The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois on March 9, 2008 · Page 110
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The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois · Page 110

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Arlington Heights, Illinois
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Sunday, March 9, 2008
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Page 110
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MfifS SECTION 1 DAILY HERALD SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2008 F12M Close: Settlement between district, families could still come Continued from Page 1 deposition must be cleared by the court. Lawyers from Futterman & Howard, the law firm representing the Elgin families, have taken three depositions to date, attorney Carol Ashley said. The three all were involved with the district's handling of electronically stored information. Ashley plans to take more than 30 more depositions, from school board members, district administrators and key staff members. The district's lawyers already have said they oppose Ashley's plan to exceed the normal court limit. That means a battle will ensue, and add to the total cost of the case. Attorneys for the district so far have deposed 10 witnesses, said Patricia Whitten, with Franczek Sullivan. "As of right now we don't intend to take any more," Whitten said. Once the witness depositions are done, there will be depositions of each side's "experts" — people identified by each side to have credentials and expertise in areas related to the lawsuit. These depositions generally include travel, hotel and per diem costs, lawyers' fees and experts' fees. Typically, expert depositions are the final phase of discovery. Legal fern so far Here's how much Elgin Area School District U-46 says it has spent fighting a lawsuit charging discrimination. Ho08n « Malison legal tecs 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 Total $5,064 $358,020 $703,595 $968,855 $783,834 $2,819,368 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 Total $296,675 $546,141 $558,878 $1,679,719 Dr. Beatriz Arias, consultant 2004-2008 Cost to date $114,330 $4,613,417 Franczek Sullivan legal fees 2004-2005 $278,024 A status hearing with Mason, set for March 20, likely will establish a time- Source: Elgin Area School District U-46 line for the actions both sides need to take in the coming months. "After setting deposition deadlines, the judge will have to set a date for summary judgment," said Mark Weber, a civil law professor at DePaul University. During summary judgment, a judge can make a ruling based on evidence without going to trial. Summary judgment can take four or more months, Weber said. If summary judgment is not granted, the case will proceed to trial. Along the way, the topic of settlement will arise from time to time. All along, both sides have said — more or less — that they would be open to settlement talks. But those talks haven't happened since 2004, before the lawsuit was filed. "Our approach is to always try and settle these cases," Ashley said. "You want to get remedies to the kids as soon as possible." The extent of defense fees is important, says North-" western's Elson, because they set "a sort of benchmark for settlement costs." Some of those costs could include covering the plaintiff's attorney fees — which, in this case likely will exceed? district expenses. Settlement costs alsq could include implementing! and then monitoring the'J remedies Ashley referred tol such as changes in district^ personnel and/or programs. ' "In this particular case, they could be very steep," Elson said. 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Wednesday THE EINSTEIN ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL FOR ACADEMICALLY TALENTED STUDENTS • Fully accredited, the only private high school in this area dedicated solely to gifted students • Classes limited to 12 students for individualized attention • Challenging AP and honors courses • Earn dual high school/college credits at Elgin Community College. You can get a full year of college credit before entering university! • Now enrolling for 2008-09. For information, call Susie Newman, High School Coordinator, at (847) 697-3836. 747 Davis Road Elgin, IL 60123 847.697.3836^ www.einsteinacademy.us The Dailv Herald readies /5(),()()() readers each dav. •: <«*r " in op* ••* "i,~j •T ,J.", - . *>«sS v"' ' PRICE MELTDOWN Save up to 50% We're having a PRICE MELTDOWN as we celebrate our anniversary at the Geneva Red Wing Shoe Store! Come in to save up to 50% off your favorite footwear. SAVE $25 on any regularly priced Red Wing work boots or shoes. SAVE $15 on any regularly priced men's casual shoes. 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Not valid with any other offer. All sales final. Limit one coupon per customer pet day. Sale ends 03/16/06. Promo Code 43-39. V

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