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Illinois Supreme Court Eases Rule on Appeals

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill – The Illinois Supreme Court Monday changed a legal rule that had been a road block for appeals in civil lawsuits.

The rule says that before defendants can appeal a loss, they must come up with all the money the jury has ordered them to pay. That means if they can't pay, they can't appeal.

But the new version of the rule lets judges reduce the amount losers must post as bond if they believe the money is not reasonably available.

That does not change the damages that defendants ultimately have to pay if their appeal fails.

The new rule comes after cigarette giant Philip Morris last year was ordered to post a $12 billion bond before appealing its loss in a lawsuit by Illinois smokers.

The Supreme Court later reduced the bond to $6 billion.

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