Category Archives: Hot Legal Topics

A Pair of Winners from the Illinois Supreme Court

People v. Torres JUSTICE KARMEIER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Kilbride and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Garman, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion. This case involves a homicide which took place in July of 1983 when a man was shot to death in a Chicago tavern. A bartender, […]

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Yelling “Dro, Dro” at a drug spot not probable cause.

This slip opinion just came out and finds that standing at a drug spot and yelling “dro, dro” is not enough as a matter of law to establish probable cause that the underlying city ordinance banning the solicitation of unlawful business is being violated.  Read the opinion, here,  The case is People v. Ronnie Grant […]

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CORPUS DELICTI REQUIRED TO PROVE PENETRATION (Reversed 10-17-2012)

A confession alone in not sufficient to prove the element of penetration for Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault. Thus, our Appellate Court, by JUSTICE NEVILLE reduces Jason Lara’s conviction from the Class X offense of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault to the Class 2 felony of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, a lesser included offense. It seems that […]

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INVENTORY SEARCHES

    For the latest word and a good holding on inventory searches see People v Michael Spencer, No. 1-08-0973, 1st Dist., 4th Div., 3/24/11. The case illustrates the need to obtain a copy of the relevant police department’s rules on inventory searches prior to litigating such a motion, but also makes the important point that, […]

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BULLET ROUND IN PLAIN VIEW IN CAR DOES NOT CREATE PROBABLE CAUSE

Three guys are in a green Honda parked in Super 8 Motel parking lot in East Hazel Crest. Officers approach the vehicle because it is blocking part of the lot. During a brief conversation with the driver, Michael Colyar, Officer Alcott shined his flashlight into the car and sees a rifle round in a plastic bag on the center […]

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DON’T DARE HANDLE A DRUG CASE WITHOUT THE LAB NOTES

That’s the moral of the story of the case of People v. Adair. Read our Appellate Court’s decision reducing Mr. Adair’s case to a Class 4 by clicking here.

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RULES OF EVIDENCE NOW CODIFIED IN ILLINOIS

On January 1, 2011, the new Illinois Rules of Evidence will go into effect.  In 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court, at the behest of then Chief Justice Fitzgerald,  formed a committee to codify the rules of evidence in Illinois. The rules are available on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Website.  In addition, you can go to former Appellate Court […]

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NO MORE “KRANKEL” HEARINGS BEFORE TRIAL

    The Illinios Supreme Court, through JUSTICE BURKE, rejects the idea, which had begun to complicate our work, that a trial court should conduct a hearing on a pro se claim of ineffective assistance of counsel prior to the conclusion of the trial.  In People v Jocko, No. 108465, 11/18/10,  a case arising out […]

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SURVEILLANCE LOCATION MUST BE REVEALED IF “RELEVANT AND HELPFUL” TO THE DEFENSE AT TRIAL

In a case likely to effect many trials involving surveillance testimony, our Appellate Court by JUSTICE (now Supreme Court Justice) THEIS overturned the conviction of Robert Price by finding plain error when the trial court sustained the State’s objections to questions by defense counsel regarding the exact location of the surveillance officer in a common […]

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RARE “TIME CUT” ORDERED DUE TO TRIAL COURT’S NEGLECT OF DUTY

Defendant Laquita Calhoun and some friends beat to death one Alonzo Jones because they thought Jones had molested Calhoun’s child.   Associate Judge Stanley Sacks sentenced Laquita Calhoun to the maximum sentence of 60 years IDOC for murder and 7 years consecutive for kidnapping after a jury trial, finding that he had “never seen a more horrendous vicious […]

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