Firm News

Greg Ray conducted a Webinar for the Township Officials of Illinois.

On October 25th, 2017, Greg Ray conducted a Webinar for the Township Officials of Illinois, presenting to an audience of township highway commissioners and county engineers. Updated comments were offered regarding tort immunity, drainage disputes and issues with the use of township road right-of-way by utilities and telecommunication carriers.

 

Ken Werts provided judicial training for the Arbitrators, Commissioners and staff of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and was a guest speaker for the Society for Human Resource Management.

On September 15, 2017, at the invitation of Chairperson Joann Fratianni, Ken Werts provided judicial training for the Commission at its annual retreat for that purpose in Oak Park, Illinois. On September 19, 2017, Ken also was guest speaker on the topic of workers’ compensation for the Southern Illinois affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management. The latest edition of Ken’s book, Illinois Workers Compensation Guidebook 2017 will be available for purchase from LexisNexis this fall.

 

Paul Lynch Tries a Case of Admitted Liability to Jury Verdict in Saline County

Paul Lynch of the Mt. Vernon Office of Craig & Craig, LLC, recently represented the Defendant in a jury trial held in the Circuit Court of Saline County, in the vehicle collision case of Patton v. Stolte. Liability was admitted on behalf of the Defendant. The jury was also informed that the Defendant was not contesting that the collision had caused a shoulder injury to the Plaintiff, and rotator cuff surgery. Plaintiff also claimed that she injured her low back in the collision, resulting in lumbar disc surgery approximately fifteen months later, which was disputed by the Defendant. In closing argument, Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to return a verdict of $395,000. The jury returned a verdict awarding $80,000 to Plaintiff.

 

Ken Werts provided judicial training for the Arbitrators, Commissioners and staff of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and was a guest speaker for the Society for Human Resource Management

On September 15, 2017, at the invitation of Chairperson Joann Fratianni, Ken Werts provided judicial training for the Commission at its annual retreat for that purpose in Oak Park, Illinois. On September 19, 2017, Ken also was guest speaker on the topic of workers’ compensation for the Southern Illinois affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management. The latest edition of Ken’s book, Illinois Workers Compensation Guidebook 2017 will be available for purchase from LexisNexis this fall.

 

John L. Barger closed the sale of 644 acres of farm land that sold at auctions taking place between March 10, 2017 and March 21, 2017.

John L. Barger represented sellers in the sale of 644 acres of farm land located in Coles and Shelby Counties that sold at auctions between March 10,2017 and March 21,2017 .  The total sale price of that land was approximately $6,391,000.00.

 

John L. Barger closed the sale and exchange of approximately 330 acres of Douglas County, Illinois farm land.

John L. Barger was recently involved in the sale and multiple 1031 exchanges of Douglas county farm land of approximately 330 acres.

 

Greg Ray presented at the Illinois Township Highway Commissioners summer meeting at the Peoria Civic Center.

On August 8, 2017, Greg Ray presented at the Illinois Township Highway Commissioners summer meeting at the Peoria Civic Center. The presentation addressed a number of topics of interest to Highway Commissioners, including the use of highway right of way by public utilities; problems maintaining or establishing proper drainage of road ditches; Tort Immunity Act considerations including discretionary immunity, road maintenance obligations and requirements for traffic control and warning signs. The discussion also took up issues of procedures to be followed by Highway Commissioners in addressing complaints of alleged failures of road maintenance; requests for vacation of roads, and the rights of Highway Commissioners to remove obstructions or correct dirt work performed by adjoining landowners that adversely affect the right of way including drainage from the right of way. Many of the nearly 200 attendees were newly elected as Highway Commissioners in the spring of 2017. The Township Officials of Illinois is a statewide organization of Townships which includes a section for Highway Commissioners. Mr. Ray regularly represents Townships and Highway Commissioners throughout Central and Southern Illinois in connection with liability claims as well as chancery actions brought against Highway Commissioners for a variety of circumstances through coverages afforded by the Township of Illinois Risk Management Association (TOIRMA).

 

Ken Werts to be Inducted into the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Mr. Kenneth Werts will be inducted into the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the College’s Induction Dinner to be held March 18, 2017, at the conclusion of the ABA’s Workers’ Compensation Committee Midwinter Seminar and Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  The College was established to honor those attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the practice in the field of workers’ compensation.  Individuals are nominated for fellowship for their outstanding traits they have developed in their practice of 20 years or more.  Fellows have convinced their peers, bar, bench and public that they possess the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards, character, integrity, professional expertise and leadership.  They have also demonstrated significant evidence of scholarship, teaching, lecturing, and/or distinguished published writings on Workers’ Compensation or related fields of law.  Mr. Werts becomes only the ninth defense attorney in the State of Illinois to be inducted into the College.

 

Julie Webb to speak at ISBA Law Ed Program on Illinois Workers’ Compensation

Ms. Julie Webb will be making a presentation entitled Appeals: a Timeline from Arbitration to the Supreme Court and Consequences on Monday, October 10, 2016, at the ISBA CLE entitled What You Need to Know to Practice Before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  Julie’s presentation will provide a comprehensive overview of the appellate process in workers’ compensation claims from arbitration through the Supreme Court of Illinois.  This seminar will be held at the Four Points Sheraton in Fairview Heights, Illinois.

 

Julie Webb Appointed Family Mediator in Fourth Judicial Circuit

Ms. Julie Webb has recently been added to the list of approved family mediators in the Fourth Judicial Circuit.  Family mediators who are either appointed by the Court or agreed upon by the parties conduct mediations with parties in disputed family cases to come up with a Parenting Plan which addresses parental responsibilities and parenting time.  Julie has served as a mediator in the Second Judicial Circuit for a number of years.

 

Ken Werts provides judicial training on occupational disease to the Arbitrators and Commissioners of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

Mr. Kenneth Werts has been recruited by Chairperson Joann Fratianni of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to provide judicial training to the Arbitrators and Commissioners of the Commission and their staff on occupational disease. The training is scheduled for September 15 in Oak Park Illinois. The latest edition of Ken’s book, “Illinois Workers’ Compensation Guidebook 2016”, will be available for purchase from LexisNexis this Fall.

 

Brittany Meeker publishes an article through the ISBA on new case law establishing a precedent that an employee may receive Simultaneous Awards of PTD and Wage Differential Benefits

Ms. Brittany Meeker has had an article published in the Illinois State Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Newsletter, titled, “The Interplay of Simultaneous Awards of PTD and Wage Differential Benefits.” This article provides a case summary to the recent opinion of  Chlada v. Illinois Workers’ Comp. Comm’n, 2016 IL App (1st) 150122WC, which develops new precedent on the inter-working of PTD and wage differential benefits,” and the manner in which these benefits may be simultaneously awarded under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

 

John L. Barger has an article published about him in Leading Lawyers Magazine

John L. Barger has recently had an article published about him in Leading Lawyers Magazine. Read the full article.

 

John F. Watson to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the IDC Quarterly Journal

As of May 2016, John F. Watson, a Member of the Mattoon office of Craig & Craig, LLC, will be serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the IDC Quarterly. He takes over this role after a short period of time serving as the Executive Editor.  Mr. Watson has been serving as an IDC Quarterly Board Member and an Associate/Assistant Editor for the past four years.

The IDC Quarterly features columns on current tort topics and matters of interest to the civil defense bar, and is an award-winning publication distributed to over 2,100 people each quarter.  The first volume of the IDC Quarterly to be issued with Mr. Watson as Editor-in-Chief will be published toward the end of August 2016.  Mr. Watson will serve as Editor-in-Chief for the duration of four volumes of the Journal, and then in May of 2017, it is expected that Mr. Watson will then transfer to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of the “IDC Survey of Law”.

 

Greg Ray and Brittany Meeker completed a week long jury trial in Clark County, Illinois, that resulted in a defense verdict in favor of the firm’s client

On August 28, 2015, Greg Ray and Brittany Meeker completed a week long jury trial in Clark County, Illinois, that resulted in a defense verdict in favor of the firm’s client, the Executor of the Estate of Clyde Knowles, rejecting the claims of the petitioners that the probated Will of the deceased was not his valid Last Will and Testament. The Will Contest litigation involved competing claims of the petitioners, who are the daughters of the deceased, and who unsuccessfully sought to probate an earlier Will, which substantially favored them, and their brothers, who are relatively favored in the probated and sustained Will. The determining issue was whether the probated Will was signed as a result of undue influence exerted over the deceased by one or both of the brothers.

 

John Watson and Patrick Lee conclude a seven day federal civil rights case in the United States District Court, Central District of Illinois

John Watson and Patrick Lee, two partners of the Mattoon office, completed a seven day jury trial in the United States District Court, Central District of Illinois, before Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins. John Watson and Pat Lee were serving as appointed counsel to a prisoner who had brought a Section 1983 action alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs under the Fourteenth Amendment as a pretrial detainee. The evidence presented was that the pretrial detainee was suffering from gallbladder disease and gallstones, but because of a lack of treatment eventually developed an acute and gangrenous cholecystitis that required an emergent transfer and eventual surgery. The jury did find in favor of all the Defendants, not being able to find deliberate indifference to his medical needs or a conscious disregard to the potential harm. John Watson and Pat Lee would like to offer their congratulations to trial counsel Raylene Grischow and Barbara Kremer Myers of Hinshaw & Culbertson who represented the Sangamon County Defendants. Also, Chris Biswell of Drake, Narup & Mead represented the physician. Defense counsel did an amazing and professional job and certainly should be commended for their hard work and skill in their representation. John Watson and Pat Lee would also like to offer their thanks to Judge Schanzle-Haskins for his outstanding work and effort serving as the presiding Judge over the matter.

 

Ken Werts to provide judicial training for the Arbitrators, Commissioners and staff of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

Ken Werts will provide judicial training for the Arbitrators, Commissioners and staff of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission on the topic of occupational disease, in Chicago, on September 16, 2015.

 

John Barger and John Watson obtain a successful verdict in Cumberland County during course of a 3 civil day trial from July 29 to 31, 2015

John Barger and John Watson with the Mattoon office obtained a successful and favorable verdict in Cumberland County during the course of a three civil day trial from July 29, 2015 to July 31, 2015.  Messers Barger and Watson represented Theron Kuhn in a civil jury trial in Cumberland County before Judge Millard Everhart.  Civil trials in Cumberland County can be fairly rare in the last few years, but Toledo, Illinois is the County seat and the current home of John Barger.  It was certainly nice to get a verdict in his home County.

 

Ken Werts receives appointment by Chairman Fratianni-Atsaves

Mr. Kenneth Werts has been appointed by Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman Joann Fratianni-Atsaves to the Workers’ Compensation Commission Rules Committee. It is anticipated that the Committee will review the current Commission Rules and submit proposed amendments to same to further the work of the Commission and those who appear and practice before it.

 

John Barger and John Watson obtain a verdict in a civil jury trial in Macon County

John Barger and John Watson with the Mattoon office obtained a civil jury verdict in Macon County for their client in a trial before Judge A. G. Webber.

 

Greg Ray spoke at the Charleston Country Club of the Human Resource Association of East Central Illinois

On January 9, 2015, Greg Ray spoke to a luncheon meeting at the Charleston Country Club of the Human Resource Association of East Central Illinois. The amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act relating to pregnancy and childbirth and common conditions relating to pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the new statute restricting certain employers from inquiring about a candidate’s criminal history, were discussed. A Workers Compensation update and recurrent FMLA concerns were also taken up. The HR professionals that gathered were active in asking questions and raising topics for comments. HRA – ECI is a regional association whose members are generally members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

 

Ken Werts provides judicial training on occupational disease to the Arbitrators of the Commission recently appointed by Governor Pat Quinn

Mr. Kenneth Werts was recruited by Chairman Michael Latz of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to provide judicial training to the newly appointed Arbitrators of the Commission and their staff on occupational disease. The training took place at the Commission’s office in Chicago on October 31, 2014. The latest edition of Ken’s book, “Illinois Workers’ Compensation Guidebook 2014”, is also now available for purchase from LexisNexis.

 

John F. Watson tries a Contribution action to verdict in Sangamon County

During the week of October 14, 2014, John F. Watson prosecuted a Contribution action as counsel for the Plaintiff, Kent Family Inc., under the Illinois Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act in Sangamon County, Illinois, case number 2008-L-272. Circuit Judge John Schmidt presided over the trial. At the conclusion of the trial the jury assessed 75% fault against the Defendant, and 25% fault against Mr. Watson’s client. Judgment was entered in favor of Mr. Watson’s client in the amount of $487,500, plus costs.

 

Kenneth Werts presents at Advanced Workers’ Compensation seminar

Mr. Kenneth Werts presented for the Illinois State Bar Association to its members at the Advanced Workers’ Compensation seminar held October 13, 2014. Mr. Werts presented the case law update for the attendees.

 

John F. Watson and R. Sean Hocking have received

John F. Watson and R. Sean Hocking have received “AV Preeminent” Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings. Reviewers are lawyers and judges across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations and are listed on martindale.com. They are from similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated, who know or have worked with the lawyer under review, and are able to rate them on their professional ethical standards and legal ability. An AV Preeminent certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment and reflective that a lawyer’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence.

 

Kenneth Werts presents at the 2014 Solo and Small Firm Practice Institute

Mr. Kenneth Werts presented for the Illinois State Bar Association to its members at the ISBA’s annual Solo and Small Firm Practice Institute held September 19, 2014 on the topic Best Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Practice Tips.

 

On September 17, 2014, John Watson made a presentation sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE)

On September 17, 2014, John Watson, a Partner with the Matton office, made a presentation in Bloomington, Illinois, sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), on issues relating to identifying and resolving conflicts of interest created under the tripartite relationship. The discussion was presented as continuing legal education to Central Illinois attorneys focusing on Peppers conflicts, independent counsel, and the duties of counsel (and the insurance company) in the event of certain conflicts of interest.

 

Mr. John F. Watson has been recognized as a 2014 Member of the Leading Lawyers Network

John F Watson, Partner in the Mattoon office, has been recognized as a 2014 Member of the Leading Lawyers Network in the fields of Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law, Medical Malpractice Defense Law and Personal Injury Defense Law: General

Mr. Watson was recommended as a Leading Lawyer in a state wide survey. Fewer than 5% of the lawyers in Illinois receive the distinction as being the Leading Lawyer.

 

Kenneth Werts’ presentations 2014

Mr. Kenneth Werts will present the topic Section 12 Examinations for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Section Council in seminar to be presented in Fairview Heights on February 17, 2014. Ken also has been recruited by Chairman Michael Latz of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to provide judicial training to the Arbitrators and Commissioners of the Commission and their staff. Ken will present the topic Pathology of Lung Diseases. The training will take place on April 29, 2014 at the Commission’s office in Chicago.

Ken will present the topic Fracking Illinois: A Discussion of the Practice of Hydraulic Fracturing in a panel discussion sponsored by the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel in Edwardsville on March 13, 2014. Ken will be joined by Dr. Mark A. Roberts Principal Scientist and Director of Exponent’s Health Sciences Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and Ann Baron of counsel with Heyl Royster. The seminar will focus on the occupational exposures associated with this new technology.

 

Ken Werts to provide judicial training to the Arbitrators and Commissioners of the Commission and their staff on occupational disease

Mr. Kenneth Werts has been recruited by Chairman Michael Latz of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to provide judicial training to the Arbitrators and Commissioners of the Commission and their staff on occupational disease. The training will take place on September 11 at the Commission’s office in Chicago. Ken will also present the topic “Telecommuting: Off-Site Work Accidentsfor the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Section Council in seminar to be presented in Chicago on October 14. On November 21 Ken will join Marianne D. Cloeren M.D. M.P.H. and Michael Sherman J.D. in a panel discussion titled “Occupational Exposures and Sensitivity in the Workplace” at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference in Las Vegas. Ken is currently working with Robin Kobayashi of Mathew Bender Lexis/Nexis on a publication titled “Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis 2013” which will be published in November. The latest edition of Ken’s book, “Illinois Workers’ Compensation Guidebook 2013”, will be available for purchase later this year.

 

Ken Werts will make a presentation to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Section Council

Mr. Kenneth Werts will present the topic “Section 12 Examinations” for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Section Council in seminar to be presented in Fairview Heights on February 17, 2014. Ken also has been recruited by Chairman Michael Latz of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to provide judicial training to the Arbitrators and Commissioners of the Commission and their staff. Ken will present the topic “Pathology of Lung Diseases”. The training will take place on April 29, 2014 at the Commission’s office in Chicago.

 

Paul Lynch Appointed to Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence

On the recommendation of Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, Paul R. Lynch of the Mt. Vernon office of Craig & Craig, LLC, has been appointed to the Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence. The purpose of the Committee is to monitor, review and study Illinois cases and, to the extent relevant, cases from around the country, that impact evidence law generally and the Illinois Rules of Evidence specifically. The Committee will meet periodically each year to discuss relevant cases impacting evidence law, and produce an annual report to the Supreme Court at the end of each year on the status of evidence law in Illinois. The members of the Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence are Judges and practicing attorneys located in each of the five Appellate Districts of the State.

 

R. Sean Hocking Appointed Chairman Of Illinois Defense Counsel Events Committee

Sean Hocking has been appointed Chairman of the Illinois Defense Counsel (IDC) Events Committee for the 2012-2013 term. The Events Committee is responsible for planning and presenting IDC Events which include the Fall and Spring Seminars that are the mainstay of continuing legal education for Illinois defense attorneys. This appointment follows Mr. Hocking’s involvement with the Events Committee as the prior Vice Chairman and a Member since 2009.

 

R. Sean Hocking Completes Jury Trial in Effingham, Illinois

On September 11, 2012, R. Sean Hocking completed a jury trial in Effingham, Illinois. The litigation involved an auto accident where liability had been admitted by the Defendant and the case was tried on the issue of damages. A defense range verdict of $20,483.02 was obtained from the jury which awarded a substantially lower amount than the Plaintiff’s final settlement demand.

 

Greg Ray and the IICLE “Commercial and Professional Liability Insurance Handbook, 2012 Edition”

The Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) has announced the publication of the “Commercial and Professional Liability Insurance Handbook, 2012 Edition.” The Handbook contains 19 Chapters, authored by some of the most distinguished and well-known practitioners in Illinois, providing the Illinois lawyer with a comprehensive and authoritative guide to both the fundamental and the sophisticated issues arising in connection with these lines of insurance.   Greg Ray of the firm’s Mattoon office has continued his contributions to the professional literature through a rewriting and updating of his chapter contribution for IICLE’s earlier versions of the Handbook addressing the issues that arise in Commercial General Liability policies where the dispute is whether coverage is afforded in light of the claim that an “occurrence” has happened within the meaning of the insurance policy provisions requiring such an event. Sound exciting?   Visit www.iicle.com.

 

Mr. John F. Watson appointed to the IDC Quarterly Editorial Board

On June 8, 2012, the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel appointed John F. Watson, a Partner at the Mattoon office, to the Editorial Board of the IDC Quarterly. The IDC Quarterly is an award-winning publication distributed to over two thousand people each quarter featuring articles on tort topics and matters of interest to the defense bar.

 

John Watson published in the IICLE

On April 23, 2012, the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) published its 2012 Edition of “Illinois Civil Practice: Opening the Case” for which John Watson authored Chapter 10 on Third-Party Practice.

 

John L. Barger Successfully Defends Former Employee of Pepsi Mid-America in Bench Trial

On March 20, 2012, John L. Barger successfully defended Ron F. Shepherd in a suit by Pepsi Mid-America to enforce a covenant not to compete. The presiding judge, Judge Mitchell K. Shick, found that the Plaintiff had not proven the necessary elements under Reliable Fire Equipment Co. v. Arredondo, 211 Ill. 111, 871. In addition, Judge Shick found that in this case the covenant not to compete amounted to an “adhesion contract” under the authority of American Food Management, Inc. v. Henson, 105 Ill.App.3d 141 (5th Dist., 1982). Judge Shick found in favor of the Defendant on all matters and against the Plaintiff on its Complaint denying the request for an injunction, denying the request for liquidated damages and denying the request for attorneys’ fees and expenses.

 

Paul Lynch and Julie Webb Obtain Jury Verdict of “No Liability” at Carlyle, Illinois

Paul R. Lynch and Julie A. Webb, Partners in the Mt. Vernon Office of Craig & Craig, completed a five-day jury trial in the Circuit Court of Clinton County, in Carlyle, Illinois, on February 10, 2012, with a defense verdict in a case of claimed medical malpractice. Mr. Lynch and Ms. Webb represented Dr. Dean H. Matsuura and his former employer, Physician Services Corporation of Southern Illinois, d/b/a St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Medical Group.

From June, 2003, through November, 2005, Darren Flanagan was a patient of the Family Health Center of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan in Centralia, Illinois. Mr. Flanagan was diagnosed with Stage IV gastric cancer in late 2005, and died on December 25, 2006.

During Mr. Flanagan’s visits to the Family Health Center, he was seen and treated by Agnes Boehning, who is a nurse practitioner, and was then employed by St. Mary’s Good Samaritan, Inc. Dr. Matsuura was practicing internal medicine at the Family Health Center, and was Ms. Boehning’s “collaborating physician.” Dr. Matsuura reviewed and approved Ms. Boehning’s office notes for Mr. Flanagan.

Plaintiff contended that the Defendants were negligent in failing to provide appropriate care and follow-up when Darren Flanagan reported to Agnes Boehning on August 2, 2004, that he had “black, tarry stools at times,” resulting in delay of diagnosis.

The Defendants denied any negligence, and further claimed that Darren Flanagan was contributorily negligent, by failing to keep appointments at the Family Health Center and by failing to keep an appointment with a gastroenterologist, Dr. Stephen Ang of Centralia, on August 9, 2004.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for approximately one hour, and returned a verdict of “no liability” in favor of all of the Defendants.

 

Sean Hocking Successfully Defends The City of Charleston In Jury Trial

Sean Hocking successfully defended The City of Charleston in a three day jury trial ending January 11, 2012, resulting in a zero verdict in favor of the Defendant. The litigation concerned a property damage claim with regard to a building owner that alleged some property damage with regard to some real estate adjacent to where the City had removed and installed a sidewalk. The evidence in the case featured testimony from two structural engineers and a third witness offered as an expert by the Plaintiff whose testimony was successfully stricken during the trial. A settlement offer was made by the Defendant prior to the trial. The Plaintiff never made any response to the settlement offer and never made a demand before the trial.

 

John L. Barger Admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court

John L. Barger, a Partner in the Mattoon office, was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in a ceremony held at the Supreme Court Courtroom in Washington, D.C. on Monday, June 6, 2011.  He was part of a group of 45 lawyers organized by the Illinois State Bar Association. The Honorable John G. Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, granted the Motion.

 

On May 10, 2011, John F. Watson completed a jury trial in Charleston, Illinois

On May 10, 2011, John F. Watson completed a jury trial in Coles County, Charleston, Illinois in which he obtained two defense range verdicts in a motor vehicle accident case. The litigation constituted two separate lawsuits consolidated together for trial and involved the driver and a passenger of a rear ended vehicle both seeking monetary damages. The jury returned verdicts in favor of both of the Plaintiffs but in amounts slightly over the medical expenses incurred (when a contributory fault finding was factored into the judgment for the driver). Further, the amounts awarded for the driver and passenger, $10,312.35 and $3,125.60 respectively, were substantially lower than the pre-suit settlement demands made by the Plaintiffs.

 

Julie A. Webb concludes jury trial in dram shop case

Julie A. Webb of the Mt. Vernon Office recently completed a jury trial on March 25, 2011, in the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit, Lawrence County, Illinois, where she represented the dram shop Defendant in the case of Crump v. Anthony’s Towne House Bar & Grill, Inc., et al, Case No. 2009-L-6. Mr. Crump sustained injury to his head and hand as a result of an altercation in the street in front of the Defendant’s tavern. The Alleged Intoxicated Persons were also named as Defendants. The jury found in favor of the Plaintiff and against all Defendants and awarded damages of past medical expenses of $13,976.00 and lost wages of $2,400.00. Plaintiff did not ask the jury for specific damages. He also sought punitive damages against the individual Defendants. Prior to suit, the dram shop Defendant made an offer to settle the claim which was higher than the jury’s verdict, but the Plaintiff declined to accept that offer, and so the case was tried to verdict. The verdict was for a substantial amount less than the Plaintiff had demanded to settle the claim prior to trial.

 

The IDC Quarterly Journal has published a featured article authored by John Watson

John F. Watson, Partner in the Mattoon office of Craig & Craig, published a featured article in the most recent IDC Quarterly Journal. The article followed the presentations made on October 5, 2010 at the joint symposium hosted by the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, the Chicago Bar Association, the Cook County Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association. The article is entitled “Judicial Selection: A Discussion of Elective and Appointed Systems in Light of Current Developments in the Law,” 21 IDC Quarterly J. 37 (2011).

 

John F. Watson is published in the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal

John F. Watson, Partner in the Mattoon office of Craig & Craig, and J. Matthew Anderson, an attorney with Webber & Thies in Champaign, Illinois, published an article on the Medical Peer Review Privilege in the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal for the Fall of 2010. The article is located at J. Watson & J. M. Anderson, “The Medical Peer Review Privilege: Illustrative Cases of the Public Policy Supporting the Privilege and a Practical Approach to Presenting the Case for Protection”, 46 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L. J. 95 (2011).

 

Julie A. Webb concludes Jury Trial

Julie A. Webb of the Mt. Vernon Office completed a jury trial on October2 8, 2010, in the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit, Lawrence County, Illinois, in the case of Sechrest v. Anthony’s Towne House Bar & Grill, Inc., et al, Case No. 2008-L-8. Mr. Sechrest sustained injury to his head and face including multiple facial fractures and a lacerated ear as the result of being beaten by a patron at the Defendant’s tavern. The Alleged Intoxicated Person was also named as a Defendant, but he settled with the Plaintiff before the jury returned its verdict. The jury found in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded damages of past medical expense of $15,000.00;disfigurement of $1,000.00; lost wages of $1,080.00; and pain and suffering and emotional distress of approximately $13,500.00 for a total verdict of$30,580.00. Plaintiff had asked the jury for $125,000.00. Prior to suit, the Defendants had declined to make an offer that would satisfy Plaintiff’s demands, and so the case was tried to verdict. The verdict was within the range anticipated by the defense and for a substantial amount less than Plaintiff would have accepted to settle the claim prior to trial.

 

John L. Barger recognized as a Leading Lawyer

John L. Barger, Partner in the Mattoon office, has been recognized as a 2010 Member of the Leading Lawyers Network. Mr. Barger was recommended as a Leading Lawyer in a state wide survey of more than 50,000 lawyers. Fewer than 5% of the lawyers in Illinois receive the distinction as being the Leading Lawyer.

 

Julie A. Webb recognized as a Leading Lawyer

Julie A. Webb, partner in the Mt. Vernon office, has been recognized as a 2009-2010 Member of the Leading Lawyers Network. Ms. Webb was recommended as a Leading Lawyer in a statewide survey of more than 50,000 lawyers. Fewer than 5% of the lawyers in Illinois receive the distinction of being a Leading Lawyer.

 

Paul Lynch Admitted to the American College of Trial Lawyers

Paul R. Lynch has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in America.  The induction ceremony at which Mr. Lynch became a Fellow took place on Saturday, October 10, 2009, before an audience of approximately 974 persons, during the 59th Annual Meeting of the College in Boston.  Mr. Lynch is a partner in the firm of Craig & Craig, where he has been employed since 1977, first at Mattoon, and, since 1986, in Mt. Vernon.  He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.  Mr. Lynch serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC), and is a member of the Jefferson County Bar Association.

 

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