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Appellate Law

Illinois Appellate Lawyer Blog Illinois Appellate Lawyer Blog

Covers Appellate Advocacy, Constitutional Analysis, Cross-Appeal, Federal Appellate Rules, Illinois Supreme Court Rules, Interlocutory Appeals, and Podcasts.
By Steven R. Merican

Post Frequency: 13/day

Last Entry: February 24, 2014 at 01:19:20

Recent Entries: 324

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Aldermen?s Appeal Of Victorious Referendum Moot

Posted on February 24, 2014
More than 58 percent of the voters in Country Club Hills, Illinois passed a referendum that reduced the number of city aldermen from 10 to five. About three weeks later, a group of unhappy aldermen sued the county clerk. They asked the trial court for a preliminary injunction to void the referendum because, they argued, the clerk exceeded her authority by not including certain language on the ballot...


Second Order Allowing Interlocutory Appeal Fails To Save Appellate Jurisdiction

Posted on February 12, 2014
After he was injured in an accident, Juan Zamora sued his employer, Newsboy Delivery Systems, and two individuals, Cherie and Richard Payne. Zamora claimed their negligence caused the accident. The trial court dismissed Newsboy because Zamora?s claim against his employer was barred by the Illinois Worker?s Compensation Act...


Trucker?s Failure To Raise Commerce Clause Defense Dooms Tax Appeal

Posted on February 06, 2014
Witte Brothers is an intersate trucking company. After an audit, under protest, Witte paid Illinois for ?pass-through? miles [distance driven in Illinois without picking up or delivering goods]. Witte sued Illinois for reimbursement of the taxes. The trial court ruled that the Illinois Income Tax Act did not allow the State to tax truckers pass-through miles...


Let Dona Oxford Schoolya

Posted on February 06, 2014
Suffering from writer's block? Low energy day? Shake up your axons and dendrites. This video is better than caffeine. Write your appellate briefs like Dona Oxford boogies.


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Unsuccessful Candidate?s Reconsideration Request Under Wrong Statute Tolls Time To Appeal Defamation Dismissal

Posted on January 30, 2014
John Garrido lost an election to the Chicago City Council to John Arena. Garrido claimed he was defamed because Arena distributed campaign literature and advertisements that had ?outright lies? about Garrido. Garrido sued Arena, but the trial court dismissed the case based on the Illinois Citizen Participation Act...


Mother Has Appellate Standing To Dispute Dismissal Of Acknowledged Father

Posted on January 20, 2014
The State of Illinois filed a petition claiming parents neglected their child, N.C., and asking to have the State bcome N.C.?s guardian. Alfred had acknowledged he was N.C.?s father. But a DNA test proved otherwise, so the State asked the trial court to dismiss Alfred, which it did...


Explain Yourself In Your Subhead

Posted on January 08, 2014
We are nothing if not current. An article published in 2003 about effective subheadings, available here for the clicking, was referenced at the top of a ?legal writing? Google search I just did. Authors Kara Thompson and Zach Brez for the Writing Center at the Georgetown University Law Center, did a fine job in this short piece explaining the importance of the "point heading...


Railroad?s Time To Appeal Not Tolled By Post-Trial Request For Setoff

Posted on January 06, 2014
Railroad employee Anthony Williams was injured at work. He sued BNSF Railway, his employer, and got a judgment for $2.6 million. Claiming there were more than 40 errors at the trial, BNSF asked the trial court to decrease or throw out the verdict. The company also asked for a setoff ?in the amount of taxes payable as a result of lost wages awarded to Williams...


Ninth Circuit Appellate Practice Guide Posted

Posted on January 02, 2014
The Appellate Lawyer Representatives? Ninth Circuit Practice Guide is available for the downloading from the Ninth Circuit?s web site. It?s a how-to for preparing and filing a brief in the federal appellate court out yonder in California. But it?s chock full of good tips no matter what jurisdiction you find yourself in...


Wrong Court, Late Filing, Bad Service Deprive Appellate Of Jurisdiction Over TRO Appeal

Posted on December 30, 2013
Nadeem Nizamuddin was expelled from school. He asked for and received a temporary restraining order against Community Education in Excellence, the operator of the private school, staying the expulsion at least until after a preliminary injunction hearing...


Illinois Supreme Court Refuses To Remand Willful-And-Wanton Assertion Against Ambulance Company

Posted on June 28, 2013
Karen Wilkins was making a left turn on a busy street in Oak Lawn, Illinois when she collided with an ambulance owned by Superior Ambulance Service. The ambulance was transporting a patient at the time, but did not have its siren or flashing lights on...


Appeal Of Class Certification Gets Abuse-Of-Discretion Review

Posted on June 22, 2013
Poolman of Wisconsin services and sells swimming pools, hot tubs, and fireplaces. Through a third-party, the company faxed an unsolicited advertisement to UESCO Industries, a company that manufactures cranes. Angered at Poolman?s advertising method, UESCO sued Poolman under a federal law that prohibits unsolicited fax advertisements...


Fax Filing Of Reconsideration Request Insufficient To Toll Time To Appeal

Posted on June 10, 2013
Myqerem Shatku sued Wal-Mart Stores for negligence. The trial court granted her motion to voluntarily dismiss the case in October 2010. A little more than a year later, Myqerem asked the trial court for permission to re-file her complaint.Wal-Mart responded by asking the court to dismiss Myqerem?s request...


Posner On Effective Appellate Briefs

Posted on April 11, 2013
Catching up on reading. If you missed it too, here is Judge Posner in the American Bar Association's Litigation News on writing an effective appellate brief.


Appellate Court Refuses Jurisdiction Over Order Quashing Lis Pendens

Posted on April 07, 2013
The Westin North Shore is a hotel in the northern suburbs of Chicago. The hotel was used as collateral for a multimillion dollar loan to the hotel owner. Five Mile Capital Westin had a subordinate interest in the loan. After the owner defaulted on his payments, Berkadia National Mortgage was named as special servicer of the hotel...


Can't Reverse Hormones -- Flirting Appellate Lawyers

Posted on March 22, 2013
Love at first cite. Thanks to FutureLawyer.com and cartoonist Charles Fincher at Lawcomix.blogspot.com.


No Appellate Jurisdiction For Homeowner?s Appeal Of Summary Judgment Foreclosure

Posted on March 16, 2013
Barbara Kemp?s mortgage was held by EMC Mortgage Corporation. EMC filed a foreclosure action against Barbara because she defaulted on her payments. Eventually, EMC asked for and got a summary judgment foreclosure. Kemp then asked for reconsideration of the summary judgment and for a stay of the judicial sale of the property...


Police Union?s Appeal Mooted By Officer?s Settlement

Posted on March 03, 2013
Melissa Ramskugler had passed Wisconsin?s requirements to qualify as a police officer, but was still in the probationary period required by the Milwaukee Board of Fire & Police Commissioners. Knee injuries prevented her from finishing probation. She was fired because her medical condition prevented her from getting through probation...


Subpoena In Plot-To-Kill-Former-Wife Case Gets Full Appellate Review Despite No Opposing Brief

Posted on February 20, 2013
Carolyn Mahoney sued her former husband, Billy J. Cox, and his lawyer, Marc Gummerson, for plotting to kill her. Cox was in jail, so Mahoney served the Illinois Department of Corrections with a subpoena to find out information about the plot. The DOC asked the trial court to quash the subpoena because the documents Mahoney wanted contained the name of a confidential informant...


Lessor?s Affidavit Supporting Reconsideration Request Ignored By Appellate Court

Posted on January 29, 2013
Urban Sites of Chicago leased property to Crown Castle USA and T-Mobile USA. The parties had a disagreement about the terms of the lease, so Urban sued Crown and T-Mobile. Crown and T-Mobile counter-sued Urban. Crown and T-Mobile asked for summary judgment, which the trial court granted...


Implied-In-Fact Contract Reviewed By Manifest?Weight-Of-The-Evidence

Posted on January 23, 2013
While still married to John, Betsy D?Attomo began developing a bakery. John and Betsy financed the bakery partly with money from a home equity loan. The couple decided to divorce. At the divorce trial, John claimed the money from the home equity loan was a loan to the bakery that must be paid back...


Summary Judgment For Illinois Hospital On Actual Agency In Medical Malpratice Case Not A Final Order

Posted on January 15, 2013
Brandon Wilson required surgery for a fractured femur. He had a heart attack during surgery, which resulted in brain injury from lack of oxygen. Brandon sued Edward Hospital, where the surgery was done, and the doctors who treated him there. To win against the hospital, Brandon had to show that the doctors were the hosptal?s actual or apparent agents...


Illinois Appellate Lawyer Blog Is Back To It

Posted on January 07, 2013
? Say hey illinoisappellatelawyerblog. Where have you been? What have you been doing? ? Oh, over there. Picking daisies, chewing tobacco, napping, hiding. You know, getting better. ? Better than what? ? Just better. ? We thought you were closing shop...


Death Of Fireman?s Widow Does Not Moot Her Appeal Of Retroactive Annuity Benefits

Posted on September 15, 2012
Michael Hooker suffered a debilitating injury while working for the Chicago Fire Department. After he died two years later, his widow, Elaine, applied to the Retirement Board of the Firemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund for widow?s benefits. She was awarded a minimum annuity, but she felt the Board did not include all of the money she was entitled to when calculating the amount of the annuity...


One Notice Of Appeal Gives Appellate Jurisdiction Over 32 Plaintiff Appeals in Truck-Train Collision Case

Posted on September 07, 2012
A proliferation of lawsuits was filed after a collision between a truck carrying a load of metal rebar and an Amtrak passenger train. A number of passengers were injured, and some died in the accident. Cases by 32 passengers or their representatives were filed in Illinois state court...


Tax Preparer Waives Choice-Of-Law Argument In NonCompete Clause Appeal

Posted on September 05, 2012
Zabaneh Franchises bought an H&R Block tax preparation franchise. The purchase included ?all interest in the employment and noncompetition agreements with H&R Block?s employees.? Terri Walker had been employed by H&R, but claimed she did not have an employment agreement with Zabaneh...


Continuing Confusion About Appellate Jurisdiction In Illinois Post-Dissolution Divorce Proceedings

Posted on July 30, 2012
Elizabeth Demaret got a better job in New Jersey, so she wanted to move there from Illinois with her children. She had sole custody of her four children. James, her ex-husband, had parenting time in accord with a parenting agreement that an Illinois trial court incorporated into the divorce judgment...


Refusal To Modify Divorce Judgment Not Appealable Because Of Other Pending Issues

Posted on July 21, 2012
Arthur and Shirley Susman got divorced. The divorce judgment incorporated a marital settlement agreement, which reserved two subjects to be resolved later: (1) certain tax liabilities, and (2) allocation of certain personal property. A few months later, Arthur asked the trial court to modify the judgment...


Injured Party?s Appeal Dismissed For Violations Of Appellate Brief-Writing Rules

Posted on July 15, 2012
Peggy Lee Hall claimed she was injured when she slipped on ice in a parking lot owned by Naper Gold Hospitality LLC. She sued Naper, but the company got summary judgment because Hall did not show facts that there had been an unnatural accumulation of ice...


Appeal Dismissed In Whistle Blower Case Against Illinois University

Posted on June 03, 2012
Robert Van Der Hooning, formerly an assistant dean at the University of Illinois, sued the university?s board of trustees and four officials of the university for violations of the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. Van Der Hooning?s lawsuit originally was filed in the Illinois Court of Claims...


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