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Illinois Supreme Court

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Philip G. Montgomery and Joseph R. Voiland as associate judges of the Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Montgomery received his undergraduate degree in 1984 from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, and his Juris Doctor in 1987 from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Montgomery is currently affiliated with the DeKalb County State's Attorney's Office in Sycamore.

Mr. Voiland received his undergraduate degree in 1974 from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington and his Juris Doctor in 1977 from Loyola University in Chicago. Mr. Voiland is currently engaged in solo practice in Yorkville and as a bankruptcy trustee with the U.S. Department of Justice in Chicago.

A member of our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinion in the legal malpractice case Goldfine v. Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Perlman.

Goldfine v. Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Perlman

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

In a legal malpractice action for the loss of a claim under the Illinois Security Law of 1953, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected a law firm’s arguments that it was being punished for securities violations rather than subject to compensatory damages for negligence. Stock purchases made in 1987-1990 giving rise to an action against Shearson Lehman, broker Michael Steinberg, and others provided the backdrop for the legal malpractice action. The plaintiffs, Morton and Adrienne Goldfine, retained the defendant law firm, Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Perlman, to sue the brokers after the  investment proved worthless as a result of the bankruptcy of the company whose stock plaintiffs purchased in 11 transactions. The plaintiffs had a claim for rescission under the Illinois Securities Law; however, claims against the broker defendants were dismissed based upon the law firm’s failure to serve the rescission notice required by the statute.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Norma Kauzlarich as an associate judge of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Kauzlarich received her undergraduate degree in 1986 from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and her Juris Doctor in 1994 from the University of Iowa. Ms. Kauzlarich is currently affiliated with the Rock Island County State's Attorney's Office in Rock Island.


President Felice to speak at historic event

In 1938, Walter T. Gunn was sworn in as the 70th Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. A self-described "ordinary country lawyer by profession", the Danville attorney continued to serve on the Court until his retirement in 1951. Justice Gunn also served as Chief Justice from 1940-1941, the second from Vermilion County to do so.

Nearly 76 years later, Champaign resident and internationally renowned vocalist Nathan Gunn will perform in the same building that his great-grandfather once heard oral arguments. He and his wife Julie Jordan Gunn are special guest performers at the Court's rededication ceremony of the restored Supreme Court Building on Tuesday, October 7 at 6 p.m.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for an at-large Circuit Court vacancy in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy is created by the announced retirement of Judge Elizabeth A. Robb on December 31, 2014. Judge Robb has been a Circuit Judge since 2000.

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will seek comment at a public hearing in Chicago on a proposed amendment to a Supreme Court rule regarding personal identity information in civil case filings. The Committee will also consider comments on proposed rule changes involving motions in a reviewing court; appeals from final circuit court judgments in civil cases; and general rules governing appeals from the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court.

All of the proposals will be aired at a public hearing of the Supreme Court Rules Committee on Friday, October 10 at 10 a.m. in Chicago. Copies of all proposals are available on the Supreme Court website at: www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Public_Hearings/Rules/default.asp.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Slepicka v. Ill. Dept. of Public Health, Nationwide Financial v. Pobuda and Bruns v. City of Centralia and the criminal case People v. Perez.

CIVIL

Slepicka v. Illinois Department of Public Health

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.

What is the remedy if administrative review is sought in the wrong circuit court? Here, the Court held that the remedy was for the action to be transferred to the correct district of the Appellate Court to review the merits.

The Illinois Department of Public Health issued an order from Springfield determining that Mary Slepicka was subject to involuntary discharge from her nursing home, which was located in Cook County.  Slepicka sought administrative review of that decision in the Sangamon County circuit court. The nursing home moved to dismiss or transfer for improper venue. The circuit court denied the motion and confirmed the Department’s decision.

The nursing home sought dismissal of Slepicka’s appeal. The Appellate Court, Fourth District, found that the circuit court had jurisdiction but that venue was improper. It vacated the circuit court judgment and remanded with directions that the action be transferred to Cook County circuit court to review the Department’s decision.

 
The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on Sept. 12, 2014, during the September Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Paul M. Daugerdas, Wilmette

Mr. Daugerdas, who was licensed in 1974, was disbarred on consent after he was found guilty of federal charges of tax evasion, mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstructing tax laws. He was sentenced to a 15-year term of imprisonment.

  • Norton Helton, Chicago

Mr. Helton, who was licensed in 1993, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted of bankruptcy and wire fraud in federal court and was sentenced to a prison term of 180 months and ordered to make $3,277,475 in restitution. He participated in a scheme to obtain money from homeowners facing foreclosure by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and material omissions.

  • Clarence Contee Jones, Jr., Tacoma, Wash.

Mr. Jones was licensed in Illinois in 1994 and in Washington in 1997. He was disbarred in Washington for sexually exploiting office staff over whom he had supervisory authority. He also entered guilty pleas to four misdemeanor counts of assault in the fourth degree with sexual motivation. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Glenn R. Schorsch as an associate judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Schorsch received his undergraduate degree in 1981 from Bradley University in Peoria, IL, and his Juris Doctor in 1988 from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, IL. Mr. Schorsch is currently affiliated with the Stephenson County Public Defender's Office in Freeport, IL.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Sixth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Jeffrey S. Geisler as an associate judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Geisler received his undergraduate degree in 1982 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and his Juris Doctor in 1986 from Memphis State in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Geisler is currently affiliated with Geisler Law Offices in Decatur.