Publications

Section Newsletter Articles From George S. Bellas

Say goodbye to boilerplate objections and responses to discovery requests By George S. Bellas and Misty J. Cygan Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2017 For many attorneys and law firms it is standard practice to object to most, if not all, discovery requests with the boilerplate language that a request is overly broad or unduly burdensome. This practice necessitates more meet and confer conferences and motions to compel resulting additional costs to litigate. The 2015 amendments to Rule 34 were intended to curtail this type of practice. However, up until recently judges have been dillydallying in enforcing the new rule.
The question of possession, custody, or control in production By George S. Bellas and Michael Rizo Federal Civil Practice, April 2017 Unfortunately, the F.R.Civ.P. do little to define the meaning of “possession, custody or control,” leaving parties to determine the definition from case law.
Social media as evidence? By George S. Bellas and Michael Rizo Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2017 Although the information on individual posts on social media may be used as evidence, applying evidentiary rules to social media information can be daunting. The social media information – now known as electronically stored information (ESI) – must pass the same evidentiary hurdles as any tangible document, with some additional obstacles.
The question of possession, custody, or control in production By George S. Bellas and Michael Rizo Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2017 Unfortunately, the F.R.Civ.P. do little to define the meaning of “possession, custody or control,” leaving parties to determine the definition from case law.
The amendments to the federal rules: E-discovery is the focus By George S. Bellas and Thomas Hardiman Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2016 A look at the amended Rules as they pertain to discovery.
A defamation action under Rule 224 is not afforded First Amendment protections so long as the ‘necessity’ requirement is met By George S. Bellas and Misty J. Cygan Civil Practice and Procedure, October 2015 Rule 224 should be utilized to obtain the identity of an online user for defamation claims. However, the action will only survive if the allegations pass muster under the standard for section 2-615.
The concept of “inherent power” does not divest a circuit court of its jurisdiction By George S. Bellas and Misty J. Cygan Bench and Bar, May 2015 In LVNV Funding, LLC v. Matthew Trice, the Illinois Supreme Court held that LVNV’s failure to register as a collection agency under the Collection Agency Act did not deprive the circuit court of jurisdiction.
The concept of “inherent power” does not divest a circuit court of its jurisdiction By George S. Bellas and Misty J. Cygan Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2015 In LVNV Funding, LLC v. Matthew Trice, the Illinois Supreme Court held that LVNV’s failure to register as a collection agency under the Collection Agency Act did not deprive the circuit court of jurisdiction.
So you want to subpoena a party’s e-mails? By George S. Bellas and Steve Ford Civil Practice and Procedure, November 2014 Many courts across the United States have quashed subpoenas on the basis that an Internet service provider cannot be compelled to disclose a party’s e-mails pursuant to a civil subpoena.
Developments in piercing the corporate veil By George S. Bellas and Misty J. Cygan Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2014 In Buckley v. Abuzir, 2014 IL App (1st) 130469, the appellate court clarified a somewhat confusing area of law—veil-piercing—in its reversal of the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s amended complaint.
Opposing counsel’s publication of social security number is not actionable By George S. Bellas Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2014 The recent case of Johnson v. Johnson and Bell, Ltd. considered the consequences of publishing a litigant’s personal information in a pending lawsuit and ruled that the litigation privilege precluded any liability.
The Illinois duty to preserve ESI: A bridge over troubled waters By George S. Bellas and Rebecca Pucinski Keithley Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2013 Due to the dramatic increase in the use of digital technology in business today, the time is ripe for the judiciary and practitioners to take note of how electronically stored information is gathered and used at trial.
Common-Law Doctrine trumps Fraudulent Transfer Act in holding decedent self-settlor to irrevocable pledge By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2013 In Rush University Medical Center v. Sessions, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned the first district appellate court’s ruling in favor of a self-settled trust denying plaintiff Rush University Medical Center’s claim to a $1.5 million irrevocable pledge made by the settlor before he died, holding the trust was void as to existing and future creditors and Rush was entitled to the funds.
Jurisdiction of Illinois courts based on Internet content without Zippo By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Civil Practice and Procedure, July 2012 In recent years, courts have returned to a more traditional analysis to determine whether personal jurisdiction exists in Internet-related cases. The United States Supreme Court Calder v. Jones case in 1984 crafted the “effects” test, which would become the blueprint for contemporary Internet jurisdiction analysis in much of the United States and in Illinois, specifically.
Jablonski v. Ford: Is the Illinois Supreme Court crafting a new approach to duty analysis and proof in negligent-product-design cases? By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Bench and Bar, April 2012 The Supreme Court’s transition from Calles to Jablonski suggests that in negligent-product-design claims specifically and in products liability litigation generally, the Illinois Supreme Court may not yet be restricting duty analysis solely to the risk-utility test but has incorporated the consumer expectation test as a factor into the risk-utility test.
Jablonski v. Ford: Is the Illinois Supreme Court crafting a new approach to duty analysis and proof in negligent-product-design cases? By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Tort Law, March 2012 The Illinois Supreme Court's recent decision in Jablonski et al. v. Ford Motor Co. appears to illustrate a shift in how Illinois courts are deciding cases involving negligent-product-design claims.
Jablonski v. Ford: Is the Illinois Supreme Court crafting a new approach to duty analysis and proof in negligent-product-design cases? By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2011 The Supreme Court’s transition from Calles to Jablonski suggests that in negligent-product-design claims specifically and in products liability litigation generally, the Illinois Supreme Court may not yet be restricting duty analysis solely to the risk-utility test but has incorporated the consumer expectation test as a factor into the risk-utility test.
Internet evidence: How to authenticate evidence from the Internet under the new Illinois Rules of Evidence By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Bench and Bar, May 2011 A look at the relative simplicity of authenticating Internet evidence and the novel applications under the rules to this point.
E-Discovery issues in litigation By George S. Bellas Legal Technology, Standing Committee on, April 2011 A look at the case of Pension Committee of the University of Montreal Pension Plan v. Bank of America Securities, LLC, which highlights the problems with electronically stored information.
E-discovery update: Guidelines for Delaware Chancery Courts By George S. Bellas Legal Technology, Standing Committee on, April 2011 Delaware has become one of the first states to adopt guidelines for e-discovery. See the guidelines here.
Internet evidence: How to authenticate evidence from the Internet under the new Illinois Rules of Evidence By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2011 The new Illinois Rules of Evidence, which went into effect January 1, 2011, closely follow the federal rules both substantively and procedurally in the area of authentication of evidence and, specifically, Internet evidence.
Fourth District discredits 30-year “legitimate-business-interest” test and ignores own ruling for restrictive covenants By George S. Bellas and A. Patrick Andes Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2010 Creating a district split, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Steigmann, disregarded its own precedent and declared the “legitimate-business-interest” test “no longer valid, if it ever was.”

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