Publications

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.

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