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Overview and Structure of Civil Courts in Illinois

Structure of Civil Courts Illinois has a three-tiered court system consisting of the circuit courts, the Appellate Court, and the Supreme Court.  The circuit courts are courts of original jurisdiction and are divided into twenty-four circuits, spread out by clearly defined geographical boundaries.  Each circuit is located in one of five appellate court districts. Cases decided   Continue Reading »


Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released additional information for employers in its “Guidance on Returning to Work” publication.  Although it does not create new legal duties for employers, it does contain recommendations for employers, as well as some standards that should be mandatory in the workplace. OSHA noted that its guidance was   Continue Reading »

Doctrines of Federal Common Law Do Not (By Themselves) Confer a Basis for Federal Question Jurisdiction

A doctrine of liability, even one recognized under federal common law, cannot in itself confer “arising under” subject matter jurisdiction over federal questions pursuant to 28 USC §1331 without a sufficiently identified source of law supplying a federal cause of action.  In East Central Illinois Pipe Trades Health & Welfare Fund v. Prather Plumbing &   Continue Reading »


The Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act (“the Act”), 740 ILCS 110/1 et seq.,[1] was passed in 1992 by the Illinois legislature to provide heightened privacy protections to recipients and providers of mental health services.  The Act has carved out a unique exception to our legal system’s principles of liberal discovery, strictly prohibiting   Continue Reading »

The Evolution of Forum Non Conveniens in Illinois and Recent Legislation to Limit the Doctrine

The purpose of this Monograph is to educate the reader as to the long history and importance of the forum non conveniens doctrine and to a recent movement to have the Illinois legislature act to take away Illinois courts’ ability to transfer cases to more appropriate counties within the State. It is well-known that certain   Continue Reading »

Defense Dodges $8M Verdict in Negligent Misrepresentation of Insurance Coverage Lawsuit

The recent Seventh Circuit decision, Turubchuk v. Southern Illinois Asphalt Co., et al., No. 18 – 3507 (7th Cir. 2020), addressed the disclosure of available insurance coverage in discovery responses.  The case presents a good defense result in an unusual set of facts but is a reminder about the perils of providing incorrect insurance coverage   Continue Reading »

In Biegert, Seventh Circuit Ruling Sustains Use of Lethal Force When Officers Face Immediate Threats of Serious Harm

When are police officers legally justified to use lethal force? In Estate of Biegert by Biegert v. Molitor, the Seventh Circuit held that an officer was justified in shooting a man who had stabbed another officer in the arm, and, with the knife, stepped toward the officer who shot him. Claims of excessive force are   Continue Reading »

Risk Assessment and Hazard Analysis: Making Products Defendable

On behalf of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, Kevin G. Owens recently published an article outlining the benefits gained by product manufacturers that conduct a formal risk assessment and hazard analysis of their products.  He argues that it puts them in the best position to demonstrate that they indeed have satisfied their duty to   Continue Reading »

Johnson and Bell

Johnson and Bell