over the 542 needed for ballot access. After a hearing and briefs filed by the parties, the Circuit Court found fraud was committed by the candidate's brother, David Laz, and invalidated the signatures submitted by him as a circulator. The deletions of David Laz's petition sheets reduced the number of valid signatures below the 542 required by Illinois law.
Additionally, the Court found the candidate did not use the proper name of the office he sought on his nomination petitions. The office of "Resident Circuit Court Judge" is separate and distinct from Judge of the Circuit Court as used by the candidate on all of his petitions. Thus, all of the nominating petitions were found invalid.
The candidate has not appealed the decision of the Circuit Court.
For any further information, please contact Joyce Romanowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 20, 2016
Casey Urlacher to remain on ballot for the Republican nomination for State Senate
Burt Odelson successfully argued before the State Board of Elections that Casey Urlacher should remain on the ballot for the Republican nomination for State Senator. Mr. Urlacher is currently the Mayor of the Village of Mettawa (and brother of former Chicago Bears Linebacker Brian Urlacher) and is seeking a seat in the Illinois Senate. An objection was filed challenging the validity of the signatures on Mr. Urlacher's nominating petitions. Burt's arguments prevailed, and Mr. Urlacher's name will appear on the ballot for the March 15, 2016 General Primary Election.
January 20, 2016
Burt Odelson on WGN News to discuss possible bankruptcy implications on the Chicago Public School System
Click Here to see the WGN News segment wherein Burt Odelson discusses the implications of a possible bankruptcy filing by the Chicago Public School system.
January 11, 2016
New Appellate Court decision invalidates Village of Dolton's recall ordinance
The Illinois Appellate Court found an ordinance passed 4-3 in Dolton to be unconstitutional. Three Trustees and the Mayor passed an ordinance allowing the voters to file petitions calling for a referendum whether to recall and remove from office any of the elected officials in Dolton. The Appellate Court found that in a home rule municipality like Dolton, the electorate would have to approve a recall mechanism prior to officials actually being subject to recall and their elected terms of office cut short. The Court reversed the trial court which approved the recall ordinance.
Elected officials or interested parties can contact Burt Odelson through this website or by email.
January 8, 2016
Daily Southtown calls on Burt Odelson for comment on election dispute
The Daily Southtown called on Burt Odelson as a “highly regarded election attorney” to comment on a pending election dispute in the Village of Dolton.
Click Here to read the full article.
October 27, 2015
Historic Gun Shop Ordinance Unanimously Passed by Mayor Getty and Board of Trustees of the Village of Lyons
(From Left: Deputy Chief of Police Michael P. Anton of the Cook County Sheriff's Police Department, Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty, Lyons Deputy Police Chief Matthew Buckley, and Village Attorney Burton S. Odelson)
On October 27, 2015, the Village of Lyons unanimously passed an unprecedented gun dealer regulation ordinance authored by Burt Odelson. The ordinance reflects the collective efforts of the Village, the gun shop in the Village, Midwest Sporting Goods, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department and the attorney representing the Coalition for Safe Chicago Communities to curb the number of guns purchased legally by straw purchasers from ending up in the hands of those not legally authorized to carry or possess firearms. By requiring gun shops to maintain strict records of all gun purchases and comply with inspections carried out by the ATF, as well as the added random inspections by the Sheriff of Cook County and Village, it is the intent of the ordinance to combat gun violence while still allowing gun shops to operate lawfully and responsibly.
Click on the links below to view the ordinance and news articles documenting the passage of this significant piece of legislation.