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Author Archives: Derek Hawkins

Attorney Fees

Cross-Appellants Eric Hurkman, Richard McGeehan, and Timothy Wrzesinski appeal the probate court’s denial of their individual requests for attorney fees and costs from the estate of Harold Hartshorne related to the real property date-of-death valuation the personal representatives used in the inventory, interim accounting, and federal real estate tax return filings for the estate.

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Termination of Parental Rights

On appeal, K.J. and A.W. argue that: (1) the circuit court erred when it denied the parents’ postdisposition motions without a hearing; (2) the circuit court had no competence to proceed with Diane’s second TPR because the underlying CHIPS order expired following the denial of the State’s first TPR petition; (3) issue preclusion applied to the second TPR trial and counsel was ineffective for failing to raise the issue; (4) the circuit court erroneously considered evidence relating to the abuse of Diane’s older brother; and (5) a finding of error causing reversal of Diane’s case would necessitate reversal of Andrew’s case pursuant to the doctrine of prejudicial spillover. We address each issue.

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Fiduciary Liability

This case arises out of the Illinois Gaming Board’s decision to revoke Emerald Casino, Inc.’s gaming license. In an attempt to recover the value of the license, the bankruptcy trustee sued the defendants—former Emerald officers, directors, and shareholders—for breach of contract and breach of their fiduciary duties.

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Sufficiency of Evidence

Relator and plaintiff‐appellant George Bellevue filed a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., and its Illinois analog, the Illinois False Claims Act (IFCA), 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 175/1 et seq., on behalf of the United States and the State of Illinois against defendant‐appellee Universal Health Services of Hartgrove, Incorporated (“Hartgrove”).

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