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Central Illinois


Volunteers are needed for the 2016 ISBA High School Mock Trial Invitational at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign. It will be held the weekend of April 2-3.

If you would like to volunteer for the 2016 Invitational, please register by going to: www.isba.org/teachers/mocktrial and clicking on the red button that says “Sign up to volunteer.” 

If you have already registered, thank you!  You will receive e-mails closer to the event providing you with more information about the program, a schedule, and logistics, such as parking information.

William C. (Bill) Prather, 94, of Toledo, Illinois died on Saturday morning, January 16, 2016 while recuperating at Cumberland Rehab & Health Care, Greenup, Illinois. Respecting the wishes of William C. Prather, no funeral nor memorial service is scheduled. 

Bill Prather was born February 20, 1921 in Toledo, the only child of Hollie Cartmill Prather and Effie Ferne (Deppen) Prather. He is survived by several cousins and many friends. 

Bill was a 1938 graduate of Casey High School, Casey, IL. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1942 where, with Betty Stiglitz, he was Co-President of the Student Government Association. Bill received his Juris Doctorate degree, also from the University of Illinois, in 1947 and was admitted to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court that same year. Bill was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court in 1978. 

John Dickason
John Dickason
Former ISBA Executive Director John H. Dickason, 84, of Coral Gables, FL passed away February 2, 2016. He was born June 3, 1931 in Wooster, OH, a twin son of the late Donald E. and Martha (Hamilton) Dickason. He graduated from Champaign, IL High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Business Administration from Dartmouth College. John and his wife Barbara (Bobbie) were married June 20, 1953 in Christ Episcopal Church, Bronxville, NY. He served in the U.S. Army (1954-1956).

He was Director of Administrative Services for the Illinois State Bar Association from 1960-1970 and then served as Executive Director until 1985. In 1985 he became the Vice President for Finance and Administration of the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust which assisted basic medical researchers.  

Charles Palmer
Charles Palmer
Charles L. "Charlie" Palmer, 84, of Savoy passed away at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana on Wednesday morning (Jan. 13, 2016) with his family by his side.

Charlie was born on May 18, 1931, to Walter and Gertrude June (McKinley) Palmer in Champaign. He was married to Barbara Palmer from 1957 to 1974. He married Roberta "Bobbie" Palmer on June 9, 1975, in Champaign.

Charlie, a 1957 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, practiced in Champaign County for 53 years. The majority of his career was in private practice at Franklin, Flynn & Palmer (now Flynn, Palmer, Tague & Jacobson). Previously he served as assistant state's attorney and assistant city attorney for Champaign as well as interim public defender for Champaign County and outside counsel for the University of Illinois.

Alicia Washington
Alicia Washington
The Tenth Judicial Circuit judges have voted to select Alicia N. Washington as an associate judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Washington is a lifelong resident of Peoria. She received her undergraduate degree in 1995 from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois, Master's Degree in 1997 from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and her Juris Doctor in 2001 from Michigan State University College of Law in Lansing, MI. Ms. Washington is currently an attorney with the Janssen Law Center. Prior to joining the Janssen Law Center, she worked as a staff attorney for Prairie State Legal Services, an organization that offers free legal services for low-income persons and senior citizens.

The swearing in for Ms. Washington will be held on Friday, January 29, 2016 at 3 p.m. at the Peoria County Courthouse. Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride will preside.

The national law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP announced that Judge Richard E. Eagleton has retired from private practice. Judge Eagleton, formerly of counsel in Hinshaw's Government Practice Group, joined the firm in 1990 and practiced with Hinshaw until his retirement.

Judge Eagleton previously was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Peoria from 1961–1964 and the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois from 1965–1969. He is the only Peorian to have served as a U.S. Attorney. After that, he was a circuit court judge in Illinois' 10th Judicial Circuit for 20 years, including three years as chief judge. His long and storied career also includes 34 years of service in the U.S. Naval Reserve, including two years as Chief Judge of the Naval Reserve Trial Judiciary. Judge Eagleton retired from military service as a captain in the JAG Corps.


Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman (left) swore-in Springfield attorney Jennifer M. Ascher as a Sangamon County Associate Judge on Monday. Ms. Ascher was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the impending retirement of Associate Judge Steven H. Nardulli.

Ascher received her undergraduate degree in 1999 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Juris Doctor in 2003 from Saint Louis University School of Law. She is currently a partner at Sorling Northrup, where she has practiced family law nearly exclusively for the past 12 years. During her tenure, she represented clients in Sangamon County and surrounding counties. She is a Springfield native where she resides with her family.

Ms. Ascher previously served as president of the Central Illinois Women’s Bar Association and the Sangamon County Bar Association.

The law firm of Denby, Meno, Bloomer & Denby is pleased to announce that Nicole K. Thomas has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

Nicole is a graduate of Carlinville High School and obtained her undergraduate degree from SIU Carbondale and law degree from St. Louis University. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and Macoupin County Bar Association, and is available for client appointments in the firm's Carlinville and Staunton offices.


Fourth Circuit Judge Ronald Spears (left) was honored at a retirement party Dec. 18 in Taylorville. Judge Spears retired after 22 years of service in Christian County. ISBA Past President J. Timothy Eaton (right), Judge Spears' law school roommate, spoke in his honor.

When Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman asked William McCleery to speak at the 2015 Admission Ceremony for the Fourth Judicial District in Springfield on November 6, he humbly accepted. Among the fifty-two lawyers to be sworn in from the fourth district, was his son, Daniel McCleery. William said “I was honored to address this talented group of young men and women and take great pride knowing Daniel was one of them.”