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Illinois Supreme Court assigns Judge Peter Cavanagh
to fill vacancy in 4th District Appellate Court

February 28, 2018

Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Circuit Judge Peter C. Cavanagh of the Seventh Judicial Circuit has been assigned as an Appellate Court Justice in the Fourth District.

Judge Cavanagh was assigned to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice John P. Schmidt. The assignment of Judge Cavanagh takes effect on March 1, 2018, and will conclude on December 3, 2018.

"I am pleased that Judge Peter Cavanagh has accepted assignment to the Fourth District Appellate Court. Judge Cavanagh is an experienced jurist, highly respected by his peers and by the legal community," Justice Garman said. "As circuit judge, he was a prime mover in the creation of Sangamon County’s Drug Court, which has made such a positive impact in his community. His wide range of legal experience prior to taking the bench in 2008, including civil litigation, criminal defense, and criminal prosecution, will serve him well as he undertakes the challenging work of the appellate court."

Judge Cavanagh was first appointed as a judge in 2008 in the Seventh Judicial Circuit and won election in 2010 and retention in 2016. Prior to serving on the bench, Cavanagh practiced law at Cavanagh & Madonia LLP starting in 2002 and served as part time public defender in Sangamon and Logan counties. Cavanagh additionally spent a year with Londrigan, Potter & Randle, P.C., served for three years as an assistant state’s attorney in the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office, and served as a law clerk with the Cook County State’s Attorney's Office for four years.

"I am humbled and appreciative of the confidence shown by Justice Garman and the other Supreme Court Justices in my ability to serve in this important judicial position," Judge Cavanagh said. "I am ready and look forward to this awesome challenge. I will endeavor to honor the legacies of the retiring Justice Thomas Appleton and the late Justice John Schmidt. I’d like to also thank the other judges in my circuit for their support."

Judge Cavanagh earned his Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University and his Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School.

Judge Cavanagh is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Sangamon County Bar Association. He serves as chair of the board of directors for United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln.

The Fourth Judicial District is composed of 30 counties in central Illinois, including: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Greene, Jersey, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Vermilion and Woodford.