Publications

Articles on Evidence

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.

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. 

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