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Illinois Supreme Court

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review today's Supreme Court opinions in JP Morgan Chase Bank v. Earth Foods, Ready v. United/Goedecke Services, Wright Development Group v. Walsh, In re Estate of Wilson, People v. Close, People v. Johnson and People v. Thompson.
The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Mary S. Trew, Erica L. Reddick and James L. Kaplan to the office of Cook County Circuit Judge. Trew is replacing the retiring Hon. James R. Epstein. Reddick is replacing the Hon. Dorothy Kirie Kinnaird, who is retiring on Dec. 5, 2010. Kaplan is taking the position of the Hon. Melvin J. Cole, who is also retiring on Dec. 5. All three appointments are effecting through Dec. 3, 2012.
The Illinois Supreme Court has recalled the following retired judges: Effective December 1, 2010, to hold court in the Circuit Court of Cook County through November 30, 2011:
  • Hon. Curtis Heaston
Effective December 6, 2010, to hold court in the Circuit Court of Cook County through November 30, 2011:
  • Hon. Charles R. Winkler
Effective December 1, 2010, to hold court in the Circuit Court of Cook County through November 30, 2011:
  • Hon. John B. Grogan
Effective December 6, 2010, to hold court in the Circuit Court of Cook County through November 30, 2013:
  • Hon. Roger G. Fein
  • Hon. William J. Haddad
  • Hon. Sidney A. Jones III
  • Hon. Henry M. Singer
  • Hon. Rhoda D. Sweeney
Extension effective immediately through November 30, 2013:
  • Hon. Sheldon A. Harris
Effective December 6, 2010, to hold court in the Circuit Court of Cook County through November 30, 2013:
  • Hon. Michael Ian Bender
  • Hon. Nicholas Geanopoulos
  • Hon. Pamela M. Leeming
The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. as a Circuit Judge of Cook County, at Large on Wednesday. Swanson fills the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. John A. Ward. This appointment is effective Oct. 20, 2010 and terminates on Dec. 3, 2012.
A special luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 3, to celebrate the distinguished career of retiring Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald. This event will start at 11:30 a.m. at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan. Tickets are $60 a person. For reservations, contact Tamra Drees at (312) 554-2057 or tdrees@chicagobar.org Thomas R. Fitzgerald is a native Chicagoan and attended Loyola University before enlisting in the United States Navy. After his tour of duty in the Navy, he graduated with honors from The John Marshall Law School, where he was one of the founders of the school’s current law review and served as the law review's associate editor.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Wednesday that Associate Judge Paul G. Lawrence has been appointed a circuit judge at-large in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. Judge Lawrence was appointed to fill the Circuit Court vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Judge G. Michael Prall on November 2, 2010. The appointment is effective November 3, 2010 and will expire December 3, 2012. Justice Rita B. Garman recommended the appointment of Judge Lawrence after a review process by a special citizen screening committee. The committee unanimously recommended Judge Lawrence’s appointment to Justice Garman to fill the vacancy. Judge Lawrence graduated from University of Illinois in 1982 with a B.S. degree in Accounting. He received his juris doctor degree from University of Missouri in 1985. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Lawrence practiced at the law firm of Lawrence, Moore and Ogar. He was appointed as an associate judge in the Eleventh Circuit in 2002, serving as a trial judge for over eight years until Wednesday’s appointment by the Supreme Court as a Circuit Judge. A resident of Bloomington, Judge Lawrence is married with five children. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit is comprised of five counties: Ford, Livingston, Logan, McLean and Woodford.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday that Eugene E. Gross received a majority of the votes cast by the circuit judges in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit and has been appointed to the office of associate judge. Mr. Gross received his undergraduate degree in 1980 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois and his Juris Doctor in 1983 from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Gross is currently affiliated with Reed, Heller, Mansfield & Gross in DuQuoin, Illinois
The Illinois Supreme Court has approved the Illinois Rules of Evidence in codified form aimed at expediting the trial process and improving the administration of justice in Illinois courts. "The Illinois State Bar Association strongly supported codification of the rules of evidence and welcomes the action of the Supreme Court," said John E. Thies, 2nd Vice President, Illinois State Bar Association. "Codification of evidentiary law from the multiple sources where it now resides will be a significant benefit to the practicing bar, and also a convenience for the judiciary. Legal research should be simpler, and codification may also result in a more unified application of evidentiary rules. We applaud the Court and Chief Justice Fitzgerald for undertaking this important task." Click here to read or print the Rules of Evidence.
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the filing of disciplinary orders involving a number of licensed lawyers. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law. More information on each case is available at the ARDC website.

DISBARRED

  • William Charles Chesbrough, Elgin
Mr. Chesbrough, who was licensed in 1980, was disbarred. He misappropriated more than $113,000 that he was holding for a client in connection with the client’s deceased mother’s estate. In addition, in two separate real estate matters, he converted more than $28,000 that he was holding either as earnest money or to pay real estate taxes.
  • Alan Samuel Cohen, St. Louis
Mr. Cohen was licensed in Missouri in 1992 and in Illinois in 1993. He was disbarred in Missouri for failing to maintain a client trust account and for using client and third party funds to pay office and personal expenses. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Joseph Patrick Collins, Chicago
Mr. Collins, who was licensed in 1975, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted in federal court of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud. The conviction was based on his conduct while serving as outside counsel for Refco Inc., a commodities brokerage firm. Mr. Collins participated with others in an eight-year scheme to hide the company’s financial situation by making false and fraudulent statements to various parties, including banks, auditors, investors and the Securities Exchange Commission.
  • C. Wayne K. Davis, St. Louis
Mr. Davis was licensed in Missouri in 1996 and in Illinois in 1999. He was disbarred in Missouri after a felony conviction. He misappropriated at least $25,000.00 from his employer, the Edward Jones Company. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Kelly Christine Garland, Chicago
Ms. Garland, who was licensed in 2002, was disbarred on consent. She falsified court orders and an affidavit in five different domestic relations matters in order to conceal from her clients the true status of their cases.
  • Thaddeus James Hunt, Chicago
Mr. Hunt, who was licensed in 2002, was disbarred. He misappropriated $10,274.67 in client funds, neglected seven client matters, failed to communicate with clients and abandoned his law practice.
  • Brainerd William LaTourette III, St. Louis
Mr. LaTourette was licensed in Missouri in 1982 and in Illinois in 1983. He was disbarred in Missouri for failing to perform his duties as trustee for a family trust, disobeying a court order, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and failing to participate in disciplinary proceedings against him. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • James A. Reskin, Louisville, Ky.
Mr. Reskin, who was licensed in Illinois in 1982, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma on charges of obstructing a criminal investigation by making false and misleading statements to the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Department of Justice.
  • Kenneth Alan Runes, Mount Prospect
Mr. Runes, who was licensed in 1991, was disbarred. He misappropriated over $13,000 in client funds, neglected numerous client matters, failed to communicate with clients, failed to refund unearned fees, and did not cooperate with the ARDC investigation. Mr. Runes did not participate in his disciplinary hearing. He failed to participate in his disciplinary proceeding.
  • Lawrence Scott Wick, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.
Mr. Wick, who was licensed in Illinois in 1971, was disbarred. He billed more than $1 million to two corporate clients for work that he had never performed.
  • Bradford Thomas Yaker, Bingham Farms, Mich.
Mr. Yaker was licensed in Illinois in 1988 and in Michigan in 1995. He was disbarred in Michigan for repeatedly representing to a client that he had filed a securities claim for the client when he had not done so. In addition, he falsely informed the client that he had reached a settlement in the matter and provided the client with a fictitious settlement agreement providing for a $30,000 payment. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that Brian T. Otwell, received a majority of the votes cast by the circuit judges in the Seventh Judicial Circuit and is declared to be appointed to the office of associate judge. Mr. Otwell received his undergraduate degree in 1980 from the Illinois State University in Normal and his Juris Doctor in 1984 from the Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Mr. Otwell is currently affiliated with the Sangamon County Public Defender’s Office in Springfield.