Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Civil Practice

Supreme court makes e-service voluntary, not mandatory

By Adam W. Lasker
March
2013
LawPulse
Page 118
The most recent amendments to the supreme court rules, which took effect January 1, permit service by email but do not require it.

The Too-Expansive Illinois General Verdict Rule

By J. Timothy Eaton, Michael W. Rathsack, & Michael T. Reagan
March
2013
Article
Page 142
More and more Illinois courts are upholding general verdicts if there is any error-free basis for doing so. They should do the opposite, these authors say.

Another Limit on Refiling Voluntarily Dismissed Cases

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
September
2012
Column
Page 498
The first district rules that judicial estoppel can be a bar to refiling.

Court clarifies affidavit requirements for service of process by publication

July
2012
Illinois Law Update
Page 352
On May 9, 2012, the first district appellate court held that affidavits phrased in the passive voice that failed to identify the individuals who attempted to serve process did not satisfy the requirements for service of process by publication.

Voluntary Dismissal: The Hudson Doctrine Four Years Later

By Anne M. Skrodzki
June
2012
Article
Page 302
In Hudson v. City of Chicago, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the res judicata doctrine limits a plaintiff’s ability to refile a voluntarily dismissed claim after the involuntary dismissal of an earlier claim. So when can a voluntary claim be refiled?

A Bricoleur’s Response to Murphy’s Law

By Hon. Ron Spears
May
2012
Column
Page 270
"Bricolage" is the art of creating a solution using whatever is available. It's an art litigators would do well to cultivate.

The Revestment Doctrine: Alive and Well or On Its Last Legs?

By Kristopher N. Classen
February
2012
Article
Page 94
Under the revestment doctrine, litigants can "revest" the trial court with otherwise expired jurisdiction by participating in a case without objection 30 or more days after entry of the final order. But recent rulings draw the viability of the doctrine into question.

The Dangers of Litigating in the Media

By Richard L. Miller II
January
2012
Article
Page 42
A look at the risks your client takes by publicly discussing an ongoing case and why doing so is usually a bad idea.

Service by publication insufficient for eminent domain proceeding

August
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 388
Service by publication only establishes personal jurisdiction in an eminent domain case where the entity seizing land has diligently searched for all potential parties to the action, according to an Illinois Court of Appeals ruling.

The Limits on Legislative Power to Withhold Subject Matter Jurisdiction

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
June
2011
Column
Page 316
The supreme court underscores the limits on the power to decide which cases courts can hear.

Estop that Lawsuit: Judicial Estoppel and the Bankruptcy Debtor-Turned-Plaintiff

By Christopher B. Lega
May
2011
Article
Page 250
Judicial estoppel can derail a plaintiff who filed for bankruptcy but then brought a lawsuit he failed to reveal in the bankruptcy case.

What judges want

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2011
LawPulse
Page 174

The Power of Pre-Suit Discovery: Supreme Court Rule 224

By Timothy J. Harris
March
2011
Article
Page 136
Pre-suit discovery under SCR 224 is a powerful and underused way to identify potential parties, investigate an incident, protect evidence, and avoid secondary spoliation claims.

Process servers may be refused entry into correctional institutions and jails. PA 096-1451

March
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
Illinois lawmakers amended the Code of Civil Procedure to allow correctional institutions, facilities and jails to refuse entry to process servers for security purposes. 735 ILCS 5/2-203.2 new.

Vailas: An Ill-Conceived Limit on Modifying Child Support Orders

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
March
2011
Column
Page 160
While Vailas' goal of protecting nonresidents is laudable, the approach it took commands too high a price.

Goodbye to the “Conspiracy” Theory of Personal Jurisdiction?

By Stephen A. Wood & James M. Reiland
January
2011
Article
Page 28
Goodbye to the "Conspiracy" Theory of Personal Jurisdiction?

Non-identical Twins: The Illinois and Federal Rules of Evidence

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
December
2010
Column
Page 642
Important differences between the two limit the persuasive power of federal precedents in Illinois.

The preclusive effect of summary suspension hearings in subsequent adjudication

December
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 616
On September 23, 2010, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the Circuit Court of Champaign County's finding of probable cause at the hearing on plaintiff's petition to rescind his statutory summary suspension, pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/2-118.1, did not bar the issue of probable cause from re-litigation in a civil suit for malicious prosecution.

Web Auction Sales and Long-Arm Jurisdiction

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
September
2010
Column
Page 486
A court rules that an Illinois eBay buyer could not hale a California seller into court in Illinois.

Can you cite to unpublished opinions?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2010
LawPulse
Page 286
In Illinois state court, no. In Illinois-based federal district courts, yes.

Judicial Versus Legislative Authority after Lebron

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
June
2010
Column
Page 324
The med-mal caps ruling continues the age-old battle over separation of powers.

Prior sexual activity or reputation evidence generally not admissible in civil trials. PA 096-0307

May
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 236
New amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure clarify that evidence to prove a victim's prior sexual behavior or reputation is generally not admissible in a civil trial. 735 ILCS 5/8-2801.

Red Light Cameras: Innocent But Guilty

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
March
2010
Column
Page 158
Learn about the losing battle to challenge automated traffic enforcement.

Amended CCP section 13-202.2(b) cannot be applied retroactively to resuscitate previously barred claims

February
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
On November 25, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss, in a complaint against the defendant for injuries the plaintiff sustained as a result of alleged sexual abuse.

Nonlawyers in Administrative Adjudications

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
December
2009
Column
Page 636
Nonlawyers can represent an employer in administrative proceedings before the IDES.

An order to dissolve a preliminary injunction constitutes a legal conclusion that the preliminary injunction was wrongfully issued

November
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 552
On September 9, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County and remanded with direction. 

Although a trial court’s failure to rule on a motion in limine may constitute an abuse of discretion, a harmless error will not overturn a ruling.

October
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 496
On July 24, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County, holding that the trial court did not err when it deferred ruling on the defendant’s motion in limine until after he testified.  

The Overlooked Art of Redirect Examination

By Jeffrey J. Kroll & Patrick White
August
2009
Article
Page 406
Redirect examination is a powerful weapon for litigators, but it can backfire on those who forget its central purpose - to rehabilitate witnesses.

The Admissibility of Other Misconduct in Civil Cases

By Michael J. Polelle
July
2009
Article
Page 364
As a rule, character evidence is inadmissible in civil cases even if proved circumstantially. Here are two exceptions to the rule.

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