Hepler Broom, LLC

Developments in Judicial Estoppel following Seymour v. Collins

October 19, 2017

Judicial estoppel, also known as estoppel by inconsistent positions of law, precludes a party from taking a position in a case that is contrary to a position it has taken in earlier legal proceedings. Often, it is asserted as an affirmative defense in a personal injury lawsuit where the plaintiff failed to disclose the existence […]

Changes to Law Governing the Value of Plaintiffs’ Medical Bills and the Collateral Source Rule

October 9, 2017

Since 2005, Missouri attorneys have struggled with the interpretation and application of Missouri’s collateral source rule as it related to evidence of a plaintiff’s medical treatment bills. Generally speaking, the collateral source rule bars a defendant from introducing evidence that part of a plaintiff’s damages were paid for by a party other than the defendant; […]

Total Eclipse of …Liability? A Cosmic Reminder of the Use and Effectiveness of Exculpatory Language in Contract

September 12, 2017

Southern Illinois was recently in the national spotlight as the path of a total solar eclipse passed across the state. This rare occurrence brought hundreds of thousands of people to a thin path of the state to experience a natural phenomenon that, if not experienced correctly, could cause serious and permanent eye injuries.  It also […]

Change to Law Governing the Admissibility of Expert Witness Testimony

September 7, 2017

As of August 28, 2017, the Daubert standard will now govern the admissibility of expert witness testimony in certain cases in Missouri.[1] This is the result of House Bill 153, one of the first bills signed by Governor Eric Greitens, which effectively changes the language in Missouri Revised Statute Section 490.065 moving the standard for […]

Coordination of Defense Strategies at Trial: The Winning Solution

August 2, 2017

Three recent successful Cook County defense verdicts in medical and dental malpractice cases show that the age old theory of teamwork and a united defense go a long way to winning cases. In all three trials, there were potential issues that could have split the defense camps, and efforts by opposing counsel in each case […]

Member-managed LLCs Under Illinois Amended Limited Liability Company Act Effective July 1, 2017

August 1, 2017

As most business law practitioners are aware at this point, the Illinois Limited Liability Act has been amended by HB 4361 and the amendments were effective July 1, 2017. The amendments to the Limited Liability Company Act include numerous provisions regarding member managed companies. This article will address some of the concerns regarding the amendments […]

New Missouri Statutes May Substantially Impact How Insurance Carriers Approach Liability Claims

July 6, 2017

Over the past few years, insurance companies have learned that handling liability claims in Missouri with coverage issues or policy-limit settlement demands can be an incredibly complex, and in some cases, dangerous endeavor. Much of that complexity stems from Missouri Revised Statute § 537.065, a statute which has been used as a powerful sword against […]

Instructing Juries on the Elements of Employment Discrimination: The Important Distinctions Made in Schnitker v. Springfield Urban League, Inc.

July 6, 2017

While movies and television shows never include a scene about jury instructions, in which the attorneys make impassioned (but boring) arguments about comma placement and the definitions of commonly used words, trial attorneys recognize that jury instructions can make or break a case. In a recent employment discrimination trial in Springfield, Illinois, faulty jury instructions […]

Reshaping “Sex” Discrimination?

May 31, 2017

The Seventh Circuit recently became the first circuit to hold that “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Hively v. Ivy Tech Cmty. Coll. of Ind., 853 F.3d 339, 341 (7th Cir. 2017). “For many years, the […]

An Illinois Supreme Court Reminder of What Constitutes Willful and Wanton Conduct under Tort Immunity Act: Barr v. Cunningham, 2017 IL 120751

May 17, 2017

The Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10/1-101, et seq.—commonly known as the Tort Immunity Act—provides certain statutory immunities to local public entities. These protected entities include, but are not limited to, counties, townships, municipalities, school districts, park districts, and other local governmental bodies. See 745 ILCS 10/1-206. The Act sets […]