Posts in Civil Procedure.

A new Illinois law requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide FMLA-eligible employees up to 10 workdays of unpaid leave to attend a child’s funeral (or its alternative), to make necessary arrangements resulting from the death of a child, or to grieve a child’s death. The new law, aptly titled the Child Bereavement Leave Act, took effect on July 29, 2016

The Act defines “child” as “an employee’s son or daughter who is a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.” There is no age limit in the ...


A Meaningful Class Action Defense Tool?

On May 16, 2016 the High Court finally spoke on Spokeo, the long anticipated case involving what injury is necessary to sustain Article III standing in federal court.  Some predicted a blow to consumer protection and privacy related class actions in which neither the class representative nor the class as a whole suffered anything but a technical federal statutory violation without real harm.

In the underlying case, Thomas Robins claimed that Spokeo published false information about him on its search engine site, in violation of his rights under ...


Now that the amendments affecting the rules regarding the bringing of a case and case management procedures, as well as those changes to the scope of discovery have been discussed, the final piece of this guide addresses the changes to preservation requirements and the new rule governing sanctions—or remedies—for ESI spoliation. Rule 37(e) has been completely redesigned, and now functions as the sole authority for dealing with lost or destroyed ESI. As a result, the amended rule has broad implications not only for the legal community but the business community, too.

Changes to ...


Out with the old, in with the new. It’s time to scrap “reasonably calculated” in favor of “proportionality.” This is because the amended Rule 26 has deleted the directive that “[r]elevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” Instead, the scope of discovery—and thus, your responses and objections—are now defined by what is “proportional to the needs of the case”. This change, as well as other amendments to Rules 26 and 34, are outlined and discussed in ...


The Amendments are officially upon us. On December 1st, the changes to Rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 55, and 84 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure became law. For federal-court litigators, these changes included key amendments that are highlighted in this three-part guide. While some changes are as simple as changing the language of your discovery objections, others incorporate fundamental shifts in approaching pre-trial discovery that affect every stage of the pre-trial process.

In light of these important changes in the procedural rules governing federal ...


On April 9, 2014, the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in Johnson v. Pushpin Holdings, LLC, No. 14-8006 (7th Cir. April 9, 2014). In Pushpin, the Seventh Circuit held that before a class is certified, a statement by the named plaintiff in the complaint does not limit the amount of potential damages that the class would be able to recover and, therefore, that named plaintiff could not thereby avoid removal under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) by indicating that the complaint sought less than $5 million. In so ruling, the Seventh Circuit followed the binding precedent set by ...


The qualifications for a clerkship with a federal circuit judge are steep: high class ranking from a top law school, significant law review experience, recommendations from well-respected faculty, etc. Now another qualification may be added to that list: the ability to don and doff poultry sanitary gear in less than two minutes.

Such was the “experiment” performed by court staff at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to help decide a case styled Mitchell v. JCG Industries, Inc. The majority opinion in that case, written by Judge Posner and joined by Judge ...


Klehr v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co., No. 121843, 1st Dist. No. 1-12-1843

The plaintiff was a passenger in a car hit by an uninsured driver. She suffered substantial injuries. And, the driver of the car in which the plaintiff rode was underinsured. Thus, her medical costs were not fully covered by insurance from either of the drivers of the vehicles in the collision.

In 2007, the plaintiff (“insured”) filed a claim for the remainder of the costs under her personal insurance policy issued by the defendant insurer.  She also invoked the policy’s arbitration clause to adjudicate the ...


The Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act (the Act), 740 ILCS 100/0.01, et seq., codified the Illinois Supreme Court’s opinion in Skinner v. Reed-Prentice Division Package Machinery Co., 70 Ill. 2d 1 (1977), and created a right of contribution among joint tortfeasors. BHI Corp. v. Litgen Concrete Cutting & Coring Co., 214 Ill. 2d 356, 363 (2005). Since its inception, the Act’s application has been the subject of hundreds of Illinois appellate court and supreme court opinions. Despite this abundance of jurisprudence, many questions remain unanswered when addressing the ...


The United States Supreme Court recently handed down a decision that may affect whether and when state and federal district courts can exercise general jurisdiction over non-resident corporations.  In Daimler AG v. Bauman, et al., US Supreme Court no 11-965 (January 14, 2014), the U.S. Supreme Court held that Daimler AG, a German Corporation with headquarters in Stuttgart Germany, was not amenable to personal jurisdiction in Federal Court in California because it was not incorporated in California, did not have its principal place of business there and could not be said to otherwise ...


In many commercial contexts an agreement includes a provision that selects a forum for future dispute resolution.  Frequently, when conflict arises, a party may try to avoid the selected forum and file the first case on their home turf.  The other party to the contract has to respond, but how?

Atlantic Marine Construction Co., a Virginia corporation, faced this issue in a construction contract dispute on a Texas project.  Despite a standard forum-selection clause requiring litigation of disputes in state or federal court in Norfolk, Virginia, a subcontractor filed a preemptive suit ...

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Kerri Forsythe

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