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Supreme Court quick takes

Quick takes from today's Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on April 21, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review today’s Supreme Court opinions from Civil case Phoenix Insurance Company v. Rosen and Criminal cases People v. Mullins, People v. Martin and People v. Ziobro.

CIVIL

Phoenix Insurance Company v. Rosen

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams Montgomery & John Ltd. A provision in an underinsured-motorist policy allowing either party to reject an award over the statutory minimum for liability coverage does not violate public policy and is not unconscionable. Ms. Rosen was injured by an underinsured vehicle and made a claim under the underinsured-motorist provision of her Pheonix policy. The policy contained an arbitration agreement. However, the arbitration was binding only if the amount awarded did not exceed the minimum limit for bodily injury liability specified by the Illinois Safety Responsibility Law. If the amount exceeded that limit, either party could demand the right to a trial. Following arbitration, Rosen was awarded over $300,000 and Phoenix filed a complaint rejecting the award and demanding a jury trial. Rosen asserted in an affirmative defense that the “trial de novo” provision was invalid and unenforceable as against public policy. She also filed a counterclaim seeking to enforce the arbitration award. The trial court struck the affirmative defense and dismissed the counterclaim. On review, the appellate court reversed, holding that the trial de novo provision unfairly favored the insurer and violated public policy considerations favoring arbitration. The Supreme Court disagreed. It recognized the long tradition of upholding parties’ rights to freely contract.

Illinois Supreme Court overturns Indiana man's weapon convictions

Posted on April 7, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
The Illinois Supreme Court released one opinion today in the criminal case People v. Holmes.

CRIMINAL

People v. Holmes

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender Defendant, an Indiana resident with a valid Indiana handgun permit, was charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (AUUW): one count for carrying an "uncased, loaded, and immediately accessible" firearm in his vehicle, and the other for carrying a firearm in his vehicle without having been issued a currently valid FOID Card. The charges arose out of a traffic stop in Chicago, where police found a handgun in the armrest of the backseat of defendant's vehicle. That armrest was closed and latched at the time. The gun was unloaded, although the clip was in defendant's pocket. Under the Court's recent decision in Diggins, 235 Ill. 2d 48 (2009) (holding that a vehicle's center console is a case), defendant's conviction under the first count could not stand because the backseat armest fell wtihin the meaning of a "case" under the statute. There was no dispute that the armrest was closed and latched, and thus the gun was enclosed in a case. As to the second count, the Court concluded that the AUUW statute must be read in conjunction with the FOID Card Act to determine whether defendant was exempt from having a valid FOID Card because he had a valid Indiana handgun permit.

Quick Takes from Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on March 24, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday’s Supreme Court opinions from Civil cases Williams v. The Board of Review, Goodman v. Ward, Barber v. American Airlines, Inc., Wendling v. Southern Illinois Hospital Services, Vincent v. Alden-Park Strathmoor, and Criminal cases People v. Bartlet, People v. Alcozer, People v. Phillips, People v. Almore, People v. Madrigal and Hill v. Walker.

Quick takes from today's Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on February 25, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review today's Supreme Court opinions from Civil cases Speed District 802 v. Warning, Ries v. The City of Chicago, Johnston v. Weil, Kaufman v. Schroeder, M.D., LaSalle Bank National Association v. Cypress Creek 1, and Criminal cases People v. Baez and People v. Comage.

CIVIL

Speed District 802 v. Warning

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams Montgomery & John Ltd. The reviewing courts have struggled with this case, resulting in a divided Illinois Supreme Court reversing the (divided) appellate court judgment and setting aside a decision of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (“the Board”). At issue was whether the SPEED District 802 (“the District”) violated two sections of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (“the Act”) when it failed to renew the teaching contract of Warning, who was a nontenured probationary teacher.

Quick takes from Thursday, Feb. 3, Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on February 3, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review today's opinions in the civil case Carr v. Gateway, Inc. and criminal cases People v. Skryd, People v. Beauchamp and People v. Manning.

Quick takes from Friday, Jan. 21, Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on January 21, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in in civil cases Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services v. Wiszowaty, First American Bank v. Henry, Thompson v. Gordon, Uldrych v. VHS of Illinois, and criminal cases People v. Alsup, People v. Kitch, People v. Gonzalez, People v. Williams, People v. King, People v. Garcia and People v. Lindsay.

Quick takes from Thursday, Dec. 28, Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on December 28, 2010 by Chris Bonjean

CIVIL

Cookson v. Price

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

Quick take on Thursday, Dec. 2, Illinois Supreme Court opinion on expert testimony

Posted on December 2, 2010 by Chris Bonjean

CRIMINAL

People v. Becker

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender Defendant, on trial for sexual offenses against his then 3-year-old daughter, sought to introduce the testimony of an expert witness concerning the credibility of hearsay statements made by the daughter. The trial court barred the expert testimony, and a divided appellate court reversed.

Quick takes on Thursday, Nov.18, Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on November 18, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in State Building Venture v. O'Donnell, In re the commitment of Hernandez, People v. Zimmerman, People v. Amigon, People v. Alexander, People v. Jocko and People v. Carrera.

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