Publications

Illinois Bar Journal

 

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Articles on Evidence

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. 
Polygraph Exams in Sex-Offense Cases By Kerry J. Bryson October 2008 Article, Page 528 Despite doubts about their reliability, polygraph exams are required in sex-offense cases. This article discusses the law.
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.
Eyewitnesses and the Rashomon Effect By Hon. Ron Spears August 2008 Column, Page 424 Research indicates that eyewitness testimony is less reliable than people think.
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.
Correspondence from Our Readers July 2008 Column, Page 330 Sharia law? Voluntary dismissal; confrontation clause; HUD-1 form.st.
A Quick Guide to the Illinois Dead Man’s Act By William T. Gibbs July 2008 Article, Page 352 According to the hornbooks, the Act bars testimony by someone with an interest in litigation about a conversation with or event occurring in the presence of a decedent. But what does that mean?
No error in allowing evidence of past convictions June 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On April 3, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the judgment of the circuit court allowing the prosecution to present evidence of the defendant's prior convictions for aggravated battery and aggravated assault.
When Hearsay Testimony Is a Nonevent Under the Confrontation Clause By Robert J. Steigmann June 2008 Article, Page 304 An Illinois Appellate Court justice says that a witness who disavows his or her own hearsay statements is not "unavailable" as to those statements.
Authentication and Identification of E-Mail Evidence By Hon. William J. Haddad May 2008 Article, Page 252 Learn how to use circumstantial evidence to show that e-mail really came from the purported sender.
No suppression of evidence obtained in violation of Illinois eavesdropping statute April 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 180 On February 7, 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Du Page County refusing to suppress evidence obtained in violation of the Illinois eavesdropping statute, 720 ILCS 5/14-2. 
Federal wiretapping evidence admissible though barred by state law By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2008 LawPulse, Page 118 Evidence gathered in a joint federal-state investigation is admissible in state court if it complies with federal, though not state, eavesdropping law.
Admission of detective’s testimony did not violate the Confrontation Clause February 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 On November 30, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County sentencing the defendant to 85 years for first degree murder and home invasion.
Diogenes and the Testimonial Whopper By Hon. Ron Spears February 2008 Column, Page 104 What can we do to improve the accuracy and honesty of witness testimony? Not enough.
How to Admit or Exclude PBT Results By Eric R. Waltmire February 2008 Article, Page 92 Police sometimes administer preliminary breath tests to drivers stopped on suspicion of DUI. When and how are the results admissible in a hearing? Here's a look at the cases.
No psych-record access for “garden variety” employee emotional distress claims By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 LawPulse, Page 66 A recent ruling explains when employer-defendants can and cannot get access to employee-plaintiffs' medical and psychological records when employees sue for emotional distress cause by illegal discrimination.