Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Discovery

Discovering a Defendant’s Identity: The Evolution of Rule 224 By Kimberly Glasford April 2016 Article, Page 28 For plaintiffs who need to identify defendants before suing for damages - or, perhaps, hope to "out" or shame them - Illinois Supreme Court Rule 224 can be an option. But despite a few decisions interpreting the rule, the law remains uncertain.
From the Newsletters - 5 important changes to federal discovery rules. April 2016 Article, Page 47 Weighing the burdens of a discovery request against its benefits is now an express requirement.
Clarified definition of activities constituting “discovery” September 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 This bill would amend the Code of Civil Procedure to update certain discovery provisions. It has passed through both chambers and was sent to the governor for action on June 18, 2015.
New Rules for Discovery of Electronically Stored Information By Gabriel Reilly-Bates, Richard Y. Hu, and Claire E. Brennan October 2014 Article, Page 480 New Illinois Supreme Court rule amendments require parties to weigh the costs and benefits of ESI discovery, among other important changes. Here's a review.
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.
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.
Facebook: What Family Lawyers Should Know By Adam C. Kibort July 2013 Article, Page 344 A look at Facebook-related issues that arise during divorce and suggestions for advising your clients.
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.
Divorce Without Discovery: A New Landmine in Marital Litigation By Reuben A. Bernick May 2013 Article, Page 238 A recent case holds that if you don't conduct formal discovery in your divorce case, you may lose the right to reopen the judgment after it's entered, even to seek assets that weren't disclosed.
Rules committee hears proposals on divorce, criminal law, evidence issues By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2012 LawPulse, Page 10 Proposals address financial disclosure in divorce, how judges describe defendants' decision not to testify, and how to handle inadvertent disclosure of documents.
Hot Button Civil Evidence Issues: The 2011 Allerton Conference By Jeffrey A. Parness December 2011 Article, Page 632 This year's Allerton Conference focused on electronic evidence, spoliation, and other important topics not squarely addressed by Illinois' recent evidence-rules codification.
Evaluating Protective Orders for Discovery Materials By Jo Anna Pollock November 2011 Article, Page 576 Litigants often seek protective orders to limit disclosure of clients' sensitive documents during discovery. But be wary of attempts by the requesting party to gain an unfair advantage.
Using Requests to Admit to Prove Medical Expenses By Christ S. Stacey September 2011 Article, Page 456 Plaintiffs use requests to admit to establish the reasonableness of medical bills. A recent appellate case holds that defendants must either admit or deny the request or explain why they can't.
Court-ordered mental health reports not confidential under IMDMA By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2011 LawPulse, Page 174 Unlike those issued by treating caregivers, mental-health reports ordered by the court under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act are not confidential, the supreme court rules.
Who Posted That? Anonymous Online Speech and the First Amendment By Sarah A. Smith April 2011 Article, Page 194 There's a trend in defamation litigation to use pre-suit discovery procedures to uncover the identities of anonymous online commenters. The author considers the implications.
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.
Are courts cracking down on refusals to answer requests to admit? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2011 LawPulse, Page 66 At least one lawyer thinks he sees a trend. Requests to admit are powerful pretrial tools, as every litigator knows. But many courts are reluctant to enforce supreme court rules specifying that requests must be answered or deemed admitted and that wrongful denials trigger attorney-fee awards.
Berry and discovery depositions: hard cases make new rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 LawPulse, Page 10 The Illinois Supreme Court amends Rule 212 by expanding the permissible uses of discovery depositions to cases where the deponent is a party and has died before trial.
Nonparty Discovery Under the Federal Arbitration Act By Mitchell L. Marinello and John Haarlow, Jr. September 2010 Article, Page 476 The Federal Arbitration Act places sharp limits on a party's ability to obtain information from a nonparty, but it can be done. Here's a guide.
Does What Happens on Facebook Stay on Facebook?Discovery, Admissibility, Ethics, and Social Media By Beth C. Boggs and Misty L. Edwards July 2010 Article, Page 366 What are the limits on discovery and admissibility of content gathered on social media sites? This article looks at the emerging case law.
The Discovery Deposition and Disfavored Evidence By Joanne Hannaway Sweeney and Benjamin J. Wimmer November 2009 Article, Page 576 A recent amendment to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules obscures the purpose of the discovery deposition and the range of its uses
Deposing a witness in a foreign country By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2009 LawPulse, Page 438 If you find yourself among the growing ranks of lawyers who need to conduct extraterritorial depositions, here's how to proceed.
Cross-Examination of Experts: Saving the Best for Trial By Keith L. Davidson February 2009 Article, Page 94 A veteran litigator warns against revealing so much during discovery that you limit your ability to effectively cross-examine experts at trial.
Electronic Discovery: Dealing with Disclosure of Metadata By Joseph R. Marconi January 2009 Article, Page 24 The question isn't whether confidential client information will be disclosed during electronic discovery but what to do when it happens.
Subpoena for medical records January 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On October 31, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Logan County denying the state's request for a subpoena duces tecum, seeking release of a defendant's medical records for the day the defendant was charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
Depositions of Gravely Ill Illinois Claimants By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness September 2008 Column, Page 476  A majority in Berry found that while the trial court ruled correctly the system failed.
Fees for Physician Testimony: What’s Reasonable? By Timothy J. Harris September 2008 Article, Page 460 A look at the governing rules, along with common-sense ways lawyers can keep doctors from charging too much for testifying.
Negligent Spoliation in the Wake of Jones v O’Brien Tire and Battery By Shane M. Carnine September 2008 Article, Page 470 A recent appellate case arguably changes the requirements for a spoliation claim.
No discovery deps allowed By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2008 LawPulse, Page 384 A recent case underscores the importance of taking a party's evidence - not discovery - deposition if he or she may die before trial.