Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.

Facebook: Cook County data mining lawsuit designed to benefit only county government, its hired lawyers

Thursday, May 10, 2018
Cook County Record
by Jonathan Bilyk

Saying only the county and its hired trial lawyers would stand to benefit from any settlement or judgment, Facebook has pushed back against the Cook County State’s Attorney’s attempt to send back to more friendly legal turf the pending legal fight over how much blame Facebook should shoulder for data mining conducted by another firm, ostensibly to benefit the 2016 election campaign of President Donald Trump.

On May 9, Facebook asked a federal judge to reject the county’s request to send Cook County’s lawsuit back to Cook County Circuit Court, as the social media giant argued against the county lawyers’ assertions that, because the lawsuit was filed by a county state’s attorney, it should be considered to have been filed on behalf of the entire state of Illinois, and not just for the gain of the county government and the lawyers to whom the county has promised 20 percent of whatever the county wins from its lawsuit.

Nathan Eimer
Nathan Eimer | Eimer Stahl LLP

“Although it is unclear who would receive penalties imposed at the conclusion of this case (if any), one thing is certain: A group of six private attorneys employed by Edelson P.C. would receive twenty percent of any such recovery,” Facebook’s attorneys wrote in its May 9 brief. “That arrangement - which gives private attorneys a direct and substantial financial interest in this … action - destroys any pretense that the State is to be the exclusive beneficiary of the recovery, and thus destroys any argument that the State is the real party in interest.”

In late March, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, in partnership with a group of trial lawyers hired from the Chicago-based Edelson firm and deputized as “special state’s attorneys,” had filed suit against Facebook and data firm Cambridge Analytica, ostensibly on behalf of millions of Illinoisans, alleging the companies violated state consumer fraud laws. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges Cambridge Analytica mined data from Facebook users, and then distributed it with the goal of manipulating voting behavior of Illinois residents, and millions of other voters throughout the country during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

While the lawsuit accuses Cambridge Analytica had harvested and misused the data, the county’s lawsuit accuses the Facebook of knowing what the other firm was doing and turning a blind eye, or agreeing to allow Cambridge Analytica to continue to operate under the purported guise of “academic research, granting the firm the ability to violate “mandatory user privacy protections” and access “Facebook user data under false pretenses.” The lawsuit asks the court to order Facebook and Cambridge to pay at least $50,000 per violation, plus attorney fees.

While not replying to the allegations yet, Facebook in April removed the case to federal court, and asked the judge to place the proceedings on hold, to allow time for a federal judicial panel to decide if the county’s claims should be combined with those of dozens of other class action lawsuits over the same claims brought against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in federal courts across the country.

However, the county, through the Edelson attorneys, responded to that request with a motion to remand, arguing the case should be returned to Cook County court because cases brought by a state or on behalf of state defeat what is known as “diversity” – or the requirement that cases brought in federal court include litigants from different parts of the country.

In this case, Facebook had asserted the case should belong in federal court because Cook County is the only litigant from Illinois.

Cook County, however, said because the Cook County State’s Attorney brought the case on behalf of the “people of the state of Illinois, legal precedents dictate the case belongs in a state court, and not in federal jurisdiction.

In its motion, however, Facebook asserted this represented a ridiculous assertion, arguing the Cook County State’s Attorney is a county official, and only the Illinois Attorney General is empowered under state law, the Illinois state constitution and legal precedents from the Illinois Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court to bring such actions on behalf of the entire state.

Facebook noted the duties of the Cook County State’s Attorney dictate the state’s attorney represents and advises county officials, not state officials, and the office is established by state law and the constitution as autonomous and distinct from the state government.

“… The fact that an Illinois statute authorizes the State’s Attorney to bring suit to enforce state law does not mean that the State is the plaintiff,” Facebook wrote.

Further, Facebook noted there is no guarantee any money paid by Facebook or Cambridge Analytica as a result of the lawsuit would even make its way to the Illinois state treasury, for the benefit of anyone outside Cook County.

Rather, according to the agreement between Cook County and the Edelson firm, the county would be the beneficiary of any settlement or judgment the Edelson attorneys secure on its behalf, and the Edelson firm would then get 20 percent of the county’s take.

“… This case was not brought by the State of Illinois; it was brought by the Cook County State’s Attorney, a locally elected official who is ‘separate and distinct from the state’ and therefore a citizen of Illinois for diversity purposes,” Facebook wrote. “Indeed, the case is being directed and financed by private attorneys with no accountability to the State or Illinois voters, pursuant to a contract of questionable validity that awards them a significant contingent interest in any recovery.”

Facebook is represented in the action by attorneys Nathan P. Eimer and Susan M. Razzano, of Eimer Stahl LLP, of Chicago; and Orin Snyder, Joshua P. Lipshutz, Kristin A. Linsley and Brian M. Lutz, of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

Edelson attorneys representing Cook County include Jay Edelson, Ari J. Scharg, Alfred K. Murray II and Benjamin H. Richman.

Recent Headlines

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

Judge: State constitution doesn't force Cook County to spend $250M more on roads, transport projects
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Cook County Rrecord

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Housing Authority Executive Director Richard Monocchio
Thursday, February 28, 2019
WGN Chicago

Illinois hospitals seek reform of Medicaid managed care system
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Effingham Daily News

Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic’s Annual Report
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Special to

Glenview open house a 'one stop service' for new, existing residents to learn about town offerings
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Glenview Announcements

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.