Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Evidence

Summary judgment affirmed when plaintiff’s testimony is inadmissible under the Dead Man’s Act and no other proof of negligence available December 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 The second district affirmed a summary judgment ruling for the defendant over the plaintiff's claims that the pleadings established a question of material fact.
Sexual assault victims granted stricter protections and timely transfer of evidence from hospital to police November 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 Upon the completion of hospital emergency services and forensic services, health care professionals providing forensic services shall provide the patient the opportunity to sign a written consent to allow law enforcement to submit the sexual assault evidence for testing.
Testimony regarding lack of intent to gift does not rebut presumption of transmutation of nonmarital funds to marital property October 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 The First District Appellate Court rejected all three arguments in a wife's appeal regarding the property division in her marriage dissolution.
The Challenge of Proving Negligent Spoliation in Illinois By Joseph K. Nichele September 2016 Article, Page 32 It's hard for plaintiffs to plead and prove claims for negligent spoliation of evidence. Here's why it's important - and difficult - for plaintiffs to establish a duty to preserve evidence.
DNA Evidence and the Confrontation Clause after People v. Barner By Julia Kaye Wykoff August 2016 Article, Page 36 Supposed the prosecution's expert testifies about a lab report conducted by a scientist the state didn't call. Is the defendant's right to confront adverse witnesses violated? Not if the report was done for reasons other than proving the defendant's guilt.
Appellate court finds evidence of other sexual misconduct within a doctor-patient relationship admissible at trial to prove propensity July 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 In 2008, Ricardo Arze was indicted on two counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of unlawful restraint for sexually assaulting his former patient, M.S. Prior to trial, the State filed a motion to admit evidence of other crimes pursuant to section 115-7.3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Trial court’s failure to impose sanctions on party’s last minute use of paternal grandmother as expert witness requires new trial to remedy unfair surprise July 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 The Fifth District Appellate Court held that the trial court abused its discretion when it failed to sanction respondent's self-confessed violation of Rule 213(f) by allowing the admission of the paternal grandmother's testimony as an expert witness.
Defendants may be found guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt without eyewitnesses, physical or forensic evidence, or a confession June 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 On November 12, 2015, the Third District of the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Drew Peterson's first degree murder conviction and sentencing on the grounds that his guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Perils of Witness Prep By Ed Finkel May 2016 Article, Page 20 Lawyers owe it to clients to thoroughly prepare witnesses to testify. On the other hand, they have a duty not to present false evidence. Here are best practices for ethical-yet-effective witness preparation.
Judging Forensic Science By Hon. Ron D. Spears November 2015 Column, Page 48 Lawyers and judges have been slow to acknowledge the limitations of forensic science.
Litigation about litigation: Barred by absolute attorney litigation privilege November 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 20 On July 8, 2015, the first district affirmed dismissal of the O'Callaghans' complaint against Satherlie and Kopka as barred by the absolute attorney litigation privilege.
Report: State police crime lab’s toxicology testing methodology flawed By Matthew Hector November 2015 LawPulse, Page 14 According to a news report and a criminal defense lawyer, internal audits of the Illinois State Police crime lab's toxicology section reveal fundamental problems with the section's testing methodology.
Using Expert Testimony to Make the Case for Grandparent Visitation By Michael K. Goldberg October 2015 Article, Page 38 Thanks to a recent Illinois Appellate Court case, grandparents have a roadmap for using expert testimony to win court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren.
Don’t let opponents bury their own experts’ testimony September 2015 Article, Page 22 Use the "missing witness" jury instruction to smoke out helpful testimony by your opponent's expert.
Proposed rule would require prosecutors to reveal post-conviction exculpatory evidence By Matthew Hector September 2015 LawPulse, Page 12 Under a proposed change to the Rules of Professional Conduct, Illinois prosecutors would have to disclose credible post-conviction evidence that a person found guilty is in fact innocent.
Missing Video Evidence in DUI Cases: The Post-Kladis Evolution By Sean A. Brown August 2015 Article, Page 28 You file for discovery of the police video of your client's DUI arrest only to find that it was erased after you requested it. Will the court grant your motion to bar testimony about what was on it?
Police officer’s noncompliance with section 30(c) of the State Police Act does not warrant evidentiary exclusion August 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On June 5, 2015, the Second District of the Appellate Court held that a police officer's failure to comply with section 30(c) of the State Police Act does not trigger the evidentiary exclusion of the officer's testimony at trial.
Accountant holds accountant-client privilege, which is not subject to testamentary exception June 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On March 19, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the accountant-client privilege in the Public Accounting Act is held by the accountant and is not subject to the testamentary exception.
Illinois high court declines to create new evidentiary privilege By Matthew Hector May 2015 LawPulse, Page 10 Creating a new critical-self-analysis privilege is the job of the legislature, not the judiciary, the Illinois Supreme Court rules recently.
Judicial Notice in the Internet Era By Daniel Myerson May 2015 Article, Page 30 The Internet has made vast amounts of information available, and judicial notice can put it into the record - within limits.
No Surprises: Basics of Controlled Expert Witness Disclosure By Tiffany Riggs and Tim Hammersmith May 2015 Article, Page 40 No matter how convincing your experts, their testimony may be for naught if you fail to make timely and appropriate disclosure of their identity under Rule 213(f)(3).
The Provisional Admission of Parol Evidence? By Aaron T. Dozeman May 2015 Article, Page 34 The four corners rule bars admission of parol evidence to interpret contracts unless they're ambiguous. But in rare cases, the provisional admission approach might allow such evidence.
Flawed Facts and Fact-Finders By Hon. Ron Spears February 2015 Column, Page 44 More judges are being asked to allow expert testimony about eyewitness ID and confessions.
What Research Shows About Hearsay Evidence By Caroline Ackerman and Shawna Boothe January 2015 Article, Page 36 It turns out that jurors are more skeptical of hearsay than many lawyers and judges think.
When Criminal Evidence Goes Missing By Colby G. Hathaway October 2014 Article, Page 490 What happens when police destroy evidence or prosecutors don't disclose it? This article explains when defendants can claim due process violations and seek discovery sanctions.
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.
Building Your Case with Social Media Evidence By Ed Finkel June 2014 Article, Page 276 Can you get the other side's damaging Facebook posts into evidence? How do you make sure they don't vanish? Here's a look at emerging principles and best practices.
Choosing an Economist for Your Personal Injury Case By Scott Gilbert May 2014 Article, Page 232 How can you tell whether economist-experts' damages estimates will help or hurt your case? You'll find important clues by looking at how they make a few key calculations.
Police can search handcuffed arrestee’s luggage, high court rules By Janan Hanna April 2014 LawPulse, Page 162 The Illinois Supreme Court rules that police can search an arrestee's luggage after he was handcuffed on a civil warrant for failure to pay child support.
Silence as Self-Incrimination after Salinas v. Texas By Robin B. Murphy April 2014 Article, Page 184 After Salinas, non-custodial suspects must expressly invoke the right to remain silent, or silence can be held against them. But in Illinois, state law provides some evidentiary protection.