Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Evidence

So you want to subpoena a party’s e-mails? By George S. Bellas and Steve Ford Civil Practice and Procedure, November 2014 Many courts across the United States have quashed subpoenas on the basis that an Internet service provider cannot be compelled to disclose a party’s e-mails pursuant to a civil subpoena.
Third District explores foundational pitfalls and the prejudicial effect of demonstrative evidence By Amelia S. Buragas and Laura Castagna Tort Law, September 2014 In Lorenz v. Pledge, the Third District explains the foundational requirements of demonstrative evidence, and ultimately concludes that admission of demonstrative evidence absent adequate foundation may be reversible error.
Sharbono v. Hilborn: The use of PowerPoint at trial—More than just demonstrative evidence? By Richard L. Turner Civil Practice and Procedure, July 2014 The case of Sharbono v. Hilborn presents an interesting discussion with respect to the use of technology at trial, and whether a PowerPoint presentation can be properly classified as either “demonstrative” or “evidentiary,” as well as the necessary foundation for the use of such technology/demonstration at trial.
Case notes By Paul J. Cain and Angela Rollins Criminal Justice, June 2014 Summaries of the recent cases of People v. Pikes and People v. Cleary.
Illinois business records: Getting them in at trial By Paul B. Porvaznik Commercial Banking, Collections, and Bankruptcy, December 2013 In Bank of America v. Land, the Fifth District discussed the content and reach of the business record exception to the hearsay rule in the context of a mortgage foreclosure suit.
The Illinois duty to preserve ESI: A bridge over troubled waters By George S. Bellas and Rebecca Pucinski Keithley Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2013 Due to the dramatic increase in the use of digital technology in business today, the time is ripe for the judiciary and practitioners to take note of how electronically stored information is gathered and used at trial.
Wayback machine: Unraveling the evidentiary path to the Internet Archive service By Bradley N. Pollock and Anne K. Knight Tort Law, November 2012 The Wayback Machine, which surfs the Internet and automatically captures and preserves copies of Web pages, can be an excellent source of evidentiary material. But once this information is found, how does a practitioner go about admitting it into evidence?
Reply briefs: Who speaks last to the court? By Ambrose V. McCall Federal Civil Practice, September 2012 The Smith v. Bray opinion aids efforts to provide reply arguments, within the context of summary judgment, because the Seventh Circuit clarified that parties who were prevented from responding to new evidentiary issues at the trial court level will receive that opportunity on appeal.
Scales v. Benne: Appellate Court addresses the use of photos produced at time of trial By Bridget A. Mitchell Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2012 Disclosure of photos is governed by SCR 214, not SCR 213, and parties will be barred from using photos not produced prior to trial that were the subject of a SCR 214 request.
Don’t be intimidated by DUIs with blood evidence By Erica Nichols Traffic Laws and Courts, August 2011 Each type of blood draw has its own legal requirements for admission into evidence at trial. It is these requirements that provide the opportunity to defeat the blood evidence.
Sanctions and spoliation By Hon. Barbara Crowder Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2011 Knowing the potential and most frequently used sanctions may assist counsel in evaluating what steps to take when faced with the loss or destruction of evidence. 
Colella v. JMS: A good review of evidentiary issues, jury instructions and damages at trial By Dennis M. Lynch and Matthew M. Gannon Tort Law, May 2011 A look at the case of Colella v. JMS Trucking Co. of Ill., Inc., 403 Ill.App.3d 82 (1st Dist. 2010).
Internet evidence: How to authenticate evidence from the Internet under the new Illinois Rules of Evidence By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Bench and Bar, May 2011 A look at the relative simplicity of authenticating Internet evidence and the novel applications under the rules to this point.
Obtaining documents abroad: A primer for Illinois attorneys By Timothy J. Chorvat and Matthew A. Wlodarczyk Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2011 A look at the law relating to obtaining documents from sources abroad, and some suggestions on how to maximize the likelihood of obtaining useful information.
So your client has given you physical evidence of a crime… By J. Randall Cox Traffic Laws and Courts, May 2011 On the one hand, the delivery to the attorney is a communication which the attorney is required to protect. (Rule 1.6) However, an attorney is not to unlawfully obstruct another party’s access to evidence. (Rule 3.4) How is this conflict resolved? The courts of Illinois do not appear to have directly addressed this.
Internet evidence: How to authenticate evidence from the Internet under the new Illinois Rules of Evidence By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2011 The new Illinois Rules of Evidence, which went into effect January 1, 2011, closely follow the federal rules both substantively and procedurally in the area of authentication of evidence and, specifically, Internet evidence.
Presenting the evidence: Direct examination By Hon. Barbara Crowder Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2010 The careful attorney will prepare for direct examination by deciding the facts that need to be proved via direct examination, then prepare for the actual examination, and finally prepare for the pitfalls that invariably occur when real people testify.
Workplace discrimination: A primer on gathering evidence By Peter LaSorsa Human Rights, October 2010 A look at what types of evidence may exist in workplace discrimination cases and how best to obtain that evidence.
Letter to young lawyers—Basic tips and presentation of evidence By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. Young Lawyers Division, August 2010 Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. offers some words of wisdom to help new attorneys in their practice.
How good is your e-mail evidence ?…RPost® Registered E-Mail® gives you the courtroom edge! By Alan Pearlman Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, June 2010 Save yourself time and worry-- RPost provides you a registered receipt for each e-mail you send.
People of the State of Illinois v. Samuel McPeak, No. 2080572: There must be evidence of the presence of cannabis in the blood, breath, or urine to be found guilty of a DUI based on 11-501(a)(6) By Ava George Stewart Traffic Laws and Courts, June 2010 This decision seems to put the brakes on the statute’s requirement of “any amount of drugs” in the body being sufficient to convict for a DUI.
Two recent Seventh Circuit decisions discuss the adequacy of evidence regarding receipt of notice in administrative proceedings By Andrew Creighton Administrative Law, December 2009 Laouini v. CLM Freight Lines, Inc. and Dakaj v. Holder
Making evidence meaningful By Hon. Barbara Crowder Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2009 Some suggestions and observations to make evidence more meaningful.
Costs of taking evidence deposition of out-of-state physician properly awarded By John E. Thies Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2009 In Peltier v. Collins, a unanimous Second District panel held that the trial court properly awarded the costs of the court reporter and videographer incurred by plaintiffs in obtaining the evidence deposition of an out-of-state physician. 
How good is your e-mail evidence ?…RPost® Registered E-Mail® gives you the courtroom edge! By Alan Pearlman Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, February 2009 As most attorneys will tell you, an e-mail is a discoverable document that is legal evidence, to be used at any trial and for any discoverable purpose.
Supreme Court creates special panel on Illinois evidence By Joseph Tybor Bench and Bar, February 2009 The Illinois Supreme Court has formed a Special Committee on Illinois Evidence with the aim of codifying existing evidentiary law so that it is available in a single source.
Fifth District grants new trial on damages when jury’s verdict is inconsistent with the evidence By Stephen C. Buser Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2007 Illinois law provides that a trial court may order a new trial if the damages are manifestly inadequate and a proven element of damages was ignored.
Use of literature at trial: “Authoritative” is not the only magic word By Scott D. Lane Tort Law, March 2007 Presently, literature such as treatises, journals, and articles are inadmissible as substantive evidence in Illinois courts. Basically, literature can be used for two purposes.
Independent research on scientific issues by judges must be carefully weighed and considered By Hon. George D. Marlow Bench and Bar, February 2007 Since relevant science can, often conclusively, resolve a case or controversy, society has a profound interest in having its judges welcome reliable scientific evidence with open arms and an open mind.
Coming to a courtroom near you—Evidence-based practices By Thomas Riggs Child Law, November 2005 In the fall of 2003, Illinois was chosen as one of the two states nationwide to launch a project entitled “Implementing Effective Correctional Management of Offenders in the Community.”