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Illinois Supreme Court

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 Sixth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Harry E. Clem on September 15, 2016. Judge Clem has been a judge since 1979.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the Civil case Hampton v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the criminal case People v. Geiler.

CIVIL

Hampton v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the Civil case Moline School District No. 40 Board of Education v. Quinn and the criminal cases People v. McFadden and People v. Rizzo.

CIVIL

Moline School District v. Quinn

By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde Law Offices LLP

Does legislation (Public Act 97-1161) creating a property tax exemption for one lessee of one metropolitan airport authority violate the special legislation clause of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 13)?  Affirming the appellate court, the Illinois Supreme Court held that it does. 

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hear comments July 8 at a public hearing in Chicago on three proposals, including one calling for the creation of a Supreme Court rule to govern the use of restraints on minors during court proceedings.

The Committee will also consider proposed changes to Supreme Court rules involving proof of service and the record on appeal.

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the assignment of Cook County Circuit Judge Mary L. Mikva to the Illinois Appellate Court for the First Judicial Circuit and the appointment of Chicago lawyer Clare J. Quish as an at-large Cook County Circuit Judge.

Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis recommended to the Court that Judge Mikva be assigned to fill the Appellate Court vacancy that was created by the April 15, 2016, death of Justice Laura Liu. Judge Mikva's assignment is effective on July 15, 2016, and until further order of the Supreme Court.

"I am honored to be given this challenging opportunity to serve on the Appellate Court," Judge Mikva said. "I hope to use it to help strengthen the public's faith that our legal system is fair, efficient, evenhanded, and compassionate."

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Thursday changes to a rule that will slightly modify the deadlines to apply to take the Illinois bar examination.

The amendments to Supreme Court Rule 706, which governs the filing deadlines and fees to take the bar exam, will take effect July 1, 2016. The fees will not change under the rule amendment.

Under the amended rule, the on-time deadline to apply to take the February bar exam will be extended by approximately two weeks, from September 1 to September 15, and the final late deadline to apply for the February and July exams will be moved up by two weeks, from December 31 to December 15, and May 31 to May 15, respectively.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in Valfer v. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Fattah v. BimRichter v. Prairie Farms Dairy and Commonwealth Edison Company v. Illinois Commerce Commission.

Valfer v. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare

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

This case explored the breadth of a hospital’s immunity under the Illinois Hospital Licensing Act. Following a peer review, the hospital revoked Dr. Valfer’s privileges to practice at the hospital. After Dr. Valfer sued, the hospital obtained summary judgment. The trial court agreed that the hospital was immune from damages under the Licensing Act and that it had complied with its bylaws and had not engaged in any willful and wanton conduct.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Hernandez, People v. Cotto and People v. Grant.

People v. Hernandez

By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In People v. Hernandez, 2016 IL 118672, the Illinois Supreme Court built upon its recent decision in People v. Ligon, 2016 118023, and determined that the elements of armed robbery are not identical to the elements of armed violence.  Because armed robbery does not have the same elements as the lesser Class 2 offense of armed violence with a Category III weapon, which carried a lesser penalty, the Class X sentence for armed robbery imposed upon Hernandez did not violate the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution.

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on May 18, 2016, during the May Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

The Illinois Supreme Court hosted a memorial service in honor of the late Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald. Chief Justice Rita B. Garman gave the opening and closing remarks. Tributes were given by Supreme Court Justices Robert R. Thomas and Mary Jane Theis; Umberto Davi, president of the Illinois State Bar Association; and Nicholas J. Motherway, a Chicago attorney and close friend of the late justice.

Video of the event is available at http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Media/Video/Events/2016/Justice_Fitzgerald_Memorial_Service.mp4