Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Gerber appointed in 13th Subcircuit; Justice Burke announces new vacancy in 2nd Subcircuit

Michael Perry Gerber, an Assistant State's Attorney based in Rolling Meadows, was appointed yesterday to the Lawrence vacancy in the far northwest suburban 13th Subcircuit by the Illinois Supreme Court. According to ARDC, Gerber has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1980.

Gerber's appointment is effective tomorrow, December 22, and expires on December 3, 2018. The Supreme Court presumably made this appointment on the recommendation of Justice Anne Burke. The Court never actually says---and trades do happen, from what I've been told---but this vacancy was announced by Justice Burke in October.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Justice Burke announced a new vacancy in the south suburban 2nd Subcircuit, this one created by the retirement of Judge James L. Rhodes (the link is to the press release).

Notice of the vacancy and details of the application process are posted on the Illinois Supreme Court's website at From there, follow the instructions on the "Latest News" scroller announcing the Second Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County vacancy.

Applications for this vacancy will be screened by a special judicial screening committee chaired by retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Benjamin K. Miller. Justice Burke established this screening committee in 2006.

The deadline for applications is 4:00 p.m. on January 18, 2017. Completed applications should be submitted by mail to Kevin Forde c/o. Forde Law Office, 111 West Washington Street, Suite 1100, Chicago, Illinois 60602. Monday's press release specifies that, to be eligible for consideration, an applicant for this vacancy must be a resident of the 13th Subcircuit (the far northwestern corner of the county)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Myron Mackoff appointed to Pethers vacancy in 8th Subcircuit

The Illinois Supreme Court yesterday appointed Myron F. Mackoff to the 8th Subcircuit vacancy created by the recent retirement of Judge Sheryl A. Pethers.

The appointment, which is effective December 29, terminates on December 3, 2018.

Mackoff is a principal in the firm of Richardson & Mackoff. He was a finalist for Associate Judge in 2014. He has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1994.

According to his firm biography, following his graduation from Northwestern University School of Law, Mackoff worked for several years in the Illinois Attorney General's Environmental Law Division. In 2002, Mackoff left the AG's office to join Hubert, Fowler, & Quinn, later known as the Hubert Law Group. After Donald Hubert's death, in 2006, Mackoff was chosen to wind down the affairs of the Hubert Law Group. Mackoff and Travis Richardson formed their firm in 2007.

Litricia P. Payne appointed to countywide vacancy

The Illinois Supreme Court yesterday appointed Litricia P. Payne, an Assistant Will County Public Defender, to the countywide vacancy created by the recent retirement of Judge Eileen Mary Brewer.

The appointment, which is effective December 30, terminates on December 3, 2018.

According to ARDC, Payne has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1997. The Will County Public Defender's website reports that Payne is a Felony Courtroom Supervisor and a Mental Health Court team member in that office. She is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Illinois State University. Payne was in private practice before joining the Will County PD's office. According to the Will County PD website, Payne is a board member of the Black Bar Association of Will County. A 2008 article in the Chicago Tribune listed Payne as among the founding members of that group.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hispanic Lawyers plan 1st Annual Judges Night for February 23

Sure, some of you are still figuring out your New Year's plans; others among you are already worrying about what plans your kids might be making for New Year's. The rest of us are still trying to figure out our Christmas or Hanukkah schedules.

But the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois is thinking ahead. Past Noche Buena and Christmas, past Hanukkah (it comes late this year), past Kwanzaa, past El Día de los Reyes, past even the College Football Playoff. Yes, even beyond Super Bowl Sunday.

Maybe, to paraphrase the seasonal song, maybe it's much too early in the game, but the HLAI is asking you just the same: What are you doing Thursday, February 23?

As you'll note from the above 'Save the Date' notice, HLAI is looking for sponsors for the event. Contact Martin Quintana at Tickets can be obtained by clicking this link (and interested law students might want to buy tickets soon because only 25 tickets will be made available to students at $25 each).

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Russians really are everywhere!

Unless you've been in a coma, you're painfully aware that Russia is dominating the news these days.

It started, of course, during the election campaign. There were allegations that the Russians were behind the Wikileaks disclosures of DNC emails. Mr. Putin, it seems, did not like Hillary Clinton... something about the "reset" button that she showed up with early in her tenure as Secretary of State. There was an entirely unsubstantiated rumor, which I probably just made up, that the reset button was, in reality, a thinly disguised "that was easy" button from the Staples commercials of some years back. Putin pressed the button and was so offended by the message, which he thought was directed at him personally, that he immediately started planning the invasion of Ukraine.

I wasn't sure what the big deal was about the Wikileaks 'revelations' anyway. Many of these merely confirmed that the DNC rigged the primary process for Ms. Clinton and did everything possible to undermine Senator Sanders. But this was hardly news... all the talking heads on cable pretty much agreed that this was the official policy of the Democratic Party. Some were happier about it than others. And, though 'fake news' is much in what passes for 'real news' these days, the Wikileaks emails weren't fake.

The Russian hackers were supermen -- but with strangely limited powers. They could pounce on the DNC servers like muggers rolling a drunk tourist. There were whispers that they invaded Trump Tower, too, and were blackmailing the Donald. But they absolutely couldn't (and wouldn't dare!) access the private server in Hillary Clinton's home. (Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.)

After Trump's unforeseen election, the Russian-mania amped up still more: The Russians stole the election!

It's not clear what the predominant theory is on this. Either the Russians promoted all sorts of fake news that benefited Trump or their amazing hackers somehow actually put Trump votes into the voting machines themselves, undermining the Great Blue Wall in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Well, the machines are electronic, aren't they? So what if many states went to electronic voting after the Hanging Chad fiasco of 2000? So what if these machines aren't actually connected to the Internet? Americans wouldn't vote for Trump, right? So it had to be Russian hackers. (This latter theory seems to be animating Dr. Stein's recount efforts.)

Trump has pooh-poohed the notion that the Russians helped him. It's a tempest in a teapot, perhaps, or a bubble in a bowl of borscht. It's pure coincidence that he proposes to appoint several officials in his forthcoming administration who have taken Russian gold from this oligarch, or that one.

But persons from across the political spectrum, from the aforementioned Dr. Stein on the left to former Congressman Joe Walsh on the right, and many actually responsible people in between, from both parties, have called for an investigation of Russia's actions.

Meanwhile, Russian hackers are turning up pretty much everywhere. Yesterday, for example, Rich Miller's Capitol Fax reported that the FBI told the Illinois Republican Party that the Russians had likely hacked some of its emails.

But the topper, for me at least, came just this morning.

Even when I have nothing to post, I try and check the blog every day. I never know when EP or Black Lady Who Reads or Lobo or THE PERSON WHO COMMENTS ONLY IN CAPS will have a new comment to share. I check my stats, too -- 2,902 page views yesterday -- the kind of number I used to see only in the few days before and after an election. So I was feeling pretty good about that.

But only for a couple of seconds.

The stats page also provides a map that shows a blogger where his or her page views are coming from. I generally don't pay much attention to mine: My map has always shown the United States in the darkest shade of green, meaning my readers are clicking in from somewhere in the United States. Although the map doesn't localize hits beyond that, I am highly confident that my readers are nearly all from Cook County. I met a Will County reader the other night... and I had to ask her... why?

But, anyway, here is my genuine, un-retouched stats map from this morning:

The Russians really are everywhere.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Justice Bertina E. Lampkin takes oath

You may have to squint some to see it, but in the center of this photograph you can see Illinois Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Freeman administer the oath of office to Appellate Court Justice Bertina E. Lampkin, elected this November to the court on which she has served for several years pursuant to Supreme Court appointment.

The ceremony was conducted yesterday evening at the Loop offices of Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC. Retired Appellate Court Justice Gino DiVito was among the speakers at the event. Also speaking were Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, Circuit Court Judges Tommy Brewer and Leonard Murray, and attorney Kevin M. Forde. In addition to Justice Freeman, Supreme Court Justices Thomas Kilbride and Mary Jane Theis attended the event, as did retired Supreme Court Justice Benjamin K. Miller. Several of Justice Lampkin's colleagues on the Appellate Court were also on hand for the occasion including (but not necessarily limited to) Justices Cynthia Y. Cobb, Mathias W. Delort, Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, Nathaniel R. Howse, Jr., Mary L. Mikva, P. Scott Neville, and John B. Simon. If I missed someone, please excuse me: As the accompanying picture suggests, it was a crowded room.

Monday, December 05, 2016

New class of Circuit Court judges sworn in today

James Leonard Allegretti, Alison C. Conlon, Richard C. Cooke, Eulalia De La Rosa, Daniel Patrick Duffy, Jerry Esrig, Rossana Patricia Fernandez, Carolyn J. Gallagher, Aleksandra Gillespie, Carrie Hamilton, Maureen O’Donoghue Hannon, D. Renee Jackson, Marianne Jackson, Daryl Jones, Edward J. King, Steven A. Kozicki, Matthew Link, Anna Loftus, John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr., Freddrenna M. Lyle, Mary Kathleen McHugh, Leonard Murray, Brendan A. O’Brien, Kevin Michael O’Donnell, Susana L. Ortiz, Jesse Outlaw, Patrick Joseph Powers, Marguerite Ann Quinn, Catherine Ann Schneider, Patricia S. Spratt, and William B. Sullivan were all sworn in today as Cook County Circuit Court judges.

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and 7th Circuit Senior Judge William J. Bauer administered the oath. (Judge Eve Marie Reilly, who was also elected in November, was unable to attend today's ceremony.) Nearly half of the new class was already serving in the judiciary before today, either pursuant to Supreme Court appointment or as an Associate Judge.

Several politicians and bar presidents were present to witness the occasion. Of those in the front row, above, only Cook County Commissioner John Daley did not speak. From left, the Rev. Marvin E. Wiley of the Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood gave the invocation, while the Rev. Mr. Daniel G. Welter, a Roman Catholic Deacon (and former associate judge) gave the convocation. To Mr. Daley's right are Cook County Public Defender Amy P. Campanelli and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Both Campanelli and Madigan offered congratulations and advice to the new jurists.

Also speaking at today's ceremony were Judge Bauer, Chief Judge Reuben Castillo of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and Illinois Supreme Court Justices Thomas L. Kilbride and Mary Jane Theis. Judge Moshe Jacobius, who is the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division, and the Secretary of the Circuit Court, called the roll of today's inductees.

Friday, December 02, 2016

JIB files complaint against Judge Valarie E. Turner

The Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board today filed a Complaint with the Illinois Courts Commission against Judge Valarie E. Turner, charging that she is "mentally unable to perform her duties." The JIB Complaint specifically alleges that Judge Turner has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and suffers from memory loss.

Turner, as FWIW readers know, was the Markham-based judge that let then-law clerk Rhonda Crawford don Judge Turner's robe and preside over some traffic cases.

The Complaint does not ask for any specific relief from the Courts Commission, only that it "make such order in accordance with Section 15 of Article VI of the Illinois Constitution as the Commission may deem appropriate" (Section 15 of Article VI being the section of the Constitution that creates the JIB and Courts Commission, expressly giving the latter the authority, after notice and public hearing, to "retire a Judge... who is physically or mentally unable to perform his or her duties").

David Thomas has more in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (subscription required).

Patrick T. Stanton appointed to 3rd Subcircuit vacancy

On the recommendation of Justice Mary Jane Theis, the Illinois Supreme Court today appointed Patrick T. Stanton to the 3rd Subcircuit vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Maureen F. Delehanty.

The appointment is effective January 1, 2017 and expires December 3, 2018. The Court's press release announcing the appointment can be accessed by the link in this sentence.

Stanton has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1993. He currently is a member of Dykema Gossett, PLLC. According to the both the linked firm biography and the Supreme Court's press release, Stanton serves as the firm's Lateral Recruiting Partner and is the former Managing Member of the firm's Chicago office. He began his legal career as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge George M. Marovich.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Judge Fredrick Bates tapped for Lampkin vacancy in 2nd Subcircuit

Justice Bertina E. Lampkin will be sworn in Monday as an elected Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court (she has served on that court for several years pursuant to Supreme Court appointment).

Justice Lampkin's elevation will create a vacancy in the 2nd Subcircuit (in addition to being elected to the Appellate Court last month, Justice Lampkin was simultaneously retained as a Circuit Court judge).

The new vacancy won't last long.

Judge Fredrick H. Bates, whose appointment to the countywide Walsh vacancy will end when Patrick Joseph Powers takes his oath of office Monday, was appointed yesterday by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the Lampkin vacancy, effective December 5 (the new appointment will expire on December 3, 2018) (see corrected order changing effective date of appointment from December 6 to December 5).