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Illinois Supreme Court

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Skokie Castings, Inc. v. Illinois Insurance Guarnty Fund, Performance Marketing Association, Inc. v. Hamer, The Board of Education of Peoria School District No. 150 v. The Peoria Federation of Support Staff, Relf v. Shatayeva and Prazen v. Shoop.

Skokie Castings, Inc. v. Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

The Illinois Supreme Court finds no distinction between primary and excess workers’ compensation policies in applying the workers’ compensation exception to the statutory cap of the Illinois Guaranty Fund.  The court ruled in favor of an employer obligated to pay lifetime benefits to a seriously injured employee, where the employer’s excess insurer became insolvent.

Jerry A. Esrig
Jerry A. Esrig
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Friday the appointment of Evanston attorney Jerry A. Esrig as Cook County Circuit Judge in the Ninth Judicial Subcircuit.

Mr. Esrig, a resident of the Ninth Subcircuit, was appointed by the Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Allen S. Goldberg. The appointment is effective October 30, 2013 and will terminate December 1, 2014, when the position is filled by the 2014 General Election.

Justice Mary Jane Theis recommended the appointment to the Supreme Court after she announced an open application process and after the candidates were reviewed by bar associations and Justice Theis' bipartisan screening committee.

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman asks Illinois Supreme Court Justice and former ISBA Board member Mary Jane Theis about how the court selects its cases, the justices living together in Springfield and the court's move to Chicago for this term.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the 10th Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Kirk D. Schoenbein as an associate judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Schoenbein received his undergraduate degree in 1984 from Western Illinois University in Macomb and his Juris Doctor in 1987 from the University of Illinois College of Law. Mr. Schoenbein is currently affiliated with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Peoria.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Second Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Jerry E. Crisel as an associate judge of the Second Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Crisel received his undergraduate degree in 1970 from the University of Illinois and his Juris Doctor in 1973 from the University of Illinois College of Law. Mr. Crisel is currently engaged in solo practice in Albion, Illinois.

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on September 25, 2013, during the September Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Soodong Choi, Buffalo Grove

Mr. Choi, who was licensed in 1997, was disbarred on consent. He made misrepresentations on a mortgage note, a loan modification agreement and a quitclaim deed, and made false statements to the ARDC in order to impede an investigation into his misconduct.

  • Yinkang Hu, Chicago

Mr. Hu, who was licensed in Illinois in 1993 as a Foreign Legal Consultant on the laws of China, was disbarred for practicing in substantive areas of law beyond the limited scope of his license and after his name had been removed from the Master Roll for failing to register.

  • Philip Andrew Igoe, Chicago

Mr. Igoe, who was licensed in Illinois in 1977, was disbarred on consent. He pled guilty to mail fraud in federal court. He devised and participated in a scheme to defraud and obtain money and property from thirteen different individuals in financial difficulty and facing a foreclosure sale of their residence by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.

Justice Moses W. Harrison II
Justice Moses W. Harrison II

The Illinois Supreme Court will hold a memorial service in honor of the late Justice Moses W. Harrison II. Tributes will be given by Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride; Steve Miller, senior law clerk to Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier; Paula H. Holderman, president of the Illinois State Bar Association; and Leonard Amari from the Justinian Society of Lawyers.

WHAT: Memorial Service honoring the late Justice Moses W. Harrison II
WHEN: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 – 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Former Supreme Court Chambers, State Capitol Building, Room 212, Springfield

Justice Harrison was born in Collinsville and educated in Collinsville public schools. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado College and his law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1958. After the private practice of law, he was appointed as a circuit judge in 1973 by the Illinois Supreme Court and was elected in 1974 to that position. At the time of his appointment, he was senior partner of the law firm of Harrison, Rarick and Cadagin in Collinsville.

In 1979, Justice Harrison was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court in the Fifth Judicial District. He was elected in 1980 to that position and was retained by voters in 1990.

Justice Harrison was elected to the Supreme Court in 1992. He served as Chief Justice from January 2000 until his retirement in September 2002.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the criminal cases People v. Johnson and In re Shelby R.

People v. Johnson

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

At issue was whether Section 4-2002.1(a) of the Counties Code allows for imposition of a $50 State’s Attorney fee for hearing a 2-1401 petition. The statute refers only to imposition of the fee for habeas corpus proceedings.

The Court rejected the argument that “habeas corpus” was meant to refer, generically, to any collateral proceedings, noting that habeas corpus has a specific meaning. Considering the plain language of the statute as the best indication of legislative intent, the Court concluded that the reference to “habeas corpus” was meant to encompass the various types of habeas corpus proceedings (e.g., habeas corpus ad prosequendum, habeas corpus ad respondendum, habeas corpus ad testificandum), and nothing more. Inclusion of any other collateral proceedings would have to come from the

While this decision is not particularly broad-reaching, it does demonstrate the Court’s adherence to long-standing principles of statutory construction, beginning with looking first to the plain language of the statute.  Where the plain language is clear, the Court will go no further in interpreting a statute’s meaning.

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee is seeking comment on deferred provisions of a Supreme Court rule excluding minor's names and birth dates in civil case filings. The Committee will also consider comments to improve the efficiency of rule procedures designed to keep personal identity information out of the public file.

In addition, the Committee will review a proposal that requires a party or attorney filing documents in civil cases to provide an email address at which documents may be served.

These proposals will be aired at a public hearing of the Supreme Court Rules Committee on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 10 a.m. in Chicago. Brett K. Gorman, an attorney with Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu & Mitchell in Quincy, is chair of the Committee.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride of the Illinois Supreme Court and Chief Judge Dan L. Flannell of the Sixth Judicial Circuit announced on Friday that news cameras will be allowed in trial courts in six additional Illinois counties.

The Sixth Judicial Circuit is comprised of Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties in east central Illinois. With today's announcement, total participation in the pilot project rises to 35 counties within 13 judicial Circuits.

“Cameras and microphones in the courtroom now reach citizens in more than one half of the judicial circuits and one third of the counties in Illinois," Chief Justice Kilbride said. "Chief Judge Flannell's application and approval by the Supreme Court to allow cameras in the trial courtrooms will bring more geographical diversity to the pilot project.