The newsletter of the ISBA’s Bench & Bar Section Council
Browse articles by year: 2014 (29)
Newsletter articles from 2012
Beyond the verdict III: Jurors pick parts of trial
In this third installment of the insightful series that aims to understand jurors and their thoughts, jurors in this study were asked to identify the most influential part of a jury trial. The results may come as a surprise to some.
The Constitution’s 225th anniversary: An opportunity lost
The 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution should be a time to raise public awareness of constitutional rights, promote participatory democracy, and foster better appreciation of the document's key elements.
Cook County juvenile detention reduction initiative
Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, of the Cook County Circuit Court, recently commended the judges of the Juvenile Justice Division for diverting 269 minors, who otherwise faced detention, into alternative community and faith-based programs designed to address individual problems and needs.
Deposition advocacy: A step too far?
If a judge is presented with a request for the admission of a discovery deposition in which conduct occurred which would be prohibited at trial, such as taking a break while a question was pending, or lengthy breaks with counsel followed by variances in testimony, what is the judge to do?
Do not discount the importance of the Fourteenth Amendment
Proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment has had the most profound and enduring impact on our legal landscape. Its provisions voided the United States Supreme Court’s much-criticized decision in Dred Scott, and served as the foundation for the later civil rights movement—including the overturning of the “separate but equal doctrine” in Brown v. Board of Education.
Don’t check your common sense at the door
Some examples of ARDC cases where, at first glance, an attorney's shortcut or omission seemed negligible, but very quickly turned into a serious infraction.
Author and Judge Michael Hyman provides his list of DOs and DONTs that apply equally to proceedings in court and everyday life at the office.
Jurors permitted to ask questions
While trial judges in Illinois and other states have, in the past, allowed jurors to ask questions, Rule 243 and the accompanying revisions to the Pattern Jury Instructions Civil now provide a structure for trial judges in Illinois to allow juror questions if the parties agree.
Justice Stevens and the virtue of being indifferent to popularity
Throughout his nearly 40 years as a judge, John Paul Stevens adhered to judicial neutrality by following the principle he expressed at the CBA luncheon almost 38 years ago, “it is the business of judges to be indifferent to popularity.” And in so doing, he became one of the most popular justices of our era.
Law Day 2012 – “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom”
The American Bar Association (ABA) chose this year's Law Day theme as a result of the disturbing findings contained in a 2011 report prepared by the group’s Task Force on the Preservation of the Justice System, which highlights the serious consequences of cutbacks in court funding and causing many state courts to decrease staff, increase fees and/or curtail operations.
Chief Judge James Holderman of the Northern District of Illinois has sent the following letter to many bar associations and others for comment.
Given that CLE credit is now available for mentoring programs for both the mentor and the mentee, there is no better time to launch an official mentoring program at your firm, your alma mater, or your bar association.
Not all majority opinion assignment systems are equal
The Illinois Supreme Court has long followed a rotation system in assigning majority opinions, which a recent study called “most effective in promoting race and gender equality in opinion-writing assignments.”