Mary Smigielski, Josh Kantrow Quoted in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Article About New Illinois Practice Group

Chicago, Ill. (February 21, 2019) – Chicago Partners Mary A. Smigielski and Josh M. Kantrow were interviewed for an article by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin about the formation of Lewis Brisbois’s new Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) Practice, which was announced by the firm in a press release on February 13th.

In the front page article, titled “Firm courts new biometric clients with BIPA practice,” Ms. Smigielski and Mr. Kantrow, who chair the new practice, explained the reasoning behind its creation, which came after a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, that lowered the threshold to bring suit under BIPA, exposing employers and other organizations that collect biometric data in Illinois to costly liability.

Ms. Smigielski discussed the hypothetical case in which an employer could be fined up to $20,000 per day, per employee, if for example, they used fingerprint technology to clock employees in and out of work in a manner deemed a reckless violation under BIPA. 

“It’s potentially just astronomical,” Ms. Smigielski said, adding “Those are arguments we’ve seen from the plaintiffs’ bar. Are those arguments going to hold up? We hope not.”

Mr. Kantrow also highlighted that the new practice will do more than just defend clients, stating: “We’re defending cases, but we’re also counseling our clients so they can mitigate their exposure.”

“BIPA sets forth measures for employers and other entities to come into compliance,” said Mr. Kantrow, “and that includes having a written policy and getting employee consent and that’s something we’re doing as well.”

Ms. Smigielski also noted that the new BIPA practice, which sits within Lewis Brisbois’ Labor & Employment Practice is a “soup-to-nuts” group, and will draw on the firm’s national network and colleagues in its Intellectual Property & Technology Practice.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing,” said Ms. Smigielski, “and I think that’s something that differentiates us, because we really do look at the business solution.”

Read the full article here (subscription required).

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