» TRIAL PRACTICE

Doctors claim uncertainty - and do harm.

  I took the deposition of an infectious disease doctor the other day in a Workers’ Compensation matter.  The doctor – let’s call him Dr. Smith – treated my client as he lay dying in a south suburban hospital.  My client  – Donald – was a plumber who worked for an HVAC company in the south suburbs.  By way of background, prior to… Read More
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Categories: TRIAL PRACTICE

Litigators drink wine. A trial lawyer drinks whiskey and tries cases.

In an interesting post on Above the Law, the other day, John Balestriere reported that a South Dakota Judge, Cheryle Gering, gave the following directive to some lawyers in her courtroom: “You need to be trial lawyers.  A litigator drinks wine and takes depositions.  A trial lawyer drinks whiskey and tries cases.”  Wow.  Suddenly every trial l… Read More
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Categories: Blog, TRIAL PRACTICE

A plug for a good medical exhibits company.

Recently I was knee deep in a couple of cases where settlement appeared unlikely.  One case was scheduled for trial setting in a week or so and I was scrambling around getting my ducks in a row.  I had to get the evidence deposition of the surgeon who operated on my client.  He is not a great witness.  And I was worried about how I would properly communica… Read More
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Categories: TRIAL PRACTICE

First jury trial with jurors asking questions....

As of July 1, 2012, under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 243, jurors are allowed to ask questions of witnesses at civil trial in Illinois.  I just completed a short jury trial about 10 days ago where I had a very inquisitive jury – they asked LOTS of questions.  The whole process went fairly smoothly, in part because the trial judge had a very practical a… Read More
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Sometimes, the case has to be tried.

When I evaluate personal injury cases, my initial assessment involves two primary questions: 1) is there a serious injury and 2) can I prove liability against the defendants.  I would like to say that every injury case sitting in my file cabinets is a million dollar case.  But that isn’t the case.  Some of my files feature serious injuries[sadly somet… Read More
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Why defense lawyers want to characterize the injury as "malpractice".

Over the last few years I have been retained several times to represent people who have been injured while they were residing in nursing homes.  The Illinois Nursing Home Act includes a bill of rights which guarantees residents the right to be free from abuse and neglect by staff.  The Act further provides that a failure to provide “adequate medical… Read More
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No reason to keep previous injuries a secret.

There is a misconception out there that previous injuries sink your case.  Not true.  For example, suppose you suffer a badly injured right knee after a fall in 2006.  You had surgery, therapy, and, thankfully after several months of treatment, were pretty much back to normal.  Now flash forward to 2011.  You are involved in an automobile accident a… Read More
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SECTION 324: AN EXCEPTION TO THE ILLINOIS RULE THAT ONE CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR FAILING TO PROTECT ANOTHER FROM CRIMINAL ATTACK

I am presently fighting a Motion to Dismiss in a horrible case that arose in a hospital. My client was was in the hospital for cardiac symptoms. After sedating my client with Morphine and rendering her unable to defend herself, a male nurse allegedly sexually asaulted her. [ I hate to qualify with “allegedly” but I was at a conference last night wh… Read More
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Categories: TRIAL PRACTICE

CROSS EXAMINATION TIPS

I am presently reading a book entitled Your Witness, which is essentially a compilation of cross-examination pointers collected from prominent Chicago lawyers. [In the interest of full disclosure, the book was sent to me, in the hopes I would mention it on my blog]. Having said that, I have thus far greatly enjoyed most of it, in part because I happen to know… Read More
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Categories: TRIAL PRACTICE