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The Special Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence will hold public hearings on proposed new rules codifying Illinois evidence law at the following locations:

  • Tuesday, May 18, 10 a.m.: Supreme Court Building, 160 N. LaSalle, Room C-500, Chicago
  • Thursday, May 20, 10 a.m.: Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 3101 Old Jacksonville Road, Springfield

The proposed new rules are available on the Supreme Court website.

The Special Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence invites public comments on the proposed rules. Written comments should be submitted by Tuesday, May 4, 2010, to: Special Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence, c/o Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 222 N. LaSalle Street, 13th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601

This statue commemorates Abraham Lincoln's request for a "Writ of quietus" to silence the swine under the original Christian County Courthouse in Taylorville.

By Judge Ron Spears

Only three courthouses have been built on the same two-acre public square to serve the needs of the people of Christian County since the county’s creation in 1839. These courthouses have centered the community, not just symbolically, but literally by occupying the center of the main square of the county seat in Taylorville. On that plot of ground have walked Lincoln, Douglas, Vandeveer, and some of the other important figures of Illinois legal history. The stories of these historic courthouses and the people and events linked to them are an important part of the development of the county.

After the county was created by legislation in 1839 (originally Dane County), the first courthouse was completed in 1840 at a cost of $2,350. Court was held on the ground floor with other county offices on the second. Lincoln practiced law in this courthouse - which was his last stop while riding the Eighth Judicial Circuit. During one trial the hogs wallowing under the courthouse made so much noise that Lincoln humorously asked Judge David Davis for a “Writ of quietus” to direct the Sheriff to quiet the swine. This original courthouse is now reconstructed at the Christian County Historical Museum.

The second courthouse was completed in 1856 at a cost of around $15,000.

The Lawyers’ Assistance Program has been assisting Illinois lawyers, judges, law students and their families with alcohol, substance abuse and mental health issues since 1980. The backbone of LAP is its hundreds of trained volunteers. In this, our 30th year, LAP has created the Joseph R. Bartylak Award to be awarded to a deserving volunteer annually. The first recipient is John Huffman of Carbondale.

Joe Bartylak has been involved with LAP since its inception and served as the Associate Director from 2002-2007.  Joe also served as Director of Land of Lincoln Legal Services for many years. In recognition of Joe, John and all of our volunteers, LAP will have a dinner on March 26 at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. Justice Lloyd Karmeier of the Illinois Supreme Court has graciously agreed to be our keynote speaker.

Contact Jim Radcliffe, a retired judge from St. Clair County and current Associate Director of LAP, at for more information.

This historic painting was used as the rendering for the century-old murals on the walls and ceilings of the Supreme Court courtroom. Photo credit/Mark Skube

The Illinois Supreme Court convened in special session on Tuesday to unveil an historic painting which was used as the rendering for the century-old murals on the walls and ceilings of the Supreme Court courtroom.

Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald presided at the ceremony.

The artwork, which had fallen into disrepair over the past 100 years, was donated by the family of the artist, Albert Krehbiel. Through the auspices of the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission, the family also paid for all costs of restoration, framing and display.

Justices Rita B. Garman and Anne M. Burke, Supreme Court liaisons to the Commission, spoke at the unveiling. Jerold Solovy, a well-known Chicago attorney and chairman of the Commission, also made comments.

The art will be displayed for the public beginning today, March 10, in the former Illinois Appellate courtroom in the Supreme Court Building at 2nd Street and Capitol Avenue.