Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

06/30/87 Geneva Eileen Mau Et Al., v. North American Asbestos

June 30, 1987

GENEVA EILEEN MAU ET AL., PLAINTIFFS

v.

NORTH AMERICAN ASBESTOS CORPORATION ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES (JAMES WALKER, CONTEMNOR-APPELLANT; THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

Illinois, Appellee)

509 N.E.2d 1112, 156 Ill. App. 3d 926, 109 Ill. Dec. 273 1987.IL.946

Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County; the Hon. Luther H. Dearborn, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN and LUND, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SPITZ

On May 29, 1979, plaintiff, Geneva Eileen Mau, filed a wrongful death action against defendant, North American Asbestos Corporation, and other defendants, in the circuit court of McLean County to recover damages allegedly caused by her husband's exposure to asbestos.

On September 2, 1986, a pretrial conference was held. At that time, the trial court orally informed the attorneys for both parties to submit a list of witnesses each attorney expected to call to testify at trial, for use during voir dire examination of prospective jurors. This list was to include the names and addresses of all witnesses, in the order the witnesses would be called to testify. The list was to reflect whether each witness would testify in person, in court or by means of former recorded testimony. The trial court informed the attorneys that the failure to list a witness would preclude his or her testimony at trial. The court also stated that a witness listed out of order could not be called without the court's permission.

Hearings on pretrial motions commenced on September 6, 1986, and continued through September 22, 1986. On September 22, 1986, following the hearings on pretrial motions and just prior to the commencement of voir dire, the court ordered the attorneys to submit the lists of witnesses. Defense counsel agreed to submit defendant's list of witnesses. Plaintiff's counsel, James Walker, refused to submit such a list. Referring to section 2-1003(c) of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 2-1003(c)), Walker contended that plaintiff could not be required to furnish such a list. The trial court stated that section 2-1003(c) was not applicable as the case had proceeded past the discovery stage. The court further stated that such a list was an appropriate requirement for the management and organization of a lengthy trial. In response, Walker moved the court for an order compelling defendants to disclose the contents of defendant's opening statement and the anticipated order of defendant's questions on direct examination of its own witnesses and on cross-examination of plaintiff's witnesses. The court denied this motion. Thereafter, Walker informed the court that without such information, plaintiff would be unable to provide a list of witnesses under the terms enunciated by the court. The circuit court then found Walker in "direct, willful, criminal contempt" for disobeying the court order without providing a sufficient legal excuse or justification. Whereupon, the court imposed upon Walker a fine of $300. As an additional sanction, the court ordered that plaintiff's case would not be called for trial until the list of witnesses was submitted.

These oral pronouncements were set forth in a written order filed on September 26, 1986. In addition, the court stated that it ordered the parties to submit lists of witnesses due to the "need to determine any acquaintanceship or relationship prospective jurors might have with any of the testifying witnesses." The court also noted its "past experience . . . in prior trials of similar cases where there were claims of injuries from asbestos and involving one or both of these attorneys." Finally, the court stated that it had inherent authority and responsibility for the conduct, control, organization, and management of trial proceedings.

Walker now appeals from the order of contempt.

On appeal, Walker contends that the trial court erred in ordering the plaintiff to submit a list containing the names and addresses of witnesses she expected to call at trial, in the order that the witnesses would be called to testify, and in ordering that plaintiff could not call witnesses not on the list or out of the order listed, without the permission of the court. Walker places principal reliance upon section 2-1003 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 2-1003), which provides, in pertinent part:

"Sec. 2 -- 1003. Discovery and depositions.

(c) A party shall not be required to furnish the names or addresses of his or ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.