Publications

Section Newsletter Articles From Hon Russell W. Hartigan

Strengthening our commitment to diversity By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan, (ret.) Diversity Leadership Council, June 2018 As a circuit judge, arbitrator, and trial lawyer whose career has spanned nearly 40 years, I have witnessed first-hand the many changes the profession and association have undergone.
Non-compete clauses and Fitfield’s two-year bright line rule: Illinois Supreme Court still silent while district courts engage in battle over adequacy of consideration By Jessica L. Fangman & Hon. Russell W. Hartigan Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2015 The current restrictive covenant debate in Illinois centers around the Illinois Appellate Court’s decision in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services Inc., in which the court held that at least two years of continued employment was sufficient consideration to render the non-compete clause enforceable.
Employer may be liable for deaths after employee sent threats from company computer By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Jessica L. Fangman Civil Practice and Procedure, October 2014 On August 12, 2014 the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, decided Regions Bank v. Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc., finding an employer may be liable for the deaths of an employee’s wife and children, when death threats were sent by the employee to himself and his family using the employer’s computer network, and the employer voluntary undertook the responsibility to provide security and surveillance for their safety but failed to do so.
Price v. Phillip Morris: Back from the dead? The appellate court finds the trial court exceeded the scope of its Section 2-1401 review By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Jessica L. Fangman Civil Practice and Procedure, July 2014 On April 29, 2014, the Illinois Appellate Court decided Price v. Phillip Morris, and found the trial court exceeded the scope of its section 2-1401 review.
Illinois court finds default judgment proper only after notice and repeated failure to comply By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Griffen Thorne Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2014 On February 11, 2014, the Illinois Appellate Court decided Locasto v. City of Chicago, reversing a trial court’s grant of default judgment against the defendant, which consistently failed to meet discovery deadlines.
Severance agreements do not create new debt and are valid under the Park District Code By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Griffen Thorne Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2014 The bottom line in Wheeling Park District v. Arnold is that although park district board members can be given broad authority—like the running of day-to-day operations or the ability to hire and fire—that authority cannot extend to binding a park district in any agreement that “creates any debt, obligation, claim or liability.”
The Illinois Supreme Court expands the reach of the Code of Civil Procedure’s six-year statute of repose By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Griffen Thorne Bench and Bar, April 2014 On February 21, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court decided Evanston Insurance Company v. Riseborough, holding that the six-year statute of repose from section 13-214/3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which applies to “the performance of professional services,” includes services where the parties have no fiduciary duty, and claims that are not limited to legal malpractice.
The Illinois Supreme Court expands the reach of the Code of Civil Procedure’s six-year statute of repose By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Griffen Thorne Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2014 On February 21, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court decided Evanston Insurance Company v. Riseborough, holding that the six-year statute of repose from section 13-214/3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which applies to “the performance of professional services,” includes services where the parties have no fiduciary duty, and claims that are not limited to legal malpractice.
The Illinois Supreme Court expands the immunity provision of the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Jessica L. Fangman Civil Practice and Procedure, July 2013 The Illinois Supreme Court in Wilkins v. Williams held the immunity provision of the EMS Act protects government employees and the employees of privately owned ambulance businesses from civil lawsuits filed by patients or third parties, provided the act or omission was not willful and wanton.
Railroads gain more ground: Illinois appellate court reverses $700,143.70 jury verdict after Choate decision By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Christina Faklis Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2013 Immediately after the Illinois Supreme Court decided Choate v. Indiana Harbor Railroad Co.,  it used its supervisory authority and ordered the First District Appellate Court to vacate its prior ruling in McDonald v. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp.
No duty to preserve evidence in negligent spoliation case By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Christina Faklis Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2013 A discussion of the Illinois Supreme Court’s reasoning and impact of the recent case of Martin v. Keeley & Sons, Inc., where the Court held that the defendants had no duty to preserve the physical evidence, a concrete I-beam that fell and injured several employees during a bridge collapse.
Railroad owed no duty to child trespasser By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Christina Faklis Civil Practice and Procedure, October 2012 Along with playing with fire, drowning in water, and falling from heights, Illinois has now added moving trains to the list of obvious dangers that children should realize.
Lessons of Tunca v. Painter By Hon. Russell W. Hartigan & Nick J. Moeller Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2012 The court opinion in Tunca v. Painter provides an important reminder of the importance of preserving the record and dismissed counts in cases where appellate review is sought. 
Murray v. Chicago Youth Center: Restricting the immunity of the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act By Russell W. Hartigan & Victoria R. Benson Local Government Law, August 2007 In July 2006, Justice McMorrow upheld the lower courts’ decisions to grant summary judgment to the Chicago Board of Education, Chicago Youth Center and its instructor under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (hereinafter “the Act”) (745 ILCS 10/1-101 et seq.) in Ryan Murray, et al. v. Chicago Youth Center, et al., 2006 WL 1822656. At issue is whether the general grant of immunity allowed under the Act, such as that found in §§ 2-201 and 3-108(a), were subject to the exceptions found in § 3-109 of the Act. According to Justice McMorrow’s opinion, it does; however, the Illinois Supreme Court opined that the conduct at issue did not constitute willful and wanton conduct and, as a result, upheld the First District’s decision to uphold the District Court’s award of summary judgment to the Defendants.
Promissory estoppel: Shield or sword? By Russell W. Hartigan & Victoria R. Benson Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2006 According to the court’s majority in the Fifth District’s decision of DeWitt v. Fleming, promissory estoppel may be used as a defense but not as a cause of action.
Opinion witness disclosure under Supreme Court Rule 213 By Russell W. Hartigan Family Law, September 2005 In 2002, Rule 213(f) underwent a dramatic change in the manner in which trial witnesses are disclosed. Prior to the amendment, parties were required merely to provide minimal information upon request of opposing counsel.
Opinion witness disclosure under Supreme Court Rule 213 By Russell W. Hartigan Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2005 In 2002, Rule 213(f) underwent a dramatic change in the manner in which trial witnesses are disclosed. Prior to the amendment, parties were required merely to provide minimal information upon request of opposing counsel. Furthermore, Rule 213(f) typically applied to lay witnesses.
Landeros and the use of affidavits in the resolution of motions for summary judgment By Russell W. Hartigan Civil Practice and Procedure, November 2003 Affidavits have long played an important role in civil litigation. In Landeros v. Equity Property and Development, the appellate court of Illinois has confirmed that lawyers must comply with the applicable rules of civil procedure in preparing affidavits for use in opposing a motion for summary judgment.

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