For all of you pro se’ers out there. The basic format of how to do a Motion for Reconsideration

Below is a format I received from another attorney on how to put together a Motion for Reconsideration:

the Format for a Motion for Reconsideration is as follows:

Pleading header

Pleading title “Motion for Reconsideration of Order Granted X date doing Y”

Text–be sure to number all paragraphs in your Motion.  You may wish to file a separate Brief on just the Facts and Case Law if your Motion is over 8 to 10 pages.

Now comes your Movant, name, and respectfully moves this court to reconsider the Order that was entered on X date granting Y to Z.  Your Movant desires to Vacate this Order on the following grounds (list 3 best reasons).

Next is Background of Facts OR Procedure. Put either one first.  You can sometimes skip the procedural history,  but always remind the court of the facts, that is, YOUR facts.

Background of Procedure.  List all significant motions, pleadings filed and procedure taking place in court since the inception of the case leading up to the Order X granted by the court.  Don’t list more than 2 pages of synopsis.  Just the Cliff notes, please

Background of Facts.  List all facts in your case that are in your favor that form the basis for why the court was wrong.

Argument.  Argues your 3 best points based upon facts.

Case Law.  Add in all cases you can find that support your premise the court was wrong.  Illinios appellate case law is best to cite.  You can use Westlaw and Lexis at the law library at the Daley Center to find cases or go through the books. The librarian can show you or hire a law student that has finished their legal research and writing class and already knows how to do all of this.  They may be able to pull cases for you too or show you how to do it yourself. Do not cite trial court decisions except in very limited situations and then apologize for doing this because there was limited case law at the appellate law level.  The ARDC does this all the time.  They also lie about cases.  NEVER lie to the court about a case.

Conclusion.  Give a brief one paragraph conclusion

Relief Sought.  Be specific what you want the court to do.  Reverse it’s decision, allow more discovery on certain issues, etc.  Be very specific.  In general, if you don’t ask you are not going to get.

Don’t forget to verify.  State at the end that all statements made in your pleading were true to the best of your recollection and information. Where based upon information and belief, were believed to be true at the time the statements were made.

Certificate of Service.  Send a copy to everyone that has filed an appearance in the case since it began.  You may serve by fax or email to save on postage and paper.  Simply state that you served A, B and C at their post office address and/or emails as shown on Z date.

Signature.  A signature or esignature is required on every pleading filed.

IMPORTANT:  length of pleadings.  In general, try to make the Motion under 5 to 6 pages. The Brief should always be under 15 pages.  Check the court website or with the clerk for the proper page length.

Funny story.  A lawyer had a complicated case he lost at the trial court level and took up on appeal.  He just needed a few extra pages in his brief, so he filed a Motion to Increase Brief Size Instanter (on the spot).  He waited while the Appellate Clerk took the Motion to one of the Justices.  The Order came back DENIED.  Enraged, the lawyer went through the copies and tore out 5 pages at random.  True story, Ken swears.

This is the general format for pleadings.

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