On January 23, 2015, Sean Sullivan won an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, who reversed the Appellate Court's prior dismissal. The case centered on when an order is final, and when the timing starts for notice of an appeal. The Cook County Circuit Court initially denied our client's post-trial motion on April 18, 2012, but failed to enter a written record until June 6, 2012. On June 29, 2012, our client filed its appeal. The Appellate Court initially denied the appeal as untimely, stating that the original decision was made on April 18, so the June 29th date was well outside the 30-day period for an appeal. On his client's behalf, Sean appealed the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case, and ruled in favor of our client, confirming that the written record governs the time frame for an appeal.
"I would say that (the decision) affirms that there has to be a written notation in the law record, and Rule 272 is very explicit that entry of record is what determines whether an order is final and enforceable and starts the time for notice of an appeal," said Sean. The high court's decision means the case can go back to the appellate court, where the railway company can challenge the $1.3 million verdict.
Getting the Supreme Court to agree to hear a petition is quite rare, with the Court only granting about 11% of the petitions it receives, or about 80 per year.