Cripe v. Leiter

184 Ill.2d 185, 703 N.Ed.2d 100, 234 Ill. Dec. 488 (1998)

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Cripe v. Leiter

Illinois Supreme Court
184 Ill.2d 185, 703 N.Ed.2d 100, 234 Ill. Dec. 488 (1998)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

Roberta Schmitz retained attorney Thomas Leiter of the Leiter Group (collectively, Leiter) (defendants) to represent her in transferring two trusts left by her deceased husband. The new bank was appointed successor trustee, and Leiter was appointed the trusts’ attorney. Mrs. Schmitz’s daughter, Roberta Cripe (plaintiff) filed a petition to be appointed Schmitz’s guardian. Schmitz retained Leiter to represent her in the guardianship proceeding. The guardianship petition was dismissed. After Schmitz moved, Cripe was appointed Schmitz’s guardian. Cripe filed an action against Leiter, alleging among other claims that Leiter violated Illinois’s Consumer Fraud Act (the CFA or the act) by charging excessive and unreasonable fees. The court held that the CFA did not apply to legal services or the billing of legal services and dismissed the CFA counts. The appellate court reversed, holding that the CFA was applicable to the commercial aspects of legal practice, which include billing. Leiter was granted leave to appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bilandic, J.)

Dissent (Harrison, J.)

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