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Southern Illinois

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier announced Thursday that an application process has begun for a resident Circuit Court vacancy in Jefferson County, Second Judicial Circuit.

The resident Circuit vacancy is being created by the announced resignation of Circuit Judge Terry H. Gamber, effective December 31, 2011.

Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court holds the authority to fill interim judicial vacancies. Justice Karmeier uses a committee to evaluate and interview applicants before making a recommendation to the Court for vacancies in the Fifth Judicial District.

Applicants must submit a cover letter with the Requested Information of an Applicant Form to:

  • Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • P.O. Box 266
  • Nashville, IL 62263

The form may be obtained from the office of Chief Judge Kyle Vantrease of the Second Judicial Circuit in Benton; or from Jefferson County Circuit Clerk John Scott; or from Resident Circuit Judge Terry H. Gamber at the Jefferson County Courthouse; or from the Jefferson County Bar Association; or from Justice Karmeier.

Applicants' cover letter and completed form must be received in Justice Karmeier's office no later than Friday, September 30, 2011. The person appointed to fill the vacancy will serve until the position is filled through the November 2012 General Election. The appointment will terminate December 3, 2012. To be eligible for appointment, a person must be a resident of Jefferson County at the time of the appointment.

Jackson County Public Defender

Public Defender: This position will be responsible for operations of the Public Defender's Office. The position will be a part-time position (80% time) with benefits including retirement and health insurance. Salary for the position will be $80,000.00 per year. Applicants must be licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois and reside in Jackson County or a county immediately adjacent to Jackson County. Criminal and juvenile practice will be prohibited outside of the contract. The Public Defender is responsible for the staffing and administration of the Office pursuant to 55 ILCS 5/3-4008. In addition to the Public Defender, the office will have two full time attorneys. The office will be responsible for representing persons charged with felonies and traffic violations.

Paul Evans
Paul Evans
O'Fallon attorney Paul Evans has been selected to finish the term of the retiring Ron Stephens in the Illinois House. Evans is an ISBA member and a former chair of the Ag Law Committee.

Evans, who has been practicing law for over 20 years, was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1988 and the Illinois Bar in 1989. He graduated from the Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1988.

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the appointment of Ben L. Beyers II as an associate judge of the Third Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Beyers received his undergraduate degree in 1996 from the University of Illinois in Urbana and his Juris Doctor in 1999 from the University of Illinois.

He is currently affiliated with the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office in Edwardsville.

Cornelius "Neal" Thomas Ducey, Sr., 91, of Belleville, died June 28, 2011.

Mr. Ducey practiced as an attorney for over 40 years in East St. Louis and Belleville. He graduated with an undergraduate degree and Summa Cum Laude Law Degree from the University of Notre Dame. World War II Army Air Corp veteran earning five Bronze Stars in the Pacific Arena, member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Our Lady's Prayer Group, American Bar Association, Knights of Columbus, VFW, and past president of St. Clair Country Club.

He was preceded in death by wife, Marie Corinne Patout, nee Burguieres, Ducey; and parents, Cornelius Leo and Rose, nee Adelsberger, Ducey.

Memorials may be made to the Blessed Sacrament Catholic School Endowment Fund. Condolences may be expressed online at


The 3rd Annual Miles for Meso 5K Race & 2K Walk – nationally sponsored and locally hosted Sept. 24 in Alton, Ill., by the Simmons Firm –  has expanded to include $6,200 in prize money for top performers to build awareness of mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure.  Proceeds from the event  will benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

“The amount of prize money offered through the 2011 Miles for Meso Race and Walk is truly significant for a 5K race,” said Mike Wever, president of the Metro Tri Club and race director for Miles for Meso.  “Awards will go to the top five runners in the male and female categories instead of three, and racers will enjoy a specially designed course through beautiful Alton, Ill., complete with river views and historic, bricked-lined hills that will challenge even professional runners.”

A total of $6,200 will be awarded to the top five male and top five female place winners of the timed 5K race, for a total of 10 places with cash prizes. First place male and female winnings will increase to $1,500; second place to $750; and third place to $500. In addition, race organizers have extended the number of places eligible for monetary winnings:  fourth place will win $250, and fifth place will take home $100. Three $100 giveaways will be drawn for the remaining participants.

"This race is a great example of rewarding top runners in the event while raising funds and awareness for an important cause," said Jean Knaack, executive director of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), which sanctioned the race.

“Our goal is to host an event to raise money for mesothelioma research and educate participants about this devastating, global asbestos-related disease,” said Mike Angelides, managing partner of the Simmons Firm. “This year’s 2011 Miles for Meso race has been expanded to include more prizes and community activities for participants to enjoy.”

James B. Wham

ISBA Laureate James B. "Jim" Wham, 92, died May 20, 2011, in Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

He was a trial lawyer, practicing his entire career at Wham and Wham Attorneys in Centralia.

A Laureate of the ISBA Academy of Lawyers, Wham actually was the inspiration for establishment of the Academy.

His rousing speech at the 1998 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, where he received the General Practice Section Tradition of Excellence Award, led Cheryl I. Niro to implement the Laureate program during her presidency the following year.

He was a veteran in World War II.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and his daughters, Sarah Cary and Jennifer Price, and his brother, William B. Wham. Services have been held.

Sign the online guestbook at

Charles W. Chapman

Former Madison County circuit judge and appellate court justice Charles W. Chapman passed away last month at his home in Edwardsville. He was a name partner in the law firm LakinChapman LLC in Wood River.

Chapman served as Circuit Judge in the Third Judicial Circuit of Madison County from 1979 to 1988. He was elected in 1988 to the Appellate Court for the Fifth Judicial District, Mt. Vernon, Illinois and served until 2001.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian recalls when Chapman ran against him, but they still were close friends.

"He was a hell of a nice guy. He was a good book man and a good trial lawyer," Matoesian said.

Chapman earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a doctor of jurisprudence from St. Louis University in 1967. He completed his coursework for a master's degree in economics in 1980 and a master of law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1992.

Read the full obituary in the Alton Telegraph.

Read the obituary by ISBA Member John J. Hopkins in the Madison St. Clair Record


Chicago area

Southern Illinois

This post is updated with breaking news throughout the day.

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Dorothy W. Spomer

Southern Illinois lost a legal pioneer on Saturday, April 23. Dorothy Wilbourn Spomer, 90, passed away in Cape Girardeau.

Dorothy held the distinction of being the first woman judge in Southern Illinois, having been elected Alexander County Judge in 1950 and later Circuit Judge. After 27 years, she retired from the bench, only to soon be appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to become the first female to sit on the Fifth District Appellate Court. She left the court in 1980 and joined the practice of law with her husband, W.C. Spomer. They practiced as Spomer and Spomer until 1992.

Judge Spomer graduated at the age of 22 with honors from the University of Illinois School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. Her first case after law school was with her father, attorney Asa Wilbourn, before the Supreme Court, where she argued and won an election contest lawsuit.

During her judicial career, Judge Spomer heard cases throughout Southern Illinois and garnered the reputation as a principled, fair-minded jurist. Quiet and demur, she led by example. Always prepared and proficient in shorthand, it was not unusual for her notes to rival those of the court reporter.

In 2009, she was a recipient of Southern Illinois University's Inspiring Women of Achievement Award.