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Southern Illinois

A revised version of the following jury instruction was just posted to the Illinois Supreme Court Web site: "110.04 Liability of Owner or Keeper of a Dog or Other Animal--Statutory Strict Liability."
isbaletterbudgetcutsISBA leaders have sent a letter to Gov. Quinn and four legislative leaders in a bid to prevent cuts of up to 50% for legal aid in the current State budget. Read the letter from ISBA President Jack Carey and ISBA President-elect John G. O'Brien.
The Supreme Court ruled today that Texas is entitled to a Voting Rights Act exemption, parents who remove their disabled children from public school can be reimbursed for a private education, and the Army Corps of Engineers can issue permits for dumping dredge into waterways. From On the Docket.
The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, which advocates for and distributes the state apporpriation for civil legal aid, faces a 50 percent cut in its appropriation if the budget bill passed by the General Assembly on May 31 becomes law. The appropriation would drop from $3.5 million to $1.75 million. In 2008, the $3.5 million appropriation helped over 68,000 low-income families address their legal needs. The General Assembly is going into a special session on Tuesday, June 23. The IEJF asks that voters call their state senators and state representatives and tell them that legal aid is important. Click here for more information.
By a 4-2 vote in Maddux v. Blagojevich. Justice Freeman delivered the judgment with Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justices Kilbride and Burke concurring. Justices Karmeier and Garman dissented. Justice Thomas was not part of the decision. From the case summary:
William Maddux is the presiding judge of the law division of the Cook County circuit court. He will be 75 years old before his current term expires in 2010. He would like to serve beyond that time, but wants to do so by running for retention, rather than in a contested election. The Illinois Constitution of 1970 states criteria for eligibility for judgeships which do not include age, but also states that the “General Assembly may provide by law for the retirement of Judges *** at a prescribed age.” The Compulsory Retirement of Judges Act states that “a judge is automatically retired at the expiration of the term in which the judge attains the age of 75.” In 1992, the Act was construed by the appellate court as precluding a judge from running for retention after age 75, but as allowing a candidate for judgeship to run in a contested election at any age, thus reaching a compromise between the constitutional absence of age as an eligibility requirement and the legislature’s constitutionally granted power to set a retirement age. This judicial interpretation, now 17 years old, has not been altered by the legislature. This declaratory judgment action seeking summary judgment was brought as an attempt to secure for Judge Maddux the right to run for retention. It was claimed that the statutory scheme now in place is constitutionally invalid. The circuit court dismissed the action.
Jaime L. Sitton
Jaime L. Sitton
Jaime L. Sitton has joined the firm of Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. as an associate. Sitton received an undergraduate degree from Truman State University in 2003 and a Juris Doctoris degree from Marquette University Law School in 2006. Her primary focus will be health law -- medical malpractice. Sitton was formerly associated with the law offices of Moser & Marsalek, P.C. Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. has offices in St. Louis, Carbondale and Edwardsville. Illinois Lawyer Now is happy to announce transitions for ISBA members. Please include name, position, law firm, practice areas, education information and former employer. A mug shot in  the JPG file format may also be included. Send information to cbonjean@isba.org.

Stay in touch with Language Tips columnist

Gertrude Block, who wrote the Language Tips column in the ISBA Bar News, invites readers to continue to send her questions via email to block@law.ufl.edu

Correction

In the June issue of the ISBA Bar News, a typographical error occurred in the telephone number for the new professional consulting firm of RobinsonNiro in Chicago. The correct number is (312) 752-5393.