Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Friend of the Court Brief to Preserve a Fair Verdict

Bruce Pfaff yesterday filed a motion in the Illinois Appellate Court for leave to file a friend of the court ("amicus curiae") brief in support of a plaintiff whose son was shot and killed by a City of Chicago employee. The tragic event was captured on a surveillance camera at a CTA stop. In the case, Pleasance v. City, plaintiff received a jury award of $12.5 million. The Appellate Court last month reversed the verdict and directed that the case be retried.

We believe that the appellate court made substantial errors and have joined in the plaintiff's request for a rehearing. Bruce Pfaff's brief was filed on behalf of the Illinois Trial Lawyers' Association, the premier plaintiff trial lawyers' organization in Illinois. He has chaired that group's Amicus Curiae committee on a volunteer basis since 1994 and has prepared more than thirty friend of the court briefs on different issues of importance to personal injury clients.

In the brief filed on behalf of the Illinois Trial Lawyers' Association, Pfaff argues that the jury instructions that the appellate court criticized were perfectly proper for use in the case. He also noted that if the appellate court felt that the award was too high, they should directly address that issue rather than send the family back to the trial court for another trial and perhaps another appeal. Justice delayed is justice denied in many cases.

For copies of the brief, please contact Bruce Pfaff directly.

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