Publications

Articles on Appellate Practice

Can Supreme Court Rule 308 Keep Your Case Alive?

By Christopher T. Polillo
December
2008
Article
Page 632
Depending on the facts and law, you might persuade a court to grant interlocutory review under Rule 308. Here's how it works.

Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Thomas M. Battista
October
2008
Article
Page 516
An agency rules against your client and you want a court to review the decision. What's the next step? This article explains.

Brief-Writing Tips for the Illinois Appellate Court

By Maria Pellegrino
August
2008
Article
Page 412
An appellate law clerk offers pointers and an insider's view of common brief-writing errors.

Illinois Supreme Court oral arguments go online

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2008
LawPulse
Page 10
The court is making video and audio of oral arguments available on the Web. 

Preserving the right to appeal an ambiguous ruling

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2007
LawPulse
Page 342
What can you do to preserve your client's right to appeal when the trial court issues an order of ambiguous finality? The Waddick case may provide some lessons.

A trio of Illinois Supreme Court Rule amendments

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2007
LawPulse
Page 230
The court amended rules governing the format of appellate briefs, appeals from circuit court rulings, and voir dire examinations in criminal cases.

When Does a Postjudgment Motion Toll the Deadline for Appeal?

By Leon I. Finkel and Bradley A. Silva
March
2007
Article
Page 142
It's a huge mistake to think that every motion after final judgment tolls the deadline for filing an appeal. Here's a review of the statutory and case law.

Goodbye to number, length limits for Illinois appellate opinions

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2007
LawPulse
Page 66
The supreme court lifted its 12-year-old limit, effective last month. Will its next step be to publish Rule 23 opinions on its Web site? Appellate advocates hope so.

New rule allows citation of unpublished federal opinions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Federal appellate courts used to restrict or prohibit citation of unpublished opinions in arguments to the courts.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.

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