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Illinois Supreme Court Allows Circuit Court To Resolve Referral Fee Dispute

FERRIS, THOMPSON & ZWEIG, LTD. v. Esposito, Ill: Supreme Court 2015 – Google Scholar.

This mundane dispute between two law firms quarreling over a referral fee reached the Illinois Supreme Court. Because the underlying case was a workers compensation case, the Defendant law firm argued that the dispute should have been resolved by the Workers Compensation Commission. The Supreme Court, affirming the Appellate Court, held that the dispute presented an issue of contract, which should be resolved by the Circuit Court.

This is the key language:

ΒΆ 39 In sum, we conclude that the Act does not provide the Commission with authority to hear and determine this dispute based on the referral agreements between plaintiff and defendant. The legislature did not explicitly divest the circuit courts of jurisdiction to consider the claims in plaintiff’s complaint by enacting a comprehensive administrative scheme. Accordingly, the circuit court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.