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Northern Illinois

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and Rock Island County Circuit Clerk Lisa Bierman announced Monday that Rock Island County joins three other Illinois counties in a pilot project to allow e-filing of an electronic trial record on appeal.

The Illinois Supreme Court Order authorized the Illinois Appellate Court in the Third Judicial District to begin a pilot project that will allow attorneys, parties and appellate justices to view, access and work from the official record of cases on appeal from Rock Island County.

Circuit Clerk Bierman said that utilizing the electronic transfer of record in Rock Island County will assist greatly in streamlining the workload in the clerk's office.

"I am very excited as we begin this project together with the Third District Appellate Court," Ms. Bierman said. "Being accepted as a part of this project for electronic transmission of appeals is going to be a way for the Rock Island County Circuit Clerk’s Office to save expenses, improve our time worked on ap-peals and introduce more technology into our office.

"We have always worked together with our Appellate Court and will continue to do so. I thank the Supreme Court Justices for giving us this opportunity."

Rock Island joins Adams County in the Fourth Judicial District along with DuPage and Ogle Counties in the Second Judicial District to electronically transfer and make electronically accessible the official court record of cases on appeal.

Wallace Feldman
Wallace Feldman
Wallace Feldman, 84, of Sterling Illinois, died January 15, 2012 at his home.

He was born April 21st, 1927 to Emil and Ida (Andich) Feldman in Rock Island, Illinois and moved to Sterling in 1933.

He was owner and operator of Emil’s Toy Store, which was an icon in the Sterling area for over fifty years, and of the Sterling-Rock Falls News Agency, which is still operating today. He spent his youth helping out with the family businesses.

Wally graduated from Sterling High School in 1945 and was a Sergeant in the 2nd Infantry Division just prior to the end of World War II. He received his law degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign, having started his studies at the Galesburg campus which was set up to accommodate the overflow of G.I.’s going to school on the G.I. Bill after the war.

He practiced law in Sterling for over fifty years, was a member of the Sterling Police & Fire Commission for over two decades, sat on the board of directors of Self Help Enterprises, was a lifelong member of Lions Club and was active in the local Jewish community as a member and former president of Temple Sholom.

He married Shirley (Leibovitz) in 1953 in Rock Island and is survived by her as well as by three children, Randy Feldman, Mpls; Kenny (Amy) Feldman, Sterling; Amy (Todd) Cytron, Mpls; nine grandchildren (Ethan & Toby Feldman; Libby, Rina, Miriam, & Ronit Feldman; Hanah, Dara & Mia Cytron), and a brother, Robert (Joy), Torrance, CA.

Angus More Jr.
Angus More Jr.
Retired Judge Angus Sinclair "Gus" More Jr., 72, died Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, at home with his family.

Gus was born June 26, 1939, in Kankakee to Angus S. and Viola (Fessman) More. He grew up on their grain and dairy farm outside of Kankakee. Being a farm boy provided the background for his great common sense, ingrained work ethic, and a love of the outdoors, a perspective that grounded him the rest of his life.

He graduated in 1961 from the University of Illinois, where he was a member of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity and head of the Army ROTC's infantry program. One week after graduation he was married, commissioned and headed to Bamberg, Germany, for 20 months as an infantry officer during the tense period of the Cuban missile crisis and the Berlin Wall.

He attended law school at American University in Washington, D.C. He was an associate and then a partner at Reno & Zahm Law Firm for 28 years until he was appointed as an associate judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit, where he served for 14 years.

Gus was endearing, intelligent, funny, sentimental, stubborn, kind, generous-and certainly gregarious. He loved all shooting sports whether modern or black powder weapons and was a charter member of Northern Illinois Rifle and Pistol Club while belonging to Rockford Skeet Club and Rock Run Long Rifles, a black powder gun club which he particularly enjoyed. He loved the outdoors and over the years was a hunter of pheasant, waterfowl, deer, elk and more recently, turkey.

Robert J. Schmelzle
Robert J. Schmelzle
Robert J. Schmelzle, 96, passed away on Jan. 30, 2012, at his home with his family by his side.

Robert was born on April 23, 1915, in Freeport, son of George H. and Elizabeth Grace (Peck) Schmelzle. He grew up in Freeport, graduating from Freeport High School in 1932, where he and future fellow attorney Bert Snow were members of the FHS state championship debate team.

As a student at the University of Notre Dame, he also distinguished himself in debate, winning the prestigious Breen Medal in 1935. After graduating from Notre Dame College of Law in 1938, he returned to Freeport and set up a law practice with Robert P. Eckert.

On Nov. 21, 1940, he married Mary Regan at St. Mary Church in Sterling. Bob and Mary made their home in Freeport, raising six children and actively participating in the community.

Bob practiced law for over 60 years as a partner in the law firm of Eckert, Schmelzle, and Eckert, and later Schmelzle and Kroeger. During that time, he obtained many professional achievements. He was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois, served as Referee in Bankruptcy in Illinois, and was Corporation Counsel for the City of Freeport during the mayoral terms of Joe Shelly. Together, they were instrumental in bringing Kelly Springfield Tire Co. to Freeport.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride announced on Tuesday that the Illinois Supreme Court has approved the application from the 14th Judicial Circuit in northwestern Illinois to allow news media cameras in trial courtrooms in the state for the first time.

Chief Judge Jeffrey W. O’Connor of the 14th Circuit applied to the Supreme Court for approval last week, one day after Chief Justice Kilbride announced that an experimental program was unanimously approved by the seven justices on the Court.

The 14th Circuit is comprised of Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties.

"Today's Order is a historic one," said Chief Justice Kilbride. "For the first time in state history, citizens not physically present will be able to see and hear proceedings in our trial courts. My colleagues and I an-nounced this change in policy hoping to promote greater openness and accountability. But we must carefully balance the goal of openness with the rights of defendants and parties to have fair trials.

"This pilot project will allow us to test the policy we have put in place and see if it is workable in Illinois, or if any changes need to be made before moving toward a full statewide policy. My colleagues and I are thankful for the 14th Circuit and Chief Judge O'Connor's willingness to serve in this pilot project. We look forward to their results."

In his formal request to the Court for approval, Chief Judge O’Connor noted that the news media in the area are already familiar with broadcasting trial proceedings because Iowa, just across the Mississippi River, has allowed cameras in courtrooms since 1979, and media have aired court coverage in the Quad Cities area, which includes Illinois communities.

Christ Troupis
Christ Troupis
Christ Troupis, 88, of Mendota, passed away on Dec. 19, 2011.

Mr. Troupis was born Jan. 28, 1923 in Mendota to Theodore and Efterpe Troupis. He married Marion Roberts on Jan. 2, 1947 in South Bend, Ind.

Mr. Troupis served in the Pacific Theater of Operations with the Army Air Force during World War II. He attended Northwestern University and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1949. Following law school, Mr. Troupis returned to Mendota where he practiced law for more than 50 years. Before his retirement, he was active in the La Salle County Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar. His practice focused most often on estate and probate matters although he was well known for his representation of school districts and other local units of government.

He was elected mayor of Mendota in 1953 and served until 1961. During his tenure the Mendota Community Pool was built. He was elected to the Illinois Valley Community College Board of Trustees in 1967 and served as board president during the acquisition and construction of the campus on the south bluff of the Illinois River. For nearly 20 years, Mr. Troupis also served on Mendota Community Hospital Board of Trustees and was president of that board for several years. He was a member of VFW Post 4079 and the American Legion and was a past member and former president of Mendota Lions Club and Mendota Jaycees. He served as chairman of the local chapter of the American Red Cross and was a past member of the Mendota Elks Lodge and Mendota Moose.

The Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit is seeking applicants for a bankruptcy judge position for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division headquartered in Rockford. An applicant must also be willing to travel to other courts in the circuit to handle cases as need arises. Interested applicants may obtain an application from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit website at

Persons interested in applying for this position should send their applications to:

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that the 22nd Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Joel D. Berg and Kevin G. Costello as associate judges of the 22nd Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Berg received his undergraduate degree in 1990 from Northern Illinois University and his Juris Doctor in 1994 from IIT/Chicago-Kent Law School. Mr. Berg is currently engaged in solo practice in Harvard.

Mr. Costello received his undergraduate degree in 1984 from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and his Juris Doctor in 1987 from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Costello is currently engaged in practice with Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, in Crystal Lake.

Katherine Chamberlain
Katherine Chamberlain
As of Labor Day 2011, Katherine Chamberlain has opened the Law Office of Katherine Chamberlain, P.C. in Princeton, Illinois. As a solo practitioner, Katherine plans to focus her practice on estate planning, guardianships, and real estate. She has also published journal articles on constitutional law and copyright law.

Katherine graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a JD in 2009 and a master's degree in library and information science in 2010. She received her bachelor of arts summa cum laude in English in 2006 from the University of Alabama.  Please visit her on the web at

Rolfe Ehrmann, co-founder of the Dixon firm Ehrmann, Gehlbach, Badger and Lee, passed away on July 26 at his home. He was a graduate of the DePaul University College of Law and a member of the American, Illinois and Lee County bar associations.

Read the full obituary in the Sterling Daily Gazette.