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Illinois Supreme Court

Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for an At-Large Circuit Court vacancy in the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Claudia Anderson on November 30, 2016. Judge Anderson has been a Circuit Judge since 1998.

Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier
Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier
The Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier was installed Monday as Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court in a ceremony at the Supreme Court Building in Springfield.

Justice Rita B. Garman administered the oath of office. Speakers included Supreme Court Justices Anne M. Burke, Robert R. Thomas and retired Justice Philip J. Rarick.

Chief Justice Karmeier's brother, Del Karmeier, gave the invocation and the Karmeier grandchildren led the pledge of allegiance.

Chief Justice Karmeier, of Nashville, Illinois, is this State’s 120th Chief Justice and the second person from Washington County to hold that office. Justice Byron O. House, for whom Chief Justice Karmeier served as a law clerk, was the first.

The elevation of Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier to become Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court will be marked by an installation ceremony Monday, October 31, at the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield.

Justice Karmeier will become the 120th Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.

“I appreciate the confidence shown by the other members of the court in electing me to this position,” Chief Justice Karmeier said. “Since joining the court in 2004, I have had the privilege of serving under five different chief justices, all of whom have done an outstanding job. I will do my very best to live up to the high standard they have set.”

Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Gerald V. Cleary as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 10th Subcircuit.

Judge Cleary was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Donald J. Suriano, who is retiring on Nov. 2, 2016.

The appointment takes effect Nov. 3, 2016 and will terminate on Dec. 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursdays's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the Civil case Carney v. Union Pacific R.R. Co. and the criminal cases People v. Jones and People v. Minnis.

CIVIL

Carney v. Union Pacific R.R. Co.

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

In affirming the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant Union Pacific, and reversing the appellate court, which had decided this case with a Rule 23 Order, the supreme court significantly examined three sections of the Restatement (Second) of Torts which are frequently invoked in cases involving injuries during construction.  Justice Theis wrote for the court.  Justice Kilbride dissented.

The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is a multistate bar examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which has been adopted in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Administered over two days, the UBE consists of: (a) the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) - a 200- question multiple-choice test; (b) the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) - six essay questions on general principles of law; and (c) the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) - two hypothetical legal assignments requiring examinees to complete the tasks in writing. Persons who take the UBE receive a portable score, which, if high enough, will be accepted by any UBE jurisdiction as a passing score on its bar exam for a specific time period.

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a new rule and amended another to address the use of restraints on a minor in delinquency proceedings arising under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

The new rule and rule changes take effect November 1, 2016.

New Supreme Court Rule 943 (Use of Restraints on a Minor in Delinquency Proceedings Arising Under the Juvenile Court Act) provides that instruments of restraint shall not be used on a minor during a court proceeding unless the court finds, after a hearing, that such restraints are necessary to prevent physical harm to the minor or another, the minor has a history of disruptive behavior that presents a risk of harm, or there is a well-founded belief that the minor presents a substantial flight risk. Amendments were also adopted to Rule 941 to state that the rules in Article IX apply to all juvenile delinquency proceedings filed under Article V of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

Christopher Bonjean
Christopher Bonjean
The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Christopher Bonjean as Director of the Office of Communications and Public Information, effective October 3, 2016. He will head a newly reorganized communications operation, which has been charged with developing strategies to inform and educate a diverse public about the judicial branch of state government and promote public confidence in the administration of justice.

Chief Justice Rita Garman explained that the impetus to expand and emphasize the public information function came, in part, from the results of a survey conducted in the spring of 2015. Under the leadership of Fourth District Appellate Justice Carol Pope, chairperson of the Court’s Strategic Planning Committee, the survey was carried out in every courthouse in the state. Questionnaires were distributed to all users of the court facility including parties, witnesses, jurors, and other visitors.

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on September 22, 2016, during the September Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Joel S. Alpert, Buffalo Grove

Mr. Alpert, who was licensed in 1987, was disbarred. He engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by agreeing to represent a client while still serving a two-year suspension for previous misconduct. He also fabricated court documents in order to mislead his client into believing that she was represented by a law firm not involved in the matter. 

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in Kakos v. Butler, Bayer v. Panduit Corp., Moon v. Rhode, and J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC v. Wild, Inc.

Kakos v. Butler

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

In Kakos v. Butler, the court unanimously affirmed Judge Gomolinski’s judgment in the circuit court that the 6-person jury regime established by Public Act 98-1132 is facially unconstitutional.  Chief Justice Garman wrote for the court.