The lesson of Keener: monitor your case
In the latest Trial Briefs, Bob Park describes the recent case Keener v. City of Herrin, in which the Illinois Supreme Court overruled a fifth district ruling for the plaintiff because the court lacked jurisdiction. The high court held that the circuit court's "September 13, 2005, dismissal order was final and appealable, but plaintiff took no action within 30 days to either file a notice of appeal or a motion to reconsider," Park writes in summarizing the supreme court ruling. "Thereafter, the circuit court no longer had jurisdiction to act." The problem: the lower court hadn't sent a copy of the September 13 order to the plaintiff's lawyer. The lesson, according to Steven R. Merican, author of the Illinois Appellate Lawyer Blog: "[A]ttorneys have an obligation to monitor their cases. A court clerk’s failure to mail notice of a dismissal does not absolve an attorney from missing a deadline to ask for reconsideration or to appeal."