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Civil Practice and ProcedureThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Civil Practice & Procedure

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Newsletter articles from 2011

Admitting a party’s discovery deposition By Jeffrey A. Parness March 2011 A recent amendment to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules allows into evidence an unavailable party’s discovery deposition pursuant to the “sound discretion” of the court when it “will do substantial justice between or among the parties.”
Brookbank v. Olson: Can a Judge excuse a party from signing requests to admit? By Hon. Daniel T. Gillespie March 2011 The Third District Appellate Court recently ruled that a party’s attorney may not sign and verify a response to a Supreme Court Rule 216 request to admit facts when the attorney cannot locate his client.
Discovery of those online: Using Supreme Court Rule 224 to ascertain the identity of anonymous online posters By Patrick M. Kinnally December 2011 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.
E-discovery: Not as easy as it may sound By Hon. Daniel T. Gillespie August 2011 What exactly is electronic discovery? Can this help attorneys and their clients? What if the attorney or party makes a mistake and sends out confidential information inadvertently? Can that be retrieved?
Forfeiture by wrongdoing and the Illinois Rules of Evidence By Patrick M. Kinnally November 2011 Forfeiture by wrongdoing should no longer be a doctrine which is only applicable in our state criminal trial courts. New rules can create imaginative ways of thinking and litigating for civil practitioners who use them.
How do you calculate two years for a Section 2-1401 Motion to Vacate? Court ignores 1918 case By Robert Handley November 2011 The first lesson from Parker v. Murdock is that in calculating two years for a Section 2-1401 Petition to Vacate, we should do it the way we would normally think it would be done. However, the second lesson is that you cannot cite cases decided prior to 1935 with any certainty that they will be followed.
Illinois Supreme Court adopts new public domain citation system By RoxAnne L. Rochester September 2011 Effective July 1, 2011, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted a new reference system for official case law citations.
In a wrongful birth action, the Illinois Supreme Court curtails the available remedies finding that no damages are available for the care of a disabled, dependent child after the child reaches the age of majority By Jessica A. Hegarty October 2011 The court’s analysis hinged upon whether Illinois law imposes a “duty” or “obligation” on parents to support disabled, dependent children after the age of majority. Absent such a duty, the court reasoned that the costs and expenses associated with caring for a disabled, dependent adult child are not “legal harms” that parents suffer but are expenses that are “voluntarily” and “willingly” assumed. The court relied on the general common law rule established in 1896 that parents are not legally obligated to support an adult child as the basis for its ruling.
Information of Note August 2011 ISBA updates of interest to members of the Civil Practice & Procedure Section.
Internet evidence: How to authenticate evidence from the Internet under the new Illinois Rules of Evidence By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes 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.
Internet scams & client trust accounts By Juliet Boyd September 2011 In this global financial marketplace, it is not unusual for commercial lawyers to never meet their international clients in person. This has resulted in fertile ground for fraud.
Intrusion upon seclusion: A new tort? By John B. Kincaid June 2011 Notwithstanding the lack of endorsement or approval from the Illinois Supreme Court, there is sufficient Appellate Court approval for intrusion upon seclusion in Illinois.
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 December 2011 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.
The lien epic: Don’t lose your attorney’s lien By Patrick M. Kinnally April 2011 If we follow the rules as to attorney fee liens we possess, much like all the other lien claimants might have, we can make the final disposition of the litigation a lot more certain.
Narrowing the scope and timeline for class certification: Let’s see who gets to the courthouse first By Hon. James Fitzgerald Smith and Sonja Dimitrijevic October 2011 In order to avoid mooting a class action each time a tender was offered to a class representative prior to certification, Illinois appellate courts gradually developed the so-called “pick off” exception, under which they would permit a class action to proceed so long as the plaintiffs pursued the action with “reasonable diligence.” The recent case of Barber v. American Airlines, Inc., however, recently changed the landscape.
Obtaining documents abroad: A primer for Illinois attorneys By Timothy J. Chorvat and Matthew A. Wlodarczyk 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.
Plurality of United States Supreme Court rejects stream of commerce as test for personal jurisdiction By James A. Murphy September 2011 A look at the recent case of J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro.
The preclusive effect of res judicata rulings By Laura L. Milnichuk April 2011 A look at Williams, et al. v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital, et al., which addressed the res judicata effect of the dismissals of certain claims in an original lawsuit when voluntary dismissals of said claims were later taken and a second lawsuit re-filed
Sanctions and spoliation By Hon. Barbara Crowder 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. 
Taking exhibits to the jury room: Why decision makers need them By Patrick M. Kinnally August 2011 Since jurors are required to take jury instructions into the jury room, it would seem a concomitant exercise to have available the evidence upon which the application of the law to those facts interact.
Trial court subject matter jurisdiction By Jeffrey A. Parness June 2011 The term “jurisdiction” in civil actions in Illinois circuit courts has many definitions, often leading to much confusion. Some of the confusion should be reduced by the recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling in Luis R.
Vacating default judgments: Make it make a difference By Patrick M. Kinnally January 2011 A look at the ramifications of Blazyk v. Daman Express, Inc., decided December 17, 2010.