Publications

Articles on Evidence

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.

State must establish foundation for admittance of electronic conversation transcript

December
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 632
On September 28, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed and remanded for new trial the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County convicting the defendant of indecent solicitation of a child because the State did “nothing to establish a foundation for the admissibility of the transcripts as evidence.” 

Using Videos at Trial: The Big Picture

By Hon. James P. Flannery Jr.
December
2007
Article
Page 642
What foundation is needed to introduce a video at trial in Illinois? Are videos subject to discovery? The author explores that and more.

Burdens of Proof

By Hon. Ron Spears
November
2007
Column
Page 604
Defining burdens of proof can be hard. But they're easier to understand than to define.

Davis v Washington Narrows the Scope of “Testimonial” Hearsay

By Howard W. Anderson III
October
2007
Article
Page 546
Prosecutors can't introduce "testimonial" hearsay unless the defendant had a chance to cross-examine the unavailable declarant. Davis tells us when a statement is not "testimonial."

Admitted negligent acts properly presented to jury when relevant and necessary to plaintiff’s case

August
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 404
On June 7, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Jackson County allowing Michael Rath to present evidence of Carbondale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center's negligence despite the nursing home's admission of certain acts of negligence.

If the Gloves Don’t Fit…

By Hon. Ron Spears
August
2007
Column
Page 436
Physical evidence can have a huge impact, but know whether it will help or hurt your client.

Rules changed regarding alcohol and drug testing

August
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 404
20 Ill Adm Code 1286 has been amended by adding sub-section 1286.75, effective May 1, 2007. 

How to Admit E-Mail and Web Pages into Evidence

By Theodore J. Koerth and Christopher E. Paetsch
December
2006
Article
Page 674
The emerging legal standards.

Where Spoliation of Evidence Meets the Duty to Defend

By Charles L. Philbrick
December
2006
Article
Page 670
A look at the law of spoliation from the insured's perspective.

Admissibility of Damage Photos Without an Expert in Illinois

By Hon. William J. Haddad
November
2006
Article
Page 606
Admission of damage photos may no longer be automatic, this author opines.

Evidence of settling defendants’ culpability admissible for apportionment of fault

November
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 584
On August 23, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for a retrial where the Circuit Court of Cook County held that settling defendants to a personal injury action were not to be considered during the jury's apportionment of fault.

Expanding the Use of Medical Treatises in Illinois Trials

By Terrence J. Lavin and Michelle L. Wolf
August
2006
Article
Page 426
The authors argue that following the federal approach would produce a better-informed jury.

Lack of professional license not a bar to rendering expert opinion

August
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 404
On June 2, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversing and remanding the decision of the Circuit Court of Lake County to strike the affidavit of an expert witness because the witness lacked an Illinois professional license. 

Negative inference applicable only to “tip the scales”

August
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 404
On June 6, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of DuPage County, which had ordered the issuance of a two-year plenary order of protection based upon testimony by respondent's ex-wife stating their daughter returned with a large welt on her leg after spending 11 hours with the respondent.

When the doctor is the patient - and a med-mal defendant

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2006
LawPulse
Page 398
Should a defendant-doctor's medical records be available to a plaintiff who alleges that the doctor's poor health caused him to deliver substandard care?

DNA sampling does not violate the Constitution

June
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On March 23, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, holding that evidence admitted against the defendant at trial was properly admitted and that section 5-4-3 of the Unified Code of Corrections, which requires convicted felons to submit DNA samples to the police, does not violate the United States Constitution. 

In Defense of Bulger v CTA

By Anthony Longo
May
2006
Article
Page 254
A defense lawyer applauds the Bulger court's finding that evidence of subsequent remedial measures is inadmissible

The Duty to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence Discovered After Trial

By Brendan Max
March
2006
Article
Page 138
The author argues that such a duty exists based on the U.S. Supreme Court's Brady case and Illinois discovery and ethics rules

Trial Lawyers’ Top Opinions of 2005

By Hon. James P. Flannery Jr.
March
2006
Article
Page 122
From pre-trial notice requirements to spoliation of evidence, 2005 produced an array of Illinois cases of special interest to the trial bar.

The New Illinois Standard for Admissibility of Expert Opinion Testimony

By Justin Lee Heather
February
2006
Article
Page 88
The court in Simons created a dual standard: de novo review of the Frye "general acceptance" test, more deferential treatment of the trial court's decision about relevance and experts' qualifications.

Crawford, Breathalyzer Tests, and the Public-Records Hearsay Exception

By Hon. William J. Haddad
August
2005
Article
Page 412
May breathalyzer logbook entries still be introduced in Illinois under the public-records exception?

Crawford v Washington and the Limits on Admitting Hearsay in Criminal Trials

By John H. Gleason
August
2005
Article
Page 408
Crawford limits a judge's discretion to admit hearsay against criminal defendants. Here's a discussion of the case's impact and 
unanswered questions.

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