Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lawyers for Puerto Rico: An Event Benefiting the Hurricane Relief Fund of The Puerto Rican Agenda

On November 28, the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois in conjunction with the Chicago Bar Association will host “Lawyers for Puerto Rico,” a social event with live music, drinks and appetizers benefiting the Hurricane Relief Fund of The Puerto Rican Agenda.

The event will take place at the Chicago Bar Association (321 S. Plymouth Court), beginning at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m.

Guests at the event will include Illinois State Senator Iris Martinez, and Cook County Commissioners Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Luis Arroyo Jr.

For more information about the event and to buy tickets, 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.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Appellate Law Employment: Assistant Attorney General (Civil Appeals Division in Chicago) of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is looking to fill an Assistant Attorney General position in its Civil Appeals division in Chicago. The Assistant Attorney General will brief and argue civil cases in state and federal appellate courts. The ideal candidate should have a minimum of three years legal experience or an appellate clerkship, as well as a demonstrated interest in appellate work. Preference will be given to candidates who have appellate experience in both state and federal courts.

More information about the position can be found 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.

Friday, November 17, 2017

In re Marriage of Teymour: A Must-Read Decision for Family Law Practitioners on the Appealability of Postdissolution Proceedings.

By Jonathan B. Amarilio
Partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

“We find that supreme court jurisprudence requires us to depart from the weight of First District authority.” In re Marriage ofTeymour, 2017 IL App (1st) 161091, ¶ 1.  To any practitioner of the law, these words should set off alarm bells and garner attention, and In re Marriage of Fouad Teymour, 2017 IL App (1st) 161091, provides no exception to that rule.

Teymour concerns appeals from trial court orders resolving several postdissolution matters, specifically between Fouad Teymour and his ex-wife Hala Mostafa. The underlying facts are unremarkable. Fouad and Hala’s marriage was dissolved and he was ordered to pay maintenance. Several years later, Hala filed a petition to extend the length of the payment period, for unpaid child support, and for attorney fees and costs. Fouad, in turn, sought a reduction of maintenance. Both sides sought discovery sanctions. The trial court entered an order continuing maintenance, found Fouad in indirect civil contempt (although it declined to impose a penalty in conjunction therewith), and granted Hala leave to file petitions for attorney fees, costs and sanctions on several bases, denying Fouad’s reciprocal requests.

Fouad filed a notice of appeal challenging his continued maintenance obligations, the imposition of sanctions, the contempt finding, and the trial court’s failure to dismiss Hala’s request for child support. Hala’s petitions for attorney fees and—possibly—her request for child support (this latter point was apparently unclear from the record) remained pending; however, the trial court did not enter a Rule 304(a) finding.

Monday, November 13, 2017

"Cases Pending" Highlights Cases to be Heard During Illinois Supreme Court's November Term

Cases Pending, co-chaired by Gretchen Harris Sperry (left) and Catherine Basque Weiler, has been updated to discuss the Illinois Supreme Court's November Term, which begins today, November 13, 2017, with oral arguments scheduled for November 14-16, 2017. A total of 7 cases will be heard – 2 criminal and 5 civil. The following criminal cases are scheduled for argument this Term:

People v. Robert Carey, No. 121371: November 14

People v. Leshawn Coats, No. 121926: November 14

Below is a summary for one criminal case, People v. Robert Carey. Summaries for this case 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.

People v. Robert Carey

Defendant Robert Carey was charged with multiple offenses, including felony murder while committing attempted armed robbery (count I) and attempted armed robbery with a firearm (count II). The appellate court agreed with defendant that the indictment's description of count I was deficient. The indictment alleged that the murder occurred during commission of attempted armed robbery, listed the date and location of the offense, provided the statutory citation for felony murder, and named the accused and the victim. But the court found the count deficient because it did not specify which of two forms of attempt armed robbery was alleged, i.e., attempted armed robbery with a firearm or attempted armed robbery with a dangerous weapon other than a firearm.

Before the Illinois Supreme Court, the State argues for reversal on multiple bases. First, count I fully informed Carey of the felony murder charge in compliance with longstanding precedent describing sufficiency of indictments. Second, even if count I were deficient, review of the indictment as a whole sufficiently informed Carey of the charge given that count II specifies attempted armed robbery with a firearm. Third, Carey cannot establish prejudice because the detail of the weapon used was irrelevant to his theory of the case. Finally, even if the indictment were deficient, the appropriate remedy should have been to treat the predicate felony for felony murder as attempted robbery and affirm the conviction rather than to vacate the felony murder conviction.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Illinois Appellate Court Justice Delort Gives Primer on Appellate Practice and Procedure

By Louis J. Manetti
Associate, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Illinois Appellate Court Justice Delort, with the cooperation of the Chicago Bar Association, recently delivered a seminar accessible on YouTube that serves as a useful primer for appellate practice and procedure. Justice Delort serves in the First District, which is the appellate district that covers Cook County, and was elected to the Appellate Court in 2012.

In The Argument of an Appeal, 26 ABA J. 895, 895 (Dec. 1940), regarded as one of the definitive lists of practice pointers for appellate advocates, John W. Davis, a former U.S. Solicitor General, observed that “discourse on the argument of an appeal would come with superior force from a judge who is in his judicial person the target and trier of the argument[.]” Justice Delort is, in Davis’s words, the trier of the argument, and to the appellate practitioner, these kinds of seminars are invaluable.

The video is a thorough primer on appellate procedure. And Justice Delort imparts practical knowledge about litigating in the appellate court, such as:
  • Common mistakes practitioners make when they try to make an order appealable under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 304(a)
  • The difference between an ordinary appendix and a helpful appendix
  • How to optimize the opening section of a brief—the “Nature of the Case” section
  • Writing conventions that risk giving Appellate Court Justices a headache
The video is brimming with practical tips and both new and experienced appellate practitioners will learn something from it.

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.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Seventh Circuit Holds that it Lacked Jurisdiction to Review Partial Denial of Section 2255 Motion to Vacate Until After Resentencing on Certain Counts

By Su Wang,
Law Clerk to Justice Aurelia Pucinski, Illinois Appellate Court, First District

In Haynes v. United States, No. 17-1680 (7th Cir. 2017), the Court of Appeals held that it lacked jurisdiction to review the partial denial of a section 2255 (28 U.S.C. § 2255) motion to vacate until after resentencing on certain counts.

In 1988, Stacy Haynes was convicted of 12 federal crimes after committing several armed robberies in Iowa and Illinois. As to the Iowa robberies, Haynes was convicted of three counts of interstate travel in aid of racketeering (18 U.S.C. § 1952). As to the Illinois robberies, he was convicted of three counts of Hobbs Act robbery (18 U.S.C. § 1951). Haynes was also convicted of six counts of using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)). Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)(1), the Government sought a mandatory life sentence on each count of Hobbs Act robbery and interstate travel in aid of racketeering. The district court sentenced Haynes accordingly, after finding that he had the requisite number of prior “serious violent felonies” because of two prior residential burglary convictions in Illinois.

Haynes was unsuccessful on direct appeal and collateral attack under section 2255 until the United States Supreme Court made its decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2014), retroactive on collateral review (Welch v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1257 (2016)), and the Seventh Circuit allowed Haynes to pursue another collateral attack. In Johnson, the Supreme Court held that the definition of “violent felony” in the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii)) was unconstitutionally vague. The residual clause defined “violent felony” to include an offense that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The ALA Welcomes Newly Confirmed Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Organization

The Appellate Lawyers Association welcomes newly confirmed Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett as an esteemed new member of the organization. Judge Barrett has been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where she teaches and researches in the areas of federal courts, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation, and practiced law at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C.  She served as a law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court and for Judge Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Notre Dame Law School and her undergraduate degree from Rhodes College.

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.