Admissibility of an expert opinion prior to or after class certification?By John J. HolevasJuly 2010The 7th Circuit found that when an expert’s report or testimony is critical to class certification and forms the basis of plaintiff’s theory, a district court must conclusively rule on any challenge to the expert’s qualification or submissions prior to ruling on a class certification motion.
Collateral estoppel: It is not an absoluteBy Patrick M. KinnallyOctober 2010A look at a case decided just last month, Hurlbert v. Charles, which makes clear that prior adjudication of a claim or issue is not a complete bar against relitigation of that same claim or issue.
Common carrier’s duty to passengers versus the natural accumulation ruleBy John J. HolevasSeptember 2010In Krywin v. Chicago Transit Authority, the Illinois Supreme Court found that the consequences of requiring the CTA to inspect every platform for a natural accumulation of snow and ice every time a train was to discharge or take on passengers would bring the transit system to a standstill.
eDiscovery issues: Possession, custody or control in the electronic ageBy Scott A. Carlson & Jay C. CarleMarch 2010This is another article in a series about electronic discovery or “eDiscovery.” In this article we will discuss some of the issues that arise when one overlays the general standard of “possession, custody or control” on electronically stored information (“ESI”).
Fiduciary duty revisitedBy John B. KincaidSeptember 2010A look at the recent case of Prignano v. Prignano, which in addition to fiduciary duty matters, also stands for current rulings on hearsay, interpretation of the Dead Man’s Act (735 ILCS 8-201) and the duty of a beneficiary to object to the premature closing of an estate and set off.
Forum non Conveniens clarified: Glass v. DOT Transportation, Inc.By Hon. Daniel T. Gillespie & Matthew FriedlanderFebruary 2010For many judges and lawyers in Illinois, the doctrine of forum non conveniens appears to be a convoluted discretionary tool. Unlike a motion to transfer venue, which is a purely procedural matter, the doctrine offorum non conveniens allows the judge to transfer a case if he or she decides that hearing a case in the plaintiff’s choice of forum is unfair to the defendant or the public. The doctrine itself applies on an interstate and intrastate basis so long as venue is proper in both forums.
Nonlawyer advocates in administrative proceedingsBy Jeffrey A. ParnessFebruary 2010In Grafner v. Department of Employment Security, 914 N.E.2d 520 (1st Dist. 2009), the court considered whether a nonlawyer hired from an employer services company could represent a former employer in an administrative proceeding before the Department of Employment Security (DES) in a case involving disputed employment compensation benefits allegedly owed a former employee.
Presenting the evidence: Direct examinationBy Hon. Barbara CrowderDecember 2010The 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.
SLAPP has a biteBy John B. KincaidNovember 2010In a flurry of appellate activity, Illinois now has four interpretations of the Citizen’s Participation Act--the first published appellate decisions interpreting the legislative purpose of the SLAPP statute passed by the Illinois Legislature in 2007.
SLAPPed with attorney fees: Awards pursuant to the Illinois Anti-SLAPP ActBy Hon. James Fitzgerald Smith & Julia Illman ManessNovember 2010Until the scope of the Anti-SLAPP Act is narrowed through legislation or judicial interpretation, this article's authors advise any attorney who is on notice that his or her actions may fall under the SLAPP matrix to proceed with caution.
Strip club may be liable for patron’s drunk drivingBy Robert T. ParkMay 2010Plaintiffs 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.
Supreme Court Rule update: “You’ve got mail”By Hon. Barbara CrowderMarch 2010The Illinois Supreme Court has now amended Supreme Court Rules 11, 12, 361, 267, 373, 381 and 383 in recognition of the popularity and efficiency of third-party commercial carriers. Attorneys will no longer run afoul of the rules by accidentally using a commercial carrier over the Postal Service when filing documents with courts or applying the mailbox rule to deadlines.
Thornton, known for emotional distress, is notable for the Single Recovery Rule and set offsBy John B. KincaidMarch 2010Thornton v. Garcini, (2009 WL 3471065) was decided by the Illinois Supreme Court in a concise compact opinion authored by Justice Kilbride on October 29, 2009. The case raises issues unique to the civil practice arena as well as the medical negligence forum. As of the preparation of these remarks, the opinion remains subject to revision or withdrawal.
Voir Dire: How and why we can participateBy Patrick M. KinnallyJanuary 2010Every attorney who litigates civil or criminal cases wants to know whether a trial court judge alone is going to pick the jury, let the trial attorneys perform that task, or make a decision about jury selection which reflects a little of both.
Where does a corporation “do business”?By Laura L. Milnichuk & William J. PerryJune 2010In the recently decided case of Hertz Corporation v. Friend, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a “principal place of business” is “the place where the corporation’s high level officers direct, control, and coordinate the corporation’s activities."