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Central Illinois

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.
John K. Kim has joined the Bloomington firm Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder. His practice includes defending health care professionals and institutions, advising employers in labor, employment, and immigration matters, and representing businesses and financial institutions in commercial litigation. He currently serves the ISBA as Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Judicial Evaluations - Outside Cook County. Kim practiced for the past five years in Peoria, most recently at Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC.
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the appointments of Michael L. Stroh and James D. Orel to the position of associate judge. Stroh will reside in the 11th Judicial Circuit and Orel in the 18th. Mr. Stroh received his undergraduate degree in 1993 from Southern Illinois University and his Juris Doctor in 1996 from Southern Illinois University. He is currently affiliated with the Woodford County State’s Attorney’s Office in Eureka. Mr. Orel received his undergraduate degree in 1976 from Illinois State University and his Juris Doctor in 1983 from John Marshall in Chicago. He is currently engaged in practice with Garretson, Santora, Urgo & Nugent in Wheaton.
The Illinois Supreme Court has recalled retired Circuit Judge Glenn H. Collier to hold court in the Circuit Court of the Tenth Judicial Circuit through July 6, 2011.
Former ISBA Director of Publications Virgil Everett Tipton Jr. passed away on Nov. 19 at Rosewood Care Center in Edwardsville. Mr. Tipton was a WWII veteran and received his journalism degree from the University of Missouri in 1948. He then moved to Springfield and began working at the State Journal-Register. He became editor of the Illinois Bar Journal in 1960, a position he held until 1982. Read the full obituary in the Springfield State Journal-Register.