Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Evidence

Definitely Maybe: Understanding Expert Testimony on Causation By Eugene G. Doherty October 2013 Article, Page 518 An expert can testify with "reasonable certainty" that the defendant's negligence "might" have caused the plaintiff's injury. Lawyers should understand the difference between these concepts.
Electronic Medical Records: Metadata As Evidence in Litigation By James G. Meyer, Jonathan P. Tomes, and 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.
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.
New Limits on Subject Matter Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege By Hon. Gino L. DiVito, Brian C. Haussmann, and John M. Fitzgerald July 2013 Article, Page 348 Illinois Rule of Evidence 502 and the Center Partners decision mean fewer business discussions fall outside attorney-client privilege.
A Guide to the Confrontation Clause By Geoffrey Burkhart June 2013 Article, Page 304 When does the Sixth Amendment require prosecutors to produce a live witness rather than an out-of-court statement against a defendant? Here's a look at the latest developments.
SCOTUS rules warrantless dog-sniff search of home unconstitutional By Adam W. Lasker May 2013 LawPulse, Page 222 Unlike an earlier decision this term that allowed dog-sniff evidence from a traffic stop, Jardines holds that the dog-sniff search of a front porch requires a warrant.
Admissibility of Dog-Sniff Evidence: Evaluating Probable Cause after Florida v. Harris By David J. Robinson April 2013 Article, Page 194 In Harris, the U.S. Supreme Court held that dog-sniff evidence can be admissible even if prosecutors do not lay a detailed foundation that the dog is well trained.
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.
A Primer on Medical Records as Evidence By Brion Doherty February 2013 Article, Page 82 Knowing how and when medical records are admissible in a p.i. trial means understanding the business records hearsay exception.
Tips for Authenticating Social Media Evidence By Nicholas O. McCann September 2012 Article, Page 482 Illinois practitioners should prepare to meet strict authentication requirements until clear rules are established. Here's a look at the cases and advice about how to proceed.
Missing Video Evidence in DUI Cases after People v. Kladis By Thomas Kantas May 2012 Article, Page 250 In Kladis, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the state commits a discovery violation if it loses or destroy video evidence in a misdemeanor DUI case. Here's a look at this and related cases.
Offers to pay medical expenses excluded for purposes of showing liability May 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 240 A defendant's offer to pay a plaintiff's medical expenses is inadmissible when offered to prove the defendant's liability for the plaintiff's injuries. According to an Illinois Appellate Court ruling on March 5, 2012, the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure and the more recent adoption of the Illinois Rules of Evidence block the aforementioned evidence.
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.
The bloody truth about DUI testing By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2011 LawPulse, Page 490 Just because the state has blood test results to use against your DUI client doesn't mean the case is over, a defense lawyer argues.
An aggravated DUI charge based on trace evidence of methamphetamine did not require the state to show that impairment was the proximate cause of the victims’ deaths July 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 An appellate court erred when it reversed the conviction of a man convicted at trial of driving under the influence (DUI) even though there was no evidence of a casual link between impairment caused by a trace amount of methamphetamine and a car accident that killed two people. (See LawPulse in the June IBJ for more about Martin.)
Character on Trial By Hon. Ron Spears February 2011 Column, Page 102 Judge Justice and his colleagues express their misgivings about character evidence.
No evidentiary limitations to statements of a minor in a temporary custody hearing January 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On October 21, 2010, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the evidentiary limitations of section 2-18(4)(c) of the Juvenile Court Act do not apply to the out-of-court statements of a minor in a temporary custody hearing, where such statements relate to allegations of abuse or neglect.
All Hail the Illinois Rules of Evidence By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2010 Article, Page 620 On January 1, Illinois finally joins the vast majority of states by codifying its rules of evidence. Here are highlights of the new code.
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.
At long last, the codified Illinois Rules of Evidence By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2010 LawPulse, Page 558 Effective January 1, Illinois' new evidence code pulls together evidentiary rules heretofore scattered among various cases, statutes and court rules - and makes a few subtle changes.
Family law software: not exempt from the rules of evidence By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2010 LawPulse, Page 394 Make sure you understand how support calculators work before relying on their results, and don't forget to lay a foundation for the report if you seek to enter it into evidence.
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.
Averett a win for prosecutors By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2010 LawPulse, Page 286 The Illinois high court rules that it isn't reversible error for a trial court to defer ruling on motions in limine to exclude prior convictions unless defendants testify - and that's bad news for defendants who choose not to testify.
Codifying Illinois’s rules of evidence By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2010 LawPulse, Page 230 A supreme court committee's proposed organizational scheme, fashioned after the Federal Rules of Evidence, would pull together Illinois' widely scattered evidence rules.
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.
EEOC complaints: sender’s fax confirmation “strong evidence” of receipt By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2010 LawPulse, Page 66 The seventh circuit holds that the fax confirmation generated by the sender's machine is strong evidence the EEOC actually received a complaint at a given time and date.
Experts Cannot Testify About the Law - or Can They? By James W. Springer February 2010 Article, Page 98 In theory, experts may not opine about whether a party's actions were legal. Here's how courts have put that principle into practice.
Admissibility of Government Wiretaps after People v Coleman By David J. Robinson January 2010 Article, Page 44 Coleman created an exception to the Illinois eavesdropping statute for joint state and federal investigations. The author criticizes the case and considers its practical implications.
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
Predictions, Probabilities and the Magic 8-Ball November 2009 Column, Page 585 Despite the best analysis of the best evidence, predicting human behavior is a risky business.