A federal appeals court in Chicago on Friday upheld a lower court decision to throw out as defendants a Chicago lawyer and his firm in a sordid Cicero civil conspiracy case on the ground that there simply was no viable legal theory to be applied.

But despite the ruling, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel took time in its opinion to question the ethics of attorney Jerome H. Torshen. What particularly concerned the court was the fact that, while representing the plaintiff in the course of the conspiracy battle against the town of Cicero, Torshen negotiated a settlement that contained a unique provision calling for him to be later retained by the town in another case.