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The Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday that Circuit Judge James R. Moore of the First Judicial Circuit has been assigned to the Fifth District Appellate Court, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Appellate Justice Stephen L. Spomer on November 30, 2014.

The assignment of Judge Moore to the Appellate Court is effective January 2, 2015 and remains in effect until further order of the Court.

John Sprague Jr.
John Sprague Jr.
John Reno Sprague Jr., 73, a resident of O'Fallon, Ill., went to be with the Lord on Nov. 4, 2014.

John was the eighth great-grandson of the pilgrim Francis Sprague of Plymouth, Mass. John was born March 21, 1941, son of John Reno Sprague and Mary, nee Chamblin, Sprague of Belleville, Ill. Growing up, he attended St. Luke's Grade School and Cathedral High School. He was very active in the Boy Scouts of America and became an Eagle Scout at age 15, making him one of the youngest Eagle Scouts at that time. He attended the 1953 Boy Scout Jamboree in California.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois is seeking a full time temporary Pro Se Law Clerk. This temporary position is for one year and one day and may be extended but may not exceed four years, unless it becomes permanent. The Pro Se Law Clerk provides legal advice and assistance to the court in connection with prisoner petitions and complaints. The successful candidate for this position will report to the Chief Judge.

POSITION: Pro Se Law Clerk, Full Time Temporary*
SALARY RANGE: JSP 11 ($57,982) to JSP 14 ($126,949), depending on qualifications**
DATE POSTED: November 24, 2014
CLOSING DATE: December 15, 2014, at 4 p.m.
* Position may become permanent without further competition
** Position is promotion eligible without further competition

Robert Douglas
Robert Douglas
The Crawford County legal community is mourning the death of long-time Robinson attorney Robert Douglas.

Douglas died early Tuesday at Crawford Memorial Hospital. The Oblong native was 77.

Retired Circuit Judge David Correll, who started his legal career with Douglas' firm in 1974, remembered Douglas as tough and fearless.

"You would never feel Bob was intimidated by any individual or any situation," Correll said. "He wasn't afraid of public feedback and didn't shy away from what might be categorized as negative public opinion."

"Nobody fought harder for a client than Bob Douglas," Mattoon attorney Fred Johnson said.

"He was well-respected through out the legal community and remembered for his zealous advocacy for his clients in and out of the courtroom," Crawford County Associate Judge Mark Shaner said.

"Even though he tried some extremely controversial cases, he believed in fighting for the law," Marie Douglas, his wife of 54 years, added. "He truly, truly loved the law."

"Bob and I spent decades sharing the same mistress - the law," Robinson attorney Mark Weber said.

"He was my toughest and most ethical opponent for more than 50 years," Weber added, saying he and all members of the bar were in mourning. "My condolences to his spouse and my friend, Marie, and to Clint, his son."

"I've known Bob for over 25 years and have always had the deepest respect for him," Crawford County Circuit Clerk Angela Reinoehl said. "My condolences to his family."

Michael O'Malley
Michael O'Malley
Michael Joseph O'Malley, born June 20, 1953, died Oct. 11, 2014, at home with his family, following a battle with cancer.

Michael had a long and distinguished legal career, beginning in private practice with his father, and serving as both an Assistant State's Attorney and Assistant Public Defender in St. Clair County, Ill. He was appointed as Associate Circuit Judge on Feb. 1, 1985, and elected as a Circuit Judge on Nov. 6, 1990. Judge O'Malley was honored to serve the 20th Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, Illinois, for 25 years, until his retirement in 2010. After retiring from the bench, he enjoyed a return to private practice with the firm of Carey, Danis & Lowe, LLC, with whom he worked until his death. Judge O'Malley had a passion for the law and relished a deep comradery with his colleagues.

Michael always will be remembered for his keen sense of humor, his quick wit, his joie de vivre, and his kind nature. He will be dearly missed by many.

He was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents; his father, Edward F. O'Malley; his father-in-law, August J. "Gus" Feldker; and his stepbrother-in-law, Larry Shannahan.

By Judge Barb Crowder, Edwardsville

The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee continues to expand its services to veterans in honor of their service to this country. Madison County has a large number of veterans, many of whom are in reduced circumstances or homeless. Madison County started the first Veterans’ Court in the State of Illinois to help veterans navigate the criminal justice by connecting them with volunteers and with social services to assist with the problems that led many of the veterans to criminal court. The Pro Bono committee has focused on legal advice for civil court problems being experienced by veterans and has provided legal advice to veterans near each Veterans Day. For 2014, the Third Circuit Pro Bono Committee and the Madison County Veterans Assistance Commission are excited to announce the creation of the Third Circuit Veterans Legal Assistance Project (VLAP). The circuit’s programs for veterans have grown since the pro bono committee started in 2011. It provides:

Here are the Supreme, Appellate and Circuit results for Tuesday's judicial elections for all circuits outside of Cook. Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier was retained with a 60.7% yes vote in his retention race, according to results in The Southern Illinoisan.

Click here for the 1st District results

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


5th District Supreme Retention

CandidateRecommended/ Not RecommendedMeets Requirements of Office

Lloyd A. Karmeier



St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson (second from left) received a 2014 Law Enforcement Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) during a ceremony hosted by the St. Clair County Bar Association at The Weingarten restaurant in Belleville on October 16.

On hand for the presentation were (from left) Nick Kujawa, who nominated the Sheriff for the award; Sheriff Watson, Russell Scott, a member of the ISBA Board of Governors, who presented the award; and Jon Rosenstengel, president of the St. Clair County Bar Association.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced Monday that the Third Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Martin J. Mengarelli as an associate judge of the Third Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Mengarelli received his undergraduate degree in 1989 from Loyola University in Chicago, and his Juris Doctor in 1993 from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Mr. Mengarelli is currently affiliated with The Simmons Firm in Alton.

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, one of Chicago’s leading trial firms, has merged with longtime St. Louis and Madison County litigation defense firm Kernell Law Firm, P.C.

The lawyers of the highly regarded Kernell Law Firm have successfully represented insurance companies and private businesses in Asbestos Litigation, Product Liability, Toxic Tort Litigation and Insurance Defense for over 25 years.

“We believe our new St. Louis and Madison County offices will provide the same excellent service that clients have come to expect from Tom Kernell and his team, while expanding the services we offer our present clients,” said Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Managing Partner Timothy G. Nickels. “We
are very excited about this opportunity.”

Praise for the professionalism of the recently passed Tom Kernell and his team comes not only from the defense bar. Perry Browder, chairman of the asbestos practice group at Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC, observed, “Tom Kernell was one of the most respected lawyers in the Madison County asbestos arena. He was trusted by judges, defense counsel and plaintiffs’ counsel alike, serving as defense liaison counsel for many years. The attorneys at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP are great litigators with whom we’ve worked for many years. I am happy that Tom’s lawyers and staff are joining Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP to carry on Tom's legacy.”

Kernell Law Firm attorneys joining Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP are: