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On Demand Audio

Illinois Criminal Evidentiary Rules: Character Evidence

(787 reviews)

Produced on April 14, 2014

Taught by
$ 59 Litigation In Stock

Course Information

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Categories Litigation

Course Description

Illinois has finally adopted formal rules of evidence. Despite the declared intentions of the drafters, these rules do not fully harmonize with Illinois’ common law of evidence and the ad hoc modifications of those rules enacted by the legislature over the years. In Part 2 of his 7-part series entitled "Old Wine in a New Bottle: Illinois Law of Evidence and New Rules of Evidence for Criminal Defense," attorney Stephen L. Richards discusses the rules and case law governing the admission of character evidence, habit evidence, and other crimes, wrongs, and bad acts. 


Learning Objectives:

I. Grasp rules and case law governing the admission of Character evidence including:

  • What traits are admissible
  • Proof by Reputation
  • Proof By Opinion
  • Attacks and Instruction on General Character

II. Know rules and case law governing the admission of Habit Evidence

III. Comprehend rules and case law governing the admission of other crimes, wrongs, and bad acts


Stephen Richards

Law Office of Stephen L. Richards

Areas of Practice

• Murder -- Homicide -- Death Penalty Cases

• Serious Felonies

• Drug / Weapons Cases

• Appeals -- Post-Convictions

• Sentencing -- Mitigation

• Civil Rights/1983

• Legal Education

• Legal Ethics

Litigation Percentage

• 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

• Certified Lead Counsel, Capital Litigation Trial Bar, Illinois Supreme Court, 2001

Bar Admissions

• Illinois, 1985

• U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2008


• Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York

  o J.D. - 1983

  o Honors: Order of Barristers, Moot Court

• University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

  o B.A.

  o Honors: With Honors 

  o Major: History

Published Works

• Reasonable Doubt Redux, 34 John Marshall L. Rev. 495, 2001

• The Admissibility of Expert Testimony, American Bar Association, 2003

Representative Cases

• People v. Terry Griggs, 152 Ill.2d 1, 604 N.E.2d 257 (Ill. S. Ct. 1992)

• People v. Arthur King, 154 Ill.2d 217, 608 N.E.2d 877 (Ill. S. Ct. 1993)


• New Ideas for Jury Selection, Illinois Public Defender Association, 2007

• Capital Jury Selection, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal, 2007

Honors and Awards

• Kutak-Dodds Award, Defender Prize, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, 2003

Professional Associations and Memberships

• Illinois Public Defender Association, President, 2006 - 2008

• Illinois Public Defender Association, Board Member, 2000 - Present

Past Employment Positions

• Office of the State Appellate Defender, Deputy Defender, 2000 - 2008

• Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender, 1989 - 2000


Carl R.

Very helpful!

Suzanne d.

Excellent lecture

Joseph S.


Janet S.

Speaker presented the information on character evidence concisely.

Susan S.

Good discussion; covered relevant topics.

Robert S.

thought this was his best presentation in the series.

Thomas S.

Very good in both content and delivery

Benjamin P.

Strong and cogent presentation.

JoAnn B.

Engaging speaker well delivered relevamt material, thank you.

Carey L.

Well done! Mr. Richards does a great job on these.

Laura L.

Great speaker. Like the focus on Il law

deirdre a c.

good lecture

Stevan K.

Great stuff.

Elisa D.

This is extremely informative and very worth hearing.

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