Articles on Civil Law

The First District examines standards for reviewing Section 2-615 motions in legal malpractice cases and clarifies the solvency rule By Kimberly A. Davis Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2008 In July 2007, the First District Appellate Court addressed the sufficiency of a legal malpractice complaint in Visvardis v. Ferleger.
“Tactical gamesmanship” and trial practice: Can it be good advocacy? By Patrick M. Kinnally Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2008 Playing by the rules applies to each party regardless of whether they are on opposite sides of the aisle. If it becomes otherwise, the keystone of those rules will be undermined, thereby making the trial process an also-ran and other than what all litigants, or their counsel, expect.
Trial court erred in allowing defendant to withdraw rejection of arbitration award By John J. Holevas Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2008 The Second District Appellate Court recently reversed a lower court’s decision in Stemple v. Pickerill, which allowed the defendant to withdraw his rejection of an arbitration award made pursuant to the court annexed mandatory arbitration program, while denying the plaintiffs from filing their own rejection of such an award.
Impropriety of the “otherwise careless and negligent” allegation By Anthony Longo Tort Law, March 2008 This article will explain why defense counsel should move to strike this allegation rather than answering it with a general denial. The article will conclude with a form motion to strike that defense counsel can use to try for dismissal of the allegation.
Motions attacking motions: A plea to end the violence By Anthony Longo Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2008 The author suggests that next time we are vexed by another party’s motion, we should remember IRMO Sutherland and Wolff and resist the urge to move to strike or dismiss. Such a motion is a nullity and unnecessarily clogs the motion calendars of the circuit court.
New tort theory approved by Illinois Supreme Court By Raymond A. Fylstra Corporate Law Departments, June 2007 In Forsyth v. Clark USA, the Illinois Supreme Court held that “direct participation liability” against corporate shareholders is a valid theory of recovery.
York v. Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center—Apparent agency revisited and refined By Martin L. Glink Tort Law, April 2007 Shortly before retiring from her illustrious career, Justice Mary Ann McMorrow authored the opinion in York v. Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, addressing the doctrine of apparent agency.
Landowners may have more duties to the public than they think By Yvonne M. O’Connor Tort Law, March 2007 The case of Marshall v. Burger King involved a negligence action brought by the estate of Detroy Marshall III, who was killed while eating at a Burger King restaurant when a car crashed through the wall of the restaurant.
The “empty chair” defense at trial By Steven G. Pietrick Civil Practice and Procedure, January 2007 It is common for defense attorneys to speak of pointing to an “empty chair” at trial in order to shift the responsibility from their client to another entity which is not a party in the case.
Personal revisited: In the wake of Jennings v. AC Hydraulic, both federal and state courts look for guidance as to “how much interactivity is enough?” By Kris R. Murphy Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2006 This article examines the search for guidance in answering the question left undecided in Jennings, as illustrated by three recent opinions in which federal and state courts looked beyond Jennings when confronted with defendants’ motions arguing that the Web sites in question were not “interactive” enough to justify the exercise of jurisdiction.
Insurance companies beware: Documents normally privileged may be discoverable By D.J. Evans Civil Practice and Procedure, November 2005 The Fourth District Appellate Court’s decision in Western States Insurance Co. v. O’Hara places greater responsibility on insurance companies to deal fully and fairly with their insureds and third parties in response to discovery requests.
Open & obvious—Or have you forgotten? By Karen McNulty Enright & Ruth Degnan Tort Law, November 2005 The First District Appellate Court recently provided an instructive and comprehensive decision on the distraction exception to the open and obvious doctrine in Clifford v. Wharton Business Group.
Defense surveillance video of plaintiff ruled inadmissible By Stephen G. Baime Tort Law, March 2005 A recent decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, is of great importance to lawyers representing either party in personal injury and workers' compensation litigation.
Personal How much “interactivity” is enough? By Kris R. Murphy Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2004 Is a company which maintains Internet web pages which are accessible in Illinois, but has few or no other contacts with the State, "transacting business" in Illinois such that an Illinois court could properly exercise personal jurisdiction over it?
Is an adverse action necessary to state a retaliation claim? By Shari R. Rhode Federal Civil Practice, May 2004 Burwell v. Pekin High School (Central District, Case No. 00-2 111), now on appeal to the 7th Circuit, is a Title IX sexual harassment and retaliation case brought by a senior at Pekin High School.
Pleading and responding to affirmative defenses in Illinois state court By Justin Heather Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2004 This article offers a primer on drafting and responding to affirmative defenses in Illinois state court.
Subsequent remedial measure—An update By John M. Stalmack Tort Law, April 2004 Evidence of a subsequent remedial measure is not admissible to prove negligence on the part of any person being charged with negligent conduct.
Premises owner’s liability for third-party criminal acts in situations involving a voluntary undertaking to protect By Samuel A. Kavathas Tort Law, March 2004 Generally, a landowner does not have a legal duty to protect others from the criminal acts of third parties on its property, unless a "special relationship" exists.
Senior judging By Milton Shadur Federal Civil Practice, March 2004 Senior status" for the federal judge is a label that covers a multitude of sins-at least as long as the sins don't collide with the constitutional guaranty that provides judges with tenure only "during good behavior."
Cases of note By Richard Posner, Alfred M. Swanson, Jr., George S. Miller, Barbara Crowder, Michael Kiley, Philip Lading, & J.A. Sebastian Bench and Bar, January 2004 Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 01 C 6329-Joan Humphrey Lefkow, Judge.
Illinois General Assembly regulates health care liens By Richard L. Turner Civil Practice and Procedure, November 2003 Illinois law allows a wide range of medical service providers to impress a lien on the proceeds of a personal injury award or settlement.
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.
Who is the focus of the court’s analysis of an open and obvious condition? By Charles H. Delano Tort Law, May 2003 Two recent cases address a landowner's liability to workers injured by an open, obvious and pervasive condition on the property.
Section 414 of the restatement (second) of torts revisited By James P. Ginzkey Tort Law, January 2003 This article is a supplement to an excellent article by Larry Appelbaum appearing in the November 2000 issue of Tort Trends, Vol. 36, No. 2
Service of process by special order of court By Dawn R. Hallsten Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2002 Under 735 ILCS 5/2-203.1, a plaintiff may seek leave of the court to serve the defendant by special order of court if the plaintiff has diligently but unsuccessfully attempted to serve the defendant personally or by abode service.
Compensation for the value of lost time and not lost wages By Mark Rouleau Tort Law, March 2001 The lost value of time is compensable and not merely lost wages as defendants so often contend.
Amendments to federal rules of civil procedure By Dawn R. Hallsten General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, February 2001 This update on the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is for general practitioners who do not deal extensively with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure but do want to be informed about the amendments.
Recent appellate court opinions in brief By Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. Bench and Bar, October 2000 What level of investigation is required to defeat an allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel?
Special interrogatory—the silver bullet By Robert H. Hanaford Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2000 Anyone who has had a verdict torpedoed by a special interrogatory can attest to the dangerousness, or effectiveness, of this trial tool
Using 735 ILCS 5/2-203.1 service by special order of court By Dawn R. Hallsten General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, November 1999 When a defendant attempts to evade service or a defendant moves without a forwarding address and cannot be located, a plaintiff has the option to move for leave to serve the defendant under section 203.1.


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