"The Brief" - The ALA Blog

  • March 19, 2019 12:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 18, 2019, the Appellate Lawyers Association's annual Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar will feature six presentations by judges and experienced appellate practitioners. The seminar is geared toward seasoned appellate practitioners but will be of great benefit to anyone looking to improve his or her appellate skills. Presentations include:

    • Judicial Perspectives
      • Justices Nathaniel R. Howse, Jr., and Michael B. Hyman, Illinois Appellate Court, First District
      • Justice Mary K. O'Brien, Illinois Appellate Court, Third District
      • Justice Richard P. Goldenhersh (Ret.), Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District
    • Standards of Review
      • Hugh C. Griffin of Hall Prangel and Schoonveld LLC
    • Appellate Ethics
      • Steven F. Pflaum of Neil, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP
    • Memory Techniques for Appellate Presentations
      • Professor Patrick G. Gould of the Appalachian School of Law
    • Amicus Filings
      • Michael A. Scodro of Mayer Brown LLP
    • Electronic Filing Update
      • Tina M. Schillaci, Chief Deputy Clerk of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District

    Moderated by ALA Vice-President Gretchen Harris Sperry, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. Additional details, including registration information, may be found after the jump.

    Date: Thursday, April 18, 2019

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    MCLE: Participants will earn 3.75 hours of MCLE credit, including 0.75 hours of professional responsibility credit. The ALA is an approved MCLE provider.

    Location: Mayer Brown LLP, 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois

    Cost: $35 for public-sector ALA members; $50 for private-sector ALA members; $50 for public-sector nonmembers; and $75 for private-sector nonmembers.

    PLEASE NOTE: Registrations processed on-site will be charged an additional $5 administrative fee.

    Questions? Call (630) 416-1166, ext. 303

    Register:

    1. Use our online registration system here to register for the event and also pay with a credit card. Or, if you prefer, you can register online but send a check for payment. Please note, credit card payments can only be accepted through the registration process.

    2. Mail your completed registration form along with a check payable to ALA to:

    Chris Teed
    Appellate Lawyers Association
    1717 North Naper Boulevard, Suite 102
    Naperville, IL 60563

    Cancellations/Refunds: Cancellations must be received two business days prior to the event in order to receive a full refund. No refunds will be processed after this time. Cancellations must be in writing and may be submitted to cteed@wmrhq.com or faxed to (630) 596-1418. Additionally, payment is expected from no-shows.

  • March 18, 2019 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In honor of the 200th anniversary of federal courts in Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Northern District of Illinois Court Historical Association present, "Rivers of Commerce: The Illinois Federal Courts as Umpires of Antebellum Union," a talk by Professor Alison LaCroix about the role of the Illinois federal courts in the debates over the scope of federal power in the early nineteenth century.

    When: Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    Where: U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, Court History Museum, 21st Floor, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois.

    RSVP: ilnd_rsvp@ilnd.uscourts.gov

    More details and full flyer available at: https://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/_assets/_news/LaCroix.pdf

  • March 15, 2019 12:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This luncheon provides an opportunity to speak with the Justices of the Second District, the Court’s Research Director, and the Clerk of the Court in an informal setting. The Justices, Research Director, and the Clerk will discuss cases or issues of interest they have encountered during the preceding year. Numbers permitting, the ALA will seat at least one Justice or Court official at each table. Attendees may ask questions and discuss appellate practice with the Justices and thus gain the perspective of the other side of the bench.

    Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019

    Time: 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. (check-in begins at 11:45 a.m. with lunch promptly at noon)

    MCLE: Participants will earn one hour of MCLE credit. The ALA is an approved MCLE provider.

    Location: Centre of Elgin, Heritage Ballroom, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin, Illinois.

    Cost: $40 for public-sector ALA members; $45 for private-sector ALA members; $50 for public-sector nonmembers; and $55 for private-sector nonmembers. Lunch is included.

    Registration information may be found after the jump.

    PLEASE NOTE: Registrations processed on-site will be charged an additional $5 administrative fee.

    Questions? Call (630) 416-1166, ext. 303

    Register:

    1. Use our online registration system here to register for the event and also pay with a credit card. Or, if you prefer, you can register online but send a check for payment. Please note, credit card payments can only be accepted through the online registration process.

    2. Mail your completed registration form along with a check payable to ALA to:

    Chris Teed
    Appellate Lawyers Association
    1717 North Naper Boulevard, Suite 102
    Naperville, Illinois 60563

    Cancellations/Refunds: Cancellations must be received two business days prior to the event in order to receive a full refund. No refunds will be processed after this time. Cancellations must be in writing and may be submitted to cteed@wmrhq.com or faxed to (630) 596-1418. Additionally, payment is expected from no-shows.

  • March 14, 2019 11:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By  Katherine A. Grosh 
    Levin Ginsburg

    This is exactly the question answered by the United States Supreme Court in Jim Yovino, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools v. Aileen Rizo, 586 U.S. ___ (2019) (Feb. 25, 2019).


    This case involved the en banc review of an April 9, 2018 decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an interlocutory appeal involving the Equal Pay Act, in which the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court based on a prior Ninth Circuit deci­sion involving the Equal Pay Act, Kouba v. Allstate Ins. Co., 691 F.2d 873 (1982) (“Kouba”), which the panel “believed it was compelled to follow.” 586 U.S. at ___, citing 887 F. 3d 453, 459 (2018) (en banc). The Ninth Circuit then granted en banc review “to clarify the law, including the vitality and effect of Kouba.” Id.

    Because a panel decision like Kouba can be overruled only by a decision of the en banc court or the United States Supreme Court, a purpose of the April 9, 2018 en banc decision was to announce new and binding Ninth Circuit precedent interpreting the Equal Pay Act. Judge Reinhardt, who died 11 days after the decision was issued, was the author of the Ninth Circuit opinion – but its status as a “majority opinion” of the en banc court depended on counting Judge Reinhardt’s vote; without his vote, the opinion would have been approved by only 5 of the 10 members of the panel who were still living when the decision was filed.

    The Supreme Court ruled that Judge Reinhardt was no longer a judge at the time the en banc decision in this case was filed, and therefore, the Ninth Circuit erred in counting him as a member of “the majority.” Counting his vote, the Court reasoned, effectively allowed a deceased judge to exercise the judicial power of the United States after his death. “[F]ederal judges are appointed for life, not for eternity.” Even though Judge Reinhardt fully participated in this case and authored the opinion, which (along with all concurrences) was final with voting completed by the en banc court prior to his death, the Supreme Court found that the opinion was not endorsed by a majority of the living judges at the time the opinion was “filed,” entered on the docket, and released to the public.

    In support of its decision, the Supreme Court relied on the rule it endorsed in United States v. American-Foreign S. S. Corp., 363 U. S. 685 (1960), that “a judge may change his or her position up to the very mo­ment when a decision is released,” along with 28 U. S. C. §46(c), the statutory provision authorizing the courts of appeals to hear cases en banc. In the Court’s view, Judge Reinhardt was without statutory or judicial power to participate in the en banc court’s decision at the time it was rendered. Accordingly, the Court granted the petition for certiorari, and vacated the Ninth Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case.

  • March 13, 2019 11:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This luncheon provides an opportunity to converse with the Justices of the First District in an informal setting. Numbers permitting, the ALA will seat at least one Justice at each luncheon table. Attendees may ask questions and discuss appellate practice with the Justices and thus gain the perspective of the other side of the bench.


    Additionally, Justice Terrence J. Lavin will provide remarks about oral arguments in the First District.


    Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    Time: 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

    MCLE: Participants will earn one hour of MCLE credit. The ALA is an approved MCLE provider.


    Location: Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois. Please note the Union League Club enforces a dress code, which can be accessed here.


    Cost: $40 for public-sector ALA members; $50 for private-sector ALA members; $55 for public-sector nonmembers; and $65 for private-sector nonmembers. Lunch is included.


    Information on how to register for the event may be found after the jump.

    PLEASE NOTE: Registrations processed on-site will be charged an additional $5 administrative fee.


    Questions? Call (630) 416-1166, ext. 303

    Register:
    1. Use our online registration system here to register for the event and also pay with a credit card. Or, if you prefer, you can register online but send a check for payment. Please note, credit card payments can only be accepted through the online registration process.


    2. Mail your completed registration form along with a check payable to ALA to:


    Chris Teed
    Appellate Lawyers Association
    1717 North Naper Boulevard, Suite 102
    Naperville, Illinois 60563


    Cancellations/Refunds: Cancellations must be received two business days prior to the event in order to receive a full refund. No refunds will be processed after this time. Cancellations must be in writing and may be submitted to cteed@wmrhq.com or faxed to (630) 596-1418. Additionally, payment is expected from no-shows.

  • March 12, 2019 11:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, the Northern District of Illinois Court Historical Association, the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association will host, "Judicial Firsts: Trailblazers on the Federal Bench," a discussion of some of the groundbreaking jurists in the Illinois federal court system. Moderated by Judge Geraldine Soat Broan (Ret.), participants will include Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner, Chief Judge Ruben Castillo, Judge Edmond E. Chang, Judge Thomas M. Durkin, Judge Susan Pierson Sonderby (Ret.), and Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.).


    The event will be held at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Courtroom 2525, Chicago, Illinois, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. A light reception will follow. Although the event is free, space is limited. Please RSVP to dgroboski@ag-ltd.com. 1.5 hours of Professional Responsibility (diversity/inclusion) CLE credit for Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin is anticipated to be available. 

  • March 06, 2019 11:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Illinois Supreme Court's March Term begins on Monday, March 11, 2019. The Term will include oral argument in one criminal case and three civil cases on March 12th and 13th. Below is a listing of the cases that will be heard:

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019:   People v. Darren Johnson, No. 123318

                                                   McIntosh v. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., No. 123626


    Wednesday, March 13, 2019:       Ward v. Decatur Memorial Hospital, No. 123937

                                                                Nichols v. Fahrenkamp, No. 123990

    Below is a summary of two of the cases to be argued. As always, more information about all pending criminal and civil cases is available in the ALA's Cases Pending newsletter.

    People v. Darren Johnson, No. 123318
    Defendant was charged with burglary and retail theft in connection with the allegation that he stole various items of merchandise from a Walmart with a total value less than $300. With regard to the burglary charge, he was specifically charged with knowingly entering Walmart without authority with intent to commit a theft ("burglary by unlawfully entering") rather than the other form of burglary, in which a defendant unlawfully remains within a building without authority with intent to commit a theft ("burglary by unlawfully remaining"). Under the "limited authority doctrine," authority to enter a business open to the public extends only to those who enter with a purpose consistent with the reason the building is open and not to those who enter with an intent to commit a theft inside. In People v. Bradford, 2016 IL 118674, the Court held that the limited authority doctrine does not extend to burglary by unlawfully remaining in cases in which the defendant lawfully enters during business hours and stays in designated public areas.


    Before the Illinois Supreme Court, the State asserts that the limited authority doctrine, recognized in People v. Weaver, 41 Ill. 2d 434 (1968), continues to apply to burglary by unlawfully entering, including this case. The State notes that Bradford declined to extend the doctrine to burglary by unlawfully remaining but gave no hint that the doctrine was not still good law for burglary by unlawfully entering cases. Defendant disagrees, noting that subsequent to Weaver, the retail theft statute was enacted, reflecting a legislative intent to capture shoplifting activity through that offense rather than burglary. In essence, defendant asks the Court to decline to apply the limited authority doctrine to shoplifting cases. It is undisputed that burglary generally encompasses greater penalties than retail theft, so the question boils down to whether burglary was designed to punish the greater harm posed by a person who forms the intent to steal before entering a retail store (so that burglary by unlawfully entering can still apply in this case) or the greater harm posed by a person who exceeds the authority granted in an open retail store by either entering when the store is not open to the public or by going into areas of the store in which the public is not allowed (so that burglary by unlawfully entering cannot still apply in this case).


    Ward v. Decatur Memorial Hospital, No. 123937
    This appeal addresses whether an order is final for purposes of res judicata when certain counts of a complaint are dismissed without prejudice, while other counts are simply dismissed without any indication of whether they were dismissed with or without prejudice, and the plaintiff is granted leave to replead.

    The plaintiff filed his first lawsuit against the defendant over alleged negligence in the medical treatment of his brother. The circuit court dismissed all but one count of that complaint. It specified that some of the counts were dismissed without prejudice, but did not specify whether several others were dismissed with or without prejudice. Nevertheless, the court gave the plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint. The plaintiff filed numerous amended complaints, each of which was dismissed by the trial court with leave to amend, but again unclear as to whether the counts were dismissed with or without prejudice. Eventually, the plaintiff filed a third amended complaint, which the defendant answered. Shortly before trial, the plaintiff moved for leave to file a fourth amended complaint, and the trial court denied that motion. Plaintiff then voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit. 

    The plaintiff then filed a new lawsuit based on a complaint nearly identical to his proposed fourth amended complaint in the prior lawsuit. The defendant moved to dismiss on the ground that the claims were barred by res judicata and the principle against claim splitting under Hudson v. City of Chicago, 228 Ill. 2d 462 (2008). The circuit court agreed and dismissed the refiled lawsuit.  

    The Fourth District Appellate Court reversed, holding that the various dismissals—even those that did not clearly indicate they were “without prejudice”—were not final because the circuit court had given the plaintiff leave to replead. The appellate court distinguished Hudson, which held that res judicata applies when one count of a complaint is dismissed with prejudice, the plaintiff voluntarily dismisses the remaining count, and the plaintiff files a new lawsuit asserting the voluntarily dismissed count. The appellate court noted that Hudson did not involve a dismissal with leave to replead. It also cited Foxcroft Townhome Owners Association v. Hoffman Rosner Corp., 96 Ill. 2d 150 (1983), for the proposition that when a plaintiff is given leave to file an amended complaint, it must replead counts previously dismissed with prejudice in the amended complaint, or else the dismissed claims would be deemed abandoned and not appealable. The appellate court reasoned that it would be illogical to apply res judicata when a plaintiff must replead all previously dismissed counts under Foxcroft.


    In its petition for leave to appeal, the defendant argues that the Fourth District’s decision conflicts with the First District’s decision in Kiefer v. Rust-Oleum Corp., 394 Ill. App. 3d 485 (1st Dist. 2009), and Hudson. The defendant claims that the appellate court’s decision will encourage claim splitting, which is what res judicata is designed to avoid. In his answer to the petition for leave to appeal, plaintiff contends that the Fourth District correctly interpreted Hudson and Foxcroft.
  • February 28, 2019 9:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Kimberly Glasford 
    Law Clerk to Hon. Terrence J. Lavin, Illinois Appellate Court, 
    First District 

    In cases where procedural facts trigger a confluence of jurisdictional rules, the appellate court’s discussions of jurisdiction often don’t end well for the appellants. Perhaps then it’s refreshing to read a discussion finding jurisdiction is present and accounted for, such as the recent decision in The Bank of New York Mellon v. Wojcik, 2019 IL App (1st) 180845. 

    Ewa Wojcik mortgaged her condominium. Upon her failure to cure a default, the Bank of New York Mellon commenced a foreclosure action. In response, she and Anthony Avado, with whom she had become a tenant in common, denied receiving requisite notices. The trial court resolved the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment in favor of the bank and entered a judgment of foreclosure and sale. The court also found there was no reason to delay an appeal under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 304(a) (eff. Mar. 8, 2016). Wojcik and Avado then appealed from the denial of their summary judgment motion. The Bank of New York Mellon, 2019 IL App (1st) 180845, ¶¶ 1, 5-8, 10. 

    On appeal, the reviewing court reiterated that judgments resolving fewer than all claims are not appealable absent “an express written finding that there is no just reason for delaying either enforcement or appeal or both.” Id. ¶ 14 (quoting Ill. S. Ct. R. 304(a) (Mar. 8, 2016)). Additionally, a foreclosure judgment is ordinarily not final and appealable until the trial court has approved the sale and distribution of the property. The Bank of New York Mellon, 2019 IL App (1st) 180845, ¶ 15. Moreover, an order denying summary judgment is generally interlocutory and not subject to appeal. Id. ¶ 16. An exception exists, however, where the parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. Id. 

    The appellate court determined that it had jurisdiction over the appeal from the denial of summary judgment and the foreclosure judgment because the parties had filed cross-motions and the trial court had entered a Rule 304(a) finding. Id. ¶ 17. Jurisdiction aside, the trial court properly entered summary judgment in favor of the bank. Contrary to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 133(c), Wojcik and Avado had failed to provide specific facts supporting their denial that the bank had tendered certain notices, a condition precedent to filing this foreclosure action. Id. ¶¶ 20-22. 

    The appellate court’s decision shows that it is possible to appeal from a judgment of foreclosure and the denial of summary judgment, but you can bet your bottom dollar that jurisdiction will be found lacking unless cross-motions are filed and a Rule 304(a) finding is entered. 


  • February 18, 2019 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By: Austin Bartlett

           BartlettChen LLC

    Charlie was a special person. I first met him several years ago through a mutual friend, Stacey Mandell. Both clerked for Justice Hutchinson and thought the world of her. From the first time I met Charlie, I was struck by his enthusiasm and love for the law. He was also a lot of fun.

    After a few years, I persuaded Charlie to join my prior law firm. I had the privilege of working alongside him every day. Charlie was an impressive lawyer. He was a gifted writer and excellent strategist. We worked together on several appeals and dispositive motions, and I believe I learned more from him than he from me. Charlie also had a tremendous capacity for hard work. Even while battling cancer and the inevitable fatigue that it and chemotherapy brings, Charlie beat it back to do the work he set out to do. But most of all, Charlie was just a joy to be around. His goodness, kindness, and exuberance were palpable. I always felt buoyed after spending time with him.

    I left my old law firm about a year ago to start my own, but Charlie and I remained in touch. Around this same time, his condition worsened. We spoke frequently about our day, his health, the law, and both of our hopes for the future. No matter what tribulation Charlie was going through health wise, he always seemed more concerned with how I was doing. Although he had every right in the world to be self-absorbed, he looked outward to see how he could help others.

    Charlie was my friend. I’ll always be grateful for his friendship. Both personally and professionally, he made me better and set a standard that I aspire to. I’ll miss him dearly.


  • February 18, 2019 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By: John M. Fitzgerald
           Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC


    Charlie Ingrassia always made me smile. Few people I know suffered as much as Charlie did. But you wouldn’t know it from talking to him. No matter what was happening in his life, Charlie was infectiously happy, unwaveringly positive, enthusiastic about developments in the law, and devoted to the work of the Appellate Lawyers Association. Even when his health declined, cancer aggressively returned, and one of his legs was amputated, he never indulged in even a hint of self-pity. I will never forget an email in which he explained that, through the process of losing a leg, he had gained a new perspective on life. Or the call in which he apologetically explained that his contributions to The Brief would be temporarily limited because additional tumor growth had been detected; he seemed genuinely more concerned about the pace of new updates to The Brief than about the newly discovered tumor growth. I last saw him, fittingly, at an ALA luncheon at the Union League Club. He was clearly pleased just to be there among his friends and among the appellate justices he so admired, even though getting there had obviously been extremely difficult for him.


    Charlie passed away this past week. He was 39.


    More than any other lawyer I’ve known, he passionately loved the law. He spoke excitedly and knowledgeably about new appellate opinions, amendments to the rules governing appellate practice, and legal principles. No one I know had a better command of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules. Clerking for Justice Susan F. Hutchinson was a job that he clearly loved, for a boss he adored. He carried the same enthusiasm to the Adler Murphy firm when he transitioned to private practice.


    Charlie made The Brief a go-to resource for everyone who wants to learn more about recent developments in the appellate world. He made ALA gatherings more enjoyable, more memorable and more meaningful just through his presence.


    The ALA is a place where appellate lawyers and judges make lasting friendships. It’s one of the qualities that makes us a strong bar association. Of all the friends I’ve made through the ALA, Charlie stands in a class of his own. Many, many other people would say the same about Charlie. It is a gross understatement to say that we will miss him for many years to come.

DISCLAIMER: The Appellate Lawyers Association does not provide legal services or legal advice. Discussions of legal principles and authority, including, but not limited to, constitutional provisions, statutes, legislative enactments, court rules, case law, and common-law doctrines are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.

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