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Illinois Supreme Court

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Matthews and People ex rel. Alvarez v. Gaughan.

People v. Matthews

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

Following an unsuccessful direct appeal and post-conviction petition, Jerrell Matthews filed a petition for relief from judgment pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, alleging that a State witness had committed perjury at his trial.  The circuit court dismissed the petition on the basis that it was untimely.

The proof of service that Matthews filed with the petition said that the petition was mailed to the State with “proper first-class postage”

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the certification of three new problem-solving courts in Kendall, Peoria and Tazewell counties. These problem-solving courts – the Kendall County Drug Court, the Peoria DUI Court and the Tazewell County Mental Health Court – are the first to go through the Supreme Court's application and certification process. The more than 100 problem-solving courts already in operation will also go through the process.

In November 2015, the Supreme Court adopted statewide Standards to bring uniformity, accountability and administrative oversight to problem-solving courts in Illinois.

Also known as specialty or therapeutic courts, problem-solving courts provide an alternative forum for certain individuals in the criminal justice system, such as those with mental illness or substance abuse disorders. Problem-solving courts utilize a collaborative, therapeutic approach with justice professionals partnering with community treatment providers to address an individual's underlying behavioral health issues.

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on November 18, 2016, during the November Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • James Ryan Crowley, Northbrook

Mr. Crowley, who was licensed in 2005, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted in state court of possessing child pornography. He was suspended on an interim basis on July 6, 2016.

SUSPENDED

  • James Francis Bishop, Crystal Lake

Mr. Bishop, who was licensed in 1966, was suspended for thirty days. While representing the sellers in a commercial real estate transaction, he mismanaged $1,282.31 in funds that he had agreed to hold as an escrowee. The suspension is effective on December 9, 2016.

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court administered the attorney’s oath to 1,374 new attorneys on Thursday, November 10, at five separate locations across the state.

The largest group, 1,121, was admitted in the First Judicial District during two ceremonies at Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The ceremonies were at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. 

All of the candidates sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,300.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has begun an application process for a vacancy in the Eleventh Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of the Hon. Kathleen Kennedy, effective Nov. 30, 2016.

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled on an interim basis by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Theis will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court after applicants for the position undergo a screening and evaluation process.

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.