Special Interrogatories in Illinois State Court are Now Weighted in Favor of Plaintiffs

Author: Mark Shanberg

Guest Editor: Ashley Kaye

February 1, 2021 8:16pm

The use of special interrogatories is the practice of submitting to the jury specific written questions regarding the facts giving rise to their verdict.  Special interrogatories entered into the American jurisprudence system through the common law, and its modern use and application is typically governed by statute.  In Illinois, the special interrogatories statute is codified in 735 ILCS 5/2-1108.  The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure also provide for the use of special…

Illinois Practice Note: Amendment to Rule 23

Author: Scott Ruksakiati

Guest Editors: Amy Chambers, Ashley Kaye

January 11, 2021 9:00am

The Illinois Supreme Court has implemented a change to a rule that has long frustrated Illinois practitioners. Beginning January 1, 2021, orders issued by the Appellate Court under Rule 23 may now be cited in legal briefs as persuasive authority. To understand the significance of the amendment, a bit of history is in order.

Illinois First District Court of Appeal Upholds Summary Judgment in Favor of City in Sidewalk Trip and Fall Case

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editors: Jeremy Freedman, Ashley Kaye

November 30, 2020 3:57pm

Attacking duty by way of summary judgment wins the day in Illinois’ First District Court of Appeal, Fifth Division in James Foy v. The Village of La Grange, Illinois, 2020 IL App (1st) 191340. In Foy, plaintiff filed a negligence action against the Village of La Grange (“Village”) after he tripped and fell on a raised sidewalk slab, likely caused by tree roots underneath the sidewalk, sustaining injury. The Village filed a motion for summary judgment alleging they owed no duty for a de minimis condition, and, in the…

Can a Home Office Establish Venue in Illinois?

Author: Scott Ruksakiati

Guest Editors: Nathan Berkeley, Ashley Kaye

November 30, 2020 3:26pm

During an extended period of COVID-19-related changes to the way businesses operate, and considering the uncertainty of what the situation may be in the coming months, the potential significance of a recent Illinois Supreme Court’s opinion on the issue of whether a home office is sufficient for purposes of establishing venue cannot be overemphasized. Even though the facts of Tabirta v. Cummings, 2020 IL 124798, originated well before COVID-19 surfaced to influence many parts of everyday life, its issuance during the pandemic serves to provide guidance for business owners and defense counsel alike moving forward, especially when so many employees are working from home.

The Discovery and Use of Social Media Evidence in Illinois

Author: Mark Shanberg

Guest Editor: Jenn N. Crittondon

November 2, 2020 3:00pm

Most “standard” sets of interrogatories directed at a plaintiff seek information concerning the existence of any social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram/Finsta, Twitter, and Snapchat.  Assuming the existence of one or more of these accounts, unless and until the plaintiff’s counsel instructs their client to stop posting on these account(s), often times the plaintiff will continue posting photographs and “updates” recounting their recent activities.  In this regard, a preservation letter and/or order requiring the plaintiff to preserve any photographs…

Liability Protections in a COVID-19 World

Author: Scott Ruksakiati

Guest Editor: David Kahn

October 5, 2020 1:46pm

Soon after States began imposing quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it became readily apparent many businesses would be severely and negatively impacted, perhaps permanently. Certainly, for home improvement and home gardening retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, 2020 has been a lucrative year.  However, other businesses, such as gyms, salons, restaurants, and bars, which rely primarily on patrons visiting their locations in person, have seen catastrophic consequences due to the pandemic. The federal government recognized the devastating effects pandemic-related restrictions would…

Illinois Clearly Defines When Motor Vehicle Negligence is Afforded Immunity Under the EMS Act

Author: Nathan Berkeley

Guest Editor: David Kahn

September 1, 2020 8:30am

Illinois is one of 24 states with providing immunity to authorized paramedics and emergency medical responders. Section 3.150(a) of the Illinois Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act (the “EMS Act”) grants civil liability immunity for emergency or non-emergency medical services provided during department training, conducting their duties, or in an emergency, excluding willful and wanton misconduct. The public policy reasons for providing immunity to emergency medical personnel are clear – to encourage…

Illinois Case Law Update

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editor: Cinnamon J. Carr

August 3, 2020 10:47am

Bryant et al. v. Compass Group U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 20-1443
Christy Rios v. Bayer Corp. et al., Case No. 125020 and Hamby et al. v. Bayer Corp., et al., Case No. 125021
Mary Lewis et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Co., et al., Case No. 124107

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