SOURCE: Sedgwick LLP

Sedgwick LLP

February 12, 2015 13:00 ET

Sedgwick LLP Launches Illinois Supreme Court Review

Provides Historical Data, Predictive Analysis in Advance of Pension Reform Arguments

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Feb 12, 2015) - Sedgwick LLP announces the launch of its latest blog, the Illinois Supreme Court Review (http://www.illinoissupremecourtreview.com). Edited by Partner Kirk C. Jenkins of the Chicago office, it provides readers with quantitative insight into the work of the Supreme Court of Illinois based on sophisticated scholarly techniques for understanding group decision making.

"This is a true passion project for Kirk. The dividend for interested court watchers is that now, for the first time, a true warehouse of data and analysis is available from an experienced appellate lawyer," said James H. Keale, chair of Sedgwick's Complex Litigation Division.

The blog's content is driven from a data library of 620 civil cases decided between Jan. 1, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2014. Opinions were reviewed and coded for 48 different data points. This period of study encompasses the entire career of every current justice but one, Charles E. Freeman.

The property was launched in advance of March's scheduled arguments before the Supreme Court of Illinois on the constitutionality of the state's pension reform bill (In Re: Pension Reform Litigation) signed into law by then-Governor Pat Quinn in December 2013. If upheld, state pension contributions in fiscal year 2016 could be reduced by roughly $1 billion by lowering cost-of-living adjustments, capping pensionable salaries and raising retirement ages. The law's stated goal is to bring the state's retirement systems to full funding by reducing contributions by nearly $145 billion over the next 30 years. Notably, the Illinois Supreme Court Review's mathematical model contains every public pension case decided by the court since 2000.

"We founded the Illinois Supreme Court Review to propose powerful new tools for the appellate lawyer's tool kit. Appellate lawyers are to a considerable degree in the business of anticipating the views and inclinations of appellate judges and justices. We are bringing the power of data analytics and other academic techniques for studying group decision making to the task of interpreting the work of the Illinois Supreme Court," said Jenkins.

Jenkins chairs Sedgwick's Appellate Task Force. He has maintained an exclusively appellate practice for the past twenty years, serving as lead appellate counsel in more than 200 appeals and many additional interlocutory petitions in state and federal courts across the country. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in the field of appellate law each year since 2010 and is an elected member of the American Law Institute. He is also editor of the Illinois Supreme Court Review's sister blog The Appellate Strategist (http://www.appellatestrategist.com). 

Sedgwick LLP provides trial, appellate, litigation management, counseling, risk management and transactional legal services to the world's leading companies. With offices in Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Kansas City, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Orange County (California), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and an affiliated office in Bermuda, Sedgwick's collective experience spans the globe and virtually every industry. For more information about Sedgwick, its lawyers and services, visit www.sedgwicklaw.com.

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