News & Insights

Attorney's Lien Against Tobacco Funds Is Not a Claim Against the State

01 Nov 2001

The Illinois Supreme Court rules that an attorney's lien proceeding against the proceeds of the State's tobacco settlement is not a claim against the State of Illinois, rather it is a statutory claim against a fund of monies to be paid by private tobacco defendants. The Court held the circuit court may adjudicate the claim against the fund. Because the source of the fund at issue is not the state treasury, sovereign immunity is not implicated and the circuit court, not the Court of Claims, is the proper forum to adjudicate the attorney's lien. People of State of Illinois v. Phillip Morris Inc., Nos. 90185-186, 2001 WL 1243657 (Ill. S. Ct., Oct. 18, 2001).