Articles on Civil Practice

Do Not Try This Yourself By Nigel S. Smith Civil Practice and Procedure, September 2021 A look at why laypeople should hire attorneys to handle their more complex legal issues.
Judicial Admissions in Motion Practice By Nicholas J. Kamenjarin Civil Practice and Procedure, September 2021 A summary and analysis of Abruzzo v. City of Park Ridge.
A Litigant’s Absolute Right to a Substitution of Judge: ‘Test the Waters’ Doctrine Abolished By Judge Brian McKillip, (ret.) Civil Practice and Procedure, July 2021 In Palos Community Hospital v. Humana Insurance Company, the Illinois Supreme Court dealt a fatal blow to a doctrine that had clouded the issue of a litigant’s absolute right to a substitution of judge in a civil action.
The Mechanics Lien Act By Hon. John C. Griffin, (ret.) Civil Practice and Procedure, July 2021 In CB Construction & Design LLC v. Atlas Brookview, LLC, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of a mechanics lien count for failure to name a necessary party within 30 days of a section 34 demand to commence suit.
Reminder: Courts ‘Do Not Serve as a Safety Net for Bad Choices” By Ronald D. Menna, Jr. Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2020 In Doe v. Parrillo, the appellate court examined the consequences of a defendant’s and his attorneys’ refusal to attend and participate in the jury trial.
Contingent Fees: Success Fee—What Are They? By Patrick M. Kinnally Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2020 A summary and analysis of Grund & Leavitt v. Stephenson, in which a law firm filed a complaint against a former client to recover under a written agreement whereby plaintiff would provide legal representation and services for defendant and defendant would pay plaintiff hourly attorney fees and costs as incurred and, additionally, a “final bill.”
Restrictive Covenant Rules in the Real World By Joe Souligne Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2020 Although the law regarding restrictive covenants is often considered well settled, such contractual clauses can still lead to many fundamental disagreements as to their enforceability, especially where commercial interests are concerned.
Discovery Sanctions and the Importance of Thorough Preparation of Written Discovery Responses By Deanna L. Litzenburg Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2020 While the process of answering written discovery requests can often be tedious, it is necessary for practitioners to take an active role in preparing responses and facilitating full and complete disclosures from their clients in accordance with the Illinois rules.
No Notice, No Appeal: The Importance of Preserving Issues for Appeal By Mac R. Cepican & Andrea L. Collins Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2020 The Supreme Court of Illinois recently held in Crim v. Dietrich that the appellate court’s reversal of a judgment and remanding a case for new trial does not require a trial de novo on all claims.
Plaintiff Lacks Capacity to Sue: Is the Judgment Void?: Askew Insurance Group, LLC v. AZM Group, Inc., 2020 IL App (1st) 190179 By Robert Handley Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2020 A summary of Askew Insurance Group, LLC v. AZM Group, Inc., which involved a breach of lease complaint.
Special Interrogatories: Not So Special Anymore By John J. Holevas Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2020 The Illinois General Assembly recently approved extensive revisions to 735 ILCS 5/2-1108 dealing with special interrogatories. These changes will apply to trials commencing on or after January 1, 2020, and may cause litigators to rethink the effectiveness of special interrogatories.
Concert Security Detail Owes No Duty to Intoxicated Patrons and Drivers in Illinois By Andrea L. Kmak & Kimberly A. Davis Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2019 The appellate court issued a ruling in a September 2019 wrongful death and survival suit, finding that a concert venue and operator were not liable for the decedent’s death in a premises liability case.
Blockchain as Evidence By George Bellas Civil Practice and Procedure, November 2019 The increased use of blockchain technology will require lawyers to understand the concept in order to utilize it at trial.
‘I didn’t mean it!’: Changing deposition testimony with errata sheets By George Bellas & Svetlana Meltser Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2019 Errata sheets allow a witness to make changes to transcripts prior to submitting it as part of discovery, but to what extent can they be used to correct or corrupt testimony?
Lost text messages lead to sanctions By George Bellas Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2019 Schmalz v. Village of North Riverside, et al. highlights the importance of taking measures to preserve data from mobile devices, as well as the risks associated with failing to take such measures.
Illinois Supreme Court upholds 50/50 split on crossclaim for contribution by one ‘blameless’ principal of a common agent against another By Andrea L. Kmak & Kimberly A. Davis Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2019 The Illinois Supreme Court held in Sperl v. Henry, et al. that the Contribution Act may be applied to apportion liability between two principals that are vicariously liable for the same agent’s negligence.
Will the real Jesse Gurley please accept service By John J. Holevas Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2019 In Pickens v. Aahmes Temple #132 LLC, the appellate court upheld the trial court’s ruling that service of process was proper when the defendant listed the name of its registered agent but failed to include the agent’s correct suffix when another person by the same name with a different suffix was the individual actually served.
What is the valuation standard for valuation of a minority interest in an Illinois LLC? By George Bellas & Jillian Tattersall Agricultural Law, January 2019 When a minority interest holder leaves an Illinois limited liability company, determining the value of that former member’s share presents counsel and courts with questions of methodology.
Court annexed mandatory arbitration pointers By Margie Komes Putzler & Steve Tefft Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2018 If you have a case going to mandatory arbitration, here is some basic information that will help demystify the process. 
What is the valuation standard for valuation of a minority interest in an Illinois LLC? By George Bellas & Jillian Tattersall Trusts and Estates, December 2018 When a minority interest holder leaves an Illinois limited liability company, determining the value of that former member’s share presents counsel and courts with questions of methodology.
Snow and ice: Natural and obvious? By Jason G. Schutte Civil Practice and Procedure, October 2018 The application of the open and obvious condition doctrine was recently analyzed in the fourth district appellate case Winters v. Mimglii Arbors at Eastland, LLC
What is the valuation standard for valuation of a minority interest in an Illinois LLC? By George Bellas & Jillian Tattersall Civil Practice and Procedure, October 2018 When a minority interest holder leaves an Illinois limited liability company, determining the value of that former member’s share presents counsel and courts with questions of methodology.
Orders of protection cases often involve surprises By Gary L. Schlesinger & Rachael Bernal Civil Practice and Procedure, September 2018 If items not specified in a petition for an order of protection fall within section 214 of the Domestic Violence Act, respondents will be at a disadvantage in attempting to fashion a defense.
1 comment (Most recent October 3, 2018)
Self-authentication of electronic evidence By George Bellas Civil Practice and Procedure, September 2018 As technology advances, practitioners must keep up with changes to the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Sexual misconduct and Illinois civil procedure laws By Jeffrey A. Parness Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2018 Surely, there is a need for immediate and serious discussions of law reform measures designed to remedy those already harmed by sexual misconduct as well as to prevent future instances of such misconduct. But some discussions should also involve possible Illinois civil procedure law reforms.
Trails, tribulations, and tort immunity: Then and now By Patrick M. Kinnally Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2018 We have two opinions from the Illinois Supreme Court (Corbett v. County of Lake and Cohen v. Chicago Park District) which provide today’s perception of the judiciary’s interpretation of the Local Government Tort Immunity Act.
Vicarious liability bars contribution between principal defendants By Jason G. Schutte Civil Practice and Procedure, February 2018 Where the liability of multiple defendants derives wholly from the alleged action of one single defendant, a right of contribution may not exist. This situation was discussed extensively in the recent case of Sperl v. Henry, et al.
The question of possession, custody, or control in production By George S. Bellas & 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.
Failure to file proof of service proves fatal for Circuit Court appeal By Brent Eames Workers’ Compensation Law, March 2017 The case of Springfield Coal Company, LLC v. IWCC, et al. should send a clear message to practitioners that strict compliance with section 19(f)(1) is expected by reviewing courts.
The question of possession, custody, or control in production By George S. Bellas & 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.

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