Gretchen Harris Sperry Discusses Key Illinois Appellate Law Developments With Law360

January 31, 2022

Gretchen Harris Sperry, the Chicago-based chair of Hinshaw’s Appellate Practice, was quoted recently in several Law360 articles. The first article, titled “Illinois Cases To Watch In 2022,” discusses key decisions expected in Illinois this coming year. The second article, titled "An Update Behind Its Time: Illinois' Unpublished Order Rule," considers an amendment to Supreme Court Rule 23 that will allow lawyers to cite unpublished appellate court orders as persuasive authority in their cases.

Sperry offered her thoughts on Jane Doe v. Lyft Inc. et al., an Illinois Supreme Court case involving a Lyft rider's constitutional challenge to a state law governing ride-hailing companies. She said hearing from the justices on this issue would be significant "because it could open the conversations and bring to light these exact, perhaps unintended, consequences of making these kinds of policy-balancing decisions." She added, "perhaps it doesn't win the day, but the discussion surrounding this issue is going to have influence."Update: the Doe case was dismissed on January 20 pursuant to a settlement, after the Law360 article published.

Sperry lauded the change to Rule 23 as a significant and long overdue change to a rule rooted in the days when lawyers had only books to research published precedents. "I never thought the day would come," said Sperry. "Even if it is just a factually very similar case, the ability to at least point the court in that direction openly and honestly is a tremendous step forward." She added that "We'll see going forward how much more effective this can be. But in the meantime, I think the notion that you can now cite these rulings persuasively is, even from a practitioner's perspective, hugely, hugely helpful."

Illinois Cases To Watch In 2022” was published by Law360 on January 3, 2022.

"An Update Behind Its Time: Illinois' Unpublished Order Rule" was published by Law360 on January 28, 2022.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. based law firm with offices nationwide and in London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the financial services sector, and other highly regulated industries. Hinshaw also serves as counsel to the professional services sector, and provides business advisory and transactional services to clients of all sizes.