First District Appellate Defines Abuse Of Discretion And Says Plaintiff Should Have Been Allowed To Cross Expert On Personal Practices

So what is an abuse of discretion? The definition bears repeating:

A trial court abuses its discretion only if it “act[s] arbitrarily without the employment of conscientious judgment, exceed[s] the bounds of reason and ignore[s] recognized principles of law … or if no reasonable person would take the position adopted by the court.”

In a medical malpractice case, plaintiff wanted to cross-examine the defense expert on his personal practices. The appellate court ruled that it was error for the trial court to preclude that cross-examination. The opinion did not state it was an abuse of discretion, but that’s the upshot. Take a look at Schmitz v. Binette, No. 1-05-2710 (10/13/06).