“Ask An Attorney” on The Ben Joravsky Show

Our very own Jim Coogan has been making monthly appearances on WCPT 820 AM since May, 2017.  The Ben Joravsky Show is a daily talk show that focuses on political and news developments in the Chicago area, Illinois and nationally.  Ben is a columnist for The Chicago Reader and is a repository of Chicago political history.  He shares his wit and wisdom every weekday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Ben has invited Jim on the show regularly to discuss legal developments.  The segments have explored how the law affects our daily politics and our lives.  On the June 13, 2018 show, Ben and Jim discussed the recent Supreme Court case Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis where the Court decided an issue pitting Labor Law and the Federal Labor Relations Act against the Federal Arbitration Act. There, the Court decided that contracts which included “Arbitration Clauses” that called for disputes to be resolved in private, out-of-court hearings, meant that Employees could not engage in group or class action claims against their Employers when seeking unpaid wages.

Contracts versus Regulations

Ben and Jim also discussed the Justice Neil Gorsuch dissent in the Sveen case and how it reflects Justice Gorsuch’s theories about the power of contracts when there is a conflict between an agreement and state law regulations.  As they discussed, it appears that Justice Gorsuch would rule that virtually any ‘agreement’ (even if the parties were not in equal bargaining positions when the contract was signed) is superior to laws that govern how business is done.  In Sveen, it was a Minnesota law affecting life insurance policies.  In Epic, it was employment contracts that the Court decided superseded labor regulations.

Freedom of the Press

The rest of the show focused on recent action by the Justice Department (Courtesy of the New York Times) to secretly seize records of a reporter who now works for the New York Times.  Ben and Jim examined the deepening of the conflict between the Trump Administration and the Press, in this case over a possible ‘leak’ investigation and how it appears to be inconsistent with the President’s outrage over investigation into his business and legal dealings.  They also discussed recent action by the Commerce Department (Courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer) placing a tariff on newsprint paper imported from Canada–and that it also puts pressure on American newspapers by increasing their operating costs.  Several newspapers have announced layoffs since the tariff was announced.

Enjoy the replay!