Thursday, February 19, 2015

ALA and DuPage County Bar Association Cosponsor Supreme Court Civil Litigation Year in Review Seminar

By Charlie Ingrassia
Law Clerk to Hon. Susan F. Hutchinson, Illinois Appellate Court, Second District

For the third consecutive year, the ALA and the DuPage County Bar Association (DCBA) cosponsored the "Supreme Court Civil Litigation Year in Review" brown bag luncheon seminar. The popular program, which offered attendees 1.5 hours of valuable CLE credit, focused on Supreme Court Rule changes, statistics regarding petitions for leave to appeal, and opinions issued by the Illinois Supreme Court during the 2014 calendar year. The seminar was conveniently presented in both Wheaton and Chicago, and as a membership benefit, ALA and DCBA members could attend either seminar free of charge.

The program featured Justice Ann B. Jorgensen of the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, along with seasoned appellate practitioners J. Timothy Eaton of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP and Michael T. Reagan of Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan. The program began with an overview of Supreme Court Rule changes, many of which are germane to appellate practice and procedure. The panel noted that, for example, the supreme court amended Rules 138, 201, 303, 306, 308, 313, and 367, among others.

The panel then noted that, in 2014, 1,365 petitions for leave to appeal were filed, a decrease from years' past, and that the percentage of petitions granted slightly increased due to fewer petitions being filed.  The panel noted that 85% of the petitions granted involved issues of statutory construction. Further, approximately 22% of the petitions granted resulted in an affirmance while approximately 78% resulted in a reversal (either in part or outright). Thus, it is reasonable to infer that, if the supreme court grants a petition for leave to appeal in a civil matter, some relief from the reviewing court's disposition is likely. Finally, emphasizing the uniformity of the court, the panel noted that, out of approximately 30 civil opinions, there were 5 dissents and 1 special concurrence.  

Thereafter, the panel discussed supreme court opinions issued during the 2014 calendar year. The discussion covered a variety of substantive topics, including conflicts of law, forfeiture, mootness, personal jurisdiction, preservation of error, administrative law, pensions, real estate, retaliatory discharge, and tort law, among many others.  

The ALA thanks the panel members for an information-packed seminar, the DCBA for cosponoring the seminar and hosting the Wheaton presentation, and Neal Gerber & Eisenberg LLP for graciously hosting the Chicago presentation. 

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.