Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Trial Practice and Procedure

In Defense of Bulger v CTA By Anthony Longo May 2006 Article, Page 254 A defense lawyer applauds the Bulger court's finding that evidence of subsequent remedial measures is inadmissible
Playing the Rule 68 card By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2006 LawPulse, Page 222 FRCP 68 can encourage settlement, but it also confronts counsel for plaintiffs and defendants with some high-stakes challenges. 
Making the Most of Settlement Conferences By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2006 Article, Page 178 Judges and lawyers discuss how to avoid costly mistakes and best promote your clients' interests in judge-conducted settlement conferences.
Confronting Judge-Imposed Time Limits on Voir Dire By Rodney R. Nordstrom March 2006 Article, Page 142 Here's how to make the most of the time you've granted for voir dire, no matter how limited.
Correspondence from Our Readers March 2006 Column, Page 106 Court reporting: alive and well
Making an Electronic Record: Good Reviews for Digital Recording By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 Article, Page 72 Several courthouses, notably DuPage County's, have implemented digital recording of courtroom proceedings. Is stenography a thing of the past?
Must trial judges grant special favors to pro se litigants? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 LawPulse, Page 62 Judges often cut pro se litigants a lot of slack. 
The New Illinois Standard for Admissibility of Expert Opinion Testimony By Justin Lee Heather February 2006 Article, Page 88 The court in Simons created a dual standard: de novo review of the Frye "general acceptance" test, more deferential treatment of the trial court's decision about relevance and experts' qualifications.
Rule 222 -the high cost of noncompliance By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2006 LawPulse, Page 62 Plaintiffs who fail to heed the disclosure rule, which governs specified cases implicating $50,000 or less in damages, face the extinguishment of their claim. 
Gridley v State Farm: a supreme-court slap at forum shopping? By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2006 LawPulse, Page 10 Some defense lobbyists say "yes"; a leading plaintiffs' lawyer says it shows there's no forum-shopping problem in Illinois.
Review of venue-transfer motions: the supreme court speaks By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2005 LawPulse, Page 614 Trial courts deserve deference on questions of fact but not law, the high court ruled.
TROs: A Guide to Winning Emergency Relief in Illinois By Richard L. Miller, II October 2005 Article, Page 530 A step-by-step guide to seeking temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions.
A plaintiff may not base a motion for summary judgment on issues not contained in the pleadings September 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 446 On June 30, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the Circuit Court of Cook County's decision granting the plaintiff summary judgment in a lease termination dispute.
A plaintiff must object to a witness at the time the witness is to testify, in order to preserve that objection for appeal September 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 446 On June 28, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County denying the plaintiffs' motion to bar the defendant's expert witness from testifying at trial. 
Standing on Shaky Ground By James E. Pfander September 2005 Column, Page 480 While the Illinois Supreme Court's most recent qui tam case is a victory for plaintiffs, it further clouds standing doctrine.
Admission of Facts in Discovery: Avoiding the Rule 216 Trap By John J. Hynes August 2005 Article, Page 402 Failure to comply with discovery requests can lead to dire consequences. Find out what's at stake and what to do about it.
A moving experience By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2005 LawPulse, Page 382 Did you know you can schedule your opponent's motion for hearing if he doesn't?
Rule changes allow compulsory appearance by notice at pretrial hearings By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2005 LawPulse, Page 382 Amended Supreme Court Rule 237 allows parties to compel appearances by serving a witness with simple notice, even at pretrial or expedited hearings.
A plaintiff must establish a prima facie basis for exercising long-arm jurisdiction over a non-resident corporation July 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 On April 13, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, reversed the Circuit Court of Lawrence County's decision finding personal jurisdiction over a successor non-resident defendant corporation. 
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.
Adding Insult to Overseas Injury: A Failure of the Forum Non Doctrine By James E. Pfander June 2005 Column, Page 314 Under current doctrine, foreign mass-tort plaintiffs are often left with little or nothing.
Getting the Most from Medical Witness Treaters and Experts: A Trial Lawyer’s Guide By Terrence J. Lavin May 2005 Article, Page 246 How to find and use physicians and other medical witnesses.
Motions to dismiss will be treated the same, as long as there’s no prejudice to the plaintiff April 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 170 On January 31, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed in part and reversed in part the Circuit Court of Cook County's decision granting the defendants' Code of Civil Procedure section 2-619(a)(9) motion to dismiss the complaint.
New IPI instructions are free on the Web By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2005 LawPulse, Page 162 Sign up with the supreme court to get notice every time a new IPI instruction is made available.
Disclosure of Government Documents: The Deliberative-Process Exemption By Paul N. Keller March 2005 Article, Page 140 Documents considered by a public body in formulating policy decisions are often exempt from disclosure under federal and state law.
Waiver of Privilege for Documents Inadvertently Disclosed During Discovery By Andrew N. Plasz March 2005 Article, Page 126 How do Illinois courts respond when a party claims that an inadvertently produced document is still privileged? Here's a review of the cases
Tee Ball and Trial Advocacy By Hon. Ron Spears February 2005 Column, Page 92 All you really need to know about trial practice you learned in tee ball.
Trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering defendant to walk in front of the jury to demonstrate a possible limp January 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 14 On November 12, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Champaign County, which required the defendant to walk in front of the jury to show whether he had a limp when he walked. 
Correspondence from Our Readers December 2004 Column, Page 610 Voluntary-dismissal abuse; small estate affidavits.
Judicial Ping-Pong By James E. Pfander December 2004 Column, Page 652 A new law allows more discrimination claims against the state.