Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Civil Practice

Attorneys owe a duty to non-client beneficiaries when distributing funds recovered in wrongful death actions

September
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 424
On June 19, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that attorneys owe a duty to non-client beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim when damages are distributed.

Seventh circuit pilot program focuses on improving e-discovery

By Matthew Hector
September
2014
LawPulse
Page 418
A pilot program centered in Chicago is developing a set of procedures designed to improve the efficiency of electronic discovery in federal cases.

E-discovery rule changes allow format choice, prevent abuse

By Matthew Hector
August
2014
LawPulse
Page 366
Among other things, recent amendments to Illinois Supreme Court Rules 201 and 214 empower courts to tailor discovery if the burden of the request outweighs the benefit.

Only actual conflicts between state laws require choice-of-law determinations

August
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 372
On May 22, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a choice-of-law determination is required only if there is an actual conflict between state laws.

Using a Police Report to Help Prove Your Civil Case

By James P. Looby
August
2014
Article
Page 390
Under the right circumstances, you can help prove or defend your civil case by using the investigating police officer's report as a past recollection recorded.

Local Counsel in the Digital Age: The Rise of the Coverage Attorney

By Charles R. Wolf
July
2014
Article
Page 328
More law firms are taking cases from far-flung places, and they need local counsel to make court appearances on their behalf. Find out more about this growing source of business.

Pretrial Motions - Are You Getting Them Right?

By Jennifer L. Graham
June
2014
Article
Page 280
Recent appellate opinions and orders show that too many attorneys improperly label and file motions to dismiss and for summary judgment at the trial level. Here's how to get it right.

Waiver of personal jurisdiction by appearance does not apply retroactively

June
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 272
On March 20, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that waiver of personal jurisdiction by appearance does not apply retroactively to orders entered before the appearance, resolving a conflict in the appellate courts.

Absolute litigation privilege bars a party’s claim arising out of alleged misconduct in prior judicial proceedings

May
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 220
On February 24, 2014, the First District Appellate Court of Illinois held that the absolute litigation privilege bars claims brought by a plaintiff on the basis of conduct that took place in a prior and separate judicial proceeding.

Offers of Judgment: Federal Rule 68 in Illinois?

By Jessica Livieres, Andrew Cho, & Hon. E. Kenneth Wright Jr.
May
2014
Article
Page 242
This article explores the background and purpose of Federal Rule 68 and how to address its many shortcomings should Illinois adopt a similar offer-of-judgment provision.

A Practical Guide to Injunction Bonds Under Illinois Law

By Justin A. Maleson & R. Douglas Rees
March
2014
Article
Page 138
A party facing an injunction gains leverage by persuading the court to impose a high bond. The plaintiff, on the other hand, wants a low bond or none at all. Here's how to argue both sides.

The Res Judicata Defense to Legal Malpractice Claims

By Zachary J. Freeman
February
2014
Article
Page 80
Res judicata and collateral estoppel can be powerful defenses in litigation malpractice cases, even when the lawyer was not a party to the underlying action. But they aren't without limitations.

Some Supreme Court Rule 138 privacy provisions delayed until 2015

By Janan Hanna
February
2014
LawPulse
Page 62
Effective January 1, the rule keeps personal information like social security numbers out of public civil court files. But a bar on using birthdates and names of minors is put off till next year.

Claim against deceased driver was time barred when the plaintiff failed to substitute the correct party

January
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On October 18, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a motorist's claim against the driver in a personal injury action was time-barred after the motorist-plaintiff failed to substitute the personal representative for the deceased driver's estate before the statute of limitations expired.

Plaintiffs’ Secret Weapon: The Illinois Respondent in Discovery Statute

By Kaitlyn Anne Wild
January
2014
Article
Page 24
This little-known statute enables plaintiffs - but not defendants - to take discovery from a non-party respondent and provides a six-month "grace period" from statutes of limitations.

The high court bars a suit filed against dead defendant

By Adam W. Lasker
December
2013
LawPulse
Page 606
After the defendant died, the plaintiff in a car-accident case failed to sue the estate's "personal representative." That meant the court lacked jurisdiction, the supreme court ruled.

The Mailbox Rule and Workers’ Comp: A Better Route for Circuit Court Review

By Brad A. Elward
December
2013
Article
Page 632
The Illinois Supreme Court recently applied the mailbox rule to filings for circuit-court review of Workers' Compensation Commission rulings. Here's what it means.

“Test the waters” doctrine not an appropriate supplement to substitution-of-judge analysis

November
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 560
On September 11, 2013, the Fourth District Appellate Court held that orders for scheduling and continuances are not substantial rulings that would allow for the denial of a motion for substitution of a judge as of right.

Limited Scope, Expanded Opportunity

By Ed Finkel
October
2013
Cover Story
Page 508
Recent Illinois Supreme Court rule changes enable lawyers to represent clients in litigation for only a portion of a case. Proponents say that's good for lawyers, clients, and judges.

New citation procedures make enforcing debt-collection judgments easier

By Adam W. Lasker
October
2013
LawPulse
Page 498
A new law reduces the role of sheriffs in collection proceedings and increases the power of courts and practitioners to enforce judgments.

Bill requires timely executed settlement releases in most civil cases

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2013
LawPulse
Page 446
The law helps plaintiffs get timely settlement payments from "substandard" insurance companies, the chair of ISBA's Tort Section says.

Coming soon: Illinois’ first statewide standardized court forms

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2013
LawPulse
Page 386
Illinois is one of a very few states without statewide standardized court forms. That's beginning to change, thanks to the supreme court's Access to Justice Commission.

Electronic Medical Records: Metadata As Evidence in Litigation

By James G. Meyer, Jonathan P. Tomes, & Lee Neubecker
August
2013
Article
Page 422
Unlike paper files, electronic medical records contain autogenerated metadata that can make or break a case. Here's what to look for.

New supreme court rules a boon to limited-scope representation

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2013
LawPulse
Page 386
Amended Rules 11, 13, and 137 create business opportunities for lawyers by making it easier to represent clients for part, but not all, of a lawsuit or transaction.

Supreme court delays Rule 138 personal identity information provisions

By Adam W. Lasker
August
2013
LawPulse
Page 386
The supreme court delayed rule changes on personal identity information that some family law practitioners worry will force them to choose between the rule and conflicting statutes.

Managing Discovery of Electronically Stored Information in Illinois

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
June
2013
Column
Page 316
While other jurisdictions address discovery challenges posed by ESI, Illinois has yet to act.

Service by publication on adjudicated disabled person violates due process

June
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On March 29, 2013, the first district appellate court answered, in response to a certified question, that service by publication on an adjudicated disabled person did not satisfy due process because it was unreasonable to expect that the ward would see or comprehend the published notice.

Judgment and memorandum of judgment expire simultaneously

May
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 228
On February 26, 2013, the third district appellate court held that a judgment creditor must revive its judgment and file a memorandum of revived judgment within seven years from the date the original judgment was entered or previously revived.

Developments in the Duty to Preserve Evidence

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
March
2013
Column
Page 152
Two recent cases shed light on spoliation claims in Illinois.

Supreme court bars state court suit based on res judicata

March
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On December 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the doctrine of res judicata barred a plaintiff's state court suit that was based on the same operative facts as a claim previously adjudicated in federal court.

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