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Central Illinois

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.

Melvin O. Moehle
Melvin Otto Moehle, 88, of Washington, Ill., passed away on Friday, Feb. 18, at Washington Christian Village. Melvin was born Sept. 17, 1922, in Okawville, Ill., to Walter A. and Minna Miche Moehle. He married Loraine Niermann on May 5, 1945, in Nashville, Ill. She preceded him in death on Dec. 9, 2007. Mel graduated from Washington University in 1944, where he was a member and served as president of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He was a World War II Navy veteran, serving aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Solomons, achieving the rank of lieutenant. After serving in active duty, he graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1948. In 1950, he and Loraine moved to Washington, where he worked for the law firm Heyl, Royster & Voelker in Peoria.

Elizabeth J. Cervantes

Jeffrey D. Jacobs
Jeffrey D. Jacobs and Elizabeth J. Cervantes have joined the Moline firm of Bozeman, Neighbour, Patton & Noe, LLP as associates. Mr. Jacobs graduated from Drake University magna cum laude and from Chicago Kent School of law.  He is licensed in Illinois.  His practice concentration is in the business area, including transactional work and resolution of disputes. Ms. Cervantes is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the Iowa Law School.  She is in general practice with an emphasis on litigation.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is accepting applications from all qualified applicants for the position of Federal Public Defender for the Central District of Illinois headquartered in Peoria. The current Federal Public Defender, Richard Parsons, will be retiring on Aug. 18, 2011, after 16 years of service. The appointment is for four years at a current salary of $155,500. The Federal Public Defender provides federal criminal defense services to individuals unable to afford counsel. The courts are an equal opportunity employer. An applicant should have the following qualifications: (1) a member in good standing in the bar of each state in which admitted to practices; (2) a minimum of five years criminal practice experience, preferably with significant experience in federal criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels, which demonstrates an ability to provide zealous representation of consistently high quality to criminal defendants; (3) the ability to effectively administer the office; (4) a reputation for integrity; (5) a commitment to the representation of those unable to afford counsel; and (6) have demonstrated a commitment to equal justice under the law. Applications can be obtained by accessing the website of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at Complete applications are due before the close of business on April 1, 2011, and are to be sent to: Collins T. Fitzpatrick Circuit Executive United State Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 219 S. Dearborn Street, Rm. 2780 Chicago, Illinois 60604
Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride of the Illinois Supreme Court will be the keynote speaker at the Second Annual Joseph R. Bartylak Award Dinner on Friday, March 25, at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. The Lawyers’ Assistance Program has been confidentially 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. Last year LAP created the Joseph R. Bartylak Award to be awarded annually to deserving ‘downstate’ volunteers.  Joe Bartylak, who passed away last summer, served LAP since its inception as an incorporator, volunteer, Board member and as the Associate Director from 2002-2007. Joe also served as Director of Land of Lincoln Legal Services for many years. This year we will honor retired Justice Tobias G. Barry of Ladd and retired Judge E. Michael O’Brien of Peoria. Both are long time LAP volunteers and exemplify the qualities that Joe brought to this important work. Dinner tickets are $75 per person. If you are interested in attending, please contact James Radcliffe, Associate Director, at
Raymond H. Ray" Mason, 93, who founded Morton's first law office, passed away on Jan. 13 at Apostolic Christian Restmor in Morton. He received his bachelor's degree, in marketing, in 1942 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where, during the big band era, he played drums for four years with the Johnny Bruce Orchestra. A World War II and Korean War Army veteran, he served from 1942 to 1946 and from 1951 to 1952, graduating from Officer Candidate School and the Command and General Staff School, where he prepared for the anticipated invasion of Japan. He attained the rank of Captain. He served in the Army Reserve from 1946 to 1951. A lifetime member, former president and 50-year honoree of the Tazewell County Bar Association, he also was a lifetime member of the American and Illinois State Bar Associations and a past member of the Illinois State Bar Association's Committee on Judicial Advisory Polls. The ISBA named him a Senior Counsellor in 1999. Click here to read the full obituary

Beth Jensen
The law firm of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP, has announced the opening of an office in Peoria.  The law firm, whose 30 lawyers represent over 150 school districts and municipalities throughout Illinois, currently has offices in Arlington Heights and Belleville. “We are committed to serving our clients,” said Robert Kohn, managing partner of the firm.  “We recently have been retained by Peoria Public Schools District 150 on several projects.  The Peoria office will allow us to better serve not only the Peoria School District but all of our clients in Central Illinois.” Joining the firm is Elizabeth Jensen, who will be the partner in charge of the Peoria office.  Ms.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday that Thomas E. Griffith, Jr., an attorney for 25 years, has been appointed a circuit judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Mr. Griffith was appointed to fill the Circuit Court vacancy created by the November 3, 2010 retirement of Judge Theodore E. Paine. The appointment is effective February 4, 2011 and will expire December 3, 2012. Justice Rita B. Garman recommended the appointment of Mr. Griffith after a review process by a special citizen screening committee. The committee unanimously recommended Mr. Griffith to fill the at-large circuit court vacancy. Mr. Griffith graduated cum laude from Millikin University with a B.A. degree in History. He received his juris doctor degree from Tulsa University Law School in 1985. Before his appointment to the bench, Mr. Griffith worked for 23 years as a partner with the law firm of Erickson, Davis, Murphy, Johnson, Griffith & Walsh, Ltd. in Decatur. From 1985 to 1987, Mr. Griffith served as Macon County assistant state’s attorney. He has been a member of the Capital Litigation Trial Bar since September 2002. A resident of Decatur, Mr. Griffith is married with four children. The Sixth Judicial Circuit is comprised of six counties: Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that the Ninth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Heidi A. Benson as an associate judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Ms. Benson received her undergraduate degree in 1994 from Knox College, Galesburg, and her Juris Doctor in 1997 from the University of Illinois. Ms. Benson is currently affiliated with Flack, McRaven & Stephens in Macomb.