The Appellate Strategist

The Appellate Strategist

Insights on appellate issues, trial consultations, and evaluating appeals

Category Archives: Illinois

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Illinois Supreme Court Holds Treasurer Needs Appeal Bond Too

Posted in Illinois
Earlier this month, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court held in Illinois State Treasurer v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission that the State Treasurer, when appealing a workers’ compensation award in a case where he appears as custodian of the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund, must file an appeal bond. If this sounds like a minor procedural flaw,… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Property Dispute Between Former Same-Sex Domestic Partners

Posted in Illinois
In Hewitt v. Hewitt in 1979, the Illinois Supreme Court decided that for public policy reasons, Illinois courts cannot decide property disputes between unmarried couples. In the closing days of the March term, the Court agreed to decide whether or not Hewitt remains good law in the context of same-sex domestic partner relationships. According to… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court to Decide If State’s Union Contract Conditioned on Appropriations

Posted in Illinois
In the closing days of the March term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to wade yet again into the contentious and politicized area of public employee wages and benefits. State of Illinois v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 poses the question of whether pay raises promised in the State’s contracts… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Doctrine of Equitable Adoption Doesn’t Apply to Parentage Proceedings

Posted in Illinois
Two years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court recognized the doctrine of equitable adoption in the context of an estate proceeding. In In re Parentage of Scarlet Z.-D., the Court was presented with the question of whether the doctrine should be extended to a parentage proceeding. In late March, the Court handed down its unanimous decision:… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Captive Insurance Agents Owe Limited Tort Duty to Clients

Posted in Illinois
Section 2-2201 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that “[a]n insurance producer . . . shall exercise ordinary care and skill in renewing, procuring, binding, or placing the coverage requested by the insured or proposed insured.” (735 ILCS 5/2-2201). For many years, Illinois insurance law has distinguished between insurance “brokers” – independent actors who… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Accountant is Holder of Privilege, No Testamentary Exception

Posted in Illinois
Late in the March term, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Brunton v. Kruger, an opinion with potentially significant implications for Illinois accountants. Brunton posed three related questions about the statutory accountant’s privilege (225 ILCS 450/27): who holds it – the accountant or the client; is there an exception for will contests;… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Declines to Apply Environmental Injunction Statute Retroactively

Posted in Illinois
In July 2004, the Illinois legislature amended the state Environmental Protection Act to authorize the Attorney General to seek “an injunction, prohibitory or mandatory, to restrain violations . . . or to require such other actions as may be necessary to address violations of this Act.” The following year, the Supreme Court held in People… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Circuit Court Clerk Had No Duty to Confirm Accuracy of Jail Credits

Posted in Illinois
When a defendant is convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to prison time, the Unified Code of Corrections requires the Circuit Court clerk to transmit to the Department of Corrections the total time the defendant served prior to entry of final judgment so that the the defendant’s credits for “time served” can be calculated.… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Custody Order Not Void Despite Custody Act Non-Compliance

Posted in Illinois
The Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) includes various provisions for determining where a custody and parentage dispute should be litigated when multiple states are involved. But what happens when the Circuit Court enters a custody order even though the UCCJEA appears to say the dispute belonged somewhere else? Last week, the Illinois Supreme… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies Voidness Doctrine, Strikes Constitutional Finding in Collection Agency Dispute

Posted in Illinois
In the closing days of February, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its decision in LVNV Funding, Inc. v. Trice, a direct appeal from the Cook County Circuit Court. LVNV is noteworthy because it clears away ambiguous language in certain cases describing a lack of statutory prerequisites to an action as depriving the court of… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Likely Poised to Strike Down Pension Reform Act

Posted in Illinois, Pension Reform Litigation
This afternoon, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument on the biggest case on its civil docket, In re Pension Reform Litigation. In re Pension Reform Litigation involves the question of whether SB-1, the pension reform act adopted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2013, violates the Illinois Constitution’s Pension Protection Clause. The Clause provides:… Continue Reading

The Pension Case: The State’s Reply Brief

Posted in Illinois, Pension Reform Litigation
In their reply brief in the Public Pension Reform Act appeal, the State immediately zeroes in on what it perceives as the central difficulty of the plaintiffs’ position: the trial court’s conclusion that the Pension Protection Clause had no exceptions at all. Plaintiffs’ “super-contract approach,” the State writes, “would deny the State the ability to… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Innocent Misrepresentation on Malpractice Renewal Grounds for Rescission

Posted in Illinois
A law firm partner innocently repeats a misrepresentation by one of his or her partners on a renewal form for the firm’s malpractice insurance. Can the misrepresentation be grounds for completely rescinding the policy? On February 20, a divided Illinois Supreme Court held that the answer was “yes,” reversing an Appellate Court judgment in Illinois… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide When Tender Will Moot Putative Class Claim

Posted in Illinois
The plaintiff files a skeletal class certification motion the same day as his putative class complaint. Subsequently, the defendant tenders a check to the plaintiff representing everything the plaintiff could recover for his action. Is the plaintiff’s class claim moot? That’s the question that the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide in the closing days… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Anonymity of Internet Poster

Posted in Illinois
In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Hadley v. Subscriber Doe. Hadley poses the question of whether the defendant is entitled to quash the plaintiff’s subpoena seeking to discover the identity of an anonymous internet poster. Our detailed summary of the underlying facts and lower court… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Breadth of Misconduct Exception for Unemployment Benefits

Posted in Illinois
In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear a case from Division 5 of the First District, Petrovic v. The Department of Employment Security. Petrovic presents an interesting issue on the merits – exactly what has to be proven to trigger the exception to unemployment compensation for employees… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Jurisdictional Issues in Child Custody Case

Posted in Illinois
A Circuit Court has subject matter jurisdiction to enter a child custody order pursuant to the Illinois Constitution. But the Court apparently lacks jurisdiction to proceed pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (750 ILCS 36/201). If the Circuit Court proceeds anyway, is the resulting order void, voidable, or something else? In… Continue Reading

The Illinois Pension Plaintiffs’ Brief: The Cause of State Underfunding, and The Constitutional Convention Revisited

Posted in Illinois, Pension Reform Litigation
As we’ve written here, here and here, the plaintiffs in the Pension Reform Litigation pending before the Illinois Supreme Court needed to accomplish three things in their Appellees’ Briefs to put themselves in a position to prevail – answer the State’s construction of: (1) the history that led to the Pension Reform Act; (2) the… Continue Reading