Tuesday, August 24, 2004

New SIU Law Scholarship: Witness Disclosure in Illinois

SIU Professor of Law Keith H. Beyler is the author of “Witness Disclosure in Illinois,” 28 Southern Illinois University Law Journal 225-71 (2004).

ABSTRACT: In 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted its third witness disclosure rule. Nearly 20 years earlier, the court had adopted its first such rule, Supreme Court Rule 220. On close inspection, however, the Rule 220 requirements did not cover all expert witnesses. So, in 1995, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted its second witness disclosure rule, repealing Rule 220 and amending Rule 213, to address the witness disclosure concerns. While this change solved most of Rule 220's problems, Rule 213 had problems of its own. Part I of this article reviews the lessons learned under the first two rules. In 2001 and 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee considered proposed solutions to Rule 213's problems and adopted its third witness disclosure rule. The development of the new rule, an amended version of Rule 213, took place in several stages before its adoption by the Supreme Court. Part II of the article describes this new rule’s drafting history. Since new Rule 213 took effect, the changes made by the rule have raised issues. In particular, the meanings of the terms “retained” expert and “reasonable notice” have been questioned. Part III of the article discusses these key issues under the new rule. Part IV of the article proposes the Illinois Supreme Court next adopt rules that allocate and reduce the expense of discovering the opinions of treating physicians. With the new rule in place, these issues have come to light. These concerns are the newest in a long line of witness disclosure issues in Illinois.

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