Hot Button Civil Evidence Issues: The 2011 Allerton Conference
Jeffrey A. Parness
Northern Illinois University - College of Law
December 5, 2011
Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 99, p. 632, December 2011
The 2011 Allerton Conference of the Illinois State Bar Association considered possible evidence law changes to the Illinois Evidence Rules and to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure in light of the implementation of a new set of Evidence Rules on January 1, 2011.
Discussions at the conference centered on audio, visual and photo evidence; special electronic evidence laws; the discovery and evidence deposition dichotomy, unique to Illinois; evidence spoliation, including retention duties and judicial sanctions; admitting medical bills and records; inadvertent waivers of attorney – client privileges; discovery and cross examination involving expert witness bias; and, the Illinois General Assembly and the Illinois Supreme Court processes for changing civil evidence laws.
After reviewing conference discussions and the questionnaire results, there follows recommendations for further evidence law reforms. Proposals for changes statewide involved foundational guidelines for admitting website contents; evidence preservation duties, especially electronically stored information; and inadvertent waivers of attorney-client privileges. Local court rulemaking seemed more appropriate for changes involving the admissibility of discovery depositions (i.e., what constitutes a “rare” case under Rule 212(a)(5)) and cross examinations of expert witnesses.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: evidence, civil procedure, privilege, discovery, expert witness, work product, evidence spoiliation, judicial rulemaking, medical bills
Date posted: December 5, 2011