Friday, January 11, 2013

Justice Steele's retirement prompts Appellate Court reshuffle; Judge Daniel J. Pierce promoted

Justice Sheldon A. Harris
Appellate Court Justice John O. Steele retired at the close of 2012.

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Sheldon A. Harris to the vacancy created by Justice Steele's retirement. The appointment is effective February 1 and terminates December 1, 2014.

Harris has been serving on the Appellate Court since he was assigned to that court on November 1, 2010. However, technically, as is the case with a quarter of the 24 justices of that court, Harris remained a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County until this latest appointment. Harris had been serving on the Circuit Court pursuant to a recall appointment, an appointment extended most recently on October 15, 2010. The November 2010 Appellate Court assignment superseded the November 30, 2013 expiration date of the earlier recall extension. Harris was initially appointed to the circuit bench in 2000, but was unsuccessful in his bid to hold that seat in 2002.

The Supreme Court's appointment of Justice Harris to the Steele vacancy is consistent with the Court's prior pledge to no longer recall appointed judges to service who have been unable to subsequently attain election to the bench.

Justice Harris will retain his caseload and rotation position within the Second Division of the First Appellate District.

Moving into Justice Harris's position on February 1 will be Justice Robert E. Gordon. Justice Gordon is also a Circuit Court Judge serving on the Appellate Court appointment; though he will take Justice Harris's slot, he will maintain his caseload and rotation position in the Sixth Division of the Appellate Court.

The Supreme Court also assigned Circuit Court Judge Daniel J. Pierce to Justice Gordon's slot on the Appellate Court. Judge Pierce, who was elected to the Circuit Court in 2010 from the 14th Subcircuit, will assume Justice Steele's rotation position and caseload in the Third Division of the First Appellate District. Judge Pierce will assume his new duties on February 1.

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