Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Appellate Practice

New rule allows citation of unpublished federal opinions By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2007 Lawpulse, Page 66 Federal appellate courts used to restrict or prohibit citation of unpublished opinions in arguments to the courts. That changed January 1.
Another appellate court holds postdissolution order finality depends on SCR 304(a) finding January 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 14 On October 23, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, dismissed the respondent's appeal from the Circuit Court of Vermilion County's dismissal of her post-dissolution petition to modify maintenance because the circuit court's order was not final and appealable. 
Lawpulse Have you been bench-slapped by the 7CA? By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 Lawpulse, Page 8  Are seventh circuit justices' public scoldings of attorneys for defective jurisdictional statements disproportionately harsh?
Easterbrook strikes motions to strike By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 Lawpulse, Page 578 Federal district court judges agree that arguing in response to your opponent's brief is almost always better than moving to strike something from it.
Appellate malpractice plaintiffs must prove they would have won the appeal By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2006 Lawpulse, Page 338 In a suit alleging an attorney's failure to perfect an appeal, the client must prove that he or she would have won the appeal had it been properly perfected. 
Goodbye to the affidavit of intent to appeal By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2006 Lawpulse, Page 166 Effective July 1, a supreme court rule change will remove a trap that's especially dangerous for the occasional appellate lawyer. 
A motion to transfer venue will be reviewed de novo January 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On october 20, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County, denying the defendant's motion to transfer venue. 
New rules bring clarity to appellate practice By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2005 Lawpulse, Page 614 Appellate practitioners welcome the supreme court rule changes, including a new rule providing that a party can file only one postjudgment motion directed at a final order.
Appellate Jurisdiction Over Child Protection Orders By Charles P. Goldbert and Kass A. Plain September 2005 Article, Page 466 When can lawyers for parents, children, and other parties seek appellate review in child protection cases? This article discusses the details.
A jury’s determination of first degree murder and a trial court’s imposed sentence are accorded great deference September 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 446 On June 30, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the defendant's murder conviction, which he received following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Illinois Supreme Court 2004: Taking on the Tough Issues By Nancy J. Arnold and Tim Eaton April 2005 Article, Page 174 Last year the court confronted contentious issues that matter not just to lawyers but to the public at large.
Making settlement appealing By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2005 Lawpulse, Page 62 On appeal, opponents rarely meet face to face and thus have little opportunity to explore settlement. A new program seeks to make settling easier at the appellate level.
Proper Review of Improper-Venue Rulings By Anthony J. Longo December 2004 Article, Page 638 When should reviewing courts defer to trial court rulings on transfer-of-venue motions? This author offers his analysis.
When “one appellate court” disagrees with itself By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2004 Lawpulse, Page 614 When appellate district panels disagree, which decision controls? The answer is far from certain.
Overruling Knapp, a “motion for clarification” does not stay the 30-day appeal period October 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 514 On July 12, 2004, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court dismissed the plaintiff's appeal.
Trustees dissatisfied with a judgment are free to appeal, but do so at their own risk and cost October 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 514 On July 12, 2004, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court affirmed that part of the Circuit Court of McLean County's judgment that refused to award attorney's fees incurred by a trustee on appeal.
2003 Illinois Supreme Court Civil Cases: Fees and Family Law, “No” to Immunity, and More By Nancy J. Arnold and Tim Eaton April 2004 Article, Page 180 A look at last year's leading supreme court civil cases.
Brief-Building: The Finishing Touches By Maureen B. Collins March 2004 Column, Page 153 You've built a well-reasoned, well-argued edifice; don't sabotage your effort by neglecting the final flourishes.
Building a Solid Foundation By Maureen B. Collins February 2004 Column, Page 105 Last month's column looked at the "prep work" necessary for a brief. This month, we focus on the framework.
Correspondence from Our Readers February 2004 Column, Page 58 Don't forget the court's citation rules.
Constructing an Argument By Maureen B. Collins January 2004 Column, Page 47 Like a house, a brief needs a solid framework, intricate inner workings, and an attractive appearance.
Defendant who was absent at trial may file for appellate review pursuant to section 115-4.1(g) so long as appeal raises issues of fundamental fairness and due process September 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 436 On May 20, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County convicting the defendant of theft by deception and sentencing him in absentia.
Party who requests and is granted a new trial is subsequently foreclosed from petitioning for appellate review of first trial pursuant to SCR 306(a)(1) September 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 436 On June 19, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the plaintiff, by requesting a new trial in her post-trial motion, was foreclosed from later petitioning for appellate review of the first trial pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 306(a)(1) (166 Ill 2d R 306(a)(1)).
Correspondence from Our Readers May 2003 Column, Page 218 Rule 315(b); why require an affidavit?
Under Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, spouse can recover attorney fees for individual appellate claims on which he or she “substantially prevails” April 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 168 On January 24, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the appellate court had jurisdiction to reverse the trial court's award of attorney fees to the wife for an appeal in her action to dissolve her marriage.
Affidavit of intent to file for petition for leave to appeal must comply with traditional meaning of affidavit and not just provide notice to opposing party March 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 On December 5, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court dismissed the defendant's appeal because the document it filed entitled "Affidavit of Intent to File Petition for Leave to Appeal" was not an "affidavit," but rather a simple pleading.
What is jurisdictional, anyway? By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2003 Lawpulse, Page 110 The supreme court's recent assertion that it lacked jurisdiction because an affidavit of intent to appeal was defective arguably begs the question, "What is jurisdictional?"
Appellate court lacks jurisdiction where struck counts and dismissed claims not separate and distinct from remaining claims; income partners not “partners” for purposes of liability for malpractice claims December 2002 Illinois Law Update, Page 634 On September 9, 2002, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed in part and reversed in part the orders of the circuit court of Cook County striking the plaintiff's breach of contract counts, dismissing part of the claim for damages.
Forgoing Interlocutory Appeals: the New “Law of the Case” By Avidan J. Stern December 2002 Article, Page 652 The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that parties may appeal rulings at the end of a case even after forgoing an interlocutory appeal.
Losing Arguments By Maureen B. Collins December 2002 Column, Page 669 Avoid these rotten eggs masquerading as arguments and put more Xs in your "win" column.