Member Groups

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

Browse articles by year: 2014 (7) 2013 (53) 2012 (46) 2011 (34) 2010 (51) 2009 (52) 2008 (42) 2007 (25) 2006 (33) 2005 (34) 2004 (43) 2003 (41) 2002 (29) 2001 (23) 2000 (35) 1999 (37)

Newsletter articles from 2012

Beyond the verdict III: Jurors pick parts of trial By Hon. James Varga January 2012 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. 
Comments from the Chair By Hon. Ann B. Jorgensen December 2012 A message from the Bench & Bar Section Chair, Judge Ann B. Jorgensen.
Community partnerships improve access to courts for dealing with elder abuse By Hon. Barbara Crowder September 2012 An estimated 3 to 5 million cases of elder abuse are reported annually in the United States and some experts believe 60% of all cases are not being reported.
The Constitution’s 225th anniversary: An opportunity lost By Hon. Michael B. Hyman October 2012 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 By Hon. Michael P. Toomin and William R. Sullivan September 2012 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? By David W. Inlander and Deborah Jo Soehlig May 2012 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?
Discovery of those online: Using Supreme Court Rule 224 to ascertain the identity of anonymous online posters By Patrick M. Kinnally April 2012 Supreme Court Rule 224 provides that a person may file an independent action seeking discovery before a suit is filed to determine the identity of one who may be responsible in damages. And in the recent case of Maxon v. Ottawa Publishing Co., it was used to identify the posters of critical online commentary.
Do not discount the importance of the Fourteenth Amendment By Michele M. Jochner January 2012 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 By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright Jr. June 2012 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. 
Don’t! By Hon. Michael B. Hyman September 2012 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.
Eulogy for Hon. Edward R. Jordan By Hon. Nancy J. Katz September 2012 Judge Nancy Katz delivered the following eulogy at Judge Jordan’s funeral service.
Fulfilling the promise of equal access for all Illinoisans: The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice By Hon. Michael B. Hyman July 2012 The Illinois Supreme Court, through its Commission on Access to Justice, has committed the legal profession to ensure that justice is never beyond anyone’s reach.
Hanks v. Cotler: An example of the “apogee of disingenuousness” By Hon. Daniel T. Gillespie and Daniel J. Bishop June 2012 Justice Terry Lavin’s opinion in Hanks v. Cotler constitutes an excellent play-by-play analysis of the intersection of the statutes of limitations and the statutes of repose with the common-law discovery rule. 
The Honorable George N. Leighton Criminal Courts Building By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson Jr. July 2012 A reprint of remarks given by Hon. George N. Leighton, for whom the Criminal Courts Building on Chicago's southwest side was just renamed.
How far can a raptor (vulture) spread its wings? Internet jurisdiction in the digital age—Wow! By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright Jr. December 2012 A complicated jurisdictional dispute can arise both here and in a foreign country when a U.S. Internet service provider offers a variety of services such as search engine, e-mail, auctions, etc. that contain content that violates laws in that country.
How to create a (legal) hornet’s nest By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright Jr. October 2012 Deutsche Bank v. Brewer involves service by publication in a Cook County foreclosure case.
The Illinois Supreme Court establishes a Strategic Planning Committee to identify and meet the changing needs of the Illinois courts By Joseph Tybor and Hon. Alfred M. Swanson Jr. October 2012 Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have formed a long-range planning committee to serve as a “think tank” to better adapt Illinois courts to future trends in economic, technological, scientific and social changes.
Illinois Supreme Court puts Civil and Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions online By Joseph Tybor and Hon. Alfred M. Swanson Jr. January 2012 The online publication of the Pattern Jury Instructions is the latest step in an initiative announced in June by the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court to move Illinois courts forward in the electronic age.
Jablonski v. Ford: Is the Illinois Supreme Court crafting a new approach to duty analysis and proof in negligent-product-design cases? By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes April 2012 The Supreme Court’s transition from Calles to Jablonski suggests that in negligent-product-design claims specifically and in products liability litigation generally, the Illinois Supreme Court may not yet be restricting duty analysis solely to the risk-utility test but has incorporated the consumer expectation test as a factor into the risk-utility test.
Jurors permitted to ask questions By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright Jr. and Sabena Auyeung July 2012 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 By Hon. Michael B. Hyman April 2012 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” By MIchele M. Jochner May 2012 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. 
Letter September 2012 Chief Judge James Holderman of the Northern District of Illinois has sent the following letter to many bar associations and others for comment.
Mentoring matters By Hon. Debra B. Walker April 2012 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.
New rule will allow jurors to submit questions to witnesses in civil trials By Joseph Tybor and Hon. Alfred M. Swanson Jr. April 2012 New Illinois Supreme Court Rule 243 will go into effect July 1, 2012, and on that day Illinois will join more than 25 states and the Federal Courts in allowing jurors to submit questions to witnesses in civil trials.
No need to fear anyone playing to courtroom cameras By Hon. Michael B. Hyman May 2012 One fear opponents of courtroom cameras frequently raise is that judges and lawyers will play to the cameras. But studies do not find this happening in states that already allow cameras.
No substitute for substitution standard: Actual prejudice remains the standard to succeed on a Petition to Substitute a Judge for Cause By Angela K. LaFratta January 2012 Practitioners and judges alike should be aware that, according to the majority in In re Marriage of O’Brien, a party wishing to obtain a substitution of judge for cause must establish actual prejudice or bias. 
Not all majority opinion assignment systems are equal By Hon. Michael B. Hyman June 2012 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.”
The not-so-“personal” means of obtaining a personal deficiency By Hon. Jesse G. Reyes and Abigail Sue May 2012 An exploration of the basis for the Metrobank v. Cannatello trial court’s interpretation and application of the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law.
Observations from the Chair By Hon. Ann B. Jorgensen September 2012 A message from the Chair, Judge Ann Jorgensen.