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Southern Illinois

John W. "Jack" Leskera
John W. "Jack" Leskera

John W. "Jack" Leskera, of Collinsville, IL, passed away on July 26, 2013 at his home.

Jack was born on June 19, 1931. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Verna Leskera. Jack is survived by three children Karen Leskera (David Williams) of Belleville, Elizabeth Going (David) of St. Louis, and John H. Leskera (Jay) (Lillian) of Edwardsville, eight grandchildren, and his dog Merlot.

Jack graduated from Collinsville High School in 1949 and was a member of the Kahok basketball and tennis teams. He attended the University of Illinois graduating with honors and receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953 and a law degree in 1955. Jack served as varsity manager of the Illini Basketball team in 1954. Jack remained loyal to Illinois by donating to the School of Law and the athletic department through the Varsity I Club. At Illinois he met his wife, Adele Haven, whom he married on February 5, 1955 in Lake Forest, IL.

Sandberg Phoenix Managing Partner John Sandberg, ISBA President Paula H. Holderman, and Kathleen Pine, a lawyer in Sandberg Phoenix's Carbondale office
Sandberg Phoenix Managing Partner John Sandberg, ISBA President Paula H. Holderman, and Kathleen Pine, a lawyer in Sandberg Phoenix's Carbondale office
The ISBA/JTBF Law and Leadership Institute (LLI) wrapped up its residential program last week at the Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale. The downstate program is a one week residential program that ran from Sunday, June 23 through Saturday, June 29.

The LLI is a statewide initiative to assist students from minority, ethnic, and other groups who are currently underrepresented in the legal professions achieve academic success and aspire to a career in the law.

The two current programs in Illinois were spearheaded by the ISBA Diversity Pipeline committee. The Chicago commuter program will be held from Monday, July 22 through Friday, August 9 and hosted by the John Marshall Law School.

By John J. Hopkins, John J. Hopkins & Associates, Alton

Jonathan Swift, the famed English satirist and political philosopher of the 18th Century, died in 1745.  As a final commentary, the acclaimed author of such works as “Gulliver’s Travels” left carved on his tombstone a fitting epitaph.  In Latin, it says, “Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift… where fierce indignation can no longer injure the Heart… Go forth voyager and copy, if you can, this vigorous Champion of Liberty.”

I was reminded of Dr. Swift’s final words when I heard the news that a contemporary   “Champion of Liberty” had passed on through this world.  The Honorable Moses Harrison, late Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, died on Thursday, April 25at Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis.   In respect for the lifetime of service to his fellow man, the first SIDEBAR column of 2013 is dedicated to his memory, both his remarkable professional accomplishments but also very fond remembrances of a towering legal figure who remained – despite the seductions of power – a devoted husband and father, active volunteer and loyal friend.

While THIS Moses certainly did ascend to the Judicial mountain top, he never lost his connection to what he liked to call “the real folks.” As he often would tell, in his career he worked as a ranch hand, a truck driver and a Teamster, grounding him in reality and earning in the words of the Illinois Supreme Court in 2002, on the occasion of his retirement the “reputation for commitment to justice and human welfare, to defend the poor, the young and elderly against corporate or governmental policies which went against their interests.”

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Stephen P. McGlynn as a Resident Circuit Judge in  the 20th Circuit, St. Clair County. This vacancy was created by the resignation of the Hon. Michael N. Cook. This appointment is effective July 1, 2013 and terminates on Dec. 1, 2014.

Front row: Ellar Duff, 2nd VP; Angela Donohoo, Past President            Back row: David Jones, President; David Weder, Corresponding Secretary; Eric Carlson, Treasurer; Troy Walton, Corresponding Secretary
Front row: Ellar Duff, 2nd VP; Angela Donohoo, Past President Back row: David Jones, President; David Weder, Corresponding Secretary; Eric Carlson, Treasurer; Troy Walton, Corresponding Secretary
The Madison County Bar Association elected officers at its annual meeting held at the Back Porch in Grantfork Illinois on May 23, 2013.  Officers for the 2013/2014 year are: President: David Jones of Beatty, Motil & Jones, Glen Carbon; 1st Vice President: Chris Threlkeld of Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld & Dawson LLC, Edwardsville; 2nd Vice President: Judge Ellar Duff (Ret.); Treasurer: Eric Carlson from Byron, Carlson, Petri & Kalb LLC, Edwardsville; Recording Secretary: Troy Walton of Schoen Walton Telken & Foster, LLC, East St. Louis; and David Weder of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, L.C.

Outgoing President Angela Donohoo of Levo-Donohoo in Troy received a plaque in recognition of her efforts and accomplishments on behalf of the MCBA during the 2012/2013 years.

Justice Moses W. Harrison II
Justice Moses W. Harrison II
Chief Justice Moses W. Harrison II was a judge and a gentleman. Most of all, he was a friend and a champion of ordinary people. Chief Justice Harrison passed away Thursday, April 25, after a long illness. He was 81.

"My former colleague, friend and mentor Chief Justice Harrison will be remembered as a prominent judge in Illinois legal history not because he was a great man, but because he never lost sight of the common man," said Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride "His commitment to equality and fairness went well beyond his simple, succinct, yet superlative opinions. He treated all people in all stations in life with the same kindness, dignity and respect. That fundamental decency guided his work as a judge, and his work guided Illinois law.

"Illinois is a sadder place today because of his death, but it will forever be a better place because of his life."

Justice Harrison was a member of the Illinois judiciary for 29 years; a member of the Illinois Supreme Court for 10 years; and Chief Justice from Jan. 1, 2000 to September 5, 2002, when he retired. His legacy is quite larger.

A Chicago Tribune profile in 1999 described him as "a gentleman rebel, a distinctly gracious man whose convictions are firm and manners mild."

During his tenure on the Supreme Court, he was most known and honored for demonstrating a commitment to justice and human welfare, writing—either for the majority or in dissent—to defend the poor, the weak, the young and the elderly against corporate or government policies which went against their interests.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has announced the formation of a bipartisan screening committee to assist in selecting Federal District Court Judges for the Southern District of Illinois. It has been announced that a judicial vacancy will open up in the Southern District in December, and the immediate task of the screening committee is to review applications and make recommendations to Durbin for filling current and future vacancies.

Foreclosure does not take place in a vacuum; rather, it can span across many boundaries of the law, making it imperative that attorneys from a wide-variety of practice areas stay up to date on this growing region. Get the direction you need to effectively navigate through the residential foreclosure process with this information full-day seminar in Collinsville on April 26th!

John Gilbert
John Gilbert
The newest member of Sandberg Phoenix’s Edwardsville office, John Gilbert has an extensive portfolio of work and a wealth of experience representing some of the largest companies in the United States. 

Sandberg Phoenix Managing Partner John Sandberg commented, “John is a tremendous attorney whose diverse background and deep knowledge of business law will add significant value to both existing and new clients for our firm. We’re very happy to have him on our team.”

John studied at the University of Illinois (Phi Beta Kappa) and Washington University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Missouri and Illinois and before the United States Supreme Court, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States District Courts. John is a member of the Illinois State, Madison County and St. Clair County Bar Associations and currently serves on the ISBA Standing Committee on Mentoring and as chairman of the Hearing Board for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

A former member of the Illinois Civil Service Commission from 1978 to 1991, John currently serves as a lecturer in Management and Marketing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, a position he has held since 1985, teaching courses in business ethics, business law, cyberlaw and labor and employment law.

Charles William Fechtig
Charles William Fechtig
Charles William Fechtig, 81, of Evansville, Ind. and formerly of Carmi, died Monday, Feb. 18, at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro. He was born February 3, 1932, in Carmi, to William (Willie) and Nell Fechtig. He married Frances Ruth (Winter) Fechtig on Dec. 28, 1952, in Carmi, who preceded him in death on February 19, 2012.

Bill was educated in White county rural schools and graduated from Carmi High School in 1948 and the University of Illinois in 1952. He served as an officer in the United State Marine Corps from 1953-1957 and later returned to the University of Illinois graduating from its School of Law in 1960 earning membership in The Order of the Coif and serving as Editor-in-Chief of its law review.

Following his admission to practice, Bill was a general practitioner in Carmi for 27 years with an emphasis in real estate and mineral law, contracts and appellate law. In 1987, he became In-House Counsel for Marathon Oil Company in Robinson. After retirement from Marathon in 2000, he and Frances relocated to Evansville, Ind. where he returned to private law practice.

Bill also was a Licensed Pastor of the United Methodist Church and served as Pastor of three White County churches - Big Prairie, Concord and Maunie – from 1987 until 2012.

He is survived by: brothers, Norman (Margie) Fechtig of Carmi and Allen (Mary Ruth) Fechtig of Albany, Ore.; three daughters, Amy (David) Wood, of Allen, Tx., Mary (Elizabeth Estes) of Chicago and Martha (Jeff) Ahlers of Evansville, Ind.; a grandson, Nick Ahlers; and several nieces and nephews.