Articles From Robert T. Park

Absolute immunity By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2016 A look at the court decisions that protect judges, public officers making statements in their official capacity, guardians ad litem, court-appointed experts and child representatives.
Six-person jury law found unconstitutional By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2016 In Kakos v. Butler on December 21, Cook County Circuit Judge William Gomolinksi handed down an Order and Opinion that found PA 98-1132 unconstitutional because it violates the directive of the Illinois Constitution, Article I, Section 13.
Cases illustrate importance of filing a post-trial motion By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, October 2015 Arient and Burkhamer, decided the same day, both demonstrate the necessity of closely following the rules of practice and filing a post-trial motion whenever you seek relief from an unfavorable jury verdict.
Appellate court applies limitations statute to uphold dismissal of wrongful death action against physicians By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2015 A summary of the recent case of Moon v. Rhode.
New Supreme Court cases determine jurisdictional issues By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2015 Two of the Illinois Supreme Court’s first 2015 decisions have dealt with jurisdictional issues.
A constitutional question about reduced jury size By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2015 Public Act 98-1132 goes into effect June 1, 2015. Trial lawyers will be keenly interested in the Act’s change to 735 ILCS 5/2-1105(b), which provides: “All jury cases shall be tried by a jury of 6.”
Abolish Rule 23 non-precedential orders By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2014 Many Rule 23 orders contain important and unique statements of the law, which could be of value to brief writers and judicial decision makers at the trial and appellate level.
Two cases illustrate res judicata’s broad reach By Robert T. Park & Christopher M. Sorenson Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2014 A look at Semb’s, Inc. v. Gaming & Entertainment Management-Illinois, LLC and Wanandi v. Black.
Falling down and proximate cause By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2014 The recent decision in Vertin v. Mau illustrates that in a premises liability claim, plaintiff must show the reason for a fall, not just that defendant might be to blame.
Court upholds use of absent witness’ discovery deposition By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, November 2013 In the recent decision of Calloway v. Bovis, the appellate court upheld jury awards totaling nearly $10 million dollars against a construction manager in a case arising from a trench collapse that killed a father and seriously injured his son
The U.S. Supreme Court applies the Common Fund Doctrine to the right to recover payments under an employee benefit plan By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2013 The decision in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen signals a willingness of the federal courts to apply the common fund doctrine to employee benefit plan reimbursement where the plan does not expressly allocate the cost of recovery from a third party.
Guardian may seek permission for dissolution of marriage By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, October 2012 IKarbin v. Karbin, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed its prior precedent and held that a guardian may request court permission to seek dissolution of the ward’s marriage.
Workers’ compensation is an injured employee’s sole remedy By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, September 2012 The recent decision in Rodriguez v. Frankie’s Beef/Pasta & Catering illustrates the use of the Workers’ Compensation Act as a defense to a negligence suit.
Court invalidates a policy provision based on Wisconsin Limitations Statute By Robert T. Park Insurance Law, March 2012 The recent appellate decision in Country Preferred Ins. Co. v. Whitehead raised the question of when an insurance policy provision is invalid because it contravenes public policy.
The Illinois Supreme Court upholds a trial de novo clause in underinsured motorist coverage By Robert T. Park Insurance Law, July 2011 The author finds that the decision in Phoenix Ins. Co. v. Rosen was consistent with holding in Reed, the uninsured motorist statute, and the duty of the courts to interpret and apply, rather than to rewrite, insurance policies.
Illinois Supreme Court upholds coverage based on late notice By Robert T. Park Insurance Law, December 2010 A close look at the recent Illinois Supreme Court case of West American Insurance Co. v. Yorkville National Bank.
Strip club may be liable for patron’s drunk driving By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2010 Plaintiffs alleged that defendant’s employees removed the intoxicated decedents from its club, ordered and assisted them into their car, and sent them away knowing the driver was drunk.
Decisions illustrate difficulties of slip and fall cases By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2010 Two recent decisions illustrate the requirements and attendant difficulties of successfully prosecuting a plaintiff’s personal injury claim arising from a slip and fall accident in Illinois.
Circuit court had no jurisdiction to consider untimely filings By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2009 In Keener v. City of Herrin2009 WL 3212336 (Oct. 8, 2009), the city police arrested Chelsea Keener, an 18-year-old girl, for underage intoxication.
10-Year limitations period applies to indemnity suit By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2008 In Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. v. Bowman, Docket No. 103759, 2008 WL 2837323 (July 24, 2008), the Supreme Court held that the 10-year statute of limitations applied to a suit on a written indemnity agreement arising from defaults under construction contract performance bonds.
Another court applies the collateral source rule By Robert T. Park Bench and Bar, March 2008 The April 2007 decision in Wills v. Foster held that, when Medicare and Medicaid discount the recoverable medical bills, the plaintiff will receive a comparably reduced recovery. Another district of the appellate court has now weighed in on the same question with a contrary ruling.
Another court applies the collateral source rule By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2008 The April 2007 decision in Wills v. Foster held that when Medicare and Medicaid discount the recoverable medical bills, the plaintiff will receive a comparably reduced recovery. Another district of the appellate court has now weighed in on the same question with a contrary ruling.
The Collateral Source Rule and Vehicle Photos: Two Recent Cases By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2007 Two decisions were handed down recently by the Illinois appellate court that are important to personal injury practitioners.
Do motions in limine preserve error? By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2007 Anticipating key evidentiary issues in an upcoming trial, you file a motion in limine to exclude certain harmful evidence.
Reply to Letter to the Editors Regarding “How to Handle an Employer’s Group Health Plan Lien” (January, 2006, Vol. 51, No. 4) By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2006 I have reviewed Mr. Mielke’s letter and the Varco case.
How to handle an employer’s group health plan lien By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2006 As a result of an accident, the plaintiff was injured. He brings a suit in circuit court for negligence. His damages include medical bills that were paid for by his employer’s group health insurance plan. After pursuing discovery, including depositions, the case settles. The health plan asserts a lien for the amount it paid. How should the lawyer handle the employer’s group health plan lien?
The effect of Arthur v. Catour: the defense perspective By Robert T. Park Bench and Bar, November 2005 A frequently recurring issue in personal injury cases is what to do about the gap between the amount billed for medical treatment and the amount actually paid.
Plaintiff may recover full amount of medical bills despite insurer’s discounts By Robert T. Park Tort Law, April 2004 The amount of the bills in question in this particular case is minimal, but the decision is of great importance to plaintiffs, defendants, insurers, trial judges and counsel throughout Illinois.
Limitations on witness interviews By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2003 In the course of preparing a case, an attorney or paralegal may need to talk to potential witnesses to learn what information, favorable or adverse, may be elicited at trial.
Discovery and the Fifth Amendment By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2002 The Self-Incrimination Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: "No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."

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