Civil Litigation FLASHPOINTS September 2020

Matthew H. Bunn, Freeborn & Peters LLP, Chicago
312-360-6618 | E-mail Matthew H. Bunn

Making the Hardest Part of Litigation Even Harder: Depositions in the Age of COVID-19

While trial is the end-all, be-all of a lawsuit, most cases don’t reach trial. And so besides trial itself, most litigators would agree the most important and most challenging aspect of a case is depositions. Indeed, the results of depositions can determine whether a case even reaches trial or gets disposed of on dispositive motion practice. Depositions decide cases. So what happens when you take the most important and most challenging aspect of litigation and make it harder? That is what has happened as a direct consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the onset of remote video depositions in Illinois litigations.

When the pandemic began in March, law offices closed, courts closed, and the practice of law became largely a remote practice. That remote practice included the taking of depositions. Because depositions are such an important part of a case, courts routinely manage how the parties schedule and take depositions. During the pandemic is no exception. This article will address how the Circuit Court of Cook County and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois have addressed deposition practice during the pandemic. This article will also discuss the larger ramifications from the changes in how depositions are being taken during the pandemic and going forward.

Cook County Circuit Court General Administrative Order 2020-02 (eff. July 29, 2020) provides that “oral discovery may be taken by videoconference pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 206(h).” Although this language is not mandatory, certain divisions of the Cook County Circuit Court, such as the Law Division, have stronger language and state depositions “will proceed” in remote video format. Law Division General Administrative Order 20-6 also provides that if the parties cannot agree on the taking of depositions or conditions under which depositions will be taken, including by remote means, then judges shall have discretion to determine these issues upon motion.

As of this writing, there is no recent Illinois appellate court or circuit court decision available on Westlaw with a ruling on motion practice related to the scheduling or taking of depositions remotely due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, the Law Division order and, more importantly, the Illinois Supreme Court have hinted at the standard trial judges should use to determine issues regarding remote depositions — the trial court’s broad discretion over discovery matters. Illinois Supreme Court Order M.R. 30370 (eff. June 4, 2020) added committee comments related to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 206(h)(3). Those committee comments provide, in pertinent part, “[d]uring the pandemic not all depositions are required to proceed remotely, nor is a continuance automatically required if counsel cannot agree on a remote method. Absent agreement, the circumstances of a remote deposition are within the discretion of the trial court.” These comments naturally fit with established Illinois Supreme Court authority that “a trial court is afforded great latitude in rulings on discovery matters.” D.C. v. S.A., 178 Ill.2d 551, 687 N.E.2d 1032, 1036, 227 Ill.Dec. 550 (1997). Some readers of this article may have already experienced during the pandemic the “discretion” of trial courts that have ordered the parties to undergo remote, video depositions. Absent any published written opinions, however, readers may not have experience with how trial courts are exercising their discretion on this topic.

Answers may come from written opinions by magistrate judges in the Northern District of Illinois who have been tasked with managing deposition practice during the pandemic — as it is their usual duties to manage discovery matters. Surprisingly, the most recent administrative order from the Northern District of Illinois is silent on discovery and depositions during the pandemic. The Fifth Amended General Order 20-0012 (eff. July 10, 2020), which supersedes and vacates all prior pandemic-related orders, states civil case hearings, bench trials, and settlement conferences may be conducted by remote means but provides no guidance on discovery and depositions. Similar to the Illinois state court administrative orders, the Northern District of Illinois has apparently left the decisions regarding deposition practice to the discretion of the trial judges, who, like their Illinois state court colleagues, “have broad discretion in discovery matters.” Packman v. Chicago Tribune Co., 267 F.3d 628, 646 (7th Cir. 2001).

On June 16, 2020, Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cummings issued the first opinion requiring a deposition to be conducted by remote videoconference because of COVID-19 concerns, and this opinion is emblematic of how other judges have ruled. In Learning Resources, Inc. v. Playgo Toys Enterprises Ltd., No. 19-CV-00660, 2020 WL 3250723 (N.D.Ill. June 16, 2020), the plaintiff noticed the in-person deposition of a key witness for the defendants in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but the defendants believed the deposition should not be conducted in person because of concerns related to COVID-19. The plaintiff stood fast, so the defendants filed a motion pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(c) and 30(b)(4) for an order requiring the deposition to be conducted by remote videoconference. Rule 26(c) is the overarching protective order rule that allows a court to enter an appropriate protective order under the court’s discretion. Rule 30(b)(4) provides “[t]he parties may stipulate — or the court may on motion order — that a deposition be taken by telephone or other remote means.” The court explained Rule 30(b)(4) authorizes the court to exercise its discretion in ordering remote depositions, and the court must balance claims of prejudice and hardship and conduct a careful balancing of the relevant facts.

The court’s first finding was that, under the circumstances in that case, health concerns related to COVID-19 created “good cause” for the entry of an order requiring the deposition to be conducted by remote videoconference. However, the court cautioned that health concerns related to COVID-19 will not always suffice, per se, to support the entry of an order requiring remote videoconference depositions. Instead, the court considered the particular circumstances in the case: (1) the defendants’ lead counsel and his family members were in high-risk categories if exposed to COVID-19; (2) counsel for all the parties would be traveling to Arkansas from three areas that either had been COVID-19 hot spots or currently reported COVID-19 hospitalization rates were on the rise; and (3) the location of the proposed deposition (Fayetteville) was experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The court’s second finding was that the plaintiff’s inability to depose the witness in person did not create prejudice sufficient to overcome the risks created by COVID-19 under the circumstances. Importantly, the court cited to other court opinions, including pre-pandemic opinions, in which courts held that remote videoconference depositions are “presumptively valid” even without the in-person interaction and “offer the deposing party a sufficient opportunity to evaluate a deponent’s nonverbal responses, demeanor, and overall credibility.” 2020 WL 2350723 at *3.

As a final point, the court rejected the plaintiff’s proposal that the defendants hire additional local counsel in Arkansas to represent the witness at her in-person deposition while lead counsel appeared remotely. This may have been a clever argument by the plaintiffs — and one litigants may raise in other cases — but the court found two problems with the proposal. Any new counsel could not reasonably be expected to get up to speed on the case in such a short time to prepare for the deposition, and the defendants should not be deprived of the effective assistance of lead counsel due to counsel not appearing in person for the deposition.

The court concluded that the plaintiff’s preference for an in-person deposition was outweighed by the risks posed by COVID-19, so the court exercised its discretion and ordered the deposition to take place via remote videoconference. As of this writing, three other opinions have issued from the Northern District of Illinois with the same holding as the court in Learning Resources:

  1. In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:16-CV-08637, 2020 WL 3469166 (N.D.Ill. June 25, 2020) (Gilbert, M.J.);

  2. Sonrai Systems, LLC v. Romano, No. 16 CV 3371, 2020 WL 3960441 (N.D.Ill. July 13, 2020) (Cummings, M.J.); and

  3. Valdivia v. Menard Inc., No. 19 CV 50336, 2020 WL 4336060 (N.D.Ill. July 28, 2020) (Jensen, M.J.).

These cases provide further insights into how courts are viewing the question of remote versus in-person depositions. In Broiler Chicken, supra, the court rejected the argument that defending a witness who is testifying remotely without being in the same room as the witness is sufficient to warrant in-person depositions in the face of COVID-19 concerns. This ruling is the flip side to the ruling in Learning Resources that counsel taking the depositions remotely do not face such steep prejudice to overcome COVID-19 concerns. In that same vein, the Sonrai court cited authority that states courts have repeatedly rejected the argument, both before and during the pandemic, that “depositions by videoconference present an impediment to assessing witness credibility.” Sonrai, supra, 2020 WL 3960441 at *3.

The Broiler Chicken court also recognized the “underlying principle” that a litigant’s right to proceed in court should not be denied except under the most extreme circumstances, and “[t]hat principle also militates in favor of conducting remote depositions in this case during the COVID-19 pandemic to move the case closer to resolution by dispositive motion, settlement, or trial than would be the case if the litigation treads water until the pandemic abates.” Broiler Chicken, supra, 2020 WL 3469166 at *9. Similarly, the Valdivia court rejected the defendant’s suggestion that the court’s decision on how to proceed with depositions could wait six months because “[t]here is no evidence that the risks relating to COVID-19 will somehow be more manageable or nonexistent in six months to allow for” in-person depositions to occur. 2020 WL 4336060 at *2.

The lesson from these cases is not just about the propriety of the courts’ decisions regarding the health concerns related to COVID-19 and whether those concerns are enough to warrant remote depositions. Indeed, as the Broiler Chicken court explained, leave to take remote depositions pursuant to Rule 30(b)(4) should be granted liberally, and the movant need only put forth a “legitimate reason” to take a deposition remotely. The lesson is also not about challenging the apparently well-entrenched caselaw that holds remote depositions via videoconference are a perfectly acceptable way to assess witness credibility and demeanor.

Instead, the most immediate and important lesson from these cases — and presumably the similar rulings taking place in Illinois state courts — is the impact these decisions have on litigation strategy, how attorneys take depositions, and how the changed circumstances of remote depositions impacts cases going forward. As the courts have said, any proffer by a litigant that the court can safely order in-person depositions in six months or in any arbitrary amount of time is pure speculation. The truth is that no one knows how long this pandemic will go on. Moreover, no one knows how long the pandemic will continue to cause the circumstances to be such that remote depositions are expected and agreed to by litigants or ordered by the courts in the case of disagreement.

The advent of technology in the last decade may very well have made video depositions more available with more clarity and led to courts upholding the validity of video depositions, but lawyers are creatures of habit. And despite the “presumptively valid” nature of video depositions according to the courts, the lawyers are the ones who must quickly adapt to these changed circumstances. A slew of questions arise from the sudden onslaught of video depositions in the age of COVID-19:

1. Will counsel feel like they can ask the same types of questions versus an in-person deposition?

2. Will counsel fail to get through all the questions they intend to ask because of the extra stress or time that goes into the various mechanisms of taking a remote deposition?

3. Will the hassles and expense of preparing and using exhibits in a remote deposition consciously or subconsciously cause counsel to not use certain exhibits that otherwise would be useful for their case?

4. Will witnesses consciously or subconsciously answer questions differently because their counsel is not present with them and able to make them feel more comfortable and secure?

5. Will witnesses consciously or subconsciously answer questions differently because the counsel asking the questions is not sitting in the same room as them and is not able to apply the same degree of pressure as in-person?

These are questions that the courts cannot fully answer, even if the courts are on the side of a full and open discovery process and the search for the truth — as the law dictates for discovery. The reality is that counsel and their clients will have to deal with these questions (and their answers) on an individual basis as they formulate litigation strategy for depositions and beyond. The psychology of depositions, and the dance between counsel and witness, is a major part of why depositions are so important. The best that counsel can do to prepare themselves and their clients is to understand and accept the fact that the most likely scenario is remote depositions will become the new norm for the time being. Be open and honest with clients and recalibrate expectations if necessary.

Counsel must be ready to adapt, and counsel must be ready for how depositions will be different through remote videoconference than in person. Counsel must ask the tough questions listed above and do their best to execute depositions without significantly diminishing their case strategy and litigation goals. Some lawyers may already have made the necessary changes, and some may be working on it right now. But the bottom line for all litigators is that, just as with any major task in a case, there is only one thing you can control: preparation.

Adrian Jonak, Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP, Chicago
312-902-5316 | E-mail Adrian Jonak

Illinois Supreme Court Follows U.S. Supreme Court, Limits Ability of State Courts To Assert Specific Personal Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Defendants

In Rios v. Bayer Corp., 2020 IL 125020, the Illinois Supreme Court held that an Illinois court may not exercise specific personal jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants when out-of-state plaintiffs sought recovery for personal injuries suffered outside of Illinois from a device manufactured outside of Illinois. While the out-of-state defendants conducted clinical trials for the device in Illinois, contracted with Illinois physicians and facilities, and established a physician accreditation program in Illinois, the court, following the precedent set forth by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, ___ U.S. ___, 198 L.Ed.2d 395, 137 S.Ct. 1773, 1781 (2017), held that such “general connections” with the forum state did not provide a basis for an Illinois court to assert specific personal jurisdiction. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶23. In addition to providing guidance on the requirement that a plaintiff’s claims “arise out of or relate to” a defendant’s activities within a forum state, the court’s decision will also impact the formation of class plaintiffs in future class action lawsuits.

Facts of the Case: Trial Court Proceedings

The issues presented in Rios were before the Illinois Supreme Court by way of interlocutory appeals arising out of two separate class action lawsuits — Hamby v. Bayer Corp., 2019 IL App (5th) 180279-U, and Rios v. Bayer Corp., 2019 IL App (5th) 180278-U — which were consolidated for purposes of the Illinois Supreme Court’s review. Rios, supra, 2020 IL 125020 at ¶5. The lawsuits, which included nearly identical claims, arose out of personal injuries allegedly suffered by the plaintiffs as a result of being prescribed and implanted with Essure, a type of permanent birth control for women that was developed by defendants Bayer Corporation, Bayer Healthcare LLC, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Bayer Essure Inc. (collectively the “Bayer defendants”). 2020 IL 125020 at ¶¶3 – 5. The plaintiff-classes in both matters included both Illinois and non-Illinois residents. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶5. The plaintiffs specifically alleged that (1) the Bayer defendants’ devices were defectively manufactured, (2) the plaintiffs relied on false or misleading statements in Essure’s promotional materials, (3) the Bayer defendants failed to adequately warn the plaintiffs and/or their physicians about the device’s risks, and (4) the plaintiffs’ physicians were not adequately trained to perform the Essure procedure. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶7.

In turn, the Bayer defendants, none of which were incorporated in Illinois or had their principal place of business in Illinois, moved to dismiss both actions on grounds that the courts lacked specific personal jurisdiction over the Bayer defendants as to the non-Illinois plaintiffs’ claims. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶8. In response, the plaintiffs argued that Illinois courts could exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the Bayer defendants because they “conducted clinical trials in Illinois and used the state as a testing ground for its physician training program” and “orchestrated a marketing campaign in Illinois that ultimately spread that misinformation about Essure nationwide.” Id. Accordingly, the plaintiffs “insisted that the complained-about conduct occurred through [the Bayer] defendants’ contacts with Illinois.” Id.

During a joint hearing on the Bayer defendants’ motions to dismiss filed in both underlying matters, the trial courts determined that whether they could exercise specific personal jurisdiction depended on if (1) the Bayer defendants “had purposefully directed their activities” at Illinois, (2) the plaintiffs’ claims “arose from or related to those contacts” with Illinois, and (3) it would be “reasonable” for Illinois to exercise jurisdiction over the Bayer defendants. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶9. While relying on the holding in M.M. ex rel. Meyers v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, 2016 IL App (1st) 151909, 61 N.E.3d 1026, 406 Ill.Dec. 758, the trial courts found that the Bayer defendants “conducted a part of its general business in Illinois, and [p]laintiffs’ claims arose out of the very [clinical] trials conducted, in part, in Illinois.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶10. Accordingly, the trial courts held that the plaintiffs “pled sufficient facts to establish the link between their claims and Illinois.” Id. Further, the trial courts also held that “Illinois had an interest in resolving” the matters and that “it was not unreasonable to exercise jurisdiction” over the Bayer defendants. Id.

Facts of the Case: Appellate Court Decision

In affirming the trial courts’ decisions, the Fifth District Appellate Court first found that the Bayer defendants had “purposefully availed themselves of Illinois” by contracting with Illinois physicians and using the state to conduct clinical trials, establish a physician accreditation program, and market its product. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶12. Moreover, based on the clinical trials performed in Illinois and the plaintiffs’ allegations pertaining to conduct related to “Essure’s testing, development, and marketing,” the appellate court held that the plaintiffs’ claims for “harm suffered as a result of having the Essure device implanted all ar[o]se, at least in part, from [the Bayer defendants’] conduct in Illinois.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶13.

Moreover, because the Illinois plaintiffs would still proceed with the underlying matters, the court found that “dismissing the non-Illinois plaintiffs would result in piecemeal litigation that would not serve judicial economy and that would run the risk of conflicting rulings.” Id. Thus, the court concluded that “it would not be unreasonable for defendants to litigate in Illinois.” Id.

Accordingly, the appellate court affirmed the trial courts’ rulings.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s Analysis

The Illinois Supreme Court overturned the lower courts’ decisions, finding that the out-of-state plaintiffs failed to identify “jurisdictionally relevant links between their claims and Illinois.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶28. The court first discussed subsection (c) of the Illinois long-arm statute, which authorizes Illinois courts to exercise jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants “on any other basis now or hereafter permitted by the Illinois Constitution and the Constitution of the United States.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶17, citing 735 ILCS 5/2-209(c). (Because the Bayer defendants did not argue that the Illinois Constitution imposed greater restraints on the exercise of jurisdiction than the federal constitution, the court considered only the federal constitutional principles. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶17.)

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution permits states to “exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant if the defendant has certain minimum contacts with [the state] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶18, quoting Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 187 L.Ed.2d 624, 134 S.Ct. 746, 754 (2014). (Two categories of personal jurisdiction have been recognized: general or all-purpose jurisdiction and specific or case-linked jurisdiction. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶19. A state court may assert general personal jurisdiction to hear any claims against an out-of-state corporation when the corporation’s “ ‘affiliations with the State are so continuous and systematic as to render’ it ‘essentially at home’ in the State.” Id. It is important to note that the Rios court did not analyze whether an Illinois court could assert general personal jurisdiction over the Bayer defendants.)

In order to assert specific personal jurisdiction, courts must find that the “ ‘defendant has purposefully directed [its] activities at residents of the forum’ and . . . ‘the litigation results from alleged injuries that arise out of or relate to those activities.’ ” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶20. The Bayer defendants did not dispute that they “purposefully directed activities toward Illinois.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶24.

The plaintiffs argued that Illinois courts could exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the Bayer defendants because the defendants used Illinois to work on obtaining regulatory approval for Essure, to create a training program for physicians, and to prepare a strategy for marketing its product. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶21. According to the plaintiffs, these “in-state activities, along with [the] Bayer [defendants’] decision to contract with physicians and ‘key opinion leaders’ in Illinois to conduct clinical trials” permitted Illinois courts to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the Bayer defendants as to the claims of the non-Illinois plaintiffs. Id. In rejecting this argument, the court relied on the United States Supreme Court’s Bristol-Myers decision.

In Bristol-Myers, more than 600 plaintiffs, many of whom were not California residents, filed a class action lawsuit in a California state court against an out-of-state defendant. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶22. The plaintiffs alleged that they were injured by a prescription drug that was manufactured by the defendant. Id. While the defendant sold more than $900 million worth of the drug in California, the out-of-state plaintiffs did not allege that they obtained the drug from California physicians, that they were injured by the drug in California, or that they were treated for their injuries in California. Id. In finding that the California state court lacked personal jurisdiction over the out-of-state defendant, the United States Supreme Court “reiterated that a nonresident defendant’s general connections with a forum do not provide a basis for state courts to assert specific personal jurisdiction.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶23. The Court then “chided the state supreme court for permitting the exercise of specific personal jurisdiction without identifying an adequate link between the state and the nonresidents’ claims.” Id. The Court added that “[t]he mere fact that other plaintiffs were prescribed, obtained, and ingested [the drug] in California — and allegedly sustained the same injuries as did the nonresidents — [did] not allow the State to assert specific jurisdiction over the nonresidents’ claims.” Id., quoting Bristol-Myers, 137 S.Ct. at 1781.

In relying on the Bristol-Myers decision, the Rios court found that the out-of-state plaintiffs also failed to identify jurisdictionally relevant links between their claims and the state of Illinois. For example, the plaintiffs alleged that the Bayer defendants “failed to establish and maintain procedures to confirm that Essure devices were properly manufactured” and that, as a result, “the manufacturing defects caused the [plaintiffs’] harm.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶25. However, the court noted that the plaintiffs failed to allege that the Essure devices were manufactured in Illinois or that the Bayer defendants should have established manufacturing procedures in Illinois. Id. The court concluded that “[w]ithout such allegations, there [was] no adequate link between the nonresident plaintiffs’ manufacturing defect claims” and the State of Illinois. Id.

The plaintiffs also alleged that the Bayer defendants “willfull[y] disseminated false and misleading information” about Essure. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶26. However, the court again failed to see the jurisdictionally relevant link, as it noted that the out-of-state plaintiffs did not allege that either they or their physicians received the false information in Illinois. Id. Similarly, regarding the plaintiffs’ allegation that the Bayer defendants failed to warn the plaintiffs and their physicians of the serious defects and life-altering complications associated with Essure prior to the plaintiffs’ use of the device, the court noted that the out-of-state plaintiffs’ were not implanted with their devices in Illinois. Id. Finally, the court also failed to see a jurisdictional link between the plaintiffs’ allegation that the Bayer defendants breached their duty to “properly train physicians” and the forum state, as the out-of-state plaintiffs did not allege that the physicians were trained in Illinois and the out-of-state plaintiffs’ devices were not implanted in Illinois. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶27.

Accordingly, after finding no jurisdictionally relevant links between the out-of-state plaintiffs’ claims and Illinois, the court stated that “[w]here no adequate link exists between Illinois and the nonresident plaintiffs’ claims, it necessarily follows that Illinois lacks specific personal jurisdiction over defendants as to those claims.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶28.

The court also concluded that “it would not be reasonable for the nonresidents’ claims to proceed in Illinois.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶30. The court explained that “the minimum contacts requirement protects the defendant ‘against the burdens of litigating in a distant or inconvenient forum.’ ” Id. The court further stated that “[t]his protection is often described in terms of reasonableness. To assess reasonableness in this context, courts consider (1) the burden on defendant, (2) the forum state’s interest in adjudicating the dispute, (3) the plaintiff’s interest in obtaining convenient and effective relief, and (4) the judicial system’s interest in obtaining the most efficient resolution of the controversy.” Id. Ultimately, the court found that these factors weighed “strongly” against Illinois courts exercising specific personal jurisdiction over the Bayer defendants for the out-of-state plaintiffs’ claims. 2020 IL 125020 at ¶31. Specifically, the court noted that (1) “Illinois [had] no particular interest in resolving claims that did not arise out of or relate to activities” that occurred in Illinois, (2) the out-of-state plaintiffs failed to explain how Illinois could be a relevant location for this litigation when they were not implanted with their devices in Illinois nor did they identify any other activities that would connect their specific claims to Illinois, and (3) the plaintiffs initiated duplicate actions in California, which demonstrated “that the interests of judicial economy [we]re not furthered by permitting their claims to proceed in Illinois.” Id.

In conclusion, the court held that the out-of-state plaintiffs’ claims “did not arise out of or relate to defendants’ in-state activities and, thus, Illinois courts lack[ed] specific personal jurisdiction over [the] Bayer [defendants] as to the [out-of-state plaintiffs’] claims.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶34. Moreover, the court also stated that following the Bristol-Myers decision, the holding in M.M. ex rel. Meyers, which was heavily relied on by the lower courts, no longer “reflect[s] the law in Illinois and should no longer be relied upon.” 2020 IL 125020 at ¶32.

Implications of the Rios Decision

Moving forward, the Rios decision will act as the guiding precedent in Illinois matters involving disputes as to whether an out-of-state plaintiff may assert specific personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant. This case will have a particular impact on class actions involving plaintiffs residing both within and outside of Illinois. Specifically, out-of-state plaintiffs will need to establish “jurisdictionally relevant links” between their claims and Illinois.

For more information about civil litigation, see PROVING FAULT IN AUTO ACCIDENT CASES (IICLE®, 2020). Online Library subscribers can view it for free by clicking here. If you don’t currently subscribe to the Online Library, visit

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