Appellate

A successful appellate practice demands experience and skills that are different from those needed at the trial level. When a case is appealed, the stakes are high, so it is critical to obtain the best counsel possible. The appellate team at Much Shelist offers clients the decades of experience with the appellate bench that are essential to the pursuit of successful outcomes in court. We work with clients at every phase of the process – from pre-trial counseling, to post-trial motions, to arguments before the nation's highest courts – to help achieve the reversal of an adverse decision, or to protect a favorable verdict against the efforts of opposing counsel.

Our lawyers have represented clients in precedent-setting appeals in federal and state courts across the country, including matters heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and numerous other appellate courts. We also represent clients in malpractice and ethics matters before the reviewing divisions of regulatory agencies and commissions such as the Hearing and Review Boards of the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commissions (ARDC).

We have represented clients from many industries – including banking and financial services, manufacturing, and real estate – in individual litigation and class actions involving numerous areas of law:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Construction
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Financial services and lending practices
  • Policyholders' insurance
  • Professional responsibility, liability and disciplinary actions
  • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act

Having argued before, and previously practiced law with, a number of judges who now sit on the appellate bench, we have a deep familiarity with many of the individual preferences and the broader traditions that govern and influence appellate court procedure. 

Members of our appellate practice have held key positions in numerous legal, judicial and industry organizations, including the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association; the editorial board of the Appellate Law Review; as an appointee of the Illinois Supreme Court to the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar and as chairman of the board's Character and Fitness Committee; and as director and member of the board of directors of the Appellate Lawyers Association.

We bring our appellate skills to bear on related matters, as well, including administrative review cases, presentation of position papers, and drafting and submission of amicus briefs that convey the concerns of trade and business groups in relation to specific matters. These capabilities are also important in the filing and arguing of critical motions such as pre- and post-trial motions, petition for leave to appeal in discretionary review cases, motions for interlocutory certifications, certified questions, bond motions, jurisdictional challenges and petitions for rehearing. 

Before and during trial, we work with clients and their legal counsel to help create an evidentiary and trial record that supports subsequent appellate efforts or can withstand challenges from the opposition.

Past important decisions include the following:

  • U.S. Bank v. Manzo, 2011 Ill.App.1st 103115 (clarified method for giving notice of rescission under TILA)
  • Cohen v. Compact Power Systems, LLC, 283 Ill.App.3d 104, 887 N.E.2d 668 (1st Dist. 2008) (affirmed dismissal of class action complaint for being moot since full amount of the plaintiffs' damages had been tendered and refused)
  • Fifield v. Premier, 2013 Ill. App.1st 12037 (held that employment is adequate consideration for restrictive covenant must last for at least two years)
  • Keck v. Vasey, 359 Ill.App.3d 566 (1st Dist. 2005) (confirming the right of a client to refuse to appeal an adverse decision and discharge a lawyer without penalty upon the conclusion of proceedings in the trial court, despite a contingent fee contract)
  • Brouwer v. Raffensperger, Hughes & Co., 199 F.3d 961 (7th Cir. 2000), which helped set the standard for RICO conspiracy
  • Perry v. Economy Fire & Cas. Co., 724 N.E.2d 151 (1st Dist. 1999), which determined the type of notice an insurer must give a policyholder before materially changing coverage
  • Insurance Co. of Illinois v. Stringfield, 685 N.E.2d 980 (1st Dist. 1997), which limits the scope of insurance policies' pollution exclusions
  • Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Swiderski Electronics, Inc., 860 N.E.2d 307, 223 Ill. 2d 352 (Ill. Supreme Court, Nov. 30, 2006), which expands advertising injury coverage and holds that undefined terms in insurance policies are afforded their plain, ordinary and popular meanings
  • Tefco v. Continental Community Bank, 357 Ill.App.3d 714, 829 N.E.2d 860, 293 Ill.Dec. 935 (1st Dist. 2005), which affirmed summary judgment below that an unverified recorded mechanics lien is ineffective