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Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier announced Monday that an application process has begun for a Circuit Court vacancy in Williamson County, First Judicial Circuit.

The resident Circuit vacancy is being created by the announced resignation of Circuit Judge Ronald R. Eckiss, effective November 1, 2010.

Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court holds the authority to fill interim judicial vacancies. Justice Karmeier uses an application, evaluation and interview process to make recommendations 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 Mark H. Clarke of the First Judicial Circuit in Cairo; or from Williamson County Circuit Clerk Stuart Hall; or from Resident Circuit Judges Ronald Eckiss and Phillip Palmer at the Williamson County Courthouse; or from the Williamson County Bar Association or from Justice Karmeier.

Applicants' cover letter and completed form must be received in Justice Karmeier's office no later than Thursday, October 7, 2010. 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 Williamson County at the time of the appointment.

Williamson County is one of nine counties in the First Judicial Circuit; the First Judicial Circuit is also comprised of the southern Illinois counties of Alexander, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline and Union.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed Stephen P. McGlynn as Circuit Judge at large in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. Mr. McGlynn, who had served before by appointment on the Fifth District Appellate Court, will fill the Circuit vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Michael O’ Malley.

The appointment will take effect September 17 and will terminate December 3, 2012. Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier recommended Mr. McGlynn’s appointment after an application process which included review by a specially selected screening committee and interviews by Justice Karmeier of three finalists.

Nineteen persons applied for the position, one withdrew and the remaining applicants were screened by the six-person committee who presented Justice Karmeier with the names of the three finalists.

“I want to thank the Supreme Court and Justice Karmeier for the confidence they have placed in me, and the bipartisan selection committee that did its job in evaluating a number of very good people who applied,” said Mr. McGlynn. “I really enjoyed my prior tenure on the bench, and I’m very honored because I know that a judge can do a lot of good things, and it’s a marvelous way to serve my community.”

The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed Associate Judge Michael N. Cook to fill the Circuit Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Annette A. Eckert, resident Circuit Judge of St. Clair County in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit.

The appointment, made upon the recommendation of Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, is effective October 1, 2010.

Judge Cook has served as an associate judge since 2007. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he served as an associate with the Belleville law firm of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin; he was also an assistant public defender for St. Clair County.

Judge Cook graduated in 1999 with a juris doctor degree from the University of Tulsa. While there, he served on the Board of Advocates and in the Elder Law Legal Clinic. He graduated in 1994 with a bachelor of science degree in anthropology from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

His is a member of the St. Clair County Bar Association and currently serves as its first vice-president. In addition, Judge Cook also serves as chairman of the paralegal scholarship program at Southwestern Illinois College.

Judge Cook is the only candidate seeking to succeed Judge Eckert, and will be unopposed on the November ballot.

ISBA Laureate Award winner Joseph R. Bartylak of Alton passed away on Thursday, Aug. 26, after suffering from pneumonia. Mr. Bartylak joined the staff of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation when it was founded in 1972. He had been staff attorney of the Legal Services Society of Madison County, one of seven organizations that combined to form LLLAF. Bartylak became the agency's executive director in 1976 and served for 27 years. He was at the helm while Land of Lincoln expanded into 65 southern Illinois counties and established several regional offices throughout its 33,OOO-square-mile service area.

A 1947 graduate of the Washington University School of Law, Bartylak has been an advocate for legal services to the poor for most of his 58 years in practice. He retired from Land of Lincoln in 2003, but continued to serve the profession as the first downstate associate director of the Lawyers' Assistance Program. A past president of LAP who has served on its board for 25 years, Bartylak was a member of the ISBA Assembly and a past chair of the Committee on Delivery of Legal Services and the Committee on Public Relations. He was a Charter Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation, a trustee of the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, and a past president of the Madison County Bar Association.

Bartylak has received the Charles Dorsey Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the Lovejoy Human Rights Award, a Distinguished Service Award from the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, and the Carl H. Rolewick Award from the Lawyers' Assistance Program.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 2, at 1:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Alton.