Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 93-D-1904 Honorable Hollis L. Webster Brian R. McKillip, Judges, Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Kapala
Petitioner Susan Devick (petitioner) appeals from two orders of the circuit court of Du Page County, entered pursuant to section 508(c) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the Act) (750 ILCS 5/508(c) (West 2000)), which denied her petition for attorney fees against third-party respondent, Platinum Technology, Inc. (Platinum), and which granted the petition for attorney fees filed against her by her former attorney, petitioner William Stogsdill, Jr., P.C. (Stogsdill), in the amount of $13,743.86. For the following reasons, we dismiss petitioner's appeal as to the denial of her petition for attorney fees against Platinum, and we reverse and remand in part and affirm in part the order granting Stogsdill attorney fees.
This appeal stems from matters that arose out of a dissolution of marriage proceeding between petitioner and respondent, Steven Devick. It is necessary to a proper understanding of the issues in this appeal to set forth a brief history of this litigation.
On July 29, 1993, petitioner filed a petition for the dissolution of her marriage to respondent. During the marriage, petitioner and respondent acquired shares of Platinum stock in joint tenancy. Early in April 1996, respondent, as a director of Platinum, signed an affiliate agreement that effectively restricted the transfer of the Platinum stock until the next financial statement was issued. This was apparently required pursuant to a purchase of two other companies by Platinum. Petitioner was not aware of the affiliate agreement or the concomitant restriction on the transfer of the stock.
On April 16, 1996, the trial court entered a judgment of dissolution of marriage. On that same date, petitioner and respondent signed a marital settlement agreement, which awarded petitioner 127,616 shares of Platinum stock. Pursuant to the marital settlement agreement, respondent was required to effect the transfer of the stock to petitioner, which he did, through Merrill Lynch, the broker with regard to the shares. When petitioner received the shares on June 4, 1996, they contained the restriction that prohibited their transfer.
Petitioner then filed, under the case number of the dissolution proceeding, a petition to enforce the judgment of dissolution against respondent, seeking to obtain unrestricted shares. She later joined Platinum as a third-party respondent. Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment, contending that he had no control over Platinum's refusal to provide the unrestricted shares. The court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment.
Petitioner filed a motion for summary judgment against Platinum in which she argued, relying on section 8--401 of the Uniform Commercial Code (810 ILCS 5/8--401 (West 1998)), that Platinum had no authority to transfer the shares to her with the restrictions. On May 4, 1999, the trial court granted petitioner's motion for summary judgment. The May 4 order also provided that it "disposed of all pending issues" and "shall be final and appealable." On June 4, 1999, 31 days after the entry of the May 4 order, Platinum filed a motion to reconsider the May 4 order. Also, on June 10, 1999, Platinum filed in this court a motion for leave to file a late notice of appeal. Petitioner subsequently filed a memorandum in this court opposing Platinum's motion to file a late notice of appeal. This court, on June 25, 1999, issued an order denying Platinum's motion for leave to file a late notice of appeal.
Our June 25 order stated that the motion was denied because "the written order in the trial court was not a final appealable order pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 304(a)." Petitioner also moved to dismiss Platinum's motion to reconsider the May 4 order as being untimely. The trial court denied petitioner's motion to dismiss and, on September 17, 1999, denied, on its merits, Platinum's motion to reconsider. Platinum filed a timely notice of appeal, and this court affirmed. See In re Marriage of Devick, 315 Ill. App. 3d 908 (2000).
Following her victory on appeal, petitioner filed, again as part of the dissolution proceeding, a petition for attorney fees on October 20, 2000, against Platinum. The petition for attorney fees was filed pursuant to sections 508(a)(2) and (a)(3) of the Act (750 ILCS 5/508(a)(2), (a)(3) (West 2000)). This petition asked for attorney fees in the amount of $152,400.86.
Two days earlier, petitioner's attorney, Stogsdill, filed a petition for attorney fees "pursuant to Section 508 of the Act." The Stogsdill petition sought attorney fees from petitioner in the amount of $79,610. On January 10, 2001, after being given leave to withdraw as required by section 508(c), Stogsdill filed an amended petition, again seeking $79,610.
The court conducted a hearing on the petitioner's petition for attorney fees against Platinum on January 2, 2001. On January 12, 2001, the court denied the petition for attorney fees and also denied petitioner's request to appeal the court's ruling pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 304(a) (155 Ill. 2d R. 304(a)). As of January 12, 2001, the Stogsdill fee petition was still pending.
In its petition for attorney fees against petitioner, Stogsdill sought, among other things, reimbursement from petitioner for sanctions it was ordered to pay pursuant to a Rule 137 (155 Ill. 2d R. 137) proceeding brought by Merrill Lynch and for the time Stogsdill spent defending itself against the Rule 137 petition. The Rule 137 proceeding was based on a subpoena duces tecum issued to Joseph Ganotti of Merrill Lynch related to petitioner's efforts to obtain the unrestricted ...