News & Articles

16 September 2016

Illinois Law Developments

Please be advised that the Madison County Clerk’s office has just advised that filing fees will increase by $9.00 effective September 18, 2016 pursuant to the establishment of a State wide $9.00 e-Business Civil Filing Fee (Public Act 99-859). Consequently, you may see a corresponding increase in such fees on our future invoices. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.

Also, in Madison County, an MSJ was presented today in the Robert Johnson case brought by the Gori Julian law firm before Judge Stephen Stobbs, by defendant International Paper. IP also moved for sanctions for improperly failing to disclose affidavits of the decedent and Decedent’s son until last night, essentially the eve of trial, and for the late disclosure and deposition of a coworker, some 5 years after the case was filed. The Decedent’s affidavit had been prepared roughly 6 years ago, a year before the case was even filed, and he didn’t die for 3 more years after that. The effect of failing to disclose the affidavit, of course, is defendant’s preclusion from deposing him prior to his death. An issue with the son’s affidavit had to do with the fact that he was a party (personal representative) to the case in approximately 2012 or 2013 and, therefore, there was a question that perhaps defendant should have anticipated that he would have relevant take home exposure knowledge and/or knowledge re loss of consortium, and damages. That being the situation, there is a question of whether the defense should have deposed him anyway, even though the extent of his knowledge was never identified until the affidavit last night. The coworker was found through plaintiff counsel’s investigators and was a late produced witness, but they were able to depose him just recently. The judge took the motion under advisement so he could read the depo and review the disclosures and discovery responses by plaintiff, to determine if there was enough notice there regarding the son. The court did find the failure to produce Decedent’s affidavit to be sanctionable, however, and as a result struck the affidavit as a remedy. It is entirely possible the court will allow the coworker’s testimony since the defense was able to depose him, and the court found that the late disclosure of the witness was simply due to the investigators finding him late in the game. However, it is significant that this motion ruling provided a partial defense “win” by this judge.