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Appellate Practice 101: The Nuts and Bolts (IL)

Our beginner-level appellate seminar, Appellate Practice 101: The Nuts and Bolts, focuses on teaching the attorney new to appeals how to deal with an appeal from start to finish and providing a refresher for those who have not handled an appeal in quite a while.  The program covers both codes and case law, as well as providing crtiical insight and strategies that will help you with your next appeal.

Faculty includes a sitting state appellate justice, staff attorneys for justices and the state supreme court, and experienced appellate attorneys.

You cannot get this level of advice and strategy at one seminar anywhere else.

This is a terrific course for new appellate practitioners, attorneys who find themselves with a new appeal, those needing a refresher course in appeals and litigators wanting to expand their skills and practice area. This program is well tested and always receives excellent evaluations.

Learn how to avoid common mistakes, what you must do to succeed, and interact with a stellar panel for strategy and advice about your upcoming appeals.

Sponsored By: 



9:00 – 9:15

Intro: Should You Appeal?

  • What if we lose?
  • When “what if we win?” is a question as important as “what if we lose?”
  • What if client might run out of money while appeal pending – appellate lawyer’s responsibilities

9:15 – 9:30

E-filing update 

9:30 – 10:15

Making and Preserving the Record in the Trial Court

  • General Verdict Rule in IL
  • Appellate counsel as trial monitor
  • Timely objections and late objections
  • Sufficient offers of proof, oral and documentary
  • Effect of multiple parties
  • Problems resulting from reading depositions, using Power Point, and using demonstrations

10:15 – 10:45 

Post Judgment Motions

  • Post judgment orders as they affect scope of appeal
  • Post judgment orders as they affect timing
  • Post judgment orders as they affect cost

10:45 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:30

Staying Judgments and Orders, Including Bonding

  • Timeliness issues and extension of time
  • Windows for execution and garnishment
  • Insurance policy as bond
  • Alternative security for bond
  • Bond documentation – the recognizance

11:30 – 12:15

Perfecting the Appeal and Other Preliminary Matters

  • Ordering/preparing the record
  • Filing cross appeals; appellate motions
  • Newly amended docketing statement requirements
  • Getting an appearance on file
  • Consolidating appeals

12:15 – 1:15

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 – 1:25

Settlement in the 7th Circuit and State Courts

1:25 – 1:45

Standard of Review

  • Why it matters and how it can make or break an appeal
  • De novo – the most favorable standard – in practice
  • Abuse of discretion – the least favorable standard – in practice
  • It may be error, but is it reversible error?
  • Beware of the “two issue” rule
  • What if there is a legitimate dispute as to the applicable standard of review?

1:45 – 2:15

Interlocutory Appeals by Right and by Permission

  • State interlocutory appeals:
    • SCR 304(b)
    • SCR 306
    • SCR 307
    • SCR 308
  • Federal interlocutory appeals
    • The Cohen Doctrine & 1292(b)

2:15 – 2:45

Practice in the 7th Circuit Compared with the State Appellate Courts 

  • Jurisdictional differences between state and federal appellate courts
  • Post-notice of appeal, pre-brief filing procedural differences between state and federal appellate courts
  • Brief writing differences between state and federal appellate courts

2:45 – 3:00


3:00 – 4:00

Writing the Brief

  • Who is your audience?
  • Which issues to raise
  • Sections of the brief (facts, headings, argument, conclusion)
  • Technical requirements for state and federal briefs
  • Differences between Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court
  • Technical requirements for briefs in both state and federal appellate courts
  • Whether to include an appendix
  • Other details (tone, typos, citation typos)
  • Practical tips re: persuasiveness (what works with judges, what doesn’t)

4:00 – 4:30

Arguing the Case

  • Preparing for oral argument
  • Delivering the oral argument

4:30 – 5:00 

IL Supreme Court Practice 

  • Petitions for leave to appeal: timing and contents
  • Motions for supervisory orders or mandamus

Dates and Times and Locations

May 10, 2018

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (lunch on your own)
Check in between 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.


Pincus Professional Education
@Chicago Bar Association
321 S. Plymouth Court, Fifth Floor
Chicago IL 60604

(Be sure to arrive at least ten minutes before start time if you want to make sure you have a good seat)

Note: While we are holding this seminar in the Chicago Bar Association’s seminar room, for the convenience of the judges who are speaking, Pincus is not affiliated with the bar (though we do sponsor the Chicago Bar Foundation).


The following testimonials are from The Complete Appeal: Strategies from Start to Finish, which covered many of the same appellate topics and taught by some of the same faculty:

“I’ve been to several appellate seminars – the best I’ve ever attended.” – W. Monroe, Esq.

“I gained a lot of valuable information from this seminar. I thought the written materials were very good.”  – Susan Overbey, Esq.

“Great seminar, great location! Overall excellent program! Very engaging and I loved the mock oral argument, appellate timetable and urban myths.” – Katherine Grosh, Esq.

“This seminar was highly relevant to the pending appeal I am currently working on.” – D. O’Connor Ostin, Esq.

“The range of information provided was great.” – Gena Jones, Esq.

“I received a great deal of practical advice.” – Sean Murray, Esq.

“Excellent!” – Albert Lee, Esq.

“Excellent…it was a pleasure to be the recipient of so much wisdom.” – Calvin Campbell, Esq.

“Signed up just to get CLEs and an update of appellate practice. Got a LOT more.”

“Very knowledgeable panelists. Thank you.”

“Speakers were well organized, insightful and funny.”

“I appreciated your ‘nuts & bolts’ practical content.”

“Great speakers. Very effective and informative.”

“Good overview and practical tips and suggestions.”

“Excellent perspectives and experience shared.”

“Good overview of all parts of appeal for practitioner.”


Hon. Jesse Reyes

Illinois Appellate Court, First Appellate District

Judge Jesse Reyes has been a member of the judiciary since December, 1997, serving both as an associate and elected judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Reyes was elected to the Appellate Court in November, 2012. Judge Reyes received his B.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his J.D. degree from the John Marshall Law School.

Hon. Patricia S. Spratt
Circuit Court of Cook County

Patricia S. Spratt was appointed by the Illlinois Supreme Court as a Judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County as of September 8th, 2015.

Prior to her appointment, she had a successful litigation practice with a focus on appeals and commercial and business litigation. Prior to joining private practice, Ms. Spratt clerked for then Chief Judge William J. Bauer of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Spratt has also taught Appellate Advocacy at Loyola University, where she previously received her law degree and served as Editor for the Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal.

Jonathan B. Amarilio, Esq.
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Jonathan B. Amarilio focuses his practice in civil appellate litigation and critical motion practice and has been involved in numerous high profile cases. He regularly represents individuals, small businesses, state and local governments, and Fortune 500 companies before state and federal appellate courts, primarily the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Jonathan has also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois and as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago in a number of matters.

Jonathan has been honored as an Emerging Lawyer in 2015 – 2016 by the Leading Lawyers Network, and as a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers in 2014 – 2017.

Before joining the firm, Jonathan clerked for Justice James R. Epstein on the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, and for Justice James R. Epstein and Justice Michael B. Hyman in the General Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Jonathan received his B.A., cum laude, from American University and earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law. During law school, he was captain of the school’s National Trial Advocacy Team and was the recipient of the International Academy for Trial Lawyers Award for Distinction in Trial Advocacy Skills.

Jonathan is a contributor to the Illinois Appellate Lawyer Association’s blog “The Brief” on topics such as recent rule changes, developments in appellate law and other issues of interest to appellate practitioners. 

Joel D. Bertocchi, Esq.
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Joel Bertocchi is an experienced criminal and appellate litigator. His background includes tours with both federal and state government, and he has litigated in courts ranging from the trial level to the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Bertocchi briefs and argues civil and criminal appeals, as well as complex motions (class certification, dismissal, summary judgment, etc.) in trial courts.

Mr. Bertocchi has briefed and argued two cases in the United States Supreme Court and more than two dozen in the U.S. Court of Appeals and state supreme and appellate courts. In addition to his private practice, he has been a federal prosecutor as well as the top appellate lawyer for the State of Illinois.

Before joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Mr. Bertocchi was a partner at what is now Mayer Brown LLP, where he handled civil and criminal appeals, drafted and argued complex motions in civil and criminal cases, worked extensively with expert witnesses and provided strategic legal analysis on regulatory, fraud and RICO issues.

From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Bertocchi served as the Solicitor General of the State of Illinois, where he was the chief appellate lawyer for the State and managed a staff of 40 lawyers handling civil and criminal appeals on behalf of the State, its agencies and officials. While Solicitor General, Mr. Bertocchi also served as Vice Chair of the Illinois Criminal Code Rewrite and Reform Commission.

Before serving as Solicitor General, Mr. Bertocchi was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago. In that position he handled numerous complex appeals on behalf of the government, as well as jury trials and the supervision of federal grand jury investigations involving racketeering, private and government-related fraud, environmental crimes, public corruption and tax crimes.

Mr. Bertocchi also served as a Staff Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and as law clerk to the Honorable Aaron E. Goodstein, United States Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

In March 2007, Mr. Bertocchi received the Diversity Helping Hand Award from the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, in recognition of his assistance to the Association in filing amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court in cases dealing with affirmative action in education. Mr. Bertocchi has also received the U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance, as well as the “Supreme Court Best Brief Award” from the National Association of Attorneys General.

Mr. Bertocchi is actively involved in a variety of professional organizations. He served on the Committee on Federal Criminal Jury Instructions of the Seventh Circuit from 1996 to 1999 and is now the Reporter for that committee. In addition, he was a member of the Committee on Federal Civil Jury Instructions of the Seventh Circuit and its Patent Subcommittee from 2002 to 2008. Mr. Bertocchi is a member of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, a Master of the Bench of the Chicago Inn of Court and a member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers’ Association. He is also a member of Hinshaw’s Diversity Committee.

He has taught appellate practice for the U.S. Department of Justice and the National District Attorneys’ Association.

Since 2008, Mr. Bertocchi has been selected for inclusion in "The Best Lawyers in America®" in the area of Appellate Law. He is also a member of the Leading Lawyers Network, where he was selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in Civil Appellate Law.

In 2008 and 2009 Mr. Bertocchi was named to the Super Lawyer list in the area of general litigation, by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine. In 2010, he was named in the area of appellate law.

Mr. Bertocchi is the primary author of the chapter on “The Record on Appeal and the Appendix,” in the treatise Federal Appellate Practice (BNA 2008). His presentations include “Investigating Employee Misconduct,” at a seminar for the Community Bankers Association of Illinois, Naperville, Illinois, June 2008. 

Paul A. Castiglione, Esq.
Executive Assistant State’s Attorney for Policy
Office of the Illinois State Attorney

Paul A. Castiglione is the Policy Director in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Mr. Castiglione has engaged in general practice in the state and federal courts in the Chicago area from 1987 through the present. Mr. Castiglione has a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the Notre Dame Law School.

In his legal career, Mr. Castiglione has worked in both the private and the public sector. In 1987, Mr. Castiglione joined the firm of Joyce & Kubasiak, P.C. as an associate attorney and practiced general civil litigation. In 1994, Mr. Castiglione joined the Civil Actions Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. In this position, Mr. Castiglione concentrated his practice in governmental, commercial, tax, labor, telecommunications, contract procurement and civil rights litigation with an emphasis in appellate practice, class actions, federal and state constitutional claims and cases involving preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. Mr. Castiglione has litigated cases in the circuit courts in Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and has argued appeals in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

In September 2009, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez named Mr. Castiglione Executive Assistant State’s Attorney for Policy.

Scott Howie, Esq.
Pretzel & Stouffer

Scott specializes in civil appeals, focusing on civil appellate litigation in the state and federal reviewing courts. He has written appellate briefs and presented oral arguments in every reviewing court in Illinois and Wisconsin. Scott’s expertise in appellate matters extends to trial-level work, and he often counsels clients and the firm’s trial attorneys in developing and litigating cases in the lower courts, especially on interlocutory appeals and issues that are likely to arise on appeal. He frequently writes posttrial motions, or responses to such motions filed by adversaries, in anticipation of the appeals that often follow. Scott has also litigated issues of personal jurisdiction on appeal, successfully arguing in several cases that out-of-state defendants were not subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois courts.

Nancy Jack, Esq.
Judicial Law Clerk
Illinois Supreme Court

Nancy Jack currently serves as a law clerk to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Freeman and has over 18 years of appellate experience.  She has also served as a law clerk for an Illinois Appellate Court justice and as a research attorney at the Illinois Appellate Court.  Ms. Jack is experienced in both civil and criminal appellate law and has worked on cases involving a wide range of appellate issues including constitutional law, statutory interpretation, criminal and civil procedure, and administrative law.  

Ms. Jack is an adjunct law professor and teaches an appellate advocacy class where students write an appellate brief and give an oral argument.  She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Appellate Lawyers Association and as a Co-Chair of its Moot Court Committee. Ms. Jack earned her J.D. from the John Marshall Law School where she was a member of the Dean’s list, and earned her B.A. from the University of Iowa.  She is licensed to practice in Illinois.   


Scott Jacobson, Esq.

Illinois Appellate Court

Check back soon for full bio. 

Michael Scodro, Esq.
Mayer Brown LLP

Michael A. Scodro is a partner in the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice at Mayer Brown LLP in Chicago and teaches a seminar on the U.S. Supreme Court as a Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. From 2007-2014, he served as the Illinois Solicitor General. An experienced appellate lawyer, Michael has argued dozens of cases in federal and state supreme and appellate courts, including three in the U.S. Supreme Court.  He is chair of the ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers, past president of Illinois’ Appellate Lawyers Association, and chair of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Professional Responsibility. After graduating from Yale Law School, Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court.


Registration fees are per person

Individual: $425

Group: $399 per person for 2 or more from the same company pre-registering at the same time

Government employee/Non-Profit* Rate: $375

Law Students/paralegals*: $235 (current JD students only)


Program materials:

We’ve gone green.  Registration fees include an electronic copy of your handbook emailed one week in advance of the program.  Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it by then.

If you prefer, you may order a hard copy of the handout to be provided the day of the program for $25. To do so, please be sure to check the box when you register. If you want a hard copy, you must order it when you register; there will not be any available for purchase the day of the program.

** Legal Aid/Non-Profit attorneys are those attorneys employed by Legal Aid/Non-Profit firms. It does not include attorneys who have their own practice, or are employed by law firms, that volunteer their time for non-profit causes or take on pro-bono cases. Full and partial scholarships may be available to a limited number of non-profit/Legal Aid attorneys, based upon registration. Please call (877) 858-3848 to discuss or email your request to info@pincusproed.com



Sponsored By: 



CLE Credits

IL General:  This program is approved for 6.50 units of general CLE in Illinois through May 9, 2020.

CA General:  This program is approved for 6.5 units of general CLE in California.

NJ General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New Jersey’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 6.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NJ approved jurisdiction. See the New Jersey State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

NY General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 6.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NY approved jurisdiction. See Section 6 of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

This program is approved for CLE in the states listed above.  Upon request, Pincus Pro Ed will provide any information an attorney needs to support their application for CLE approval in other states other than what is listed above.

Terms & Refund Policies

Recording policy: No audio or video recording of any program is permitted.

Seminar Cancellations: Should you be unable to attend for any reason, please inform us in writing no later than 14 days prior to the event and a credit voucher will be issued. If you prefer, a refund, less a $50 non-refundable deposit, will be issued. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received within 14 days of an event. However, if you notify us within 14 days of an event, and wish to convert your in-person attendance registration to an Audio CD package (with handout), we can do so. A small additional shipping charge, and sales tax in CA, will be incurred. No shipping charge is incurred for downloads. We will also issue a voucher for the amount paid if you notify us within 14 days and prefer not to have the audio recording.

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Reminder: The room temperature at hotels and other seminar locations are notoriously hard to control. Please bring a sweater or jacket in case it gets cold and/or layer as if you are going to the movies so you are comfortable.

For policies related to audio products, please select “I want a download or CD” on the right.

$235.00$425.00 each

Our beginner-level appellate seminar, Appellate Practice 101: The Nuts and Bolts, focuses on teaching the attorney new to appeals how to deal with an appeal from start to finish and providing a refresher for those who have not handled an appeal in quite a while.  The program covers both codes and case law, as well as providing crtiical insight and strategies that will help you with your next appeal.


Printed Materials

[ All attendees receive a pdf of the materials one week prior to the program. To purchase a printed hard copy, please select this option to order it now. ]

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