legally kidnapped

April 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

Severe shortage: Idaho foster parents quit almost as fast as they’re recruited
bused Baby Allegedly Injured Again in Foster Care
Long Island jury starts to mull fate of foster father accused of sexually abusing eight boys under his care
Severe shortage: Idaho foster parents quit almost as fast as they’re recruited
Posted: 23 Apr 2017 04:19 AM PDT
Couples sat at a horseshoe of tables, in a room decorated with motivational posters. “Vision” depicted a boat on still water, and “Leadership” featured the silhouette of a horse.

More >> Severe shortage: Idaho foster parents quit almost as fast as they’re recruited
bused Baby Allegedly Injured Again in Foster Care
Posted: 22 Apr 2017 08:23 AM PDT
A foster parent who apparently became overwhelmed with child-rearing was charged with child abuse Thursday.

More >> Abused Baby Allegedly Injured Again in Foster Care
Long Island jury starts to mull fate of foster father accused of sexually abusing eight boys under his care
Posted: 22 Apr 2017 08:18 AM PDT
A Long Island jury begins deliberations Monday in the trial of a foster father accused of sexually molesting eight boys sent to live in his alleged house of horrors.

More >> Long Island jury starts to mull fate of foster father accused of sexually abusing eight boys under his care

Lawyer: Abuse Claims Against Foster Father Not Believable

Greendale Foster Parents Facing Child Seduction, Child Porn Charges
Alberta’s child welfare system is in a state of disrepair
NC bill would toughen rules for parent-child reunification
Foster parent arrested for shaking baby
Foster care agency leaders quit amid teen suicides, other turmoil
Murdered girl was a foster care runaway, who no one reported missing
For troubled foster kids in Houston, sleeping in offices is “rock bottom”
Sugar Grove man convicted of abusing foster child now sued
More N.C. teens are aging out of foster care
‘Unacceptable’: Police Chief Says DCF Preventing Investigators From Speaking to Witness About Missing Teen
Mississippi ranks last in child welfare, foster system struggles
Ohio pastor convicted of murder in young foster son’s death
Ex-Montessori school director says she was fired for reporting child abuse allegations
Greendale Foster Parents Facing Child Seduction, Child Porn Charges
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 02:15 PM PDT
A set of foster parents is facing multiple charges following accusations of child seduction.

More >> Greendale Foster Parents Facing Child Seduction, Child Porn Charges

Alberta’s child welfare system is in a state of disrepair
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 01:28 PM PDT
In December 2016, Alberta Human Services formed a 10-person panel to investigate what critics said was government’s failure to properly handle and thoroughly examine the death of four-year-old Serenity, a young brutalized child who died from a brain injury in 2014. The coroner’s office noted that the child’s emaciated body also showed signs that she’d been sexually abused. But the panel’s job goes much deeper than investigating a single case of government bungling and indecision. The child welfare system and the kinship care program are flawed and everyone in the province, particularly the Indigenous population, knows it. Though the Indigenous population in Alberta represents less than six percent of the total head-count, 60 percent of children in care are Indigenous children.

More >> Alberta’s child welfare system is in a state of disrepair
NC bill would toughen rules for parent-child reunification
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 12:40 PM PDT
The court-appointed guardian for a toddler who drowned after he was reunited with his mother said Thursday that a bill to strengthen rules for when children are returned to parents would fix a small but important part of North Carolina’s broken social services system.
More >> NC bill would toughen rules for parent-child reunification
I just have to point this out. North Carolina has had a couple articles come out over the last couple of days. One says that the state is having record numbers of kids aging out of the foster care system, the 2nd (above) is about a bill that would make it tougher for parents to get their kids back from foster care which would probably cause more kids to age out of foster care, wouldn’t it?

There is something just wrong with this. It shows that legislators seriously need to be educated on these issues because all they are doing is voting for every feel good program that has the words “Child Abuse” in them with little to no understanding of the issue or the consequences.
More teenagers in North Carolina aged out of foster care in 2016 than in any of the previous 15 years, according to the Children’s Home Society.
More >> More N.C. teens are aging out of foster care

Foster parent arrested for shaking baby
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 12:08 PM PDT

A foster father has been arrested and charged with physical abuse of a child after he reportedly admitted to shaking his 5-month-old foster child on March 29.

More >> Foster parent arrested for shaking baby
Foster care agency leaders quit amid teen suicides, other turmoil
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 11:59 AM PDT
Beset by turmoil over the recent suicides of two foster children in their care — and persistent complaints that they were overly secretive and unresponsive — three of the top administrators of Miami’s Our Kids child welfare agency have resigned.

More >> Foster care agency leaders quit amid teen suicides, other turmoil
Murdered girl was a foster care runaway, who no one reported missing
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 11:56 AM PDT
For many, adding to the tragedy of 15-year-old Stacy Duke’s murder is knowing she was here in Bakersfield seemingly alone. The teen’s older brother says she was loved, but she had a difficult life. He says Stacy did what she had to do in order to survive.

More >> Murdered girl was a foster care runaway, who no one reported missing
For troubled foster kids in Houston, sleeping in offices is “rock bottom”
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 11:53 AM PDT
No child is supposed to sleep or spend more than a few hours at the Harris County Youth Services Center’s Point of Entry in Houston. But Texas’ foster care placement crisis has forced some of the state’s most troubled teens to sleep in a place that isn’t equipped to care for them.

More >> For troubled foster kids in Houston, sleeping in offices is “rock bottom”
Sugar Grove man convicted of abusing foster child now sued
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 11:50 AM PDT
A Sugar Grove man recently convicted of sexually assaulting a foster child for more than a decade has been sued by his victim.

More >> Sugar Grove man convicted of abusing foster child now sued

More N.C. teens are aging out of foster care
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 11:51 AM PDT
More teenagers in North Carolina aged out of foster care in 2016 than in any of the previous 15 years, according to the Children’s Home Society.

More >> More N.C. teens are aging out of foster care

Time’s up: Record numbers of children are aging out of foster care to uncertain lives

‘Unacceptable’: Police Chief Says DCF Preventing Investigators From Speaking to Witness About Missing Teen
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 09:46 AM PDT
Authorities in Massachusetts claim the state’s child welfare agency is preventing them from interviewing a 15-year-old girl who they say ran away from a group home with a 13-year-old girl who is still missing.

More >> ‘Unacceptable’: Police Chief Says DCF Preventing Investigators From Speaking to Witness About Missing Teen

Mississippi ranks last in child welfare, foster system struggles
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 09:36 AM PDT
Children across the country face hardships when it comes to opportunity and living situations, but Mississippi children may have it worse than most.

More >> Mississippi ranks last in child welfare, foster system struggles
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 08:41 AM PDT
Closing arguments are set to begin on Friday in the trial of a Long Island foster dad who’s accused of sexually abusing boys in his care.


Ohio pastor convicted of murder in young foster son’s death
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 08:12 AM PDT
A former Ohio pastor has been convicted of murder and other charges in the death of his 2-year-old foster son.

More >> Ohio pastor convicted of murder in young foster son’s death
Ex-Montessori school director says she was fired for reporting child abuse allegations
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 06:24 AM PDT
A former school director for the Lake Hills Montessori school in Austin claims she was fired by the school’s owner, Sandra Karnstadt, in retaliation for reporting “ongoing child abuse” to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

More >> Ex-Montessori school director says she was fired for reporting child abuse allegations

Parental Alienation Awareness Day

April 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

Tomorrow is Parental Alienation Awareness Day… Do you think you could possibly spare a moment of thought, prayer, phone call to your Reps and Senators etc.. to help end this form of Abuse???? Go on their FB pages, their emails, snail mail..whatever..and tell them that Children deserve to be able to “Freely Love And Spend Equal Time With Both Parents And Sides Of Their Family Without Fear Of Repercussions”!!!!! Is it that difficult to do…or do you, just not get it?????
Image may contain: text
Tammy Mariposa
February 8 ·
How many shares to save our children?

Whispering in Corners

So I feel helpless what can I do?
What do I tell those friends whispering in corners?
‘Yes his son won’t speak to him!’
‘Why what has he done?’
Oh I don’t know it must be bad he lives with his Mum now I think she has custody!

Here’s what you do guys!
You begin to put aside your feelings of guilt and shame.
You have nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s time to expose the destructive insidious pathogen that’s eating away like a cancer through generations of families destroying relationships with our loved ones through ignorance alone!
It’s time Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Parental Alienation caused by Abuse by Proxy by a pathogenic parent came out of hiding like some dirty secret on the Internet.
It’s time to educate everyone so they understand and can help spread awareness of this evil disease taking and damaging our children.

So here’s what each and everyone of you must do!
Stand proud and explain your children have been taught to hate you!
Here I have summarised Dr Childress Attachment Theory of Parental Alienation’

Alienated children internalise the sad angry feelings they have been taught towards the once bonded parent when really they are feeling grief like that parent died. They think these feelings are their own and don’t realise that re bonding the relationship would remove those sad angry feelings and make the child feel better again’
Dr Childress attachment theory of Parental Alienation

This is the meme I have used to educate my friends! It explains it perfectly so educate your family and friends,and anyone you come across through this workers,family support workers,,solicitors and teachers,and the police.

How many shares to save our children?

legally kidnapped sick f -ers

April 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

Legally Kidnapped
Fired Miami social worker gets 1 1/2 years in prison for extorting families of refugee children
Court of Appeal rules on liability of councils for foster care abuse
Parents say CPS took their 3 kids away because they wanted to visit dying relative
Fired child-welfare workers appeal court ruling
Judge approves settlement in Alberta child welfare lawsuit
Utah judge reverses decision to remove baby from lesbian foster parents
Fired Miami social worker gets 1 1/2 years in prison for extorting families of refugee children
Posted: 14 Nov 2015 08:43 PM PST

Fired Miami social worker gets 1 1/2 years in prison for extorting families of refugee children

As a newly hired employee for a Miami social services agency, Leslie Rubero Padilla’s job was to reunite unaccompanied refugee children with their parents or legal guardians in the United States.

She was supposed to charge the families only for transportation, such as airfare. But authorities say Rubero shook down more than a dozen of them by insisting they had to send her additional money or the reunification with their children would be delayed — or, worse, they would be deported back to their native country in Central America.
Court of Appeal rules on liability of councils for foster care abuse
Posted: 14 Nov 2015 12:30 PM PST
Court of Appeal rules on liability of councils for foster care abuse

The Court of Appeal has handed down a key ruling on the liability of councils for foster care abuse, concluding that local authorities do not owe a child in such care a non-delegable duty.

Parents say CPS took their 3 kids away because they wanted to visit dying relative
Posted: 14 Nov 2015 09:55 AM PST
Parents say CPS took their 3 kids away because they wanted to visit dying relative

“What CPS is doing to these parents is wrong,” said attorney Julie Ketterman.
Fired child-welfare workers appeal court ruling
Posted: 14 Nov 2015 09:34 AM PST
Fired child-welfare workers appeal court ruling

From the more things change, the more they stay the same file: The fight over the firing of five child-safety workers two years ago has moved to a higher level with a filing late Thursday with the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Judge approves settlement in Alberta child welfare lawsuit
Posted: 14 Nov 2015 09:29 AM PST
Judge approves settlement in Alberta child welfare lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit by Albertans abused while in the care of the provincial child welfare system has been officially settled, after a judge approved financial terms Friday that will provide most successful claimants $15,000 to $30,000 in compensation.

Utah judge reverses decision to remove baby from lesbian foster parents
Posted: 14 Nov 2015 09:18 AM PST
Utah judge reverses decision to remove baby from lesbian foster parents

A Utah judge reversed his decision to take a baby away from her lesbian foster parents and place her with a heterosexual couple after the ruling led to widespread backlash.

The great machine made to enrich its top players is

April 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

Imagine the entire population of Peoria, Illinois’ seventh-largest city, all picking up and moving across state lines in one year, never to work, pay taxes or create jobs in Illinois again. That’s equivalent to what happened to Illinois over the past year: New migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that from July 2015 to July 2016, Illinois lost 114,000 people, on net, to other states, a record high for the Land of Lincoln.

Now consider the permanent loss of the combined populations of Illinois’ 10 largest cities outside of Chicago: Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Springfield, Elgin, Waukegan, Champaign and Arlington Heights, along with Peoria. The loss of these 10 cities’ combined populations approximately equals Illinois’ net loss of population to other states since 2000. Illinois has lost some 1.22 million people, on net, over the past 16 years.

For the third year in a row, Illinois is the only state in the region with a shrinking population.

Illinois sustained record net losses for each of the last three years of census migration data: a net loss of 114,000 people from July 2015 to July 2016; a net loss of 105,000 people from July 2014 to July 2015; and a net loss of 95,000 people in the year before that.

From 1990-2011, the annual net loss of residents from Illinois to other states was 64,000 per year. But the 2011 income tax hikes, repeated property tax hikes and the state’s political dysfunction precipitated the record population losses of the last three years.

Illinois’ rate of exodus is now one person every 4.6 minutes. That’s a faster rate of flight than even Michigan experienced in its worst years as Detroit plunged into bankruptcy. And according to wealth flight data from the Internal Revenue Service, the net loss of one person every 4.6 minutes comes with a net loss of $30,000 of taxable income every 4.6 minutes, too.

Illinois’ population shrank by 37,500 people between July 2015 and July 2016 because the migration losses to other states overwhelmed the natural gains all states experience: more births than deaths and people immigrating to America from overseas. If there were no migration between states, every state would experience population growth every year. However, a few states lose so many people to other states that their populations shrink. Because Illinois lost so many people to other states, the Land of Lincoln’s population shrank by 37,500 people, the worst of all states. West Virginia was second worst with its population shrinking by 10,000.

Pennsylvania is also shrinking: Its population contracted by 7,700 in the most recent year of data, compared with Illinois’ shrinking by 37,500 people. However, Illinois is shrinking so much faster that Pennsylvania is poised to surpass Illinois to become the nation’s fifth most populous state as soon as next year.

At the last census in 2010, Illinois had 130,000 more people than Pennsylvania. Now, the difference stands at 17,000, an amount Pennsylvania will make up in 2017 if next year’s migration losses resemble this year’s for both states. The population gap between Illinois and Pennsylvania is closing rapidly, and Illinois will soon drop to become the sixth-largest state in the U.S.

The alarming census data should grab the attention of Illinois policymakers and shift the conversation toward transformational reforms. Out-of-control spending continues to drive up taxes, and only changes to government-worker pension systems and collective bargaining laws can rein in those costs. In addition, the state’s hostile investment and jobs climate is especially inhospitable for blue-collar occupations such as manufacturing. Without businesses investing in Illinois, there will be no job creation for Illinois’ middle class.

Perhaps most importantly, Illinoisans need to see changes in the state’s political environment. The fact that Democratic lawmakers haven’t found a single substantive economic or political reform on which they will agree with Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks volumes about the intransigence of the state’s political class, and its refusal to work for the common good. The lawmakers who have driven the state into financial and economic peril and who have overseen a flood of out-migration are poorly suited to guide Illinois to a brighter future. Illinoisans need new leaders to address the problems the state is facing. Term limits for elected officials and a more equitable legislative map would be a powerful signal that Illinois is changing its ways.

Illinois is living through a man-made exodus. It must enact responsible spending, tax, regulatory and political reforms to show residents and job creators the state is serious about keeping its most valuable resource – its people – and welcoming businesses that can help them earn a living and stay here.

Michael Lucci
Vice President of Policy

Advocates of Honest Judiciaries

April 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

See the note below on “joinedwords” andinterference with the formatting of this email.

Dear Mrs. Harrold-Claessonand Advocates of Honest Judiciaries,

Thank you very much for youremail and kind wish for 2017.

I in turn wish you and theorganization that you preside over, the Nordic Committee for Human Rights NKMR/NCHR – For theProtection of Family Rights in the Nordic countries- successful involvement inadvancing family rights by joining the effort both to expose unaccountable judgeswho engage risklessly in wrongdoing, and to advocate judicial reform.

To that end, I would like toencourage you to read an article that sets out how organizations inside and outsidethe U.S. can join that effort. It is at *>ol:127. I wrote it in response to a query from an organization inScotland.
Thematerials corresponding to the (bluetext references) herein are found in my study ofjudges and their judiciaries, titled and downloadable thus:

Exposing Judges’ Unaccountability and
Consequent Riskless Wrongdoing:
Pioneering the news and publishing field of
judicial unaccountability reporting* †

*Volume 1: >all prefixes:page number up to ol:393

†Volume 2: from ol2:394

Moreover, since you seem to befamiliar with judicial corruption in American courts, I would like to draw yourattention to a pertinent article on how pro ses as well as represented partiescan join forces to audit the writings of judges –such as their decisions- insearch of the most persuasive evidence of their wrongdoing, namely, patternsand trends of wrongdoing. It is at ol:274-283.

The tables and templates for partiesto organize the audited writings and subsequently present their findings tothird parties, such as journalists, are at ol:304-307.

Consider the window of opportunitythat is opening for judicial wrongdoing exposure and reform by the ascendancyof The Dissatisfied With The Establishment. They elected Trump, voted for Brexit,are supporting Far Right Populist Marie LePen in France, have developed astrong opposition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, defeated Prime Minister Renziin Italy, have assumed a decisive role in the Spanish government, and firstmanifested themselves in the Arab Spring.

A powerful component of theDissatisfied is the dissatisfied with the judicial and legal systems(ol:311¶1). Imagine them joining forcesacross borders in order to create an international movement that asserts the statusof We the People as the sovereignsource of all political power and, thus, the masters who are entitled to holdall our public servants, including judicial public servants, which is what judgesare, accountable and even liable to compensate the victims of their wrongdoing.

By joining forces to work towardthat objective, you and your organization could become internationallyrecognized as Champions of Justice.

To that end, I respectfully suggestthat you discuss with the members of your organization the above-mentionedarticles, and share and post the article below as widely as possible.

Visit the website at, and subscribe to its series of articles thus:> + New or Users >Add New

Dare trigger history!(*>jur:7§5)…and you may enter it.


Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.
Judicial Discipline Reform
New York City,,,,,

NOTE: Given the interference with Dr. Cordero’s email and e-cloud storage accounts described at * >ggl:1 et seq., when emailing him, copy the above bloc of his email addresses and paste it in the To: line of your email so as to enhance the chances of your email reaching him at least at one of those addresses.

Re: How you can demand that P-e. Trump does not shirk from draining the swamp of the Federal Judiciary, whose life-tenured judges are the most established of the Establishment

NOTE ON THIS EMAIL’S FORMATTING AND POSSIBLE INTERFERENCE WITH IT: The formatting of this email is normal, consistent, and intended to be pleasant to the readers, rather than to be odd, disconcerting, and dissuade them from reading it.
The following are its main features; if they are otherwise, please overlook any oddity and let me know by emailing me at this bloc of addresses:,,
a. 14 point Bookman Old Style type (this NOTE is in Calibri 13) (but this parenthesis is in Bookman 12, a bit bigger than the characters in the Subject line above); and this question is in Bookman 14). Which is just big enough to be easy on your eyes?
b. normal typeface so that italics and boldface are exceptional in paragraphs and no underlining
c. headings that are boldfaced, and sequentially identified and indented in outline style
d. numbered paragraphs with justified margins
e. 6 point white space between paragraphs
f. text carefully spell-checked to ensure that there are no “joinedwords” when the email goes out.
On interference with the communications between advocates of honest judiciaries see †>ol2:426§C; and on The Dissatisfied With The Establishment see below.

Federal judges with life-tenure are
the Establishment by definition
Will President-elect Trump
drain the judicial swamp
let it fester
on the advice of the Establishment insiders that
he is bringing into the White House and his cabinet and
to avoid judges’ retaliation against
his 70 pending business lawsuits,
thus leaving exposed to judges’ continued abuse
The Dissatisfied With The Establishment and
the rest of We the People?

Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.
Ph.D., University of Cambridge, England
M.B.A., University of Michigan Business School
D.E.A., La Sorbonne, Paris
Judicial Discipline Reform
New York City

Thisarticle may be republished and redistributed non-commercially, provided it is
in its entirety and without any addition, deletion, or modification,
and credit is given to its author, Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.

Visit the website at, and subscribe to its series of letters and articles thus:> + New or Users >Add New

1. President-elect Trump has stated that what follows in importance a president’s declaration of war is a Supreme Court nomination.

2. Indeed, until the Court upholds the constitutionality of a law, it is little more than a set of wishful guidelines envisaged by the 535 members of Congress and the president and expressed in black ink on white paper. Where would Obamacare be today if the Court had held it unconstitutional? In a footnote in the chronicles of the Obama presidency.

3. P-e Trump also campaigned on the promise “to drain the swamp of corruption of Washington insiders”. The latter constitute the Establishment. He accused Sec. Clinton of being its representative so that if she won the presidential election, she would protect the swamp and its corruption would continue festering.

4. It stills festers although in 2006, Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, before becoming Speaker of the House, famously declared that “Washington is dominated by the culture of corruption” and vowed “to drain the swamp”(*>jur:23fn16). She miserably failed to do so because she was part of the Establishment.

5. By contrast, P-e Trump is an outsider. He is not tied, and does not owe his election, to Establishment members. Far from it, those who got him elected are precisely The Dissatisfied With The Establishment.

6. However, in light of his nomination of Washington insiders for his White House and cabinet, how concerned should The Dissatisfied be about his becoming domesticated on those insiders’ advice to the Washington ways so as to become used to the continued festering of the swamp, in general, and its most harmful portion, the judicial swamp, in particular?

A. The abused powers that generate the judicial swamp

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Lord Acton, Letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, April 3, 1887.

7. The status of unaccountability is at the source of the capacity to turn power into absolute power that ends up forming a swamp of corruption.

1. Judges’ power to stay established: life-appointment and irremovability in practice

8. Federal judges are appointed for life. Worse yet, they are irremovable in effect: While 2,293 federal judges were in office on 30sep15, in the last 227 years since the creation of the Federal Judiciary in 1789, the number of them impeached and removed is 8!(*>jur:21§1).

The above statistics originate in the official ones that the Federal Judiciary must submit by law(28 USC §604(d)(3); (h)(2); *>jur:26fn23a) , to Congress every year. They are analyzed in my study of judges’ performance in practice as opposed to as prescribed on rules printed on paper. It is titled and downloadable thus:

Exposing Judges’ Unaccountability and
Consequent Riskless Wrongdoing:
Pioneering the news and publishing field of
judicial unaccountability reporting. *†

* Vol. 1: >all prefixes:page# up to ol:393

† Vol. 2: >from ol2:394

All the materials corresponding to the (blue text references) herein are found in that study.

9. Several justices have been on the Supreme Court for around 25 years, such as JJ. Thomas (29), Kennedy (28), Ginsburg (23), and Breyer (22). J. Scalia was in office for 30 years. That does not count at all the years that they spent in the circuit and district courts.

10. For instance, while J. Sotomayor has been on the Supreme Court only since 2009, she has been in the Federal Judiciary since 1992, when she was appointed a federal district court, followed by her appointment in 1998 to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Hence, she has already been in the judicial Establishment for 24 years.

11. As a matter of fact, the Federal Judiciary is the quintessential Establishment. Its judges are established in power forever no matter the quality or quantity of their performance or conduct.

2. The power of connivance between appointing-politicians and their appointed judges

12. Federal judges are recommended, endorsed, nominated, and confirmed by politicians. For the latter, judges are “our men and women on the bench”. They stand in an appointer-appointee relation(ol2:488¶¶3-6).

13. Politicians hold judges unaccountable in the expectation that they will hold the laws of their legislative agenda constitutional(jur:23fn17a) and not retaliate(Lsch:17§C) against the thousands of lawsuits that the government files every year.

14. The relation of power between these branches is out of balance, but only due to pragmatic considerations, not because the Constitution holds the Judiciary superior to the other branches. Far from it. Nevertheless, the result is that judges neither fear nor respect politicians.

3. Judges’ vast power of the office

15. Judges act as a standing constitutional convention, for they give content to the mere labels of the Constitution(jur:22fn12b), such as “freedom of speech, freedom of the press”, “due process”, “equal protection of the law”. They even read into it new rights never imagined hundreds of years ago by a rural, religious, and mostly illiterate society and even diametrically opposite to its beliefs.

16. Judges interpret the meaning and scope of application of every law. By exercising that power in its many forms(ol:267§4), they dispose of the property, liberty, life, and all the rights and duties that shape what people can and cannot do from before their birth, throughout their lives, and after their death(jur:25fn25, 26).

17. Judges abuse their power by the way they make decisions: The analysis of their official statistics shows that the 12 federal regional circuit courts dispose of 93% of appeals in decisions “on procedural grounds, by consolidation, unpublished, unsigned, without comment”. They are so perfunctory that the majority of them are issued on a 5¢ summary order form and/or marked “not precedential”(ol2:453), mere ad hoc, arbitrary, reasonless fiats of the judicial swamp.

18. There can be no doubt that individually and collectively judges wield the broadest, farthest-reach-ing, and most substantial power of any public officer, including the most corruptive: the power ‘to tell what is good and evil’ in the contemplation of the law, that is, what is legal and illegal.

4. Judges’ power to grab benefits

19. Judges abuse their power to grab the social, material, and personal benefits within their reach(ol:173¶93) and for sheer convenience.

20. The opportunity to use power to grab can hardly be passed up under the influence of the most insidious corruptor: money!, lots of money! In the calendar year 2010, the bankruptcy judges alone ruled on the $373 billion at stake in only personal bankruptcies(jur:27§2). The only ones watching with power to do anything about its disposition were the circuit judges who had appointed them and they and the district judges who could remove them(jur:43fn61a). With them as their overseers, bankruptcy judges could do just about anything, except being too greedy and ungrateful.

21. In addition, there is all the money subject to judges’ decisions in probate matters, contracts, alimony, mergers & acquisition, taxes, product liability, initial public offers, etc.

5. Judges’ power to grow well-connected

22. The arguments that militate in support of the two-term limit for holding the presidency, and of P-e Trump’s promise to push for legislation limiting the number of terms for members of Congress apply to judges too: The longer a person serves in public office, the more entitled they feel and the more their public office becomes their personal one.

23. That feeling of entitlement is exacerbated for federal judges, who do not have to run for reelection and need not fear in reality being removed. They and their public office become one and the same.

24. Moreover, as public officers deal with ever more people, they become ever more powerful through the IOUs that they have collected from people who needed their help; and the more indebted they become to others whose help they needed to get their way. Hence, to an ever greater extent they move from doing the public’s business to ‘dealing for their own account’.

6. Judges’ power of camaraderie

25. To be in good standing with the other judges, a judge only needs to engage in knowing indifference and willful ignorance or blindness, which are forms of culpably looking the other way(jur:88§§a-c) and carrying on as if nothing had happened or will happen.

‘Keep your mouth shut about what I and the other judges did or are about to do, and you can enjoy our friendship.’

‘I will protect you today against this complaint and tomorrow you will protect me or my friends when we are the target of a complaint’.

26. That is how judges implicitly or explicitly ensure for decades their social acceptance and their self-preservation through reciprocal protection. They know from the historical record that nobody will charge them with accessorial liability after the fact that they kept quiet about or covered up, and before the fact of the next wrongful act that they encouraged others to do with their promise of passive silence or active cover-up.

27. By contrast, a judge who dared expose another judge’s wrongdoing would be deemed by all the other judges an unreliable traitor and cast out their social circle and activities as a pariah.

28. Such interdependent security(Lsch:16§1) gives rise to the judicial class mentality. It is similar to that found among police officers, doctors, priests, sports teams, sororities and fraternities, etc. It trades integrity for the benefits of membership.

29. The more time judges spend in the Judiciary, the more they transition from peers to colleagues, to members, to friends, and to co-conspirators(ol:166§§C, D). So instead of administering justice to We the People, they run their swamp as a private enterprise to make it ever more profitable, efficient, and secure for themselves.

7. Judges’ power to self-discipline

30. In its Article III, the Constitution only creates the Supreme Court. All lower courts thereunder are created by Congress, which can also create tribunal-like administrative agencies under Art. II, Sec. 8; and appoint judges directly or by delegation under Art. II, Sec. 2.

31. The Constitution does not grant judges, not even those of the Supreme Court, the power to determine themselves what constitutes “good Behaviour” during which they can “hold their Offices”. Yet, politicians have relinquished that significant ‘check and balance’ to the judges by allowing them to exercise the power of self-disciplining(jur:21§1).

32. With the connivance of politicians, judges abuse that power by dismissing 99.82%(jur:10-14) of complaints against them filed by parties to cases and any other members of the People, as well as denying up to 100% of petitions to review those dismissals(jur:24§§b-d).

33. The relation of political protectors-judicial protégés is anathema to the objective analysis of complaints against judges and the fair and impartial treatment of complainants. That is why judges have no inhibitions about abusing their self-disciplining power to arrogate to themselves self-exemption from liability.

34. Complainants have no other source of relief. They are left to bob with their complained about harm in the middle of the swamp.

8. Judges’ power to show contempt for We the People and our representatives

35. We the People, the masters in “government of, by, and for the people”(jur:82fn172), hired judges as their public servants to deliver the service of administering justice according to the rule of law.

36. But judges need not serve the People to stay established in office. Voters neither elect nor reelect federal judges. Judges stay even when they disserve the People. There is no downside to disservice, for they can

Writing a Better Appellate Brief

April 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

Writing Better Appellate Briefs
Thanks for great info and insight walking through the mess they set up for us all.
I. Introduction
Appellate justices will tell you over and over – most cases are won or lost on the
briefs. In today’s world of shorter and shorter oral arguments, we must present
the bulk of our argument in written format and cannot rely on an oral
presentation to convey our points. In fact, today most appellate courts view oral
argument as a conversation to discuss remaining questions with the case;
arguments are not a long recitation of facts and authorities or powerful analysis.
A. Governing Rules
The applicable rules for civil appeals are found in the 300–series rules; those
governing criminal appeals are found in the 600-series.
The rules of procedure concerning appellate briefs are not mere suggestions, and it is
within this court’s discretion to strike [a] brief for failing to comply with Supreme Court
Rule 341.” Crull v. Sriratana, 376 Ill. App. 3d 803, 812 (4th Dist. 2007).
The governing rules should be consulted before any appellate project.
B. The Importance of Planning
The following steps are recommended when beginning work on your brief,
regardless of whether you are the appellant or the appellee. Perhaps the most
important suggestion is to clear sufficient time for the brief. Most briefs take a
minimum of 30-40 hours to prepare, from notice of appeal to oral argument
What to Review?
• Review the case in full and thoroughly study the record on appeal.
o Order appealed from;
o Underlying motions;
o Transcripts and exhibits;
o Review prior research;
o Identify your issues;
o Confirm you have the correct standard of review.
• Update your research.
• Create an outline.
o What must I show to win?
o How do I show that?
o Anticipate problems, questions, your opponent, the court.
• Formulate a theme for the brief.
• Write it, and then edit, edit, edit.
C. The Importance of Editing and Not Simply Dictating the Brief
Editing is crucial to a good brief. Sufficient time should be allowed for many
revisions to the brief, including reads for typographical errors, grammar, and
condensing prose. Each sentence of the brief should be confronted with the
questions, “what does this add to my brief? Can I say this in fewer words?”
Example One
Matt Garner also testified at trial before Arbitrator Smithson (C. 77). Matt Garner
was the employer’s chief mechanic at that time (C. 77). He was working on the
day of the claimant’s accident (C. 78). He did not see the accident (C. 78). He did
hear the claimant tell his shift supervisor that he had cut his hand on the stamp
press (C. 79). He saw the cut on claimant’s hand (C. 79-80). The claimant’s shift
supervisor was Pollyanne McBride (C. 45, 80).
Example Two
Matt Garner, the employer’s chief mechanic, testified that while he did not
witness the claimant’s accident, he overheard the claimant report the injury to
the shift supervisor, Pollyanne McBride, and he saw the claimant’s injured hand
(C. 77-80).
You should also consider having the brief read by a secretary or paralegal.
Also, avoid dictating your brief, unless you plan to do heavy editing. We speak
differently than we write and it is usually readily apparent when counsel simply
dictates a brief and sends it to be bound. Your conversational tone should be
saved for the oral argument.
II. The Brief
A. Procedural Matters
There are various general requirements for an appellate brief set forth in
Supreme Court Rule 341.
1. Form of Brief
According to Rule 341(a), briefs must be double-spaced with 1-½ inch margins
on the left side and 1 inch margins on all other sides. The briefs must be securely
bound on the left side. Typeface must be 12-point or larger.
Rule 341(a) also expresses some preferences of the court. The Rule states that
lengthy quotations are not favored and footnotes are discouraged.
2. Length of Brief
The appellant’s brief is limited to 50 pages. Rule 341(b)(1). This limitation
excludes the cover, the statement of points and authorities, the certificate of
compliance, the certificate of service and those pages to be appended to the brief.
A motion to file a brief in excess of the page limitation is allowed, but not
favored. Rule 341(b)(2). If a motion is filed, it must be filed at least 10 days before
the brief is due and must state the number of excess pages requested and the
specific grounds for the necessity of additional pages.
3. Certificate of Compliance
Filed with the brief, an attorney must submit a signed certification that the brief
complies with the form and length requirements. Rule 341(c). This certificate
reads as follows:
I certify that this brief conforms to the requirements of Rules 341(a) and (b). The
length of this brief, excluding the pages containing the Rule 341(d) cover, the
Rule 341(h)(1) statement of points and authorizes, the Rule 341(c) certificate of
compliance, the certificate of service, and those matters to be appended to the
brief under Rule 342(a) is ____ pages.
4. Covers
Per Rule 341(d), the cover of the brief shall be white and include:
• The number of the case in the reviewing court and the name of that court;
• The name of the court from which the case was brought;
• The name of the case as it appeared in the lower tribunal (except that the
parties should now be referred to as plaintiff-appellant, etc.);
• The name of the trial judge entering the judgment; and
• The individual names and addresses of the attorneys (or unrepresented
5. Copies and Proof of Service
Nine copies of each brief shall be filed in the Appellate Court. Rule 341(e).
Twenty (20) copies shall be filed in the Supreme Court. Three (3) copies of the
brief shall be served upon each other party to the appeal. A proof of service must
be filed with all briefs.
6. References to Parties
In a brief, the parties should not be referenced as “appellant,” “appellee,”
“respondent,” or “petitioner.” Instead, the parties should be referenced as they
were in the trial court, or by descriptive terms such as “the injured person” or
“the employer.”
In a juvenile case or a case involving mental health, the parties shall be referred
to by first name and last initial.
B. Substantive Thoughts
1. Nature of the Case
Supreme Court Rule 341(h)(2) requires an introductory paragraph stating the
nature of the action and of the judgment appealed from and whether the
judgment is based upon the verdict of a jury. The introductory paragraph must
also state whether any question is raised on the pleadings.
The “Nature of the Case” section should be limited to informing the appellate
court of what lies ahead in your brief. It should not be argumentative, but it can
suggest an answer. The section should inform the court generally of the type of
case before it, the specific claims asserted, and defenses, the nature of the action
which brought the case before the appellate court, and the court’s disposition of
that motion.
This appeal challenges the circuit court’s order granting defendant Mitchell’s
motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff Anderson. Anderson was
struck by a car driven by Mitchell’s teenage son, but owned by Mitchell;
Anderson alleged that Mitchell was liable for his son’s actions based on negligent
entrustment. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Mitchell, finding
there that Anderson had presented no evidence that Mitchell knew the car had
been taken, no evidence that Mitchell gave permission to drive the car, and failed
to present any evidence that Mitchell had reason to believe that his son was an
inept or unqualified driver. Anderson now appeals to this Court.
The nature of the case section should be short, concise and should not be
2. Statement of Jurisdiction
a. Procedural Rules
When appealing to the Supreme Court directly from the trial court or as a matter
of right from the Appellate Court, there must be a brief statement of the
jurisdiction grounds for the appeal under the heading “Jurisdiction.” Rule
Rule 341(h)(4) also provides that when a case is appealed to the Appellate Court
there shall be a “Jurisdiction” heading. Under this heading, the appellant shall
give a brief statement for the basis for appeal including:
• The supreme court rule or other law which confers jurisdiction
upon the reviewing court;
• The facts of the case which bring it within this rule or other law;
• The date that the order being appealed was entered;
• Any other facts which are necessary to demonstrate the appeal is
timely; and
• In an appeal from a judgment to all claims and parties, a
demonstration of the disposition of all claims and all parties.
All facts recited in this statement must be supported by page references to the
record on appeal.
b. Substantive Thoughts
This section should be short and inform the appellate court of the jurisdictional
basis for the appeal. You should reference the date of the order appealed from,
state that the order was final and disposed of all issues in the case, and include
the date of any applicable motion to reconsider and the order disposing of that
motion. The notice of appeal should also be referenced by date.
If there is a jurisdictional issue, you can mention that deficiency in your
statement of jurisdiction, and should consider filing a separate motion to dismiss
the appeal and then include an argument on that basis in the brief, if there is
insufficient time for the appellate court to rule or if the court takes the motion
with the case.
If you are an appellant and are concerned with a jurisdictional issue, you can file
a motion to clarify jurisdiction to get the court’s attention early in the case.
Appellate jurisdiction is proper under Supreme Court Rules 301 and 303
following the circuit court’s final order entered on July 10, 2011 (C. 9; A-4). In
that order, the circuit court granted defendant Mitchell’s motion for summary
judgment, disposing of both counts of plaintiff Anderson’s complaint (C. 9-14; A-
4-9). Anderson filed his notice of appeal on July 16, 2011 (C. 18; A-2).
If there are multiple parties, be sure to indicate how claims as to each party have
been resolved so as not to create a question of whether your order is final and
3. Statement of Issues
A statement of the issues presented for reviewed, without detail or citation of
authorities, is required by Rule 341(h)(3).
Avoid simply stating, “Whether the trial court erred,” or “Whether the trial
judge abused his discretion by refusing to admit evidence.”
Issues should be used as a tool to help you persuade the appellate court that you
are correct. They should identify the exact issue before the court and suggest the
answer you desire.
Also, you are not wedded to using “whether” to commence each issue presented.
Consider the following “deep” issues:
Did the circuit court judge abuse his discretion by denying the defendants’ forum
non conveniens motion based on the presence in St. Claire County of one
occurrence witness, when the plaintiff, a resident of Nebraska, was injured in
Nebraska, received his medical treatment in Iowa, and all other witnesses to the
accident were located in either Iowa or Central Nebraska?
Can a circuit judge properly admit medical testimony from a physician
concerning the victim’s recent and pre-attack diagnosis of advanced syphilis,
where that testimony would reasonably demonstrate that her condition would
have been passed to the defendant had he truly committed the alleged sexual
Is the jury’s verdict finding the defendant not guilty against the manifest weight
of the evidence where there was no claim of comparative negligence made
against the plaintiff and the defendant admitted on the stand that he entered the
intersection against a red light?
It is also acceptable to use issues with multiple statements.
Taking the time to craft an informative issue statement can help you formulate
your argument and also persuade the court that you should prevail.
4. The Standard of Review
Rule 341(h)(3) requires a concise statement of the applicable standard of review
for each issue, with citation to authority. This statement shall be located either in
the discussion of the issue in the argument or under a separate heading before
the discussion in the argument.
1. What is a standard of review?
The standard of review refers to the level of deference a reviewing court affords
the determinations of the circuit court. The standard of review varies depending
on the type of decision made at the lower level (e.g., motion to dismiss, summary
judgment, verdict) and the nature of the issue from which an appeal is sought
(fact, discretionary, legal).
It is imperative to understand the standard of review that will be applied by the
appellate court, because the standard of review almost always determines the
outcome. An excellent reference on applicable standards of review for specific
scenarios is Hugh Griffin and Hugh S. Balsam, The Standard of Review in Civil
Cases in Illinois: More Than Meets the Eye, 15 APP.L.REV. 1 (Winter 2002 – 2003).
2. What are the standards?
The standard of review can be set forth in a separate section of the brief. If
multiple issues are presented, the applicable standard of review must be stated
for each issue raised.
De Novo
Under the de novo standard of review, the appellate court grants no deference to
a trial court’s determination and instead it conducts an independent review of
the issue on appeal. In re Marriage of Abrell, 236 Ill. 2d 249, 255 (2010).
The de novo standard of review typically is applied whenever an issue is
adjudicated short of trial on issues that are purely legal in nature or that do not
involve a weighing or adjudication of evidence. For example, an appellate court
applies a de novo standard of review to trial court orders that grant a motion to
dismiss or a motion for summary judgment. Wright v. Pucinski, 352 Ill. App. 3d
769 (1st Dist. 2004).
Although the issue involves the retroactivity of child support, the trial court’s
decision was predicated on its finding that it had no authority to make the
modification of child support retroactive prior to May 2007. This is a question of
law, and therefore, we apply a de novo standard of review. In re Marriage of Streur,
2011 IL APP (1st) 082326, ¶ 13.
Abuse of Discretion
Appellate courts review discretionary findings under an abuse of discretion
standard. Abuse can be found only if a court acted arbitrarily without the
employment of conscientious judgment or exceeded the bounds of reason and
ignored recognized principles of law. Zurich Ins. Co. v. Raymark Industries, Inc.,
213 Ill. App. 3d 591 (1st Dist. 1991). The test is often stated as no reasonable trier
of fact would have reached the conclusion reached below. At least one court has
noted out the need for a fact-finder to make specific findings of fact so as to
enable the appellate court to determine whether there existed an “informed
basis” for the circuit court’s ruling. See, e.g., McGrath v. Botsford, 405 Ill. App. 3d
781 (2d Dist. 2010).
The abuse of discretion standard is applied to types of judgments that the circuit
court is deemed to have considerable latitude in deciding, e.g., leave to amend or
file pleadings, admission of evidence, and compliance with deadlines. See In re
Marriage of D.T.W. and S.L.W., 2011 IL APP (1st) 111225, ¶ 107 (a circuit court’s
ruling granting an amendment to a petition for removal is reviewed for an abuse
of discretion).
The trial court is vested with broad discretion in determining matters of
visitation, and we will not disturb a trial court’s decision as to visitation unless
the trial court abuses its discretion, or where a manifest injustice has been done
to the children or the parent. In re Marriage of Diehl, 221 Ill. App. 3d 410, 429 (2d
Dist. 1991).
A trial court’s decision regarding retroactivity of child support is usually
reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. In re Marriage of Eberhardt, 387
Ill. App. 3d 226, 233 (1st Dist. 2008).
The allowance of attorney fees and the amount awarded are matters within the
sound discretion of the circuit court and will not be reversed on appeal absent an
abuse of discretion. In re Marriage of Streur, 2011 IL APP (1st) 082326.
Although the issue involves the retroactivity of child support, an issue usually
reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard, the trial court’s decision was
predicated on its finding that it had no authority to make the modification of
child support retroactive prior to May 2007. This is a question of law, and
therefore, we apply a de novo standard of review. In re Marriage of Streur, 2011 IL
APP (1st) 082326, ¶ 13.
A reviewing court will not disturb the circuit court’s decision to enter a
bifurcated judgment of dissolution of marriage absent an abuse of discretion. In
re Marriage of Wade, 408 Ill. App. 3d 775, 778 (1st Dist. 2011).
Manifest Weight of the Evidence
This standard applies to findings of fact, which includes credibility and
evaluating conflicting evidence. The manifest weight standard asks whether an
opposite result is clearly apparent or when the trial court’s findings are
unreasonable, arbitrary or not based on the evidence. In re Custody of K.P.L., 304
Ill. App. 3d 481, 488 (3d Dist. 1999). The trier of fact is given considerable
deference under this standard and a reviewing court will not reverse simply
because it would have reached a different conclusion or because an alternative
inference might be possible.
A trial court’s determination of what is in the best interests of the children will
not be reversed unless it is clearly against the manifest weight of the evidence
and it appears that a manifest injustice has occurred. In re Marriage of
Collingbourne, 204 Ill. 2d 498, 521 (2003).
For briefs filed in the Third District, the standard of review must be included
with each issue in the argument section. Local Administrative Rule 48.
The standard of review can be stated as follows:
This issue involves whether jury’s verdict is against the manifest weight of the
evidence. A decision is against the manifest weight of the evidence where an
opposite result is clearly apparent. In re Marriage of Demaret, 2012 IL APP (1st)
111916, ¶ 43. On questions of fact, this Court should affirm where there is some
evidence to support the jury’s determination; this Court may not substitute its
decision simply because a different conclusion could be reached.
Outside the Third District, the standards of review can be stated in one
preliminary section so long as the appropriate standard is related to each issue.
5. Statement of the Facts
Rule 341(b)(6) provides that the Statement of Facts be stated “accurately and
fairly and without argument or comment, and with appropriate reference to the
pages of the record on appeal … .”
There are several considerations when preparing your statement of facts. First
and foremost, we want to be non-argumentative. Second, while we want to
present all of the facts necessary to help the court decide our case, we also need
to be mindful of leaving out those facts which do not add any useful information.
An example is the lawyer’s tendency to want to describe every filing by date and
full title. Consider the following two examples:
Version 1
On July 3, 1999, the plaintiff, Anna Kendrick, by and through her
attorney, Lofton Sinclair, filed her complaint for damages against
the defendant, Dale Burton, in the Circuit Court of Madison
County, Illinois, seeking to recover for negligence arising out of an
automobile accident that occurred at 7:15 a.m. on July 2, 1997, at the
intersection of Illinois Route 4 and Cobbler Road (C. 1, 2). At the
time of the collision, Kendrick was traveling southeast on Illinois 4
in a blue Oldsmobile (C. 3). Burton was driving in a westerly
direction in a white Ford F 150 pickup truck (C. 4).
On July 29, 1999, the defendant filed a section 2-615 motion to
dismiss the complaint, which was granted by the circuit court,
Judge John Carter presiding, on August 27, 1999 (C. 22, 30). Leave
was given to replead (C. 31). The plaintiff filed a first amended
complaint on September 15, 1999, to which the defendant filed a
section 2-619 motion to dismiss on October 1, 1999, this time raising
the two year statute of limitations (C. 35, 41). The circuit court
granted the motion on November 10, 1999, following a hearing on
that motion held October 25, 1999 (C. 50; R. 1, 17).
Version 2
The plaintiff, Anna Kendrick, filed a complaint against the
defendant, Dale Burton, alleging negligence arising out of a July 2,
1997 automobile accident (C. 1, 2). Following the court’s dismissal
of the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, the plaintiff
amended her complaint; the defendant filed a section 2-619 motion
to dismiss, this time raising the two year statute of limitations (C.
35, 41). The circuit court granted the motion on November 10, 1999
(C. 50; R. 1, 17).
Another significant consideration is how to script the statement of facts. While
striving to tell a story, we have the option of telling the story in chronological
order, incident facts versus procedural facts, or issue-related. We should avoid
presenting trial testimony in a witness by witness fashion; it is hard to follow.
Consider this example of a narrative from a defendant’s brief combining the
observations of a second witness with the plaintiff’s:
While Marshall said the traffic light was yellow as she entered the intersection
(C. 256), John Simpson, who was traveling in the car immediately behind her,
said the light had already turned red and that he had already began to slow his
vehicle when Marshall entered the intersection (C. 412-415). Simpson, an
accident reconstruction expert who was on his way to a deposition, said he had
paid close attention to Marshall’s car because he had noticed her tail lights were
not functioning (C. 420).
This statement tells us what the plaintiff Marshall claims, then offers evidence to
refute that statement and further offers evidence of his credibility.
As appellee, we want to offer a supplemental statement of facts in most cases.
Remember, while we want to present a non-argumentative statement of facts, we
nevertheless want to present the statement in a light most favorable to our
position. This means we will rarely accept the statement of facts offered by our
Some claim the best approach to writing a brief is to write the argument first;
however, a command of the facts is essential to fully understanding your case.
Thus, it may be best to draft the statement of facts first, then daft the argument.
General TIPS for the Statement of Fact
• Avoid telling the whole story from beginning to end. Rarely is that an
effective technique.
• Where possible, break the facts into those necessary to show how the
controversy arose and those telling the procedural history of the case,
including trial testimony of experts.
• Use subheadings.
• Be candid and tell both favorable and unfavorable facts.
• Support all fact references with citations to the record.
• Avoid repetition – in fact intensive cases, summarize the facts in the
statement of facts and then draw these out in detail during the argument,
or vice versa.
6. Argument
a. Procedural Rules
Rule 341(h)(7) provides that the argument shall contain the contentions of the
appellant and the reasons therefore, and must contain citation of the authorities
and the pages of the record that are relied on. It is important to note that citation
to numerous authorities in support of the same point is not favored. Also, points
not argued are waived and shall not be raised in the reply brief, oral argument or
petition for rehearing.
b. Substantive Thoughts
The argument section is where we address each of the issues in detail and show
how we reached the conclusions supporting our desired relief. The best approach
is to prepare an outline and then supplement and expand that document with
your supporting points and authorities. This outline can then be used to prepare
the overall argument. By using this approach you can better see how the
argument comes together and identify potential holes in your logic.
Also, appellate brief arguments should not resemble a law journal article. While
a law journal article may include a detailed historical background or provide a
thorough discussion of the development of the law, this is rarely productive in
an appellate brief. In most instances, reference to a few governing principles will
suffice as will a single citation to a seminal case rather than a string of cites.
Likewise, an appellate brief need not always include a laundry list of broad,
neutral principles of law.
General Comments on the Argument Section:
• Lead with conclusions.
• Use headings and sub-headings.
• Keep your paragraphs short.
• Both show and tell the court what you are saying.
• Remember to cite case or statutory authority – you do not want waiver.
• Limit quotations.
• Be concise in your arguments.
• Spelling, tense, grammar, syntax.
• Avoid legalese.
An argument should ideally be organized to present the strongest argument first,
followed by one of two other points. If several issues relate to the admission of
evidence, those can be grouped together under one general issue and then
addressed individually with sub-issues.
One area that occasionally appears and presents a problem is that of a strong
damages argument mated with a weak liability argument. Logically, we should
address liability first and then address damages. At times we can continue with
the logical presentation in our brief and change our emphasis or focus at oral
Typical Criticisms of Briefs
• Briefs are too long.
• Counsel raises too many issues.
• Argumentative statements of facts.
• No organization or lack of focus.
• Misrepresentation of the record or the cited case law.
• Failing to address negative facts or significant cases cited.
• Failure to abide by court rules.
• Typos, misspellings, and grammar errors.
• Refusal to reference or apply the standard of review.
• Personal attacks against counsel or the trial court.
• Failure to cite the record or case authority.
• Footnotes.
7. The Conclusion
A conclusion is required by Rule 341(h)(8).
The conclusion should simply ask the Court for the desired relief. The conclusion
should ask for both primary and alternative relief, whether that relief be a new
trial, a new trial on damages only, or affirmance of the circuit court’s order of
dismissal or summary judgment.
Use of Summaries
Summaries are not required but are strongly recommended in either complex or
long briefs. A tight introductory summary helps direct the court where you are
going and a good ending summary ties all of your points together so that the
court can leave your brief with a good understanding of your points.
III. The Appendix
Supreme Court Rule 342(a) states that the appendix shall include the order
appealed from, the notice of appeal, and, if the appellant’s brief, the index to the
record on appeal.
However, the appendix should also include any documents that are significant in
your appeal. These additional materials may include jury instructions or special
interrogatories, verdict forms, a transcript of an offer of proof, a key photograph
or chart, or a pleading demonstrating that you did not waive an issue.
Remember, there is only one record on appeal; but there can be anywhere from
three to five to seven members of the court reviewing your brief. Including all
significant documents in the appendix ensures that these documents are with the
brief and available to the justice to review wherever the brief is reviewed.
IV. Citations
A. Record Citations
Record citations should be offered for each fact referenced, whether in the
statement of facts or argument section of the brief. Citations should be listed as
Common law record citations (C. __).
Transcript of Proceedings citations (R. __)
Because the circuit clerks often get creative when preparing the record on appeal,
these are general guidelines and not hard and fast rules.
TIPS for Record Citation
• Indicate in a footnote any unusual citation system employed by the circuit
• If there are many volumes, consider indicating the volume number with
the “C” number as follows: (Vol. I, C. 12; Vol. 6, C. 1498).
• Some transcripts will be given volume numbers based on the individual
transcripts, so there may be multiple “R” citations; for these records, a
volume reference is a must: (Vol. 2, R. 27).
Key documents included in your appendix (discussed later) should be cited with
the record citation as follows: (C. 77; A-14). This lets the appellate court know
that the document is contained in the brief appendix.
B. Case Citations
Case citations should follow the blue book and, for cases as of July 1, 2011,
follow the new Supreme Court citation system.
TIPS for Case Citations
• Omit references to Illinois decisions.
• Use pin-point citations to specific pages (Illinois reporters) or paragraphs
(new system).
• Use short cites; repeat full citation or at least first page of citation if you
get too far from original citation. Murphy, 398 Ill. App. 3d 10, 18.
• Always include reference in the citation form to the applicable appellate
court district.
• You cannot cite to Rule 23 orders.
• Try to cite to controlling case; where possible cite to an Illinois Supreme
Court case, followed by the controlling or leading case from your
appellate district.
• Avoid string cites.
• Consider using parentheticals, but do not use them to argument
V. Motions Affecting the Brief
A. Motion to Enlarge Page Limitation
Page limitations should be strictly adhered to and motions to enlarge the number
of pages should be used sparingly. A motion to enlarge page limitations can also
be limited to the statement of facts; the Third District has a 15-page limitation on
the fact section.
B. Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief
Motions for extension of time are governed by Supreme Court Rule 361(f) as well
as local rules applicable to each district. Motions asking for additional time
should explain why the added time is needed and should be supported by an
affidavit of counsel. It is also best to ask opposing counsel for consent and then to
label the motion as “agreed.” The Second District has extremely precise
requirements which are spelled out in Local Rule 103. Most districts will grant at
least one extension of 30 days as a matter of course.
At times, a motion for stay of the briefing schedule may be the more advisable
approach. Appropriate situations may include those where counsel has reached a
tentative settlement and is awaiting some additional finding or documentation
necessary to finalize the settlement. In that case, the parties should ask for the
stay and then agree to provide the court with a status letter every 30 days on
VI. Appellee Briefs and Reply Briefs
A. Appellee Briefs
The appellee’s brief is also limited to 50 pages, subject to the same rules as the
appellant’s brief per Rule 341(b)(1). The cover of an appellee brief must be light
blue as stated in Rule 341(d).
The appellee’s brief requires fewer sections than an appellant’s brief. According
to Rule 341(i), the appellee’s brief must include argument; the statement of facts
and other sections found in the appellant’s brief are optional and should be
referenced only where there is error or misstatement in the appellant’s brief.
However, that being said, most appellees should include their own supplemental
statement of facts, setting forth the facts it deems appropriate and most favorable
to its position.
Strategically, the appellee’s brief seeks not to point out error but rather to uphold
and support the circuit court’s decision. If the issues before the appellate court
are fact issues and subject to the manifest weight of the evidence standard, your
appellee brief should point out to the court how the standard requires
affirmance. In other words, the appellee should point out those evidentiary facts
supporting the fact finder’s determinations. It may not be necessary to address
all of the appellant’s points in great detail. Where the issues are discretionary, the
goal of the appellee is to show that the trial judge did not abuse his or her
Other Goals of the Appellee Brief
• Correcting a misstated issue.
• Correcting a standard of review.
• Correcting factual misstatements.
• Demonstrating the argument is flawed.
• Pointing out waiver.
B. Reply Briefs
Reply briefs are optional, but generally recommended. Per Rule 341(b)(1), a reply
brief is limited to 20 pages. The cover of a reply brief must be light yellow per
Rule 341(d). This brief should be confined to a direct rebuttal of the appellee
brief. New arguments or issues may not be raised. Arguments raised for the first
time in a reply brief are considered waived. See Illinois Health Maintenance
Organization Guar. Ass’n. v. Department of Ins., 372 Ill. App. 3d 24, 45 (1st Dist.
The reply also should not be a regurgitation of the appellant’s brief. Rather, it
should point out how the appellee’s argument is wrong or weak, where the
appellee misstated facts, and should try to return the court’s attention to the
appellant’s theme.
VII. Other Briefs.
Where a party files a petition for leave to appeal and that petition is allowed, the
party filing the petition, as well as the answer thereto is usually best to file a new
brief and not stand on the petition, as the rules permit. The focus of the
discretionary petition, which seeks to gain the court’s interest in taking the case,
is different from that of the main brief, which seeks to convince the court to
change the ruling below.
Bryan A. Garner, The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and
Appellate Courts, Oxford University Press, 2d edition, 2004.
Bryan A. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English, University of Chicago Press, 2001.

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