September 2010

2021 Midwest Road, Suite 200, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Month: September 2010

Google Does it Again: Introducing Wexis

Like Lexis Nexus? Like Westlaw? What if you could combine the two... for free? Well, they are not being combined really, but Google is introducing Wexis, an upcoming new FREE online data base of caselaw. Many of us are already familiar with Google Scholar (which I love and use regularly when I want to view a case out of subscription). Nevertheless, compared to Westlaw and Lexus, Google Scholar is still pretty simple. I could not find any reactions by Westlaw or Lexis, but I think they will be more worried this time than when they released statements regarding Google Scholar.

Wexis is much, much more. Google is teaming up with to provide a free and authenticated legal database. Granted, Westlaw and Lexis are more than just datebases, but they also provide research tools, shephardizing, historical notes, and more. In any case, only time will tell in this battle of Information. (hat tip to Avvo Blog)
Yes, it's true. The Illinois Supreme Court has (finally) officially approved its Rules of Evidence.

I remember my first encounter with the Illinois Rules of Evidence. Although I practice in Illinois, most of my legal education was in Florida. Overall, where you get your legal education doesn't matter, but when I moved here, I just thought all states have their own state rules of procedure and evidence. Then when I was practicing here, one of my colleagues broke the news to me. I was crushed. Apparently, here in Illinois, you have to search case law to determine what it is acceptable in the realm of evidence.

But no more! Now Illinois has its own Rules of Evidence. As of January 1, 2011, when the Rules go into effect, our lives will be that much easier. (ps: good for clients too because it means less research for us = less cost to clients ? )

Major changes include:

  • Revising Rule 101 to clarify that the rules do not intend to abrogate or supercede any existing statutory rules of evidence;
  • Temporarily reserving Rule 407 which dealt with remedial measures taken in product liability cases until the Supreme Court rules on a pending case, Jablonski v. Ford Motor Co.
  • Revising Rule 702 to affirm that Illinois remains a state adhering to the core principles of the Frye test for admissibility of scientific evidence as set forth in Donaldson v. Central Illinois Public Service Co., 199 Ill. 2nd 63 (2002).
  • Reserving Rule