Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Trial Practice and Procedure

8 Things Every Trial Lawyer Should Know

By Ed Finkel
April
2021
Cover Story
, Page 20
From jury selection to your closing argument, opportunities and traps abound.

Court may hold trial without defendant and defense counsel if they are voluntarily absent

December
2020
Illinois Law Update
, Page 16
On Sept. 28, 2020, the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in declining to hear a motion for continuance when the defendant and his attorney could have participated in the trial but chose not to.

Winter (Pretrial Reform) Is Coming

By Pete Sherman
May
2019
LawPulse
, Page 10
Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices enters public-feedback phase.

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 & 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, & 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 & 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, & 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 & 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 & 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.

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