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Illinois Supreme Court

Justice Rita B. Garman
Justice Rita B. Garman
The Illinois State Bar Association, The Appellate Lawyers Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association will host a luncheon honoring Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman on Dec. 11. The event will begin with a reception at 11:30 a.m. and a luncheon at noon at the Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago.

Tickets are $65 a person and $650 for a table of 10. Contact Tamra Drees at or (312) 554-2057.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil case In re Karavidas and the criminal case People v. Trzeciak.


People v. Trzeciak

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

The Illinois Supreme Court is appreciative of the attendance today of key stakeholders of Cook County and the Cook County justice system for substantive discussions on how we might all work together to enhance the administration of justice.

The Court also is grateful for the presence of Chief Judge Eric T. Washington of the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals, and Tim Murray, executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute, for helping to facilitate this morning's discussion. Finally, the Court thanks Retired Illinois Chief Justice Ben K. Miller and Retired U.S. District Court Judge David H. Coar for their attendance and for their willingness to ensure that all of us move forward toward a common goal.

ISBA 3rd Vice President Vincent F. Cornelius delivers remarks at the 1st District admission ceremony in Chicago.
ISBA 3rd Vice President Vincent F. Cornelius delivers remarks at the 1st District admission ceremony in Chicago.
More than 2,100 new attorneys were admitted to practice in Illinois on Thursday, October 31 with Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court presiding and administering the attorney's oath at five separate locations.

Justice Charles E. Freeman presided over and administered the attorney's oath at bar admission ceremonies in the First Judicial District on October 31. Justices Anne M. Burke and Mary Jane Theis also participated in the ceremonies.

The group of 1,659 was admitted in the First Judicial District during two ceremonies at the Arie Crown Theater, 2301 Lake Shore Drive.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman
Chief Justice Rita B. Garman
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman will preside over the Fourth Judicial District Bar Admission Ceremony on October 31 in Springfield.

The 10 a.m. program will be held at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 South Sixth Street.

Chief Justice Garman, in her first bar admission ceremony as the Chief Justice, will administer the attorney's oath to 82 new lawyers in the Fourth Judicial District.

All of the candidates have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination, a required ethics examination, and were certified by the Committee on Character and Fitness.

Hon. Steven H. Nardulli of the Seventh Judicial Circuit will be the keynote speaker. Danville attorney Kerry R. Clapper will make the motion to admit the class. Hon. Jeffrey B. Ford of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Hon. Esteban F. Sanchez of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, and Springfield attorney Saul J. Morse, will second the motion. Springfield attorney and ISBA Board member Jennifer Hammer will also address the class.

Other guests of the Supreme Court will be Chief Circuit Judges Millard S. Everhart of the Fifth Circuit, Dan L. Flannell of the Sixth Circuit, Leslie J. Graves of the Seventh Circuit, Richard D. Greenlief of the Eight Circuit, and Elizabeth A. Robb of the Eleventh Circuit.

A reception will follow.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
The Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission hosted its second annual Conference on Oct. 23 that brought together more than 300 people from the legal and judicial fields to discuss the impact of pro bono work and evolving pro bono projects on the courts.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride opened the Conference and gave an overview of the Commission's work and accomplishments in the past year.

Bryan Stevenson, executive director at the Equal Justice Initiative based out of Alabama, served as the Conference's keynote speaker. A graduate of Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, he has represented capital defendants and death row prisoners in the Deep South since 1985 when he was a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been recognized by several national publications and organizations as one of the nation’s top public interest lawyers.

Following Mr. Stevenson's address, there were three additional presentations about pro bono programs in Illinois and discussions on how to increase and improve on them.

Justice Rita B. Garman
Justice Rita B. Garman
The elevation of Justice Rita B. Garman to become Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court will be marked by an installation ceremony Monday, October 28 at the Vermilion County Courthouse in Danville.

Justice Garman will become the 119th Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, the second woman in Illinois to be Chief Justice and the second woman to head one of the three branches of government in Illinois.

"I am honored and humbled to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as Chief Justice," Justice Garman said. "This office has been held by many great jurists, several of whom I have served with and count among my friends. I welcome the challenges and the responsibility that go with the role of Chief Justice because I know that I can count on the support of my colleagues at all levels of the judiciary and the members of the Illinois bar."

Justice Garman was elected to the Court from the Fourth Judicial District, which is made up of 30 counties that stretch across central Illinois from west to east.

Her selection as Chief Justice on the seven-member Court culminates her long service to the people of Illinois. There are more than 950 judges in Illinois, and Justice Garman has served in the judiciary longer than all of them--except one.

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.