Archives: Jurisdictions

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Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Date on a Business Letter is Sufficient Notice of Service

Is the date on a business letter sufficient notice of service of an administrative decision to start the clock ticking on a party’s deadline to file for administrative review?  The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to decide that question, granting leave to appeal in Grimm v. Calica, a decision of the Second District Appellate Court. … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court to Clarify Powers of Cook County Inspector General

Can the Cook County Board of Commissioners authorize the County Inspector General to issue subpoenas for documents directly to the County’s elected officials, and compel those officials to cooperate with an IG investigation? The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to decide that issue in Blanchard v. Berrios, an appeal from the First District, Division Two … Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Determine Whether a Florida State Court Can Enforce Another State Court’s Order Allowing Grandparent Visitation

The Florida Supreme Court will review the Fifth District’s decision in LeDoux-Nottingham v. Downs, 163 So. 3d 560 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015), which involves whether the Full Faith & Credit Clause trumps Florida’s overriding public policy of a guaranteed fundamental right of privacy in child-rearing autonomy. See SC15-1037. After the funeral of her ex-husband in … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Delivers Mixed Verdict for Retirees Challenging CBA

Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court added to its rapidly increasing jurisprudence on the state constitution’s pension protection clause, delivering a mixed verdict for transit authority retirees, affirming in part and reversing in part in Matthews v. Chicago Transit Authority. Our detailed summary of the underlying facts and lower court holdings is here. Our report … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice Not Accorded Res Judicata Effect

During the recently concluded May term, the Illinois Supreme Court resolved a civil procedure issue with potential implications across a broad spectrum of cases: when a party exercises its right to voluntarily dismiss its own action without prejudice and subsequently refile, is the dismissal accorded res judicata effect?  In Richter v. Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Implied Warranty of Habitability Can Be Waived Forever By First Owner

The Illinois Supreme Court first adopted the doctrine that newly constructed homes come with an implied warranty of habitability in 1979 in Petersen v. Hubschman Construction Co.  Three years later, the Court held that the implied warranty could pass to the second owner of the house where the first owner hadn’t made a valid and … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Dismisses the FutureGen Appeal on Grounds of Mootness

Late in 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to clarify the dimensions of the Illinois Commerce Commission’s authority, allowing a petition for leave to appeal in the FutureGen case – Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Illinois Commerce Commission.  The problem was, only a few months after the Court granted review, the Department of Energy suspended all … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds City Entitled to Terminate Firefighter’s Health Insurance Benefit

Section 10 of the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act provides that police officers receiving line-of-duty pensions are entitled to receive fully paid health insurance coverage for themselves and their families when the officer’s pension was the result of a catastrophic injury suffered in one of four specific circumstances.  In Vaughn v. The City of Carbondale, … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Broad Immunity for Hospital Peer Review Processes

In the closing days of its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s decision in Valfer v. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, adopting a broad construction of hospitals’ immunity in connection with peer review for purposes of renewing doctors’ credentials. In 2002, the plaintiff, an obstetrician/gynecologist, applied for reappointment at the defendant hospital.  Hospital … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds State’s Contractual Obligations Are Implicitly Conditional on Appropriations

A state employee union enters into a contract with the State calling for certain wage increases. Ultimately, the legislature refuses to fully fund the increases, and they aren’t paid. Is the State in breach of contract, or are its contractual obligations implicitly conditional on the legislature appropriating the money? In a ruling with significant potential … Continue Reading

California Limits Ability to Skirt Privilege Using Public Records Request

In Ardon v. City of Los Angeles, the unanimous California Supreme Court narrowly interpreted a statutory waiver included in the California Public Records Act to exclude “inadvertent” disclosures.  In responding to a public records request, a governmental agency can withhold documents under several exemptions, including that the documents are privileged under the Evidence Code, if … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Decide If the Disclosure of an Attorney’s Referral of a Client to a Doctor is Privileged or Discoverable

On May 15, 2015, in Worley v. Central Florida Young Men’s Christian Ass’n, 163 So. 3d 1240 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015), Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal held that information regarding a law firm’s referral of its client to a physician was discoverable. Briefing of this case in the Florida Supreme Court was completed on … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Unanimously Strikes Down Chicago Pension Reform Act

This morning, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Jones v. Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, unanimously striking down Public Act 98-641, the pension reform bill for the City of Chicago. For a detailed summary of the underlying facts and court rulings, see here and here. For our report on … Continue Reading

Florida High Court Reaffirms “Four-Corners Rule” for Determining the Sufficiency of a Complaint

This post updates the blog post dated May 13, 2015. On March 17, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court decided Santiago v. Mauna Loa Investments, LLC, No. SC13-2194 (review granted May 22, 2014), by quashing the Third District’s decision which improperly considered documents outside the complaint in determining the complaint’s sufficiency to state a cause of … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Examine Whether Relation-Back Doctrine Applies to New Causes of Action

The Florida Supreme Court will review two district court cases that apply the relation-back doctrine (when an amended pleading relates back to an original pleading) and decide whether the doctrine applies to new causes of action. See Palm Bch. Cnty. Sch. Bd. v. Doe, No. SC13-1834; Kopel v. Kopel, SC13-992. The doctrine can be found … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Whether Res Judicata Applies Following Voluntary Dismissal on Remaining Claims

One or more claims are dismissed on the merits. Subsequently, the plaintiff takes a voluntary dismissal without prejudice on the remaining claims. Does res judicata bar any attempt by the plaintiff to later reinstate the dismissed claims? The Illinois Supreme Court debated that question during its January term, hearing oral argument in Richter v. Prairie … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Health Insurance Coverage for Police Pension Recipients

Section 10 of the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act provides that under certain circumstances, police officers receiving a line-of-duty disability pension are entitled to receive fully paid health insurance coverage for themselves and their families. Section 10 has been a recurring interest of the Illinois Supreme Court over the past few years, see here and … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Holds Plaintiffs Entitled to Costs as of Right After Settlement

Last week, a divided California Supreme Court handed down its decision in DeSaulles v. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, holding that as long as a settlement agreement involves a payment of money from defendants to plaintiff – no matter how small in relation to the plaintiff’s demand – the plaintiff is a “prevailing party” … Continue Reading

When Is a Stay Not a Stay? – Defining the 5-year Limit to Bring a Case to Trial

In Gaines v. Fidelity National Title Ins. Co., S215990, a divided California Supreme Court (5-2) upheld the dismissal of this case for failure to bring the matter to trial within five years, as required by Code of Civil Procedure § 583.310. In doing so, the Supreme Court affirmed the lower courts and rejected plaintiff’s argument … Continue Reading

Real Estate Bubble 2.0 – The California Supreme Court Weighs In

The California Supreme Court recently issued two opinions resulting from the aftermath of the 2009 real estate crash. It addressed both the statutory protections for a homeowner after a short sale (i.e., a sale for less then what is owed on the mortgage) and their ability to sue for wrongful foreclosure. In both cases, the … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Occupational Disease Disability Pension Triggers Health Insurance Benefit

Section 10 of the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act provides that when a covered employee sustains a “catastrophic injury,” the employee is entitled to the additional benefit of having his or her health insurance premiums, as well as those of his or her partner and/or dependent children, paid by the employer. Is Section 10 triggered … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Decide Whether the Litigation Privilege Can Bar a Malicious Prosecution Claim

The Florida Supreme Court will resolve a conflict between the Third and Fourth Districts regarding whether the litigation privilege can be used to bar a claim for malicious prosecution. See No. SC15-1477. In the case before the Court, the Fourth District held that “the litigation privilege cannot be applied to bar the filing of a … Continue Reading
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