Articles on Evidence

A Primer: Expert Opinions—IRE 702-705 By Patrick M. Kinnally Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2020 The Illinois Supreme Court has repeatedly warned about the overuse of opinion witnesses.
Has the Seventh Circuit finally (albeit indirectly) found that district courts should instruct juries that the preponderance of the evidence standard applies to claims under Section 1983 seeking punitive damages? Probably. By Iain D. Johnston Federal Civil Practice, December 2017 Although the Seventh Circuit has still not specifically held that the preponderance of the evidence standard applies to punitive damages for claims brought under Section 1983, Ramirez v. T&H Lemon, Inc. strongly signals that district courts should use this standard when instructing juries.
It’s a modern world By Howard Feldman Family Law, December 2017 In Epstein v. Epstein,, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the United States District Court dismissal of telephone interceptions by finding that the wife’s interceptions of the husband’s email violated the Federal Wiretap and Electronic Surveillance Act.
3 most common types of exhibits in Order of Protection cases and how to get them admitted By Sally K. Kolb Family Law, October 2017 The three types of exhibits are photographs of injuries or property damage, social media posts, and text messages. Most are relatively simple to admit into evidence and this article is designed to give a primer on how to do so.
Motions in non-jury cases for judgment at the close of the plaintiff’s evidence By Sarah J. Taylor Family Law, March 2017 If successful, such a motion can be tremendously beneficial to a defendant in terms of reducing the expense, time-consumption, stress and risk of putting on a defense to the plaintiff’s allegations.
1 comment (Most recent March 16, 2017)
Social media as evidence? By George S. Bellas & 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.
Evidence obtained after an illegal stop but subsequent to learning of an outstanding warrant for the detainee, is admissible By Stephen W. Baker Criminal Justice, September 2016 Illinois practitioners should be cognizant that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Utah v. Strieff is arguably at odds with numerous Illinois rulings to the contrary.
Admissibility of school report cards By Kathleen M. Kraft Family Law, July 2016 A look at the two avenues available to utilizing the school report cards in trial.
Petitions under 735 ILCS 5/2-1401 not the right option for challenging appellate court mandates By Ken Stalkfleet Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2015 With its recent decision in Price v. Philip Morris, the Illinois Supreme Court offered deep reasoning for a point that might have seemed entirely obvious—that circuit courts cannot review mandates of the appellate court through 735 ILCS 5/2-1401. Practitioners should be aware of the court’s reasoning and what plaintiffs should have done.
Court erred in admitting text messages By Michael R. Lied Bench and Bar, September 2015 Lawyers who want to introduce text messages into evidence must be careful to lay the necessary foundation.
Spring into 2015 with an overview of five rule amendments in Illinois By Shawna Boothe Young Lawyers Division, April 2015 A review of the minor and significant changes to several rules of civil procedure and evidence.
Illinois Evidence Rule 406 and the admissibility of habit evidence for the individual plaintiff or defendant By Nicholas T. Motherway Bench and Bar, March 2015 Can the prior acts of an individual rise to the level of being a habit and be introduced as evidence under Illinois Evidence Rule 406?
Illinois Evidence Rule 406 and the admissibility of habit evidence for the individual plaintiff or defendant By Nicholas T. Motherway Tort Law, March 2015 Can the prior acts of an individual rise to the level of being a habit and be introduced as evidence under Illinois Evidence Rule 406?
So you want to subpoena a party’s e-mails? By George S. Bellas & 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.
Third District explores foundational pitfalls and the prejudicial effect of demonstrative evidence By Amelia S. Buragas & Laura Castagna Tort Law, September 2014 In Lorenz v. Pledge, the Third District explains the foundational requirements of demonstrative evidence, and ultimately concludes that admission of demonstrative evidence absent adequate foundation may be reversible error.
Sharbono v. Hilborn: The use of PowerPoint at trial—More than just demonstrative evidence? By Richard L. Turner Civil Practice and Procedure, July 2014 The case of Sharbono v. Hilborn presents an interesting discussion with respect to the use of technology at trial, and whether a PowerPoint presentation can be properly classified as either “demonstrative” or “evidentiary,” as well as the necessary foundation for the use of such technology/demonstration at trial.
Case notes By Paul J. Cain & Angela Rollins Criminal Justice, June 2014 Summaries of the recent cases of People v. Pikes and People v. Cleary.
Illinois business records: Getting them in at trial By Paul B. Porvaznik Commercial Banking, Collections, and Bankruptcy, December 2013 In Bank of America v. Land, the Fifth District discussed the content and reach of the business record exception to the hearsay rule in the context of a mortgage foreclosure suit.
The Illinois duty to preserve ESI: A bridge over troubled waters By George S. Bellas & 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.
Wayback machine: Unraveling the evidentiary path to the Internet Archive service By Bradley N. Pollock & Anne K. Knight Tort Law, November 2012 The Wayback Machine, which surfs the Internet and automatically captures and preserves copies of Web pages, can be an excellent source of evidentiary material. But once this information is found, how does a practitioner go about admitting it into evidence?
Reply briefs: Who speaks last to the court? By Ambrose V. McCall Federal Civil Practice, September 2012 The Smith v. Bray opinion aids efforts to provide reply arguments, within the context of summary judgment, because the Seventh Circuit clarified that parties who were prevented from responding to new evidentiary issues at the trial court level will receive that opportunity on appeal.
Scales v. Benne: Appellate Court addresses the use of photos produced at time of trial By Bridget A. Mitchell Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2012 Disclosure of photos is governed by SCR 214, not SCR 213, and parties will be barred from using photos not produced prior to trial that were the subject of a SCR 214 request.
1 comment (Most recent June 6, 2012)
Don’t be intimidated by DUIs with blood evidence By Erica Nichols Traffic Laws and Courts, August 2011 Each type of blood draw has its own legal requirements for admission into evidence at trial. It is these requirements that provide the opportunity to defeat the blood evidence.
Sanctions and spoliation By Hon. Barbara Crowder Civil Practice and Procedure, August 2011 Knowing the potential and most frequently used sanctions may assist counsel in evaluating what steps to take when faced with the loss or destruction of evidence. 
Colella v. JMS: A good review of evidentiary issues, jury instructions and damages at trial By Dennis M. Lynch & Matthew M. Gannon Tort Law, May 2011 A look at the case of Colella v. JMS Trucking Co. of Ill., Inc., 403 Ill.App.3d 82 (1st Dist. 2010).
Internet evidence: How to authenticate evidence from the Internet under the new Illinois Rules of Evidence By George S. Bellas & 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.
Obtaining documents abroad: A primer for Illinois attorneys By Timothy J. Chorvat & Matthew A. Wlodarczyk Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2011 A look at the law relating to obtaining documents from sources abroad, and some suggestions on how to maximize the likelihood of obtaining useful information.
So your client has given you physical evidence of a crime… By J. Randall Cox Traffic Laws and Courts, May 2011 On the one hand, the delivery to the attorney is a communication which the attorney is required to protect. (Rule 1.6) However, an attorney is not to unlawfully obstruct another party’s access to evidence. (Rule 3.4) How is this conflict resolved? The courts of Illinois do not appear to have directly addressed this.
Internet evidence: How to authenticate evidence from the Internet under the new Illinois Rules of Evidence By George S. Bellas & 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.
Presenting the evidence: Direct examination By Hon. Barbara Crowder Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2010 The careful attorney will prepare for direct examination by deciding the facts that need to be proved via direct examination, then prepare for the actual examination, and finally prepare for the pitfalls that invariably occur when real people testify.

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