Stimpert v. Abdnour, 36610

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Citation24 Ill.2d 26,179 N.E.2d 602
Docket NumberNo. 36610,36610
PartiesHerbert STIMPERT, Admr., Appellant, v. Richard ABDNOUR, Jr., et al., Appellees.
Decision Date23 January 1962

Page 602

179 N.E.2d 602
24 Ill.2d 26
Herbert STIMPERT, Admr., Appellant,
Richard ABDNOUR, Jr., et al., Appellees.
No. 36610.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
Jan. 23, 1962.

[24 Ill.2d 27]

Page 603

Kevin D. Kelly, La Salle, and McNeilly & Olivero, Peru, for appellant.

Zwanzig, Thompson & Lanuti, Ottawa, for appellees.


This case involves the construction of our Rule No. 19-5(1). (Ill.Rev.Stat.1959, chap. 110, par. 101.19-5.) Plaintiff was held in contempt and fined $100 by the trial court for refusal to comply with an order of the court requiring him to furnish defendants with a copy of a statement obtained by plaintiff and his attorney from the minor defendant prior to filing the suit. Plaintiff subjected himself to the contempt proceeding as an appropriate method of testing the validity of the pretrial order. (Kemeny v. Skorch, 22 Ill.App.2d 160, 159 N.E.2d 489.) Upon appeal from the judgment of contempt, the Appellate Court affirmed. We have granted leave to appeal because of the importance of the question involved.

Plaintiff's intesate, his minor son, lost his life while riding as a guest passenger in a 1953 Ford owned by the defendant Richard Abdnour, Sr., and driven by the minor defendant, Richard Abdnour, Jr. One week after the inquest, where young Abdnour declined to testify on advice of counsel, plaintiff and his attorney went to the high school where the decedent and young Abdnour had been close friends and students together, and took a question and answer statement from young Abdnour in the presence of a court reporter. Abdnour was questioned about the mechanical condition of his car and the recklessness and incompetence of his driving at the time of the accident. It is this statement which the plaintiff refused to produce on the order of the trial court. While we do not have the statement before us, it would seem from the complaint that [24 Ill.2d 28] the allegations of wilful and wanton misconduct on the part of young Abdnour, and the negligence of the senior Abdnour, are grounded in whole or in part from the information obtained during the taking of the statement. Among other things the complaint charges speeding, zigzagging across the center line, defective brakes, defective mechanical condition and a defective front wheel. The questions and answers were later transcribed and are in the possession of plaintiff's lawyer.

The record further shows that the plaintiff attended the inquest and presumably heard what transpired there; that both boys were minors; that they had ridden together

Page 604

frequently; that neither the plaintiff nor any members of his family had talked with young Abdnour prior to the statement; and that the statements of young Abdnour in the document are at variance with his pretrial deposition subsequently taken. In answer to interrogatories plaintiff readily admitted the taking of the statement and in open court offered to produce it for the court's examination on condition that it be neither shown to nor discussed with defense counsel. When ordered to produce the document for examination by defense counsel, plaintiff declined on the grounds that the document was exempt from pretrial discovery under our Rule No. 19-5(1), as a document prepared by or for a party in preparation for trial, and for the further reason that it was the work product of his attorney and was, for that reason, exempt. The finding of contempt and the imposition of the fine followed in due course.

Rule 19-5(1) provides as follows: 'All matters which are privileged against disclosure upon the trial are privileged against disclosure through any discovery procedure. Disclosure of memoranda, reports or documents made by or for a party in preparation for trial or any privileged communications between any party or his agent and the attorney[24 Ill.2d 29] for the party shall not be required through any discovery procedure.'

The issue in this case is whether a party may be...

To continue reading

Request your trial
28 cases
  • Buck v. Alton Memorial Hospital, 79-116
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 9, 1980 a means of ascertaining truth and to provide expeditious methods for the just disposition of litigation. (Stimpert v. Abdnour (1962), 24 Ill.2d 26, 31, 179 N.E.2d 602; Bee Chemical Co. v. Service Coatings, Inc. (1st Dist. 1969), 116 Ill.App.2d 217, 223, 253 N.E.2d 512; Washburn v. Termin......
  • Troyan v. Reyes, 3-05-0132.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • September 29, 2006
    ...of the trial as a means of ascertaining truth and to provide methods for prompt and just disposition of litigation (Stimpert v. Abdnour, 24 Ill.2d 26, 179 N.E.2d 602 (1962)); to effectuate the prompt and just disposition of litigation by educating the parties in advance of trial as to the r......
  • Consolidation Coal Co. v. Bucyrus-Erie Co.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • February 2, 1982
    ...complete invasion of counsel's files. (Monier v. Chamberlain (1966), 35 Ill.2d 351, 359, 221 N.E.2d 410; Stimpert v. Abdnour (1962), 24 Ill.2d 26, 31, 179 N.E.2d 602.) In the Federal courts, this material, generally referred to by commentators as "opinion" work-product (see, e.g., Comment, ......
  • Dameron v. Mercy Hosp. & Med. Ctr.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • November 19, 2020
    ...evidentiary details must, under our discovery rules, remain subject to the truth-seeking processes thereof"); Stimpert v. Abdnour , 24 Ill. 2d 26, 31, 179 N.E.2d 602 (1962) (observing that the work product "rule does not protect material and relevant evidentiary facts from the truth-seeking......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT