Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Evidence

Spoliation of Evidence: Responding to Fire Scene Destruction By Gerald O. Sweeney, Jr. and P. Russell Perdew July 2005 Article, Page 358 A look at the discovery, motion practice, and trial techniques defendants can use in response to destruction of a fire scene.
“Other-crimes” evidence is admissible to show defendant’s intent and lack of mistake April 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 170 On January 21, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court found that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the evidence in question and upheld the appellate court's affirmance of the convictions.
Revisiting Bulger v CTA: the Case for Admitting Transportation Company Investigation Results By Jeffrey K. Kroll and J. Ryan Potts April 2004 Article, Page 210 The authors argue that a transporation company's investigation report should be admissible at trial.
Life after “Same Part of the Body”: An Update on Admissibility of Prior Injuries By Joseph G. Feehan March 2004 Article, Page 146 A review of recent case law governing admissibility of prior and subsequent medical conditions in injury cases.
Companies in violation of environmental protection standards cannot procure state business and are subject to more difficult requirements for permits P.A. 093-0575 January 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 An amendment to the Illinois Procurement Code, effective January 1, 2004, provides that no person or business who was found to have willfully or knowingly violated §42 of the Environmental Protection Act.
Evidence obtained in traffic stop that was based upon an anonymous tipper who overheard cellular phone conversation on police scanner not obtained illegally and should not have been suppressed September 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 436 On June 19, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the evidence obtained in a traffic stop that was based upon an anonymous tipper who overheard a cellular phone conversation on a police scanner was not obtained in violation of the Illinois eavesdropping statute, federal wiretapping statutes, or constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Evidence admissible under eavesdropping statute if defendant acquiesced to monitoring; state’s use of glass-comparison evidence did not constitute plain error July 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 332 On April 17, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree and of unlawful possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle.
Expert witness testimony on eyewitness identification must be properly excluded on case-by-case basis; line-up photos marked by eyewitnesses allowed into jury deliberations July 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 332 On March 31, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County convicting the defendant of first-degree murder and sentencing him to 35 years in prison.
Search and Seizure of E-Evidence in Illinois: Cybercrime and the Internet Frontier By Rachel J. Hess July 2003 Article, Page 344 A review of the search-and-seizure issues that arise in the investigation of Internet crimes.
Trial court may not tax as costs the professional fee charged by nonparty treating physician for attendance at evidence deposition July 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 332 On April 17, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a trial court may not tax as costs the professional fee charged by a nonparty treating physician for his participation in an evidence deposition.
Retaliatory discharge protection extends to employees testifying in other employees’ workers’ compensation actions; scope of employment approach proper test for hearsay June 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 280 On March 25, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, reversed and remanded the order of the circuit court of Cook County granting summary judgment for the defendant corporation.
Judge who appeared on behalf of state in defendant’s prior prosecution erred by not recusing himself from proceeding; defendant entitled to Frye hearing where scientific evidence to be introduced against him May 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 226 On February 21, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, reversed the order of the Circuit Court of Iroquois County committing the defendant to the Department of Human Services for institutional care.
Admitting Other-Crimes Evidence: A Call for Change By Brendan Max March 2003 Article, Page 132 When can; and should; evidence that the defendant committed other crimes be admitted to help establish guilt of the crime charged?
Should Criminal Defendants be Required to Produce Handwriting Exemplars? By David G. Duggan February 2003 Article, Page 86 No, this author says.
Donaldson v CIPS: The Death Knell for Daubert in Illinois? By Stephen A. Wood January 2003 Article, Page 26 In Donaldson, the Illinois Supreme Court embraced the Frye standard for admitting scientific evidence and passed on Daubert. Here's a review.
Using Polygraph Results to Decide “Good Faith Denial of Coverage” Cases By James E. DeFranco January 2003 Article, Page 32 The author argues that polygraph results should not be admissible to establish whether an insurer did or didn't act in good faith.
Expert testimony on airbag sensor system admissible if supported by proper foundation November 2002 Illinois Law Update, Page 584 On July 29, 2002, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Woodford County in this product liability case.
Spoliation actions must be joined with suit from which spoliation claim arises to avoid dismissal under res judicata and collateral estoppel November 2002 Illinois Law Update, Page 584 On August 23, 2002, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, concluded that the plaintiff's suit alleging spoliation of evidence was barred by the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel.
Challenging DNA in Paternity Cases: Finding Weaknesses in an Evidentiary Goliath By Carl W. Gilmore September 2002 Article, Page 472 Though it's difficult to overcome DNA evidence, the author urges you to mount a challenge when the circumstances warrant.
Using DNA Evidence to Overcome the Presumption of Paternity By Ronda D. Taylor and Glen and Gene Carson Brucker September 2002 Article, Page 464 Subsection 7(b-5) of the Illinois Parentage Act allows a man adjudicated ''father'' to use genetic testing to show that he is not.
Boyd laid down the law on spoliation By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2002 LawPulse, Page 338 Want to learn the law governing destruction of evidence in Illinois? Start with this 1995 Illinois Supreme Court decision.
Court need not examine both the reliability of the methodology used and its general acceptance to conduct a proper Frye analysis for admissibility of novel scientific evidence May 2002 Illinois Law Update, Page 232 On February 22, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court and held that a verdict in favor of plaintiffs and against a utility for toxic poisoning from exposure to coal tar resulting in children suffering from neuroblastoma was not subject to reversal.
Laying a Proper Foundation for Computer-Generated Demonstrative Evidence By Adrienne W. Albrecht May 2002 Article, Page 261 How do you persuade the court to admit a computer simulation into evidence? A look at the developing law.
Correspondence from Our Readers April 2002 Column, Page 162 Must the author of a "certificate of merit" be disclosed?
Legislation permits sexual assault nurse examiners to perform examinations of sexual assault victims P.A. 92-514 March 2002 Illinois Law Update, Page 120 Legislation signed by Gov. Ryan in January amends the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act to authorize sexual assault nurse examiners to perform examinations of sexual assault victims using a State Police Evidence Collection Kit (SPECK).
It’s Time to Repeal Illinois’ Seat-Belt Gag Rule By Richard B. Foster and Charles E. Harper February 2002 Article, Page 88 The authors recommend repeal of the law that prohibits admission of evidence of seat belt non-use.
Proponent of “novel scientific evidence” must demonstrate that the scientist’s methods are generally accepted in the profession and reliable before court may admit the evidence December 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 624 On September 12, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, held that before the trial court can admit "novel scientific testimony," the proponent of the evidence must prove the reliability and general acceptability of the scientist's methods.
Allowing Child Victims’ Hearsay under Section 115-10: A Critical Analysis By Hon. Robert W. Cook and William Siebers November 2001 Article, Page 582 A critical look at the statute from a justice of the fourth district appellate court.
Follow-up to preservation of evidence legislation P.A. 92-459 October 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 516 When Gov. Ryan signed P.A. 91-871 (governing evidence retention) in June of 2000, he expressed concerns with a number of provisions in the law including overbroad application to all physical evidence, arbitrary time limits for retention of evidence and unclear guidelines for the court in granting requests for early disposition of evidence.
Correspondence from Our Readers September 2001 Column, Page 446 In defense of the common fund doctrine.