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Illinois Criminal Evidentiary Rules: Expert Witnesses & Opinion Evidence

(531 reviews)

Produced on April 16, 2014

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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 7 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 opinion and expert testimony, including discussions of the Frye Rule, expert hearsay and exclusions of expert testimony.


Learning Objectives: 

I. Discuss the rules and case law governing the admission of opinion and expert testimony, including: 

  • Frye Rule
  • Expert hearsay
  • Exclusions of expert testimony



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Credit Information

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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


Suzanne d.

very interesting

Judith M.

Very good presentation.

Joseph S.


Janet S.

very informative.

Susan S.

Knowledgeable, engaging speaker.

Kisha R.

Very useful information for my practice area.

elizabeth v.

An excellent series!

Robert S.

Listened to all seven sections--cumulatively a v ery excellent series.

Joseph S.

excellent presentation...my favorite so far.

Merry R.

This was a great presentation. I would like to see more like this.

Maureen O.

interesting content. Haven't thought about the Fry Standard since bar review

William T.

Very useful for Illinois attorneys involved with trial work.

Rich W.

Excellent presentation.

Katherine P.

Good outline followed with case law! Thanks!

Benjamin P.

Outstanding. Great speaker: concise, articulate, informed. Nice overview of the relevant principles, without veering into esoteric territory.

Joseph S.

The speaker's knowledge of the civil expert admissibility cases was lacking somewhat.

Lawrence R. F.

very effective and knowledgeable speaker

Jon H.

Excellent lecture!

Steve G.

Would appreciate some time devotedto child witnesses.

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