Usually after a trial court renders a verdict, the defendants get one shot on appeal as of right. If they lose that then they can make a motion to re-argue in that court which is permissive or they can appeal to the states highest court which usually has the discretion to take the cases they see fit. It is not unlikely that your opponents will seek to take advantage of each step until the court of last resort says no more.
I would figure that this could take another year or even two to come to an end. Additionally the party's can settle anytime even if the case is on appeal.
This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.
The moving party has 30 days after final order of court to file an appeal. The first appeal - to the Illinois Court of Appeals - is by right. The next appeal - to the Illinois Supreme Court - is discretionary, ie. the Supreme Court takes which cases it pleases. After each stage of the process, the court's ruling becomes final in 30 days if no further action is taken.
Please understand that answering this doesnâ€™t create an attorney/client relationship between us, and as hard as I try to answer your question well, it isnâ€™t legal advice. No matter how much information you put into a question, the answers you are going to get are still going to be vague. It is in your interest to contact a lawyer, most of whom will do a free consultation. Even 15 minutes with a lawyer is going to produce a more specific answer to your problem.
Yes, the Illinois Appellate Court (http://www.state.il.us/court/appellatecourt/) is a separate court.
Assuming that the complex appellate rules and procedures are followed (many civil appeals are simply dismissed, without any review), the appellate court would review what happened in the circuit court and decide whether there were any legal errors.
If the judge in your case denies the motion to reconsider and the other side does file a notice of appeal, I would strongly encourage you to retain a competent appellate lawyer.
Hope this helps. Good luck to you.