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The Appellate Strategist

Insights on appellate issues, trial consultations, and evaluating appeals

Category Archives: Jurisdictions

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Florida High Court to Examine Effect of Broad Language in Prenuptial Agreement

Posted in Florida
The Florida Supreme Court has accepted review of a Fourth District Court of Appeal decision which certified the following question of great public importance: Where a prenuptial agreement provides that neither spouse will ever claim any interest in the other’s property, states that each spouse shall be the sole owner of property purchased or acquired… Continue Reading

Skeptical Illinois Supreme Court Debates Former Shareholders’ Standing to Bring Derivative Claims

Posted in Illinois
Hearing oral argument in Stevens v. McGuireWoods LLP in the final days of its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court appeared skeptical of the Appellate Court’s holding reviving former shareholders’ professional negligence claim against the defendant for loss of certain derivative claims. Our detailed summary of the underlying facts and lower courts holdings in Stevens… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Liability Ceiling for Self-Insured Rental Car Companies

Posted in Illinois
During its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Nelson v. Artley, which poses a question of considerable importance to the rental car industry: can a self-insured rental company be held liable without limitation for its customers’ accidents if the customer defaults? Our detailed summary of the underlying facts and lower court… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court to Determine Whether Property Owners Can Sue for Damages Under Florida’s Harris Act When No Law Has Been Enacted That Applies Directly to the Owners’ Property

Posted in Florida
On May 22, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of a First District en banc decision that certified that following as a question of great public importance: May a property owner maintain an action pursuant to the [Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act] if that owner has not had a law,… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Preclusive Effect of Pension Board Findings on Liability for Health Insurance Premiums

Posted in Illinois
A pension board finds that a police officer is entitled to a line-of-duty disability pension. Is the board’s finding conclusive on the issue of whether the officer suffered a “catastrophic injury” so as to be entitled to health care premiums under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act? The Illinois Supreme Court debated that question in… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Dimensions of Privilege for Medical Credentialing Documents

Posted in Illinois
In the closing days of its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Klaine v. Southern Illinois Hospital Services, which poses an issue of potential importance to the medical malpractice bar: are applications for medical privileges discoverable in a negligent credentialing claim in a medical malpractice case? Our detailed summary of the… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Whether a Zoo is a “Local Public Entity”

Posted in Illinois
According to the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (745 ILCS 10/1-101), the statute of limitations for personal injury actions against “local public entities” is one year. So is a Zoo a “local public entity”? That’s the question the Illinois Supreme Court debated during its May term, hearing oral argument in O’Toole v.… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Appears Skeptical of Claim School District Exempt from Zoning

Posted in Illinois
During its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Gurba v. Community High School District No. 155, a decision from the Second District which poses the question: are school districts subject to local zoning? Based upon the questioning patterns in oral argument, the Court appeared skeptical of the school district’s claim. Our… Continue Reading

Florida High Court to Decide Two Cases Involving Arbitration Agreements

Posted in Florida
Two cases are currently pending in the Florida Supreme Court regarding whether the arbitration agreements at issue in the cases are enforceable. Hernandez v. Crespo (No. SC15-67) In this case, the Court must decide whether an arbitration agreement violates the public policy pronounced by the Florida Legislature in the Medical Malpractice Act, chapter 766, Florida… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Considers Agency Review Requirements for Involuntary Admission of Developmentally Disabled Individuals to Residential Services

Posted in Florida
On May 14, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court answered the following two questions in the negative, which were certified to it by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals: Does “support plan” review under Fla. Stat. § 393.0651 require the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to consider the propriety of a continued involuntary admission to residential… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Claims Against Condo Developer

Posted in Illinois
During its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Henderson Square Condominium Association v. LAB Townhomes, a case posing several related questions about the scope of a developer’s tort duties in connection with a several-years-old building. Our detailed summary of the facts and lower court holdings in Henderson Square is here. The… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Constitutionality of Foreclosure Filing Fee

Posted in Illinois
During its May term, an apparently skeptical Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Walker v. McGuire, a constitutional challenge to a fee (735 ILCS 5/15-1504.1) on foreclosure filings to support a state foreclosure prevention program. Walker began when the plaintiff paid the fee and filed suit for a refund, challenging the constitutionality of the… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Police Pension Can’t Be Offset by Social Security in Divorce Settlement

Posted in Illinois
Federal law provides that Social Security benefits cannot be divided between spouses in a divorce settlement (as well as being exempt from execution, attachment, garnishment and bankruptcy distribution – virtually the only exception is spousal and child support). (42 U.S.C. § 407(a).) But if one spouse participates in an alternative pension system instead of Social… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Penalty for Nondisclosure in Bankruptcy

Posted in Illinois
Can a personal injury claim be barred by judicial estoppel if you fail to disclose the unliquidated claim in your personal bankruptcy proceeding? That’s the issue posed by Seymour v. Collins, currently pending before the Illinois Supreme Court. Based upon the vigorous questioning of plaintiffs during oral argument last month, the Supreme Court appears inclined… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court to Evaluate Mechanic’s Lien in Connection With Cancelled Project

Posted in Illinois
In the closing days of its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide an important issue for the construction industry: can a mechanic’s lien be enforced in connection with a project which is cancelled before completion? Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. v. Heritage Bank of Central Illinois arises from a contract between plaintiff… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Appears Skeptical of Requiring Reasons for Denying Sanctions

Posted in Illinois
Supreme Court Rule 137(d) provides that “where a sanction is imposed under this rule,” the trial court judge “shall set forth with specificity the reasons and basis of any sanction so imposed.” A majority of the Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court appeared skeptical during oral argument last month of the Fifth District’s holding in… Continue Reading

Florida High Court Holds That Oral Agreement to Split Lottery Winnings Falls Outside Statute of Frauds

Posted in Florida
(updates article posted on August 4, 2014) On May 28, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court answered the following rephrased certified question in the negative: Is a terminable-at-will agreement to pool lottery winnings unenforceable in the absence of an express agreement to continue the agreement for a period of time exceeding one year, when full performance… Continue Reading