The 30-day appeals deadline

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You’ve just lost your civil case, and you are pretty sure something was not ruled correctly, but your attorney “doesn’t do appeals.” If this is your situation, the time to contact an attorney who does do appeals may be ticking away.

In Illinois, many appeals cannot be made until the judgment is final. “Final” is defined by civil procedure law in numerous places, but for appeals, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 303 defines it as an order of judgment or a post-judgment ruling, and then gives only 30 days after that point to file an appeal.

However, there are certain orders and judgments which are appealable even though the case is ongoing. Rule 304 explicitly allows appeals to be filed immediately for certain parties, and in cases involving probate, liquidation/rehabilitation, citations to discover assets (and other 2-1402 proceedings), contempt of court, or custody orders.

Additionally, Rule 306 allows for interlocutory appeals to be filed immediately after pre-judgment rulings involving a new hearing/trial, changes of forum, venue, or jurisdiction, custody/care of minors, disqualifying an attorney, class action cases, or SLAPP lawsuits.

Regardless of which type of appeal is involved, there are also strict deadlines for the appellate process, which involves providing an accurate trial record and drafting an extensively-researched comprehensive legal argument under deadline, while the other party’s attorney does the same.

While it is possible to present your own appeal pro se, this is not recommended, as a lot of precise work has to be done in a very limited timeframe. This characteristic can be why some lawyers simply will not do appeals.

However, my law practice is client-centered, which means I’m prepared to go to the appellate court if my clients’ cases require it. I’m also prepared to take on appeals from pro se litigants or from other attorneys on a case-by-case basis.

If I can be of service in this way, please contact me to discuss your case in more depth.

DISCLAIMER: Please do not prepare your own documents / filings after reading this blog, without consulting an attorney first about your specific situation. I make no representations or guarantees here as to the applicability of any claim in your specific situation. This blog is ADVERTISING MATERIAL only, and should not be relied upon as legal advice, especially if you are not an Illinois resident. Please contact me if you have a legal question or concern, as no attorney-client agreement will exist between myself and any readers of this blog unless it is signed in writing.


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