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Judicial Appointments

Amy L. McFarland
Amy L. McFarland
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced Wednesday that the Eleventh Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Amy L. McFarland as associate judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.

Ms. McFarland received her undergraduate degree in 1996 from Illinois State University and her Juris Doctor in 1999 from the University of Denver. Ms. McFarland is currently affiliated with Bloomington Legal Services.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Quincy attorney Amy C. Lannerd as a Circuit Judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Lannerd was appointed Wednesday to fill the at-large vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William O. Mays, Jr. Her appointment takes effect April 12, 2016, and terminates December 3, 2018, when the position is filled by the 2018 General Election.

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Wednesday that Charles William Smith has been appointed as a Circuit Judge of the 19th Circuit, 1st Subcircuit. This appointment is effective Feb. 22, 2016 and terminates on Dec. 2018. This opening was the result of the retirement of the Hon. George Bridges.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke announced today an application process for a vacancy in the Sixth Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy was created by the resignation of Circuit Judge Robert Lopez Cepero, who served as a judge since 1994. Judge Cepero's resignation took effect January 6, 2016.

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Elizabeth A. Karkula as a Circuit Judge of Cook County, at Large. This appointment is effective Jan. 19, 2016 and terminates on Dec. 3, 2018. It was created by the death of the Hon. Jean Prendergast Rooney.

Alicia Washington
Alicia Washington
The Tenth Judicial Circuit judges have voted to select Alicia N. Washington as an associate judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Washington is a lifelong resident of Peoria. She received her undergraduate degree in 1995 from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois, Master's Degree in 1997 from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and her Juris Doctor in 2001 from Michigan State University College of Law in Lansing, MI. Ms. Washington is currently an attorney with the Janssen Law Center. Prior to joining the Janssen Law Center, she worked as a staff attorney for Prairie State Legal Services, an organization that offers free legal services for low-income persons and senior citizens.

The swearing in for Ms. Washington will be held on Friday, January 29, 2016 at 3 p.m. at the Peoria County Courthouse. Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride will preside.


Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman (left) swore-in Springfield attorney Jennifer M. Ascher as a Sangamon County Associate Judge on Monday. Ms. Ascher was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the impending retirement of Associate Judge Steven H. Nardulli.

Ascher received her undergraduate degree in 1999 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Juris Doctor in 2003 from Saint Louis University School of Law. She is currently a partner at Sorling Northrup, where she has practiced family law nearly exclusively for the past 12 years. During her tenure, she represented clients in Sangamon County and surrounding counties. She is a Springfield native where she resides with her family.

Ms. Ascher previously served as president of the Central Illinois Women’s Bar Association and the Sangamon County Bar Association.

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Moline attorney Joseph F. Fackel as a Circuit Judge in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Fackel was appointed by the Court to fill the vacancy created by Circuit Judge F. Michael Meersman, who retired at close of business on November 30, 2015. His appointment takes effect January 4, 2016 and will terminate on December 5, 2016, when the position is filled by the 2016 General Election.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the 10th Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Suzanne L. Patton as an associate judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Patton received her undergraduate degree in 1996 from Illinois State University in Normal and her Juris Doctor in 1999 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Ms. Patton is currently affiliated with the Peoria County State's Attorney's Office in Peoria.

Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Kenneth Deihl is pleased to announce that Springfield attorney Jennifer M. Ascher has been appointed as Associate Judge and will be assigned to Sangamon County. Ms. Ascher was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the impending retirement of Associate Judge Steven H. Nardulli. Ms. Ascher will take her oath of office and start on January 11, 2016.

Commenting on the selection, Chief Judge Kenneth Deihl states, “Ms. Ascher is a talented and respected family attorney. Her extensive trial practice and professional demeanor makes her well suited for judicial office. We look forward to her service in our justice system.”

Ms. Jennifer Ascher received her undergraduate degree in 1999 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Juris Doctor in 2003 from Saint Louis University School of Law. She is currently a partner at Sorling Northrup, where she has practiced family law nearly exclusively for the past twelve years. During her tenure, she represented clients in Sangamon County and surrounding counties. She is a Springfield native where she resides with her family.

Ms. Ascher previously served as president of the Central Illinois Women’s Bar Association and the Sangamon County Bar Association.