"The Brief" - The ALA Blog

  • November 06, 2018 7:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Illinois Supreme Court's November Term begins on Monday, November 12th. The Term will include oral argument in 4 criminal cases and 7 civil cases between November 13th and November 20th. Below is a listing of the 4 criminal cases that will be heard:

    Tuesday, November 13, 2018: People v. Daksh Relwani, No. 123385

                                                           People v. Sylwester Gawlak, No. 123182

                                                           Kenin Edwards v. Hon. Michael Atterbery, No. 123370  

    Below is a summary of one of the criminal 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. Daksh Relwani, No. 123385

    After he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, defendant Daksh Relwani filed a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension of his driver's license. He argued that rescission was appropriate because the summary suspension statute applies only to motorists operating vehicles on "public highways," and the location of his arrest -- a parking lot adjacent to a Walgreen's store -- could not be so characterized because it was "private property." The issue is whether the trial court correctly denied defendant's petition to rescind because he failed to make a prima facie showing that the parking lot was not a "public highway."

    The appellate court affirmed in a 2-1 decision. According to precedent, a parking lot on private property is a "public highway" for this statute if the lot is (1) open to public vehicular traffic, and (2) is publically maintained. The majority noted that defendant's argument that the lot must be private because it was adjacent to Walgreen's was insufficient under this precedent. The majority declined to address, in the alternative, whether it could infer from defendant's testimony that he had been driving on the public highways just before he arrived in the parking lot. The dissenting justice would have concluded that defendant met his prima facie burden by showing that he was driving his vehicle in a parking lot adjacent to a private business, which would shift the burden to the State to offer proof that the private parking lot is publicly maintained.

    Before the Illinois Supreme Court, defendant echoed the position of the dissenting justice. In response, the State offered two grounds for affirmance. First, that defendant drove upon a public highway while intoxicated shortly before his arrest so that the implied consent statute applies even if he was ultimately arrested on private property. And second, defendant failed to make a prima facie showing that he was not on a "public highway" when he was arrested in the parking lot.

  • October 31, 2018 11:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Appellate Lawyers Association will host its annual Moot Court Competition November 2-3 in Chicago, Illinois.

    ALA members act as judges for one of the only Midwest competitions held at every level in working courtrooms. The final round is scheduled to be held in the ceremonial courtroom of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Past judges for the final round include: Judge Diane Wood, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. and Judge Edmond E. Chang, U.S. District Judges for the Northern District of Illinois; Justice Anne Burke and Justice Mary Jane Theis, Supreme Court of Illinois; Justice Brent E. Dickson, Supreme Court of Indiana; Justice David Prosser, Jr., Supreme Court of Wisconsin; Justice Robert Cook, Justice Donald C. Hudson, Justice William E. Holdridge, Justice Margaret Stanton McBride and Justice M. Carol Pope of the Appellate Court of Illinois.

    Recent participating schools include University of Wisconsin Law School, Baylor University Law School, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, St. Louis University School of Law, Liberty University School of Law, Northern Illinois University College of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, DePaul University College of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Barry University, Brooklyn Law School, Florida State University College of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, South Texas College of Law Houston, St. Mary’s University School of Law, Western State College of Law and Chicago-Kent College of Law.

  • October 19, 2018 8:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On October 30, 2018, the Appellate Lawyers Association will host an important discussion on ethical traps for appellate practitioners presented by James J. Grogan and Steven Splitt of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. As individuals who regularly interpret and enforce Illinois’s Rules of Professional Conduct, they have unique insights and advice for how appellate attorneys can avoid ethical pitfalls. They will also update us on new trends in this area. This program is a great opportunity to hear from two of the top legal ethics lawyers in Illinois.

    This event is taking place at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. $40 for public-sector members of either association; $50 for private-sector members of either association; $55 for public-sector nonmembers; and $65 for private-sector nonmembers. Lunch is included.

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

    Those interested can register online here. On-site registrations will be charged an additional $5 registration fee. 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) 416-9798. Additionally, payment is expected from no-shows. Questions? Call (630) 416-1166, ext. 303.

  • September 19, 2018 11:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Monday, September 24, 2018 at 5 p.m., the Advocates Society, the Association of Polish American Lawyers, will host currently sitting Appellate Justice Bogdan Jedrys of Poland, who will discuss the current situation in the Polish judicial system. Justice Jedrys is a member of the independent Association of Polish Judges and will speak after a short general meeting.

    The meeting will be held at Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, 151 N. Franklin St., Suite 2500, Chicago, Illinois 60606. There is no fee to attend, but participants must register in advance. To register, please RSVP to the Advocates Society President Kristen Kozlowski Lyons at attorneykristen@gmail.com.

  • September 18, 2018 8:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Illinois Supreme Court's September Term began on Monday, September 10th.  The Term will include oral argument in 12 civil cases and 10 criminal cases between September 11th and September 19th.  Below is a listing of the 12 civil cases that will be heard:


    Thursday, September 13, 2018:

    Sienna Court Condominium Assoc. v. Champion Aluminum Corp., No. 122022

    Beaman v. Freesmeyer, No. 122654

    Carmichael v. Laborers’ & Retirement Employees Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago, No. 122793 (cons.)

    Stanphill v. Ortberg, No. 122974


    Tuesday, September 18, 2018:

    Gregg v. Rauner, No. 122802

    Piccioli v. Board of Trustees of Teachers Retirement System, No. 122905
    Gonzalez v. Union Health Services, Inc., No. 123025
    First Midwest Bank v. Cobo, No. 123038
    Sperl v. Toad L. Dragonfly Express, No. 123132


    Wednesday, September 19, 2018:

    A&R Janitorial v. Pepper Construction, No. 123220

    Palm v. Holocker, No. 123152

    Wingert v. Hradisky, No. 123201


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

    Stanphill v. Ortberg


    This Petition presents the question of whether, in a professional negligence action, a defendant can be civilly liable notwithstanding the lack of reasonable foreseeability of the plaintiff’s injury. The plaintiff below – the administrator of a decedent’s estate – initiated proceedings in Winnebago County, asserting that the defendants – a hospital and a clinical social worker employed by the hospital – negligently failed to diagnose the decedent as suicidal, leading to his ultimate death by suicide. The jury returned a general verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, but answered, in a special interrogatory, that the decedent’s suicide was not reasonably foreseeable. The circuit court thereupon entered a verdict in favor of the defendants.


    The plaintiff appealed and the Second District Appellate Court reversed, concluding that the jury’s answer to the special interrogatory was not inconsistent with its general verdict. The Court found that the special interrogatory was improper insofar as it asked the jury to determine whether the decedent’s suicide was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant, rather than to a reasonable person.  In so holding, the Second District departed from the First District’s holding in Garcia, which affirmed the entry of a judgment in favor of the defendant under analogous circumstances. There, the jury returned a general verdict for the plaintiff, but answered, in a special interrogatory, that the decedent’s suicide was not reasonably foreseeable to the defendant, causing the circuit court enter judgment in favor of the defendant. Garcia v. Seneca Nursing Home, 2011 IL App (1st) 103085.


    In their petition, Defendants argue that the Second District, in analyzing the special interrogatory, incorrectly held thatforeseeability in a professional negligence case should be based upon a reasonable person standard and that the general verdict could not be squared with the jury’s special interrogatory answer.

  • September 12, 2018 12:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    On September 13, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, NLG Chicago, and The Puerto Rican Agenda will be hosting a fundraiser to support the recovery in Puerto Rico at Humble Bar, 3018 West North Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. 

    Tickets are available at www.tickettailor.com/events/nlgchicagoandayudalegal/185138

    Donations may be made at www.latinojustice.org/en/donate 

  • September 11, 2018 8:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The seminar, Appellate Practice for the Trial Attorney, scheduled for Wednesday, September 12, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at Spalding Pastoral Center, 419 NE Madison Ave. in Peoria, Illinois, has been cancelled. 

  • August 29, 2018 8:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ALA is honored to serve as a co-sponsor of the Diversity Scholarship Foundation’s reenactment of Mendez v. Westminster, a landmark civil rights case that addressed issues of equal protection and social equality.

    The event will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Loyola University School of Law, 25 East Pearson Street in Chicago. There will be a cocktail reception from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., followed immediately by the program from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Entry is FREE; seats are limited. 

    To learn more about the event, please visit the Diversity Scholarship Foundation website.

    To register, please click here.

  • August 10, 2018 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You can join your fellow lawyers in helping children from Englewood become a better readers. Lend-A-Hand Tutoring at the CBAis seeking volunteer tutors for its one-to-one tutoring program, which meets on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago. Orientations will be on September 4 and 11. Program is sponsored by Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth. 

    For more info, contact Jenna Meyers at (312) 554-2053, email jmeyers@lawyerslendahand.org

  • July 11, 2018 8:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been nominated to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States. 

    Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, and is a graduate of Yale Law School.

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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