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Illinois Supreme Court

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a Circuit Court vacancy in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy is created by the retirement of Judge Scott H. Walden on June 30, 2015. Judge Walden has been a Resident Circuit Judge in the Eight Circuit since 1996.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday announced amendments to a rule that will help lawyers properly dispose of unidentified funds in their trust accounts and generate revenue to support legal aid in the process. The changes to Rule 1.15 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, which regulates the safe-keeping of client property, creates a mechanism for lawyers to remove unidentified fund balances from their Interest on Lawyers Trust (IOLTA) Accounts. The amended rule takes effect July 1, 2015. A copy of the changes can be found at

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman, the Illinois Supreme Court and the chief judges of the 24 Circuits in Illinois have announced the distribution of a detailed court user survey designed to measure public perceptions and experiences with the Illinois courts.

The Strategic Planning Committee of the Illinois Judicial Conference, in coordination with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, developed the survey that will ask court users to give input on their personal experiences with their local court system in all 24 Circuits across the 102 counties in Illinois. It will seek input from all courthouse users including attorneys, visitors, litigants, students, media, and the general public.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Brunton v. Kruger, Cowper v. Nyberg, Skaperdas v. Country Casualty Ins. Co. and Harris v. One Hope United, Inc and provide short summaries for In People ex rel. Madigan v. J. T. Einoder, Inc., McCormick v. Robertson and In re Parentage of Scarlett Z.-D.


Brunton v. Kruger

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

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on March 12, 2015, during the March Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Lawrence Joseph Fleming, St. Louis, Mo.

Mr. Fleming was licensed in Missouri in 1967 and in Illinois in 1968. He was disbarred by the Supreme Court of Missouri for failing to timely file appearances, briefs, writs and responses to motions, making misrepresentations to clients and to disciplinary officials, collecting unreasonable fees and failing to deposit funds into a trust account. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Warren Jan Gladders, St. Louis, Mo.

Mr. Gladders, who was licensed in 1977, was disbarred on consent. He pled guilty to federal charges of armed bank robbery. He robbed three different Missouri banks by threatening bank employees with a revolver and demanding money while wearing a scarf and sunglasses over his face. Following his third robbery, he exchanged gunfire with a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer. Mr. Gladders was sentenced to serve 24 years and five months in prison.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have scheduled a special evening session of oral argument on Tuesday, March 17, and have invited Gov. Bruce Rauner and the entire Illinois legislature to observe the Court in session. It is uncertain when an evening session was last held in the Illinois Supreme Court Building, but it is believed to have been more than a century ago.

The Court will hear oral arguments in a case involving an amendment passed by the legislature to the Illinois Juvenile Court Act. A portion of the amendment was ruled unconstitutional by a Circuit Court and the case is on direct appeal to the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Garman explained that the special evening session is an opportunity for members of the General Assembly to observe first-hand the interaction of the functions of the three branches of government and the operation of the checks and balances essential to our system.

"The case involves an amendment that was debated and passed by the legislature, signed by the Governor, applied by the State in an individual case, challenged by a defendant, and declared unconstitutional by the Circuit Court," said Chief Justice Garman. "It affords a window into how our constitutional system operates and the balance among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches."

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the criminal cases People v. Almond, People v. Mosley, People v. Boyce and In re the Interest of Jordan G.

People v. Almond

By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Many people mocked Barney Fife for carrying a single bullet in his shirt pocket, but today's decision in People v. Almond, 2015 IL 113817, shows that to have been a wise policy.

Based on an anonymous tip that drugs were being dealt out of a store, police officers approached Almond (who had prior felony convictions), asked him what he was doing there and whether  he was in possession of any narcotics or weapons. The officer testified that the defendant said “I just got  to let you know I got a gun on me.” The defendant was frisked, and the gun was recovered. The defendant filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress  evidence. At a hearing on the motion, Almond denied that he was even asked whether he had contraband and denied he ever told officers that he possessed a firearm, claiming that he would not tell a police officer that  information  because  he knew “it’s wrong to have a gun.” The motion was denied. Following a bench trial, the defendant was convicted on all counts.

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced dates for oral arguments for the March Term of Court, including the case of In re Pension Reform Litigation (Doris Heaton, et al. appellees v. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, et al., appellants).

The Supreme Court will hear arguments for that case beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 in the Supreme Court Courtroom in Springfield. Advanced Digital Media/Blueroomstream will live internet stream and serve as the pool camera for the oral argument.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced Tuesday that the Twelfth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Arkadiusz Z. Smigielski as an associate judge of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Smigielski received his undergraduate degree in 1985 from DePaul University in Chicago, and his Juris Doctor in 1988 from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago. Mr. Smigielski is currently affiliated with the Law Offices of Smigielski & Wrobel in Homer Glen.

As part of its continuing effort to promote public confidence in the administration of justice, the Illinois Supreme Court has announced that a client whose case is not completed due to the death or disability of his or her attorney, and who has made reasonable efforts to pursue civil remedies, is now eligible to apply for reimbursement of unearned fees paid to the attorney.

When adopted in 1994, Supreme Court Rule 780 created a Client Protection Program (CPP) Trust Fund to reimburse certain losses incurred by clients of Illinois lawyers. The rule was created to provide a mechanism for a client to obtain reimbursement if the attorney engaged in dishonest conduct causing the client financial loss. The fund is administered by the Illinois Attorney and Registration Commission (ARDC).

According to Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman, “The Court recognizes that a client may also incur such a loss when the attorney dies or becomes disabled during the representation. By amending this rule, we signal to the public that we are equally concerned about the client who suffers a financial loss due to events outside the attorney’s control, such as death or disability.”

The amendment is effective immediately. Claimants may apply for reimbursement through the CPP. More information on submitting a claim is available at: