< Back to News Articles

CDEL News - January 2017


In September 2016, we opened a new program to protect elders from financial abuse.  While we were already involved in this area, we now have a full-time attorney, Elise Robie, who is managing the program.  She is completing written materials, which we will be posting on-line and broadly disseminating, and will soon be offering presentations throughout Cook County.  Elise can be reached at erobie@cdelaw.org or through our general number, 312-376-1880.

Our annual Winter Benefit will be on February 23, 2017 at Baker McKenzie, 300 W. Randolph beginning at 5:30 pm.  You can purchase tickets at our website: cdelaw.org.  Sponsorship information will also be found on there.

We have been in the news as a result of our representation of the Bezanis family.  Their son, Niko, fractured his neck in a diving accident eight years ago.  As a result, he has quadriplegia.  The cost of caring for him depleted their resources and resulted in the loss of their house through foreclosure.  They were unsuccessful in reaching a rental agreement with the Sheriff’s Sale buyer and have therefore been facing eviction for the last two years.  We agreed in June of 2014 to do what we could to save their house and ultimately suggested that they try crowdfunding.  Their goal was $250,000 because the owner agreed to sell it for that amount.  The crowdfunding effort began in September and has raised over $110,000.  Through additional contributions, they have now received the money needed to repurchase their house.  ABC 7, the Chicago Tribune, WGN, the Southtown Daily and other media outlets covered their story as a human interest piece.  CDEL was mentioned favorably.

Our Executive Director, Mark Hellner, was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) recently concerning a disabled young man who was physically assaulted by four people.  CSM contacted Mark to determine how Illinois’s Hate Law statute would apply to the circumstance.

Other successes: We recently were able to restore home services to a blind woman who speaks Russian and very little English.  The home care provider considered the lady to be “uncooperative” and recommended that all home services be discontinued.  That decision was reversed after we intervened and the Illinois Department of Human Services determined that our client’s needs have in fact increased due to her many health problems. 

Additionally, we were able to successfully oppose the City of Chicago’s attempt to impose a $23,000 demolition bill upon a client who had been gifted a vacant building by a family member.  Our client was unaware of the gift until the City sought the demolition of the building.  Because our client had never received any benefit from the gift, we prepared a Disclaimer of Interest for her.  The Circuit Court accepted our argument that under these circumstances, she should not have to pay the demolition cost.