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Bench and BarThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Bench & Bar Section Council

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Newsletter articles from 2008

Advanced training in sentencing reform held for Illinois judges and other stakeholders in the justice system By Joseph Tybor October 2008 Twenty Illinois judges received advanced training recently in evidence-based practices (:EBP”)–a sentencing reform tool aimed at reducing recidivism by tailoring probationary conditions to risk factors identified in an offender’s life.
Another court applies the collateral source rule By Robert T. Park March 2008 The April 2007 decision in Wills v. Foster held that, when Medicare and Medicaid discount the recoverable medical bills, the plaintiff will receive a comparably reduced recovery. Another district of the appellate court has now weighed in on the same question with a contrary ruling.
Awarding attorneys fees to prevailing party By Hon. Michael Kiley October 2008 A plaintiff files suit against a defendant seeking damages, including reasonable attorney fees, pursuant to a contractual term that provides for an award of fees to the prevailing party.
Book review By Kathryn E. Eisenhart May 2008 The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, Jeffrey Toobin, Doubleday, 2007.  
Chair’s Column By Hon. Edward J. Schoenbaum December 2008 I thought I would take this opportunity to let all of our readers know what we are up to this year.
Chair’s Column By Edward J. Schoenbaum October 2008 As chair of the ISBA Bench & Bar Section, I am delighted that H. Thomas Wells Jr. , began his one-year term as ABA President by focusing his support upon the core values that are so important to our members, judges, lawyers, litigants, and the public.
Chair’s Column By Hon. Edward J. Schoenbaum August 2008 Last month, in my first column, I focused on receiving input from our readers on what the members of the bench and bar would like us to provide them.
Chair’s Column By Hon. Edward J. Schoenbaum July 2008 The Bench & Bar Section Council met in St. Louis for its annual meeting on Friday, June 27, 2008. We focused on some planning for the coming years.
The “Cindy Bischof Law”: Illinois enacts a new tool against domestic violence By Dawn Dalton December 2008 A summary of the "Cindy Bischof Law" and the changes it makes to a number of statutes.
Considering retardation in sentencing By Thomas A. Bruno December 2008 The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled on the proper application of mental retardation as a mitigating or aggravating factor in sentencing in People v. Heider, 231 Ill.2d 1, ___ N.E.2d ____, 2008 WL 2131584, (May 22, 2008).   
Contested custody/Visitation litigation: A satire By Roza Gossage and Pamela J. Kuzniar October 2008 Years ago, super heroes held the values of our ancestors and would not father a child out of wedlock.
Crawford v. Washington: Has the U.S. Supreme Court simplified hearsay analysis? By Hon. Donald D. Bernardi July 2008 If you were an economist viewing the courts as producers of the law, you might find yourself unimpressed.
Editor’s note By Alfred M. Swanson Jr. December 2008 Starting in early 2009, the ISBA plans to change the default method for distribution of this newsletter to be by electronic format rather than sending a hard copy by regular mail.
Emergency plans set for Circuit Courts By Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier December 2008 When disaster strikes, government’s first priority is the physical safety of its citizens.
A federal courthouse in Wheaton? By Alfred M. Swanson Jr. March 2008 Judge Wayne Andersen of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois presented the possibility of a District courthouse to the Bench & Bar Section Council meeting on February 22, 2008.
From the Magna Carta to Lincoln… words to guide us in the 21st Century By J.A. Sebastian July 2008 Lincoln’s words are one of seven quotations carved in concrete at the entrance to the Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale.
Household Bank v. Lewis—The Illinois Supreme Court addresses the foreclosure crisis By Kristine Speck August 2008 The mortgage foreclosure rate in Illinois and nationwide has been a topic of concern since the real estate market began declining in 2005.
The Illinois Supreme Court defines the phrase “arising out of patient care” and clarifies the tolling provisions found in the Medical Malpractice Statute of Repose in Section 13-212 of the Code of Civil Procedure By Michele M. Jochner May 2008 In Brucker v. Mercola and Orlak v. Loyola University Health System, the Illinois Supreme Court decided two companion cases filed on the same day which provide guidance with respect to the application of the medical malpractice statute of repose found in section 13-212 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/13-212).
The Illinois Supreme Court sheds light on the “gray areas” of the relation-back doctrine in Porter v. Decatur Memorial Hospital By Michele M. Jochner March 2008 The question presented in Porter v. Decatur Memorial Hospital, Docket No. 104441 (Jan. 25, 2008), was whether, pursuant to section 2-616(b) of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-616(b)(West 2004)), count III of plaintiff’s second amended complaint related back to his timely-filed original and first amended complaints and, therefore, whether plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a second amended complaint was improperly denied as time-barred. Chief Justice Robert Thomas, writing for a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court, answered these questions in the affirmative.
Interview with the Chief Justice By Alfred M. Swanson Jr. December 2008 “A judge’s judge. A lawyer’s judge.” Those are some of the words used to describe Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald at a recent ISBA-CBA reception honoring Illinois’ new Chief Justice. 
Lincoln … A license to practice and a legacy to remember By Michele M. Jochner October 2008 With the February 2009 bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth rapidly approaching, many celebrations will commemorate his remarkable life and his course-altering actions as President of a Civil War-ravaged nation.
The Mentor By Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier February 2008 Upon my graduation from law school in 1964, and after passing the bar exam and being admitted to practice, I had the good fortune of beginning my legal career as a junior law clerk for Justice Byron O. House of Nashville, Illinois, who was the Supreme Court Justice from the 5th Judicial District of Illinois.
Now you see it—Now you don’t: The Supreme Court reverses course on its interpretation of willful and wanton conduct By Michael W. Tootooian June 2008 On February 16, 2007, the Supreme Court reversed itself when it issued its opinion in Murray v. Chicago Youth Center. You would never know by reading this opinion that just seven months earlier the Supreme Court had reached a different result – one that can no longer be found.
Plaintiffs Beware! The conflict of a voluntary dismissal and res judicata By Alfred M. Swanson Jr. May 2008 In March 1999 plaintiffs filed a two count complaint against the City of Chicago and fire department personnel alleging negligence and willful and wanton misconduct in providing emergency medical care.
Practice Tip – Improving Skills: Your Witness (2008) By J.A. Sebastian December 2008 On December 5, 2008, the Bench & Bar Section Council will present a Trial Practice and Advocacy – Getting it Right, at the ISBA Chicago Regional Office located at 20 South Clark, 9th Floor. Members of the Section are entitled to a $10 discount for each CLE sponsored by the Section – a significant benefit of section membership.
Pre-conviction DNA gathering By Thomas A. Bruno June 2008 The FBI has proposed taking tissue samples of all persons arrested by the FBI for submission to the FBI’s DNA database. Privacy rights advocates will surely test the validity of this policy in court.
The question of whether an allocation of fault can be made to settling or dismissed defendants remains a hot topic in Illinois By Melinda S. Kollross and Edward M. Kay August 2008 Section 2-1117 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-1117) provides for a modified joint and several liability scheme in which a defendant, found less than 25 percent at fault, is only severally liable for a plaintiff’s non-medical damages.
Recent appointments and retirements December 2008 1. The Illinois Supreme Court, pursuant to its constitutional authority, has appointed the following to be Circuit Judge:
Recent appointments and retirements August 2008 1. The Illinois Supreme Court, pursuant to its constitutional authority, has appointed the following to be Circuit Judge:
Recent appointments and retirements July 2008 1. The Illinois Supreme Court, pursuant to its constitutional authority, has appointed the following to be Circuit Judge: