Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Civil Practice

Voluntary Dismissal: The Hudson Doctrine Four Years Later By Anne M. Skrodzki June 2012 Article, Page 302 In Hudson v. City of Chicago, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the res judicata doctrine limits a plaintiff’s ability to refile a voluntarily dismissed claim after the involuntary dismissal of an earlier claim. So when can a voluntary claim be refiled?
A Bricoleur’s Response to Murphy’s Law By Hon. Ron Spears May 2012 Column, Page 270 "Bricolage" is the art of creating a solution using whatever is available. It's an art litigators would do well to cultivate.
The Revestment Doctrine: Alive and Well or On Its Last Legs? By Kristopher N. Classen February 2012 Article, Page 94 Under the revestment doctrine, litigants can "revest" the trial court with otherwise expired jurisdiction by participating in a case without objection 30 or more days after entry of the final order. But recent rulings draw the viability of the doctrine into question.
The Dangers of Litigating in the Media By Richard L. Miller, II January 2012 Article, Page 42 A look at the risks your client takes by publicly discussing an ongoing case and why doing so is usually a bad idea.
Service by publication insufficient for eminent domain proceeding August 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 388 Service by publication only establishes personal jurisdiction in an eminent domain case where the entity seizing land has diligently searched for all potential parties to the action, according to an Illinois Court of Appeals ruling.
The Limits on Legislative Power to Withhold Subject Matter Jurisdiction By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness June 2011 Column, Page 316 The supreme court underscores the limits on the power to decide which cases courts can hear.
Estop that Lawsuit: Judicial Estoppel and the Bankruptcy Debtor-Turned-Plaintiff By Christopher B. Lega May 2011 Article, Page 250 Judicial estoppel can derail a plaintiff who filed for bankruptcy but then brought a lawsuit he failed to reveal in the bankruptcy case.
What judges want By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 LawPulse, Page 174 You'll make your judge happy - or at least less unhappy - if you learn some of the unwritten rules that vary by type of case presented and by region.
The Power of Pre-Suit Discovery: Supreme Court Rule 224 By Timothy J. Harris March 2011 Article, Page 136 Pre-suit discovery under SCR 224 is a powerful and underused way to identify potential parties, investigate an incident, protect evidence, and avoid secondary spoliation claims.
Process servers may be refused entry into correctional institutions and jails. PA 096-1451 March 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 Illinois lawmakers amended the Code of Civil Procedure to allow correctional institutions, facilities and jails to refuse entry to process servers for security purposes. 735 ILCS 5/2-203.2 new.
Vailas: An Ill-Conceived Limit on Modifying Child Support Orders By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness March 2011 Column, Page 160 While Vailas' goal of protecting nonresidents is laudable, the approach it took commands too high a price.
Goodbye to the “Conspiracy” Theory of Personal Jurisdiction? By Stephen A. Wood and James M. Reiland January 2011 Article, Page 28 Goodbye to the "Conspiracy" Theory of Personal Jurisdiction?
Non-identical Twins: The Illinois and Federal Rules of Evidence By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness December 2010 Column, Page 642 Important differences between the two limit the persuasive power of federal precedents in Illinois.
The preclusive effect of summary suspension hearings in subsequent adjudication December 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 616 On September 23, 2010, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the Circuit Court of Champaign County's finding of probable cause at the hearing on plaintiff's petition to rescind his statutory summary suspension, pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/2-118.1, did not bar the issue of probable cause from re-litigation in a civil suit for malicious prosecution.
Can you stay a federal appellate court ruling while your petition for cert is pending? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2010 LawPulse, Page 502 Maybe, if you can show a reasonable chance of succeeding at the Supreme Court level and irreparable harm if the stay isn't granted. You've taken a case through federal district court and the seventh circuit court of appeals. The result wasn't exactly what you wanted for your client, but the court has issued its mandate and you can no longer move for rehearing.
Web Auction Sales and Long-Arm Jurisdiction By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness September 2010 Column, Page 486 A court rules that an Illinois eBay buyer could not hale a California seller into court in Illinois.
Can you cite to unpublished opinions? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2010 LawPulse, Page 286 In Illinois state court, no. In Illinois-based federal district courts, yes.
Judicial Versus Legislative Authority after Lebron By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness June 2010 Column, Page 324 The med-mal caps ruling continues the age-old battle over separation of powers.
Prior sexual activity or reputation evidence generally not admissible in civil trials. PA 096-0307 May 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 236 New amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure clarify that evidence to prove a victim's prior sexual behavior or reputation is generally not admissible in a civil trial. 735 ILCS 5/8-2801.
Red Light Cameras: Innocent But Guilty By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness March 2010 Column, Page 158 Learn about the losing battle to challenge automated traffic enforcement.
Amended CCP section 13-202.2(b) cannot be applied retroactively to resuscitate previously barred claims February 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 On November 25, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss, in a complaint against the defendant for injuries the plaintiff sustained as a result of alleged sexual abuse.
Nonlawyers in Administrative Adjudications By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness December 2009 Column, Page 636 Nonlawyers can represent an employer in administrative proceedings before the IDES.
An order to dissolve a preliminary injunction constitutes a legal conclusion that the preliminary injunction was wrongfully issued November 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 552 On September 9, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County and remanded with direction. 
Although a trial court’s failure to rule on a motion in limine may constitute an abuse of discretion, a harmless error will not overturn a ruling. October 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 496 On July 24, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County, holding that the trial court did not err when it deferred ruling on the defendant’s motion in limine until after he testified.  
The Overlooked Art of Redirect Examination By Jeffrey J. Kroll and Patrick White August 2009 Article, Page 406 Redirect examination is a powerful weapon for litigators, but it can backfire on those who forget its central purpose - to rehabilitate witnesses.
The Admissibility of Other Misconduct in Civil Cases By Michael J. Polelle July 2009 Article, Page 364 As a rule, character evidence is inadmissible in civil cases even if proved circumstantially. Here are two exceptions to the rule.
Making evidence meaningful By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2009 LawPulse, Page 278 A veteran lawyer and trial judge tells litigators how to present evidence in a way that engages and wins over jurors.
Postjudgement Sanctions: Do Trial Courts Have Too Little Power? By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness June 2009 Column, Page 314 Illinois judges should be free to impose sanctions for misconduct after final judgement and on behalf of nonparties if the facts warrant.
Foreclosure defense a practice option real estate lawyers By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2009 LawPulse, Page 220 Representing foreclosed-on homeowners might be a way for real estate lawyers to pick up slack left by the weak economy.
The Power Behind the Robe: A Primer on Contempt Law By Timothy L. Bertschy and Nathaniel E. Strickler May 2009 Article, Page 246 The power of contempt is a confusing mix of civil and criminal law concepts overlaid with constitutional implications. Here's a review.