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Northern Illinois

Thomas R. Cross
Thomas R. Cross
Thomas R. Cross joined Holmstrom & Kennedy as an associate attorney. The Naperville native graduated magna cum laude in May 2011 from the University of Iowa College of Law and earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 2008 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He was admitted to the Illinois State Bar law year and is a member of the Winnebago County and Illinois State Bar Associations. His concentration is business transactions, commercial litigation and employment and labor law. The firm is at 800 N. Church St., Rockford and can be reached at (815) 962-7071.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride of the Illinois Supreme Court and Chief Judge Val Gunnarsson of the 15th Judicial Circuit in northwestern Illinois announced on Wednesday that news cameras will be allowed in trial courts in five additional Illinois counties under a pilot program approved by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

The counties that make up the 15th circuit are Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle and Stephenson. They join Madison County in the Third Judicial Circuit, Kankakee County in the 21st Judicial Circuit and Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties in the 14th Judicial Circuit where extended media coverage was approved earlier by the Supreme Court.

“Chief Judge Gunnarsson’s application and approval by the Supreme Court to allow cameras in the trial courtrooms in the 15th Circuit bring more geographical diversity to the pilot project for electronic coverage approved earlier this year,” said Chief Justice Kilbride. “The 15th Circuit is a more rural area, and will provide a host of smaller newspaper and radio stations with the opportunity to provide their readers and listeners with picture and audio coverage.

“As the pilot project goes forward, I am confident that Chief Judge Gunnarsson and all the judges in the 15th Circuit will carefully balance the goals of greater openness and access to the courts while ensuring the constitutional guarantees of a fair trial and a fair proceeding.”

Approval of the 15th Circuit extends the pilot project to the Second Judicial District.

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday that the Hon. Robert T. Hanson has been appointed as Circuit Judge for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, at Large. The position was previously held by the Hon. Stephen C. Pemberton, who is retiring from judicial office on July 3, 2012.

Here are the results for Tuesday's judicial primaries for all circuits outside of Cook. Click the link below for the list of results from around the state with ISBA ratings for each candidate.

Winners in bold

  • Click here for the results from Tuesday's Supreme and Appellate primaries
  • Click here for the results from Tuesday's Cook County Circuit primaries

(R) Republican
(D) Democrat

Candidates must receive 65% on the question of Meets Requirements of Office in order to be Recommended.

1st Circuit - Williamson County - Eckiss

Richard R. Cross, 89, Rockford, formerly of Woodstock, died Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012.

He was born Nov. 29, 1922, to Nelson and Mildred Cross in Canton, Ohio. He was educated in Rockford public schools, a member of the first graduating class of the new West High School. He attended the University of Illinois and then served in the United States Army as a member of the 103rd Cactus Division in World War II. After his Army service he returned to the University of Illinois and received his law degree and was a member of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity. He was associated with a law firm in Woodstock.

He married Glenna Comly in 1949. He then was recalled into the Army during the Korean conflict and served in the Judge Advocate Corps. When he returned to Woodstock, he opened his own law office, where he practiced for 50 years. During that time he served as village attorney for Algonquin and was appointed a special assistant attorney general. He served as city attorney in Woodstock until he was elected state’s attorney for McHenry County from 1960 to1968. He then returned to his private practice until his retirement. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Woodstock for more than 50 years, serving as an elder and a trustee of Presbytery.

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.