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Central Illinois

M. Carol Pope
Justice Carol Pope, currently serving on the Fourth District Appellate Court, has announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Justice Sue Myerscough to the Federal District Court. Justice Pope has served on the appellate court since Dec. 1, 2008. Prior to that she served for 17 years as the Resident Circuit Judge of Menard County in the 8th Judicial Circuit. Justice Pope also served as the Menard County State’s Attorney from 1984-1991. Justice Pope graduated magna cum laude in 1975 from the University of Illinois, where she was named to the Bronze Tablet, the university’s highest recognition of academic excellence. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree with honor from DePaul University College of Law in 1979 where she was Lead Articles Editor of the Law Review. Justice Pope, by the election of her peers, currently serves as Third Vice President of the Illinois Judges’ Association (IJA), an organization of over 1,100 active and retired judges. She will serve as President of the IJA in 2013-2014.
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride has developed a screening process to interview and assess the qualifications of applicants to the position of Circuit Court Judge in the Tenth Judicial Circuit. Request an application at
The VanFleet Law Offices proudly announce they have relocated their business and commercial law practice firm from downtown Peoria to a more practical location in Peoria’s northern business district. To better serve client needs, the firm is now conveniently located at 7817 N. Knoxville Avenue (Corner of Knoxville and Pioneer Parkway).  All other contact information remains the same.
  • VanFleet Law Offices
  • 7817 N. Knoxville Ave.
  • Peoria, IL 61614
  • Telephone: 309-672-2200
  • Facsimile: 309-672-2201

Robert F. Russell
Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. has elected Attorney Robert F. Russell of Princeton, Ill., as the chairman of its board of directors. Russell is a partner in the Princeton law firm Russell, English, Scoma & Beneke. He is the third generation of Russells to practice law in Princeton, following his father, Fred G. Russell, and his grandfather, Judge R. L. Russell, who first opened his office in Princeton in 1897. ATG is widely known as an advocate for both lawyers and the clients they serve. Subsidiary companies owned and operated by ATG include:  ATG Legal Education, LLC; ATG LegalServe; ATG Trust Company; The Judicial Sales Corporation; and NLT Title, LLC. “It is my goal to maintain ATG’s industry-wide reputation as the premier lawyer service organization for both the legal profession and for the public,” Russell said. “We have the right people to ensure we continue providing unsurpassed service to attorneys and their clients. Being chosen to lead this complex and innovative company during a time of extreme uncertainty in the national real estate market is a true honor.  I look forward to working with our management team and my fellow board members to meet and surmount the challenges that face us.” Peter J.
President Mark Hassakis and Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride are welcomed by Lawyers Assistance Program president Sheila Murphy to the 2nd Annual Joseph R. Bartylak Dinner at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield March 25. Kilbride was featured speaker at the dinner. Retired appellate justice Tobias Barry of Ladd and retired circuit judge E. Michael O'Brien of Peoria were presented the Joseph R. Bartylak Volunteer Service Award. President Hassakis and past ISBA presidents Herb Franks of Marengo and Timothy Bertschy of Peoria were singled out by Murphy for their long support of LAP.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it has recalled retired Appellate Court Justice Robert W. Cook and assigned him to the Fourth Judicial District Appellate Court to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Hon. Sue E. Myerscough upon her appointment as a federal district judge for the Central District of Illinois. His assignment will be effective April 1, 2011 and will terminate on December 3, 2012. Appellate Justice Cook graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. degree in History. He received his juris doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1967. After graduation, he entered the United States Marine Corps as a captain, serving with the Judge Advocate General from 1967 to 1970, and in Vietnam from 1969 to1970. Before his initial appointment to the bench, Appellate Justice Cook worked as an attorney with the law firm of Schmiedeskamp, Robertson, Neu & Mitchell in Quincy from 1970-1981. From 1983 to 1991, Appellate Justice Cook served as a Circuit Court Judge in Adams County. He was appointed to the Fourth Judicial District Appellate Court in 1991. He was subsequently elected in 1994 and was retained in 2004. The Fourth Judicial District is comprised of 30 counties across central Illinois. Those counties are: Adams, Pike, Calhoun, Schuyler, Brown, Scott, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Morgan, Cass, Mason, Menard, Sangamon, Logan, DeWitt, Macon, Piatt, Moultrie, McLean, Woodford, Livingston, Ford, Champaign, Douglas, Coles, Cumberland, Clark, Edgar and Vermilion.

John Olivero
John Olivero, 86, of Peru, IL, a devoted family man, passed away quietly on March 1, 2011 at Illinois Valley Community Hospital, Peru, IL. Mr. Olivero was born on August 18, 1924 and was raised in Dalzell. He graduated from Hall Township High School, Spring Valley and then entered LaSalle-Peru-Oglesby Junior College. While attending college, John was drafted into military service during World War II. He served in General Patton’s 3rd Army during the historic race to Berlin in the 1944/45 Campaigns. He was a Sergeant and Heavy Machine Gun Operator in the 242nd Regiment of the 42nd Rainbow Division of the 3rd Army. His service lasted almost 4 years and included combat in France, Germany, Austria and Italy. He received decorations for his campaigns in France and Germany. His service ended as part of the U.S. occupational force in Austria after the fighting ended. Like most World War II Veterans, he rarely talked about his service but he participated in Veteran’s Day ceremonies with his son, John Paul, who is also a Veteran, at his granddaughter Shana’s grade school and also spoke to her class. After serving our country, John re-entered and graduated from L.P.O. Junior College. John then attended the University of Illinois-Champaign, where he graduated with a law degree on June 18, 1950 and became licensed as an attorney on November 29, 1950. For more than 55 years John was devoted to the practice of law in his offices in Peru and Tonica, where his daughter, Lisa, who is also an attorney, joined him in 1982. He was an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the LaSalle County Bar Association. John was honored by the Illinois State Bar Association in 2000 for 50 years of distinguished service as an attorney. John served on the Board of Directors of the Illini State Bank in Tonica, Lostant and Oglesby for 22 years, which he enjoyed immensely.

Gerald P. Rodeen
Gerald P. "Gerry" Rodeen, 63, a Paxton attorney, died on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, at rural Loda. Gerry was born April 14, 1947, in Paxton, the son of Karl Marcus and Mary Louise Kennedy Rodeen. He married Katherine M. Hustedt on July 6, 1975, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Buckley. She survives. Gerry was a graduate of Paxton Community High School and earned his B.S. in accounting in 1969 and his J.D. in 1973, both from Indiana University. Upon graduation from Indiana University in 1969, Gerry was employed by Touche Ross Certified Public Accountants for a year and a half prior to re-enrolling at the university to pursue his law degree. While at the university, he received the American Jurisprudence Award in Tort Law and prepared a revision of the state of Indiana parole law. After receiving his J.D. in 1973, he began practice as Gerald P. Rodeen and Associates, Ltd., in Paxton and later purchased the sole practice of Sidney H. Dilks. He concentrated his practice in personal injury litigation, workers' compensation, criminal defense and family law. He had extensive trial experience, having successfully represented criminal defendants in first-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping, rape and other criminal felony jury trials. He participated in and argued civil and criminal appeals in the Illinois Appellate Court and Supreme Court. He was a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Indiana State Bar Association, Ford County Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and served on the board of managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

Chatham Glenwood won the 2011 ISBA High School Mock Trial Invitational. Members of the team included: front (left to right):  Ben Shane, Samuel Adkisson, Kelly Franklin, Coach Christine Self, Zane Carmean; back (left to right):  Jansen Eaton, Luke Folkerts, Travis Farris, Tylar Midden, Skylar Midden, Quinn Marschik
Chatham Glenwood High School placed first in the 29th annual Illinois State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitational held at the University of Illinois at Springfield on Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, 2011. Timothy Christian High School in Elmhurst came in second place, and tying for third were Glenbard East High School in Lombard and Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale. Teams from 47 Illinois high schools traveled to Springfield to participate in the program. Chatham Glenwood High School will represent the state of Illinois at the National High School Mock Trial Championship which will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, May 5-7, 2011. “The mock trial program is a rare opportunity for Illinois high school students to compete in a high-level academic endeavor,” says Pablo A. Eves of Bloomington, chair of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Law-Related Education for the Public, which conducts the program.