Steven Puiszis Authors Article on Sequester’s Effect on Federal Judicial System

March 15, 2013

Steven M. Puiszis, a Chicago-based Partner in the Business Litigation Group at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, authored the article, “The Sequester and the Looming Constitutional Crisis,” which appeared in the March 15, 2013, edition of DRIToday. In the article, Mr. Puiszis discusses the automatic federal government spending cuts — also known as the “sequester” — that recently went into effect as mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Writes Mr. Puiszis, “The sequester will require the federal judiciary to cut $332 million dollars, or approximately 5% from its operating budget for the current fiscal year. Complicating the problem is that current fiscal year ends on September 30th, and the federal government was already five months into its fiscal year when the sequester went into effect.” He explains that the sequester takes away critical funding for the federal judiciary, which consequently may “hamper [the federal judiciary’s] ability to carry out its constitutionally-assigned functions.” Mr. Puiszis notes that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in his 2012 year-end report observed: “[a] significant and prolonged shortfall in judicial funding would inevitably result in the delay or denial of justice for the people the courts serve.” Mr. Puiszis adds that “[i]n a democracy, justice simply cannot be treated as an expendable luxury in tough economic times.”

Mr. Puiszis is a well-known and highly experienced trial attorney. A large focus of his practice involves civil rights and federal court litigation. He represents clients in class action, commercial and products liability litigation, as well as in professional liability matters. Mr. Puiszis serves on the DRI Board of Directors and chairs DRI’s Judicial Task Force.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. based law firm with offices in 11 states and London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the professional services sector—including representation of law firms and lawyers—and other highly regulated industries, such as banking and finance and the debt collection sector. Hinshaw also provides a series of closely coordinated litigation, business advisory and transactional services to clients of all sizes as well as governmental and public sector entities.