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Attorneys Author IDC Quarterly Articles in First Quarter 2021 Issue

02/24/2021

The Illinois Defense Counsel recently published the First Quarter 2021 issue of the IDC Quarterly which features articles written by Heyl Royster attorneys.

Mark Hansen and Emily Galligan co-authored the Health Law column – “Supreme Court Affirms: Experts Redesignated as Consultants Are Entitled to Consultant’s Privilege Against Disclosure.” In Dameron v. Mercy Hospital, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed a First District Appellate Court’s decision. The plaintiff in Dameron disclosed a physician as a Rule 213(f)(3) expert witness. Months later the plaintiff filed a motion to designate this physician as a non-testifying expert consultant pursuant to Rule 201(b)(3), which precluded discovery of facts and opinions known to him. Although defense counsel argued that the resulting report and test results belonged in discovery, ultimately, the Illinois Supreme Court concluded that a party is permitted to redesignate an expert from a Rule 213(f)(3) controlled expert witness to a Rule 201(b)(3) consultant in a reasonable amount of time before trial, absent a showing of “exceptional circumstances.”

The Civil Rights Update – “It Can’t Be Politics: Seventh Circuit Offers a Timely Refresher on Political Firings,” authored by Bryan Vayr, addresses a timely subject – the temptation to “clean house” by newly elected officials. The Seventh Circuit, in Hanson v. LeVan, addressed a case where a township official terminated the plaintiff and a number of her co-workers because they supported the previous official (who happened to lose) in the contested election. There are exceptions, such as when there is potential to obstruct the will of the electorate (the winning side), or political discretion may be needed. The job description or the actual requirements of the job are typically the factors in determining such exceptions. Attorneys representing elected officials should be mindful of the First Amendment risks involved in terminating employees in mid- and low-level positions.

In the Insurance Law Update – “Equitable Contribution versus Equitable Subrogation: A Brief Overview,” Patrick Cloud provides a lesson on the difference between Equitable Contribution and Equitable Subrogation. The Illinois Supreme Court, in Home Ins. Co. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., untangled these doctrines and explained how, when, and why each applies. Our story begins with a construction site – a highway renovation project, a general contractor, two subcontractors, their respective insurance companies (each naming the general contractor as additional insured), an injured worker from one of the subcontractors, and a drunk driver. In this case, the Supreme Court noted that the terms “contribution,” “indemnification,” and “subrogation” have “distinct differences between them.” Although the interaction between these elements was complicated, the Court sorted each element out and explained clearly when and how each applied in this case.

John Heil is an IDC Board member and member of the Civil Practice Committee, Mark McClenathan is also a member of the Board of Directors and the Civil Practice Committee, and the Construction Law Committee. Emily Galligan is a member of the Employment Law Committee. Bryan Vayr is a member of the Tort Law Committee. Patrick Cloud is chair of the Insurance Law Committee.