MOUNT VERNON – Amanda Verett must pay an arbitration award along with law partner Patricia Dennis because they missed a deadline to reject it, Fifth District appellate court judge decided.

They affirmed Madison County Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn, who approved a $17,530.45 award in favor of Yellow Book Sales and Distribution Company last year.

Verett and Dennis waited 20 days too long to reject an arbitrator's ruling that they breached a contract for directory advertising.

"By failing to file a notice of their rejection within the prescribed time period, the defendants have waived their right to proceed to trial on the plaintiff's complaint," Justice James Wexstten wrote on Feb. 11.

"The Illinois rules establish one procedure to challenge an award entered in a mandatory arbitration proceeding: a party must timely file a notice of the rejection of the award, pay the rejection fee, and request a trial," he wrote.

Thomas Maag of Edwardsville represented Verett and Dennis.

Maag also represents Verett in a personal injury suit against Pizza Hut and Troy policeman Clarence Jackson.

In that case, Verett claims that either Pizza Hut's faulty door or Jackson's brutality jerked her severely enough to injure her shoulder.

Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth granted summary judgment to defendants last year.

Verett appealed to the Fifth District, where the case remains pending.

In the Yellow Book case, the arbitrator's award reached Mendelsohn in July 2008.

Verett and Dennis moved to correct the award.

Mendelsohn denied the motion on Oct. 17, 2008, starting a 30 day period for Verett and Bradley to reject the award.

Fifty days later, they filed a rejection notice.

If they had asked for an extension, Mendelsohn could have granted it.

They didn't, and Mendelsohn confirmed the award.

On appeal, Maag mounted no argument beyond taking an extension for granted.

Wexstten wrote that "defendants concede that they filed a rejection of the arbitration award more than 30 days after the denial of the motion for a correction."

They articulated no reason for the delay, he wrote.

Troy Bozarth of Edwardsville represented Yellow Book.

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