Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Trial Practice and Procedure

Three flavors of federal e-filing By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2007 LawPulse, Page 622 Effective last month, all three federal district courts accept electronically filed complaints – but each has different procedures.
Rule 216 requests to admit: no more “gotcha” games By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2007 LawPulse, Page 570 With its Vision Point ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court gives trial courts the power to allow late or otherwise deficient answers to Rule 216 requests to admit.
Sanctioning Firms for Frivolous Filings By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness September 2007 Column, Page 490 Courts should allow sanctions against firms for lawyers' misconduct.
An Update on Rule 213 Trial Witness Disclosure By Daniel P. Wurl September 2007 Article, Page 464 A look at the evolution of the Rule 213 opinion-witness rule and the supreme and appellate court decisions interpreting it.
Voir Dire: New Research Challenges Old Assumptions By Frank P. Andreano September 2007 Article, Page 474 Research shows that juror attitudes toward hot-button issues like tort reform are better predictors of bias than demographic factors.
A Higher bar for Class Action Litigation in Illinois By Justin Lee Heather July 2007 Article, Page 356 A look at the Illinois Supreme Court's recent Avery and Gridley decisions and their dampening impact on class lawsuits.
Preserving the right to appeal an ambiguous ruling By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2007 LawPulse, Page 342 What can you do to preserve your client's right to appeal when the trial court issues an order of ambiguous finality? The Waddick case may provide some lessons.
“Sliding scale” approach rejected in contacts analysis of interactive Web site July 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 348 On April 24, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of St. Clair County dismissing the plaintiff's personal injury action for lack of personal jurisdiction. 
Intrastate Forum Non Conveniens in Illinois: Post-Langenhorst Confusion By Rob Shumaker June 2007 Article, Page 300 The Illinois Supreme Court's most recent intrastate forum non conveniens ruling only adds to the confusion, this author opines.
eDiscovery: A New Approach to Discovery in Federal and State Court By Scott A. Carlson and Ronald L. Lipinski April 2007 Article, Page 184 Changes in technology have altered the way lawyers deal with evidence. The electronic-discovery amendments to the federal rules reflect these changes.
Asked and Answered March 2007 Column, Page 154 When and how do you file a motion?
E-Discovery in Illinois Civil Actions By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness March 2007 Column, Page 150 Wholesale adoption of federal discovery rules by Illinois State courts may be unwise.
When Does a Postjudgment Motion Toll the Deadline for Appeal? By Leon I. Finkel and Bradley A. Silva March 2007 Article, Page 142 It's a huge mistake to think that every motion after final judgment tolls the deadline for filing an appeal. Here's a review of the statutory and case law.
Opening Statements: Soup for the Jury’s Soul By Hon. Ron Spears February 2007 Column, Page 102 A good opening statement will shape jurors' perception of the case.
Asked and Answered January 2007 Column, Page 50 What are the rules for serving notice?
Correspondence from Our Readers January 2007 Column, Page 6 Don't be afraid to substitute judges.
Cross-examination and impeachment techniques for DUI defense attorneys By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2006 LawPulse, Page 642 You can gather plenty of evidence even without the benefit of discovery, a pair of leading DUI defense attorneys say.
Cross-Examination: Beyond the Perry Mason Moment By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2006 Article, Page 654 Though you shouldn't count on a surprise case-winning confession, there's a lot you can do to improve your performance on cross.
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.
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.
Reforming the Civil Jury System in Illinois: The 2006 Allerton Conference By Jeffrey A. Parness November 2006 Article, Page 608 Should jurors be given instructions at the start of civil trials? Should they be more free to ask questions? Find out what the Allerton conferees think.
Substitution of Judges: Proceed with Caution By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 Article, Page 590 Lawyers and judges speculate about whether and when moving for substitution is really the right move.
Strict compliance versus “substantial justice” By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2006 LawPulse, Page 518 In deciding whether to give a party extra time to respond to a request to admit, can a court consider the other party's failure to comply with another rule? The first district says "yes." 
Correspondence from Our Readers August 2006 Column, Page 394 Nothing beats voir dire for learning about jurors; What is a rule of thumb?
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.
Suing Defendants Who Later Declare Bankruptcy: Vacating a Dismissal for Want of Prosecution By Anna-Katrina S. Christakis and Jeffrey D. Pilgrim August 2006 Article, Page 432 When a plaintiff's action is dismissed for want of prosecution while the defendant's bankruptcy is pending and the automatic stay is in place, the plaintiff can seek to have the dismissal vacated.
Appointed Attorneys for Indigent Civil Litigants in Federal Court: the Illinois Experience By John Rearden, Jr. July 2006 Article, Page 369 A look at how Illinois-based federal district courts appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants, including standby counsel for pro se claimants.
Dismissal for Lack of Diligence in Serving Process: The Failure of Rule 103(b) By Chester A. Lizak July 2006 Article, Page 372 The rule should not allow dismissal of the plaintiff's case if he or she serves the defendant before the statute of limitations has run, this author says.
Correspondence from Our Readers June 2006 Column, Page 274 Settlement conference judges; parents aren't "visitors."
Defendants have high bar to overcome plaintiff’s choice of venue May 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 230 On March 2, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the fifth district appellate court, denying the defendants' motion to transfer venue from St. Clair County to Clinton County.