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People v. Coyne

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division

September 5, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DANIEL T. COYNE, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. ACC 120187. Honorable Michael B. McHale, Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

In proceedings seeking the involuntary commitment of respondent under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, the trial court erred in ordering respondent's counsel to turn over to the State the reports of the forensic psychologist appointed to conduct an examination of respondent and another respondent in an unrelated case, since the psychologist was appointed as a consultant under Supreme Court Rule 201(b)(3), the psychologist would not be a witness at either respondent's hearing, and both respondents had the right, in proceedings under the Act, to the appointment of such a consulting expert or professional person whose identity, opinions, and work product would not be discoverable absent exceptional circumstances; therefore, the orders compelling counsel to turn over the reports, finding him in direct civil contempt, and imposing a fine of $100 were vacated, and the cause was remanded for further proceedings.

For Appellant: Matthew M. Daniels, Michael R. Johnson, Elizabeth Raki, Law Offices of Chicago Kent, of Chicago, IL.

For Appellee: Lisa Madigan, Attorney General of Illinois, Michael A. Scodro, Solicitor General, Michael M. Glick, Joshua Schneider, Assistant Attorneys General, of Chicago, IL.

JUSTICE HALL delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Rochford and Lampkin concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

HALL, JUSTICE.

Page 56

[¶1] This is an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 304(b)(5) (eff. Feb. 26, 2010). The defendant, attorney Daniel T. Coyne (attorney Coyne), was held in direct civil contempt for refusing to comply with the discovery

Page 57

orders of the circuit court of Cook County, which required him to turn over to the State his nontestifying expert witness's reports. On appeal, attorney Coyne contends that: (1) the civil discovery rules do not require disclosure of a nontestifying expert's report; (2) the attorney-client privilege bars the disclosure of the expert's report; (3) the work-product privilege bars the disclosure of the expert's report; (4) requiring disclosure of the expert's report violates the due process clause of the United States Constitution; (5) requiring disclosure of the expert's report violates the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution; and (6) even if this court affirms the circuit court's decision, the finding of contempt and the $100 fine imposed on attorney Coyne should be vacated.

[¶2] In separate cases, attorney Coyne was appointed to represent respondent Percy Dixon and respondent Derrick Moody. The State was seeking to have the respondents involuntarily committed under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (the Act) (725 ILCS 207/15 (West 2010)). In each case, attorney Coyne filed a motion to have Dr. Lesley Kane, a forensic psychologist, appointed to conduct an examination of the respondent. The circuit court granted the motion in each case.

[¶3] Following the completion of Dr. Kane's examination of respondent Dixon, she prepared a report. Attorney Coyne filed a motion seeking to have Dr. Kane designated as a consultant under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 201(b)(3) (eff. July 1, 2002) since she would not be a witness at respondent Dixon's hearing. The State responded that the Act did not provide for the appointment of consultants. Following a hearing, the circuit court denied the motion and ordered attorney Coyne to turn over Dr. Kane's report on respondent Dixon to the State. The court also denied attorney Coyne's motion to have Dr. Kane designated as a consulting expert in respondent Moody's case and ordered attorney Coyne to turn over Dr. Kane's report on respondent Moody to the State.

[¶4] Attorney Coyne refused to comply with the court's orders. The court found him in direct civil contempt of court and imposed a fine of $100. This appeal followed. During the pendency of this appeal, we granted attorney Coyne leave to cite In re Commitment of Clark, 2014 IL App. (1st) ...


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