On September 17, 2008 a jury was selected. Opening arguments and testimony commenced on September 18, 2008 and continued daily until September 26. On September 29, closing arguments were heard and the jury deliberated for one hour and fifty minutes before reaching not guilty verdicts on all charges, two of which were for breach of contract and the third was based on tortious interference with contract. Judge Bartkowicz presided.
Several instructions were ordered during motions in limine immediately prior to trial. Plaintiff was granted a motion to limit defense testimony regarding the most important example of adverse behavior by defendant, but in so doing limited his own ability to bring it forth during testimony in a way that plaintiff believes allowed defendant to present a defense without plaintiff having an appropriate response.
Jury instructions were such that if they felt plaintiff had done anything deemed as inadequate performance of contract obligations, defendants would not be evaluated for their performance. Jury ruled that they felt this was the case. Plaintiff believes this was due to his inability respond to plaintiffs defense based on the aforementioned motion in limine. Plaintiff also contends that the defense benefited from the standard of this instruction because the free tutoring breach of contract and spoliation claims that were granted summary judgment would have withstood the standard based on defenses presented.
Vernón was represented by Elaine Siegel (ELAINE K.B. SIEGEL & ASSOC., P..C., 39 South LaSalle Street, Suite 617, Chicago, Illinois 60603, (312) 236-8088, EKBSiegel@aol.com). Defendants were represented by Jeff Nowak of Franczek Sullivan, PC.
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