Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Trial Practice and Procedure

Technology and the Trial Process: The 2013 Allerton Conference By Jeffrey A. Parness December 2013 Article, Page 638 Social media use by lawyers and other technology topics were on the agenda of the 2013 Allerton Conference.
Using Juror Questions During Trial to Your Advantage By Andrew W. Vail and Tiffany M. Cartwright December 2013 Article, Page 624 These tips from seasoned judges and attorneys can help you incorporate juror questioning into your trials.
A Guide to the Confrontation Clause By Geoffrey Burkhart June 2013 Article, Page 304 When does the Sixth Amendment require prosecutors to produce a live witness rather than an out-of-court statement against a defendant? Here's a look at the latest developments.
The Too-Expansive Illinois General Verdict Rule By J. Timothy Eaton, Michael W. Rathsack, and Michael T. Reagan March 2013 Article, Page 142 More and more Illinois courts are upholding general verdicts if there is any error-free basis for doing so. They should do the opposite, these authors say.
Relation-back doctrine not limited by dramshop act’s statute of limitations December 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 610 A plaintiff is allowed to correct the mistaken identity of a defendant in a suit to establish liability under the Dramshop Act when the relation-back factors of state law are satisfied, according to the Appellate Court for the Fourth District of Illinois.
What’s the Deadline for Removal to Federal Court in Multiple-Defendant Cases? By Kurt D. Hadley October 2010 Article, Page 534 Assume a state-court case with multiple defendants who are served at different times - how do you calculate the deadline for removing it to federal court? Here's a look.
Substitution of Judge as of Right: When Is it Too Late? By Marie C. Fahnert and Tracey Daniels August 2010 Article, Page 422 Substituting a judge as of right - even fairly well into your case - is easier than you might think, and easier in some appellate districts than others. Here's a review.
Controlling Case Expenses: Lawyers’ Duty to Clients By Robert L. Fogel, Michael S. Young, and Katie M. King May 2010 Article, Page 244 A look at the trial lawyer's fiduciary and ethical responsibility to disclose, monitor, and control reimbursable case expenses incurred on behalf of clients.
Federal standard time By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2010 LawPulse, Page 66 New laws standardize the way time periods are calculated in federal court.
Iqbal: a “dangerous” tightening of federal pleading standards? By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2009 LawPulse, Page 598 Critics of this game-changing Supreme Court ruling argue that it will deny a day in court to large numbers of deserving litigants.
Although a trial court’s failure to rule on a motion in limine may constitute an abuse of discretion, a harmless error will not overturn a ruling. October 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 496 On July 24, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County, holding that the trial court did not err when it deferred ruling on the defendant’s motion in limine until after he testified.  
The right to a jury trial is not guaranteed in an action nonexistent at common law. October 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 496 On July 27, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Jackson County and remanded the case for a bench trial.
The Overlooked Art of Redirect Examination By Jeffrey J. Kroll and Patrick White August 2009 Article, Page 406 Redirect examination is a powerful weapon for litigators, but it can backfire on those who forget its central purpose - to rehabilitate witnesses.
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.
The importance of timely service By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 LawPulse, Page 116 Thanks to an amendment to supreme court rule 103(b), plaintiffs who haven’t been otherwise diligent in moving a case along must be especially diligent in obtaining service.
Code of Civil Procedure amended. PA 095-0831 November 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 554 The Illinois General Assembly has amended the Code of Civil Procedure by modifying several sections. 735 ILCS 5/3.
Trial-Practice Don’ts By Matthew R. Crimmins July 2008 Article, Page 360 Don't promise the jury more than you can deliver, don't make inflammatory arguments, and more "don'ts" for litigation.
Hudson: New Limits on a Plaintiff’s Right to Refile a Voluntarily Dismissed Case By Ross B. Edwards June 2008 Article, Page 294 A controversial new case from the Illinois Supreme Court bars the refiling of a voluntarily dismissed claim when a partially dispositive motion has been granted.
Residents Suing Nonresidents for Harm in Illinois By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness June 2008 Column, Page 318 Two recent appellate cases limit the power to sue nonresidents.
Are Civility and Zealous Advocacy Compatible? By Hon. Ron Spears May 2008 Column, Page 260 Reason can change minds when rudeness won't.
Is a motion a pleading? By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2008 LawPulse, Page 230 No, answers a chicago lawyer, and because of that a motion attacking another motion is improper.
Hudson, voluntary dismissal, and res judicata By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2008 LawPulse, Page 174 Before you voluntarily dismiss after any decision on the merits, read the Illinois Supreme Court's recent Hudson ruling.
Lessons from Jury Research By Sara Parikh and Terrence Lavin April 2008 Article, Page 190 Experience with mock juries challenges conventional wisdom about how jurors react to expert testimony and attorney performance.
Retooling the relation-back doctrine By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2008 LawPulse, Page 174 The Illinois Supreme Court recently adopted the northern district's test for determining whether an amended complaint relates back to the original. 
Denial of forum non conveniens constitutes error March 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 On December 26, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County denying the defendant's motion to dismiss based upon interstate forum non conveniens.
No in personam jurisdiction over Indiana clinic March 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 On December 28, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the holding of the Circuit Court of Cook County denying the defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of in personam jurisdiction.
Refiled Claims: It’s Notice, Not Service By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness March 2008 Column, Page 152 Voluntary dismissals need only be noticed to defendants in the second suit.
Pleading in the Seventh Circuit after Bell Atlantic : “Fact,” “Notice,” or Otherwise? By Nathan T. Kipp February 2008 Article, Page 82 In Bell Atlantic, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a new federal pleading standard. But its impact on federal pleading practice in Illinois is unclear.
Time between voluntary dismissal and refiling does not affect reasonable diligence assessment February 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 On December 13, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and the Circuit Court of Knox County, holding the passage of time between a plaintiff's voluntary dismissal and refiling is not included in considering the plaintiff's diligence under Supreme Court Rule 103(b). 
Attorney Mistakes, Client Losses: New Visions After Vision Point By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness December 2007 Column, Page 664 Courts should grant extensions for “good cause” failures to comply. So what’s “good cause”?