Appellate Litigation

It is often necessary to defend a favorable judgment or ruling at trial—or to seek to overturn an unfavorable result—in state or federal appellate courts.  Some lawsuits, such as those that challenge the validity of statutes under the Illinois or Federal Constitution, are almost certain to quickly reach the appellate court system.  Appellate litigation demands special attention to brief-writing and oral argument, because a litigant often has only one or two briefs and one opportunity at oral argument to persuade a panel of appellate court justices. 

We represent major corporations, mid-sized and small businesses, governmental bodies, and individuals in appellate litigation in state and federal courts.  Our attorneys have filed numerous appellate briefs and argued many cases before the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and in many other state and federal appellate courts.  We have handled complex appellate matters in a wide range of substantive areas including business controversies, insurance coverage, executive employment, professional liability, accounting malpractice, legal malpractice, tax controversy, and government regulation. 

Not only do our clients trust us to handle appeals in our cases, but litigants or their attorneys often retain us to handle appeals in matters where we were not trial counsel.  We have successfully petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court for leave to appeal unfavorable appellate court opinions, and we have obtained reversal of appellate decisions.  We are also called upon by non-party stakeholders to prepare amicus curiae briefs in matters of great public importance before the appellate courts. 

We count among our ranks a former justice of the Illinois Appellate Court and two past presidents of the Appellate Lawyers Association.  Professional publications and conferences regularly turn to our attorneys for insightful commentary about developments in appellate litigation.  Our appellate work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Bloomberg BNA, Law 360, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Illinois Bar Journal, and Chicago Bar Association Record.

Representative Matters

  • Heaton v. Quinn (In re Pension Reform Litigation), 2015 IL 118585, 32 N.E.3d 1 (May 8, 2015).
  • Hartney Fuel Oil Co. v. Hamer, 2013 IL 115130, 998 N.E.2d 1227 (Nov. 21, 2013).
  • BorgWarner, Inc. v. Kuhlman Electric Corp., et al., 2014 IL App. (1st) 131824, 23 N.E.3d 511 (Dec. 8, 2014).
  • Coghlan v. Beck, 2013 IL App (1st) 120891, 984 N.E.2d 132 (Jan. 22, 2013).
  • Nauman v. Abbott Laboratories, 669 F.3d 854 (7th Cir. 2012).
  • Center Partners, Ltd. v. Growth Head GP, LLC, 2012 IL 113107, 981 N.E.2d 345 (Nov. 29, 2012).
  • Leyshon v. Diehl Controls North America, Inc., 407 Ill. App. 3d 1, 946 N.E.2d 864 (Ill. App. Ct. 2010).
  • Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky, Inc. v. Crowe Chizek & Co. LLC, 277 S.W.3d 255 (Ky. Ct. App. 2008) and Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky, Inc. v. Crowe Horwath, 390 S.W.3d 830 (Ky. Ct. App. 2012), review denied (Feb. 13, 2013).
  • BorgWarner, Inc. and Kuhlman Corp. v. Dickinson Wright PLLC, et al., Nos. 1-09-1690 and 1-09-1701, orders denying leave to appeal (Ill. App. Ct. July 27, 2009)
  • City of Chicago v. Comcast Cable Holdings, L.L.C., 231 Ill. 2d 399, 900 N.E.2d 256 (2008).
  • Perlstein v. Wolk, 218 Ill. 2d 448, 844 N.E.2d 923 (2006)
  • Avery v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 216 Ill. 2d 100, 835 N.E.2d 801 (2005).
  • Baker v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 355 Ill. App. 3d 62, 823 N.E.2d 93 (Ill. App. Ct. 2005).
  • Fix v. Quantum Industrial Partners LDC, 374 F.3d 549 (7th Cir. 2004).
  • Illinois RSA No. 3, Inc. v. Department of Central Management Services, 348 Ill. App. 3d 72, 809 N.E.2d 137 (Ill. App. Ct. 2004).
  • Baker v. Kingsley, 387 F.3d 649 (7th Cir. 2004).
  • Inphoto Surveillance, Inc. v. Crowe, Chizek & Co., LLP, 338 Ill. App. 3d 929, 788 N.E.2d 216 (Ill. App. Ct. 2003).
  • Primeco Personal Communications, L.P. v. Illinois Commerce Commission, 196 Ill. 2d 70, 750 N.E.2d 202 (2001).

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • U.S.-West Germany Treaty from 1953 Defeats Bondholders’ Modern Claims, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Feb. 13, 2014).
  • Ray Haluch Gravel Co. Clarifies When Judgments Are Final, John M. Fitzgerald, The Brief: Blog of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association (Jan. 31, 2014).
  • Managing Member of LLC Insulated from Tort Liability, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Jan. 16, 2014).
  • Court Ruling Emphasizes Consistent Taxation, John J. Barber, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Dec. 12, 2013).
  • Illinois Supreme Court Interprets Law’s Use of Phrase ‘All Taxes Due,’ John J. Barber, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Nov. 27, 2013).
  • Appellate Courts Divided Over Statute of Limitations on Claims Against Attorneys, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Nov. 13, 2013).
  • Illinois Law Limits Claims by Non-clients Against Accountants, John J. Barber, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Oct. 28, 2013).
  • Appellate Court Finds Settlement Agreement Is Enforceable, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Oct. 21, 2013).
  • Appellate Court Finds Legal Malpractice Claim Time-Barred, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Sept. 23, 2013).
  • Oral Contracts Increase Accountants’ Exposure to Breach of Duty Claims, John J. Barber, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Aug. 19, 2013).
  • Appellate Court Interprets CGL Policy Notice Requirement, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Aug. 15, 2013).
  • New Limits on Subject Matter Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege, Gino L. DiVito, Brian C. Haussmann and John M. Fitzgerald, Illinois Bar Journal (July 2013).
  • Court: Forum-Selection Clause Enforceable, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (July 18, 2013).
  • Appellate Court Avoids Draconian Penalty for Paperwork Mistake, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (June 5, 2013).
  • Dissolved Corporation Lacks Standing to Sue, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (May 7, 2013).
  • In Combs, State Appellate Court Clarifies Duty to Preserve Evidence, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Mar. 25, 2013).
  • Court Clarifies Review of Judicial Sales, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Mar. 4, 2013).
  • Court Reviews Site’s Effect on Jurisdiction, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Feb. 1, 2013).
  • Removing Judicial Blinders: Beyond the Underlying Complaint in Insurance Coverage Disputes in Construction Site Personal Injury Cases, Daniel L. Stanner, John M. Fitzgerald and Brent M. Ryan, The Policy: The Newsletter of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Section on Insurance Law (Jan. 2013).
  • Supreme Court Justices Reduce Punitive Damages in Privacy Case, John M. Fitzgerald, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (Jan. 2, 2013). 
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