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Quilici v. Second Amendment Foundation

decided: July 30, 1985.

VICTOR D. QUILICI, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
SECOND AMENDMENT FOUNDATION, ET AL., DEFENDANT-APPELLEES



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division - No. 83 C 1751 - James B. Moran, Judge.

Eschbach, Flaum, Circuit Judges, and Gibson, Senior Circuit Judge.*fn*

Author: Gibson

GIBSON, Senior Circuit Judge.

The plaintiff, Victor D. Quilici, appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment upon the defendants', collectively referred to as the Second Amendment Foundation, motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). We affirm.

I.

The plaintiff was one of three attorneys who delivered oral arguments before this court on appeal of a district court decision upholding the constitutionality of a handgun ban passed by the Village of Morton Grove. See generally Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove, 532 F. Supp. 1169 (N.D. Ill. 1981), aff'd, 695 F.2d 261 (7th Cir. 1982) (Coffey, J., dissenting), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 863, 78 L. Ed. 2d 170, 104 S. Ct. 194 (1983). The defendants publish a newsletter, "The Weekly Bullet." In its June 7, 1982, issue, The Weekly Bullet commented on the oral argument in the handgun ban case before this court. The June 7th article, in pertinent part, with emphasis added, is as follows:

MORTON GROVE APPEAL HEARD IN CHICAGO

On Friday, May 28, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals: Seventh Circuit, heard the oral arguments of the pro-gun appeal to Judge Decker's onerous decision which upheld the Morton Grove handgun ban. Decker's decision had been handed down last December. Pro-gun attorney Victor Quilici, the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association all filed appeals to overturn it in March.

The oral arguments were heard Friday morning in Chicago at the Federal Building. Second Amendment Foundation attorney Don B. Kates, Jr., noted criminologist and pro-gun scholar, and NRA attorney Dan Moran of the Chicago law firm Peterson and Houpt, made presentations to the judges on behalf of the individual plaintiffs supported by their respective organizations. Quilici represented himself. . . .

Unfortunately, the presentation by the pro-gun side was beset with problems, leading one observer to remark that the appeal may be seriously jeopardized by the manner in which the oral arguments were made.

Greg McDonald, SAF executive director, attended the hearings in Chicago and agreed with the assessment. McDonald said, "I was pleased by the way in which our attorneys and the NRA attorneys cooperated. But quite frankly, I felt that the presentation made by Victor Quilici was poor. It may have sunk our appeal."

Because three cases were filed challenging the Morton Grove ordinance by three separate parties, the federal court consolidated the cases into one. This has meant that three groups of attorneys have had to work together in the preparation of briefs and oral presentations. So far this working relationship has fared well, despite some strains.

However, apparently Quilici was very uncooperative during the preparation of the oral presentations for the appeal. The pro-gun side was given thirty minutes by the Court to present the appeal. The NRA and SAF attorneys had worked to divide the responsibilities for presentation of the arguments. Quilici was supposed to have gone first, presenting several arguments relating to the Illinois Constitution and using no more than 6 minutes. The NRA was to follow, presenting additional Illinois constitutional arguments and then present arguments to the Court asking it to abstain until the Illinois State Supreme Court issued a ruling. The NRA was to have taken about 5 minutes.

Finally, SAF attorney Don Kates was to present a 4 to 5 minute argument explaining that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ...


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