by Stacey Mandell
Law Clerk to Hon. Susan F. Hutchinson, Illinois Appellate Court, Second District
On April 1, 2014, at The Centre in Elgin, the ALA hosted a roundtable luncheon honoring the justices of the Second District Appellate Court. ALA Past President Bob Black welcomed the guests and thanked the justices, who were all seated at separate tables to encourage interaction with the attorneys.
Following lunch, Stacey Mandell presented welcoming remarks. She took a moment to reflect on the passing of ALA member Greg Slovacek, remembering his involvement and his service to the ALA, including chairing the Third District Pro Bono Committee for several years. On a lighter note, she read a corny-but-heartfelt poem to Justice Hutchinson, who was celebrating her birthday. She then introduced Presiding Justice Michael J. Burke to begin the program.
Presiding Justice Burke introduced the justices, each of whom identified their law clerks in attendance. Justice Kathryn E. Zenoff introduced her law clerks, but also highlighted the retirement of Gail Moreland, a former law clerk, and invited everyone to the reception following the program.
Thereafter, Presiding Justice Burke moderated a panel discussion of the cases that had been reviewed and decided by the Illinois Supreme Court in the past year and which had originated in the Second District. The justices presented the facts, issues, and what the appellate court had held; if there was a dissenting or specially concurring opinion, then that particular justice would provide insight into why he or she had written separately.
Some of the cases discussed included Schultz v. Performance Lighting, Inc.; People v. Hommerson; American Access Casualty Co. v. Reyes; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. McCluskey; People v. Bailey; In re Marriage of Earlywine; VC&M, Ltd. v. Andrews; People v. Cardona; People v. Kennebrew; Julie Q. v. Department of Family Services; Toftoy v. Rosenwinkel; EMC Mortgage Corp. v. Kemp; and People v. Martinez.
The justices also explained what the Illinois Supreme Court had decided and whether and how it differed from what the appellate panel had held. After a pause, the justices realized that their decisions were not always affirmed, which brought about a good laugh from everyone, as well as the justices pointing their fingers at each other. The justices also reflected on what they learned from the supreme court's review of the decision, as well as what the practitioners should take from the case. The justices presented a mix of civil cases and criminal cases, which engaged attorneys who practice primarily civil appeals and those who practice criminal appellate law. There were a few questions, and the justices took them on after each case discussion.
The ALA thanks the Justices of the Second District Appellate Court, who presented an excellent program, with a good mix of camaraderie, appellate practice, and legal education.
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