Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Ferris, Thompson & Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito, Williams v. BNSF Railway Company, Lutkauskas v. Ricker and Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star of the State of Illinois v. Topinka and the criminal cases People v. Simpson, People v. Chenoweth and People v. Taylor.
By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.
This case involves the question of subject matter jurisdiction as between the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the circuit court. The Court held that an attorney fee dispute based upon referral agreements wherein the plaintiff referred workers’ compensation claims to the defendant fell within the circuit court’s jurisdiction.
Plaintiff sued defendant in circuit court, asserting that, pursuant to written agreements, plaintiff agreed to act as co-counsel in representing two women who had workers’ compensation claims. After the cases settled, defendant refused to pay plaintiff its share of fees.