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Illinois Supreme Court

Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a Circuit Court vacancy in the Seventh Judicial Circuit. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Justice Thomas R. Appleton to the Fourth District Appellate Court on June 4, 2010. Justice Appleton has been an at-large Circuit Judge in Springfield since 1992. Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled by Supreme Court appointment. The application process will lead to final Court approval. The applicants will undergo an evaluation and screening process. Notices of the vacancy has been posted in courthouses throughout the Circuit. The application form and instructions may be obtained by visiting the Illinois Supreme Court’s website at www.state.il.us/court and follow the instructions on the “Latest News” scroller announcing the Seventh Judicial Circuit vacancy. Applications must be submitted via mail to:
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • 3607 North Vermilion, Suite 1
  • Danville, Illinois 61832
No electronic or facsimile applications will be accepted. Deadline for submission of applications is Friday, July 16, 2010. The person appointed to fill the vacancy will serve until the position is filled by election in November, 2012. To be eligible for consideration for appointment, the applicant must be a lawyer licensed to practice law in Illinois. The Seventh Judicial Circuit is comprised of six counties: Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Morgan, Sangamon and Scott counties.
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier announced Thursday that an application process has begun for a Circuit Court vacancy in the 20th Judicial Circuit. The at-large Circuit vacancy is being created by the announced resignation of Circuit Judge Michael O’Malley, effective Aug. 1, 2010. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court holds the authority to fill interim judicial vacancies. Justice Karmeier uses an application, evaluation and interview process to make recommendations to the Court for vacancies in the Fifth Judicial District. Notice of the vacancy will be posted in courthouses throughout the 20th Judicial Circuit. Applicants must submit a cover letter with the Requested Information of an Applicant Form to:
  • Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • P.O. Box 266
  • Nashville, IL 62263
The form may be obtained from the office of Chief Judge John Baricevic of the 20th Judicial Circuit; the presiding judges or circuit clerks of the counties within the 20th Circuit or from Justice Karmeier. Applicants' cover letter and completed form must be received in Justice Karmeier's office no later than Friday, July 2, 2010. The person appointed to fill the vacancy will serve until the position is  filled through the November, 2012 general election. The appointment will terminate December 3, 2012. To be eligible for appointment, a person must be a resident of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit at the time of the appointment. The 20th Judicial Circuit is comprised of five counties in southwestern Illinois: Monroe, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington.
Justice Thomas L. Kilbride of the Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday an innovative mediation program to help ease the financial and emotional burden of homeowners, lenders and taxpayers caused by residential mortgage foreclosures. Justice Kilbride, appearing with Chief Judge Gerald R. Kinney of the Circuit Court of Will County, said the foreclosure mediation program also is aimed at keeping families in homes to prevent vacant and abandoned houses that drive down property values and destabilize neighborhoods. The Illinois Supreme Court approved the program which will operate with no additional expense to taxpayers and be sustained by an increase in filing fees paid by lenders and other plaintiffs seeking to foreclose. “This is an important step forward for those in Will County suffering the effects of our nation’s economic crisis,” said Justice Kilbride. “The Supreme Court has a keen interest in programs with the strong promise of achieving timely and lasting resolution to tough problems. “We are grateful to Chief Judge Kinney and those in the community who helped formulate the details from concept to a working model. We are hopeful it will help families cope with some of the emotional and financial burdens brought on by the current economic difficulties, and help give them a new start on their way to better times.” Chief Judge Kinney first brought the proposal to Justice Kilbride, and worked with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, the administrative arm of the Supreme Court, to refine and finalize details. He also has discussed the plan with lawyers for lenders and debtors in the community.  He expects the program to be up and running within a month. “Obviously, this is an attempt to begin to solve a serious societal problem,” Chief Judge Kinney said. “Foreclosures are tearing up our neighborhoods and our communities. This is an effort to lend some stability to what could be a financially and emotionally chaotic process. It’s a way for the courts to help address some of these community problems.” Judge Kinney believes that Will County has a rate of foreclosure as high as any other area in the state. From June 2008 to June 2009, there were 5,541 foreclosures filed in Will County, and that number is increasing. Judge Kinney estimates that between 2,700 and 3,000 cases would be screened annually for mediation.
The Illinois Supreme Court today increased bail amounts in several areas, including traffic, conservation and other offenses. These increases are effective Sept. 15, 2010. The bail amount for speeding 20-30 miles over the speed limit increased from $95 to $140 and 30 miles over the speed limit went from $105 to $160. Supreme Court rules 526, 527, 528 and 530.
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced Thursday that Allan F. Lolie received a majority of the votes cast by the circuit judges in the Fourth Judicial Circuit and is declared to be appointed to the office of associate judge. Mr. Lolie received his undergraduate degree in 1988 from Western Illinois University in Macomb and his Juris Doctor in 1991 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Mr. Lolie is currently affiliated with the Shelby County State’s Attorney’s Office in Shelbyville.
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced today that the Ninth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Raymond A. Cavanaugh as an associate judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Mr. Cavanaugh received his undergraduate degree in 1986 from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, and his Juris Doctor in 1990 from John Marshall Law, Chicago. Mr. Cavanaugh is currently affiliated with the Henderson County State’s Attorney’s Office in Oquawka.

FAMILY

Baumgartner v. Baumgartner

By Celia G. Gamrath, Partner, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP In Baumgartner v. Baumgartner, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the incarceration of a 20-year-old child is not a self-emancipating event that automatically terminates a parent's obligation to contribute to a child's postsecondary education expenses. Though Baumgartner decides only the question of incarceration, the Court's decision affects a broader range of cases in which a child marries or enters the armed forces. For parents, here's the rub: Self-emancipation for support purposes automatically occurs when a child reaches the age of majority; however, it does not necessarily occur if a child is convicted of a felony and incarcerated, gets married or joins the military. Under these scenarios, the Circuit Court must consider all relevant facts and decide whether the colossal event has the effect of emancipating the child and constitutes an abandonment of any pursuit of a higher education. A "lengthy incarceration is simply one of many situations in which a minor may be found to be emancipated." Case summary Supreme Court opinion 109047

CIVIL

Founders Ins. Co v. Munoz

By Michael T. Reagan, Herbolsheimer Lannon Henson Duncan and Reagan PC Founders Ins. Co v.
The Illinois Supreme Court disbarred 12 lawyers, suspended 26, censured 4 and reprimanded 2 in its latest disciplinary filing. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Michael Robert Allen, St. Louis
Mr. Allen was licensed in Missouri in 1985 and in Illinois in 1987. He was disbarred in Missouri for failing to prepare an order as directed by a court in a family law case and for not participating in the Missouri disciplinary process. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Norvel E. Brown, Jr., Kirkwood, Mo.
Mr. Brown was licensed in Missouri in 1977 and in Illinois in 1989. He was disbarred in Missouri after he was convicted in federal court of wire fraud and theft.  He defrauded the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and commercial banks of approximately $3,000,000 through his ownership and operation of Mississippi Valley Title, Inc., a Missouri corporation.  The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Karl W. Dickhaus, St. Louis
Mr. Dickhaus was licensed in Missouri in 1996 and in Illinois in 1999. He was disbarred in Missouri for neglecting four client matters and for failing to participate in the Missouri disciplinary process.  The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Martin Edward Doyle, Hanover, N.H.
Mr. Doyle was licensed in Illinois in 1979 and in Florida in 1984. He was permanently disbarred in Florida for fraud, misusing monies entrusted to his law firm trust account, and soliciting individuals to invest in non-existent investments. He was charged with misappropriating approximately $1.5 million from several victims whom he lured into making investments. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Deron Baker Elliott, Morristown, N.J.
Mr. Elliott was licensed in Illinois in 1996. He was disbarred on consent after he was convicted of assaulting a police officer in Morris County, New Jersey. He also made profane and derogatory statements to ARDC and Illinois bar admission personnel.
  • Steven David Gustafson, Naperville
Mr. Gustafson, who was licensed in 1991, was disbarred. While a member of a Naperville law firm, he misappropriated more than $675,000 in client funds and created false financial records in order to hide his use of a client account to pay his personal expenses. He did not appear for his disciplinary hearing. He was suspended on an interim basis on September 1, 2009.
  • James E. Hinterlong, Grand Ridge
Mr. Hinterlong, who was licensed in 1972, was disbarred. He neglected a client’s civil case, resulting in a $582,000 default judgment being entered against the client’s business. He also made misrepresentations to the client about the status of the case and did not tell the client about court-ordered monetary sanctions and other orders. He failed to appear at his own disciplinary proceeding.
  • Stephen George Kaludis, St. Louis
Mr. Kaludis was licensed in Missouri in 1988 and in Illinois in 1994. He was disbarred in Missouri after he pled guilty to stealing over $25,000 from clients after forging the clients’ signatures on a settlement check. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Donald P. Lasica, Berwyn
Mr. Lasica, who was licensed in 1975, was disbarred. He misappropriated approximately $78,000 from a decedent’s estate.
  • Robert Sheldon Monitz, Wilmette
Mr. Monitz, who was licensed in 1981, was disbarred. He neglected a decedent’s estate, misappropriated over $100,000 in estate and trust funds, collected an unreasonable fee, made misrepresentations to a court and failed to cooperate in the disciplinary matter
  • Michael Paul Reynolds, Chicago
Mr. Reynolds was admitted in Illinois in 1987 and in South Dakota in 1994. He was disbarred in South Dakota after he failed to disclose a prior suspension from the practice of law in South Dakota to a Chicago law firm in connection with an application for employment. He also falsely represented that he had never been suspended from practice in an application for professional liability insurance, and declared under penalty of perjury that he had never been suspended in any state in an application for pro hac vice admission in the Superior Court of California. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Laura Ann Sipes, St. Charles, Mo.
Ms. Sipes was licensed in Missouri in 1993 and in Illinois the following year. She was disbarred in Missouri for neglecting adoption matters and for filing a false affidavit in an adoption proceeding. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred her.

Celia G. Gamrath
The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Celia G. Gamrath as a Circuit Judge of Cook County, Eighth Subcircuit, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Thomas R. Chiola. This appointment is effective June 10, 2010, and terminates on December 3, 2012, Ms. Gamrath is a former judicial law clerk for the Honorable Thomas R. Rakowski of the First District Appellate Court of Illinois. She is a partner of Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP and concentrates in matrimonial law and appeals on behalf of individuals whose cases mainly involve the distribution of multi-million-dollar holdings and require sophisticated financial expertise. Ms. Gamrath has been recognized nationally as a top family law and appellate lawyer by Best Lawyers in America, Chicago Magazine’s Illinois Super Lawyers, the Leading Lawyers Network, and the Law Bulletin Publishing Company as one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch.” She is the recipient of several awards, including the Young Lawyer of the Year Award from the Illinois State Bar Association, the Alta May Hulett Award from the Chicago Bar Association, and The John Marshall Law School Distinguished Service Award. Ms. Gamrath graduated cum laude from The John Marshall Law School (J.D.) in 1994 and from Indiana University (B.S. in Business) in 1991. Ms.
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced Monday that Joshua A. Meyer 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. Meyer received his undergraduate degree in 1998 from Blackburn University, Carlinville, and his Juris Doctor in 2001 from St. Louis University. Mr. Meyer is currently affiliated with the Macoupin County Public Defender's Office, Carlinville.