Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Retired Judge Rita M. Novak Reviews ALA September Presenter Joel Cohen's Book "Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide”

In an article for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, retired Judge Rita M. Novak reviewed Joel Cohen's Book "Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide." The book will be the basis for the ALA's September 26th event featuring Cohen.

Here are a few snippets from Judge Novak's review:
The explorations in Joel Cohen’s engaging book stem from reflections of Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo in “The Nature of the Judicial Process,” published nearly 100 years ago. Cardozo’s classic work examined the “ingredients” that go into judicial decisions.
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Judge Nancy Gertner, a former criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, relates how she decided a tort claim involving the wrongful conviction of innocent defendants perpetrated by FBI misconduct.
Judge John E. Jones III describes his ruling in an “intelligent design” case and the conservative firestorm that followed, one ignited by partisan attackers who perceived the decision as unfaithful to the judge’s prior political affiliations.
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Whether in the context of settlement or trial, allowing the facts to unfold and guide the outcome of the case is a check on subjective rulings. Starting with organizing facts early in discovery, as Hellerstein discusses, or awaiting the evidence on a crucial issue, as Judges Charles P. Kocoras, Jones and Walker describe, letting the facts lead where they will keeps the rulings objectively grounded.
The full article is available on the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin's website.

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. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CLE Program on Recent United States Supreme Court Decision: Matal v. Tam

On Wednesday, September 27, the law firm of Banner & Witcoff will present “A New Slant on Trademarks,” a panel discussion of the recent United States Supreme Court case Matal v. Tam, which allowed a music group called The Slants to obtain a federal trademark for its name.

The panelists will include: Rebecca Glenberg, senior staff counsel at the ACLU of Illinois; Andy Kang, legal director of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Binal Patel, partner at Banner & Witcoff; and Simon Tam, bassist and founder of The Slants.

The event will be co-sponsored by the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago and the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago. The CLE portion will be co-sponsored by The South Asian American Bar Association of Chicago.

The event will take place at Google (320 N. Morgan Street, #600) in Chicago, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Advanced registration is required. To register, please visit: https://anewslantontrademarkspanel.eventbrite.com.

Cost is $15 for members, $25 for non-members.

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.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Seventh Circuit Holds Rule 60(b) Does Not Provide District Court with Authority to Instruct Circuit Court How to Remedy Errors in Appellate Filings

By Zachary Johnson
Research Attorney, Illinois Appellate Court, First District

In Chambers v. United States, No. 16-2977, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied defendant Keith Chambers’ Rule 60(b) motion for relief from judgment in his habeas corpus proceeding.

In the decision, the Seventh Circuit discussed the district court’s authority to provide relief under Rule 60(b) and held that the rule does not provide a district court the authority to instruct a circuit court what to do, i.e., Chambers could not use a Rule 60(b) motion to direct the Seventh Circuit to allow him to file a pro se memorandum in support of his request for a certificate of appealability.

In 2008, Chambers pled guilty to distributing and possessing child pornography (18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2)(A), (a)(5)(B)), and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Chambers voluntarily dismissed his direct appeal. He filed a motion challenging his sentence (28 U.SC. § 2255) based on ineffectiveness of his trial counsel. The district court appointed representation for Chambers (“appointed counsel”) and conducted a hearing on the motion. It concluded that his trial counsel’s performance was not deficient and denied the § 2255 motion. The district court declined to issue a certificate of appealability.

Chambers appealed to the Seventh Circuit and, as the Seventh Circuit stated in its decision, “that is when things went awry.” Although appointed counsel was listed as counsel of record on appeal, he refused to represent Chambers, but did not file a motion to withdraw. Chambers contacted the clerk and district court for help, but was ultimately unsuccessful in getting appointed counsel removed so that he could file a pro se memorandum in support of his request for a certificate of appealability. In February 2013, the Seventh Circuit declined to issue the certificate.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Don’t Miss Out on the ALA’s September Event

On Tuesday, September 26, the ALA will host a discussion with author Joel Cohen on his research into how judges decide cases. The event is titled “Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide,” and Cohen will share his insights into an unexpected human range of judicial philosophies, practicalities, and biases, a rare perspective he gleaned in researching and writing his book, also titled “Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide.”

In the book, Cohen interviewed more than a dozen members of the federal bench, including judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. All of them provided candid, revealing, and personal assessments of their approaches to rulings and decisions in high-profile and complex cases.

Cohen has published several books, including Broken Scales: Reflections on Injustice, as well as works of fiction and books on religion. His articles regularly appear in Slate, New York Law Journal, Huffington Post, ABA Journal, and other publications. A former federal prosecutor and currently an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, Cohen counsels individuals and corporations in criminal matters, ethical issues, and disciplinary proceedings. In July 2017, he was part of the appellate team that convinced the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to reverse the conviction of the former Speaker of the New York State Assembly, a case headed to the United States Supreme Court.

The event will take place at the Union League Club of Chicago (65 West Jackson Boulevard), beginning at noon and running until 1:30 p.m. Attendees to the event will receive one hour of MCLE credit.

For more information about any of the events and to register, please click here.

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.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"Cases Pending" Highlights Cases to be Heard During Illinois Supreme Court's September Term (Criminal)

Cases Pending, edited by Gretchen Harris Sperry and Catherine Basque Weiler, has been updated to discuss the Illinois Supreme Court’s September Term, which begins Monday, September 11, 2017, with oral arguments scheduled for September 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20, 2017. A total of 16 cases will be heard – 9 criminal and 7 civil. The following criminal cases are scheduled for argument this Term:

In re Benny M.—No. 120133—September 12
 
People v. Salimah Cole (In re Amy Campanelli)—No. 120997—September 12
 
People v. Walter Relerford—No. 121094—September 12
 
People v. Kevin Hunter & Drashun Wilson—Nos. 121306 & 121345, cons.—September 12

People v. Michael Brooks—No. 121413—September 13
 
People v. Julio Chairez—No. 121417—September 13
 
People v. Antoine Hardman—No. 121453—September 13
 
People v. Anthony Brown—No. 121681—September 13
 
People v. Jared Staake—No. 121755—September 14

Below is a summary for one of the criminal cases. Summaries for these cases and others pending with the Illinois Supreme Court can be found in our Cases Pending publication, accessible to ALA members on the ALA's website.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Cases Pending" Highlights Cases to be Heard During Illinois Supreme Court's September Term (Civil)

Cases Pending, edited by Gretchen Harris Sperry and Catherine Basque Weiler, has been updated to discuss the Illinois Supreme Court’s September Term, which begins Monday, September 11, 2017, with oral arguments scheduled for September 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20, 2017. A total of 16 cases will be heard – 9 criminal and 7 civil. The following civil cases are scheduled for argument this Term:
 
Yarbrough v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital—No.121367—September 14
 
Corbett v. City of Highland Park—No. 121536—September 19
 
Citibank v. Illinois Department of Revenue—No. 121634— September 19
 
Ramsey Herndon LLC v. Whiteside—No. 121668—September 19
 
Cohen v. Chicago Park District—No. 121800—September 20
 
In re Marriage of Goesel—No. 122046—September 20
 
Lawler v. University of Chicago Medical Center—No. 120745—September 20
 
Below is a summary for two of these civil cases, Lawler v. University of Chicago Medical Center and Corbett v. City of Highland Park. Tomorrow, a list of the criminal cases scheduled for argument and a summary of one of the cases will be posted. Summaries for these cases and others pending with the Illinois Supreme Court can be found in our Cases Pending publication, accessible to ALA members on the ALA's website.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Third in a Summer Series of First District Decisions Signals Winter for Jurisdiction Over Claims Raised for First Time on Appeal

By Bradley Jarka
Assistant Appellate Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In People v. Daniels, 2017 IL App (1st) 142130-B, the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court has once again undertaken to define the limits of its own jurisdiction. This is the third decision of this kind to be featured on this blog this summer. For further discussion of this topic see Katherine Grosh’s recent analysis of People v. Griffin, 2017 IL App (1st) 143800 and Andrew Kwalwaser’s summary of People v. Grigorov, 2017 IL App (1st)143274.
 
In Daniels, the court held that it does not have jurisdiction to entertain the State’s request to reinstate charges previously dismissed pursuant to a nolle prosequi, where that request is made for the first time on appeal from the denial of a defendant’s 2-1401 petition. This deceptively simple holding is dependent on the surreptitious complexities lurking in the procedural posture of Daniels’s case, the substantive relief that Daniels requested, and the Illinois Supreme Court’s recent decision in People v. Shinaul, 2017 IL 120162. Each will be discussed in turn.
 
In 2005, Chicago police officers conducted a pat down search of Ronald Daniels on a city bus and found him to be in possession of an unloaded revolver and four rounds of ammunition. Based on that discovery, the State charged Daniels with several counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (AUUW) and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. Daniels pleaded guilty to the count of AUUW charged under Section 5/24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(B) of the criminal code, which made it unlawful to possess an unloaded firearm outside his dwelling or place of business if ammunition was immediately accessible. Pursuant to that plea agreement, the State nolle prosequied (nolle’d) the remaining counts that Daniels had been charged with. Daniels did not take a direct appeal. Instead, once his sentence was completed in early 2014, Daniels filed a 2-1401 petition (735 ILCS 5/2-1401) seeking to vacate his conviction for AUUW. The circuit court denied his petition and Daniels appealed.