Publications

Articles on 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.

U.S. Supreme Court: Confrontation Clause requires lab analysts to testify

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2009
LawPulse
Page 490

Strict Liability for Sexual Harassment by Supervisors

By Cynthia H. Hyndman, Robert Margolis, and Aleeza Strubel
September
2009
Article
Page 454
The Illinois Supreme Court's Sangamon County Sheriff's Department decision subjects employers to strict liability for sexual harassment by their supervisors. So, who is a supervisor?

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.

Evidence of careful habits has no bearing for the element of proximate cause

July
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 336
On April 29, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting summary judgment for the defendants. 

If erroneously admitted evidence does not prejudice the defendant, the error does not require reversal

July
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 336
On April 21, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, on defendant's appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County, affirmed the conviction of defendant, who was convicted of the unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Evidence is insufficient to prove negligence if the conclusion is merely possible

June
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On April 1, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Will County which granted summary judgment for the defendants after concluding that no genuine issue of material fact existed to establish negligence on the part of the defendants.

Making evidence meaningful

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2009
LawPulse
Page 278
A veteran lawyer and trial judge tells litigators how to present evidence in a way that engages and wins over jurors.

Sexual harassment and the chain of command

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2009
LawPulse
Page 278
Under state law, employers are liable for sexual harassment by supervisors whether or not the employer knew about it and even though the employee-victim doesn't work under the supervisor.

Victory for defendants in asbestos case

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2009
LawPulse
Page 278
The Illinois Supreme Court allows defendants in asbestos cases to introduce evidence that someone else's negligence was the sole proximate cause of a plaintiff's injuries.

Proving Proximate Cause in Malpractice Cases

By Terrence J. Lavin and Kristina M. Lau
May
2009
Article
Page 254
Illinois courts are still struggling to determine the plaintiff's proper burden of proving proximate cause in "lost chance" cases.

“Rape Shield” for Civil Lawsuits

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2009
LawPulse
Page 220
An Illinois House bill would extend the prohibition against admitting evidence of an alleged victim's sexual history to sexual harassment charges.

A Snipe-Hunter’s guide to Coaxing Answers from Hostile Witnesses

By Hon. Ron Spears
May
2009
Column
Page 260
Preparation and skillful questioning can help you bag your quarry.

Evidence Resources or Illinois Practitioners

By Tom Gaylord
March
2009
Column
Page 154
A look at some free evidence-related online resources.

Scientific Evidence About Grief in Illinois Wrongful Death Cases

By Timothy J. Reuland and Shirley A. Murphy
March
2009
Article
Page 146
A 2007 amendment to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act permits recovery for grief. This article discusses the evidence that makes the case for damages.

Admission of prior juvenile adjudications allowed to

February
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 70
On December 2, 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, which affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Peoria County to allow the state to impeach a defendant with certified copies of his prior juvenile adjudications.

Committee studies codification of evidence rules

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2009
LawPulse
Page 64
A new supreme court special committee is charged with devising a more convenient organizational scheme for the Illinois rules of evidence.

New hearsay exception added for the intentional murder of a witness. PA 095-1004

February
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 70
The Illinois General Assembly amended the Code of Criminal Procedure by adding section 115-10.6, which creates a new hearsay exception when evidence is offered against a party that has killed the declarant "intending to procure the unavailability of the declarant as a witness in a criminal or civil proceeding." 725 ILCS 5/115-10.6.

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).

Incriminating statements suppressed in first degree murder case

December
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 612
On September 30, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of McLean County granting the defendant's two motions to suppress evidence. 

The Crawford Confrontation-Clause Bar: Governmental Involvement Is Key to “Testimonial” Hearsay

By Hon. Daniel B. Shanes
November
2008
Article
Page 574
The author argues that statements are rarely "testimonial" - and thus barred - if the government did not produce them.

Evidence sufficient to uphold conviction for disorderly conduct

November
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 554
On August 20, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County finding the defendant guilty of disorderly conduct. 

Pages

Select a Different Subject