Illinois Appellate Court hears oral arguments at SIU School of Law
October 23, 2013
The SIU School of Law was pleased to host the Appellate Court of the State of Illinois, Fifth District, for oral arguments in two cases today.
Students and faculty took advantage of this excellent opportunity to observe attorneys and judges in action.
The cases argued were:
5-12-0079 People v. Jeremy R. Thompson Hamilton County
This is a direct appeal by defendant from his convictions after a jury trial of possession of anhydrous ammonia with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and tampering with anhydrous ammonia equipment. Defendant was sentenced to 18 years, and seven years concurrently. On appeal defendant raises three issues: (1) whether he was denied a fair trial where three witnesses, including two police officers, were allowed to give opinion testimony that defendant was the person depicted in the surveillance videos and photographs in violation of the "silent witness" theory, (2) whether defendant was denied his right to a fair trial where both counts charged defendant with attempt, and the court failed to instruct the jury on an essential element of attempt ("substantial step"), thereby removing a fact question from the jury, and (3) whether defendant's conviction for tampering with anhydrous ammonia equipment must be vacated under the one-act, one-crime rule because it arose from the same physical act (tampering with anhydrous ammonia equipment) which formed the basis of his conviction for procurement of anhydrous ammonia with the intent it be used to manufacture methamphetamine.
5-13-0017 Price, et al. v. Philip Morris, Inc. Madison County
This is a section 2-1401 case for relief from a judgment. Thirteen years ago, the Circuit Court of Madison County entered the largest judgment in Illinois history, awarding a class of purchasers of "light" cigarettes $10.1 billion against Philip Morris under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act ("ICFA"). The Illinois Supreme Court granted a direct appeal and reversed, directing the entry of judgment in favor of Philip Morris. Price v. Philip Morris, Inc. 219 Ill.2d 182 (2005). The supreme court reversed based on ICFA section 10b(l), which exempts from liability any conduct that was "specifically authorized" by a federal agency. The supreme court concluded that the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") had implicitly authorized Philip Morris to market certain cigarettes as "light" or having "lowered tar and nicotine" within the meaning of state law. Thus, Philip Morris could not be held liable under ICFA on the theory that the use of those terms was deceptive. On December 18, 2008, plaintiffs filed a petition for relief from judgment under section 2-1401. That petition argued that new events, including an amicus brief filed by the FTC in Altria Group Inc. v. Good, 555 U.S. 70 (2008), and the Good decision itself, showed that the Illinois Supreme Court had erred in concluding that plaintiffs' ICFA claim was barred by the section 10b(l) exemption. The circuit court initially dismissed plaintiffs' petition on timeliness grounds, but the Fifth District Appellate Court reversed. Price v. Philip Morris, Inc., 2011 IL App (5th) 090089 (Rule 23 filed Feb. 24, 2011). On remand, the circuit court denied plaintiffs' petition on the merits, holding that they had failed to carry their burden of showing that the outcome of the Price appeal would have been different had the Supreme Court been aware of the new "evidence" plaintiffs relied upon. The issue for review is whether the circuit court erred in denying plaintiffs' 2-1401 petition for relief of judgment on the ground that plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of showing that the outcome of the appeal would have been different had the Supreme Court been aware, in 2005, of the new "evidence" cited in their petition.