Civil Litigation Memorandum

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Many times a party feels as though the court was wrong, whether through the verdict at trial, or a case being dismissed before trial. When this occurs, a party is able to appeal the case to another court.

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The trial of Billy Bob v. Widget World Co. ended in the jury finding for the Defendant, Widget World. Your supervising attorney Suzy Cue, at Alpha & Beta LLC, 432 Brown Ct, Whiteacre, would like to appeal this case. She needs a little information about the appeals process to be able to fully inform the client what he should expect. Please prepare a Legal Memorandum to Suzy, in which you explain:

  1. The local appellate court for your hometown, along with its name and address:
    1. Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit (Second Appellate District)Address:DeKalb County Courthouse 110 E. Sycamore StreetSycamore, IL 60178
  2. Any filing fee for appealing a decision of the court below ($144.00)
  3. The deadline for filing an appeal (No later than 30 days after date of judgement)
  4. The requirements for filing an appeal in your local court
    1. If you want to appeal a circuit court decision, you have 30 days after the final judgment to file a Notice of Appeal with the appellate court. This notice states what decision you are appealing and what you want to happen. You also have to take certain steps to let the other people involved in the case know that you are appealing.
      • Your Notice of Appeal must contain:
      • The court you are appealing to. For example, the appellate court of Illinois for the second judicial district;
      • The court you are appealing from. For example, the circuit court of the 19th judicial circuit, Lake County;
      • The name and number assigned to the case by the circuit court;
      • Who is filing the appeal (the appellant) and who will be responding to the appeal (the appellee);
      • What orders of the circuit court you are appealing from and the dates they were entered;
      • What you want the appellate court to do. For example, reverse the decision of the circuit court; and
      • Your address and a telephone number where you can be reached during the day.

      File the Notice of Appeal with the circuit clerk where your case was heard.Effective July 1, 2017, all filing in civil cases is required to be done electronically in the Supreme Court and 5 districts of the Appellate Court.

  5. The process that will occur after filing a Notice of Appeal
    1. There are four different decisions that the appellate court can make:
      • Affirm: The appellate court agrees with the decision of the circuit court. If you appeal a case, and the appellate court affirms, you have lost your appeal.
      • Remand: The appellate court is requesting that the circuit court do something more. Sometimes when the appellate court remands a case it means a person gets to do the trial over again in the circuit court.
      • Reverse: The appellate court disagrees with what happened in the circuit court and it is undoing the decision.
      • Reverse and remand: The appellate court disagrees with what happened in the circuit court, and the case has to be sent back to be corrected.
  6. Whether the court has a specific form it prefers to be used for filing an appeal

Then, prepare a Notice of Appeal for Billy Bob’s case and attach it to the memorandum. Suzy has provided a sample Notice for you.

For assistance with a Legal Memorandum, see the Legal Memorandum PowerPoint presentation here.

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