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Illinois Courts Come Together During Global Pandemic

March 23, 2020

Preparation for this column, which I write every other month in rotation with the Chief Justice, usually begins with a few different ideas about relevant and timely topics in the Illinois courts.

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Justice Charles E. Freeman 1933-2020

March 23, 2020

Justice Charles E. Freeman, who had a long and distinguished career on the Illinois Supreme Court from 1990 to 2018 and was the first African American to serve on the Court and as Chief Justice, passed away on March 2, 2020. He was 86.

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Bar Admission Ceremonies to be Conducted via Live Video Conference

March 23, 2020

The bar admission ceremonies typically held in the five judicial districts will be condensed into one ceremony held via video conference due to the coronavirus

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ARDC Announces Promotions, New Hires as Part of Reorganization

March 23, 2020

Jerome Larkin, the Administrator of the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) of the Supreme Court of Illinois, the entity that investigates and prosecutes attorney misconduct, is pleased to announce the following promotions and new hires at the ARDC.

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Commission on Professionalism Welcomes Justice Mary Jane Theis as Illinois Supreme Court Liaison

March 23, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Justice Mary Jane Theis has been appointed as its Supreme Court Liaison. Justice Theis assumes the role from Justice Robert Thomas (Ret.), who retired from the Illinois Supreme Court in February.

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919

March 23, 2020

The 1918-1919 Influenza Epidemic was one of the worst in recorded history, affecting approximately 500 million people worldwide and causing 50 million deaths. In the United States, nearly 675,000 people died...

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Justice Corner

March 23, 2020

Dear Justice Corner,
What should we be doing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to continuances, remote appearance options, and interpreters?
Judge CoronaImpact

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

March 23, 2020

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges:

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Chief's Column: Excited to Begin Listening Tour Across State

February 24, 2020

In my first Illinois Courts Connect newsletter last October, I mentioned that a key initiative during my term as Chief Justice would be to participate in a Listening Tour visiting judicial circuits across the state. Today I want to share more information about this initiative.

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Supreme Court Announces Volunteer Pro Bono Pilot Program to Reduce Criminal Appeals Backlog

February 24, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced a pilot program utilizing volunteer pro bono attorneys to reduce the backlog of criminal appeals that are currently pending with the Office of the State Appellate Defender (OSAD) across the state.

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Justice Robert R. Thomas Announces Retirement
from Illinois Supreme Court

February 24, 2020

Justice Robert R. Thomas has announced his retirement from the Illinois Supreme Court effective Feb. 29, 2020. Justice Thomas, 67, became the first Chief Justice from DuPage County when he was elected to that post from 2005-2008. One of the major accomplishments during Justice Thomas' tenure as Chief was the establishment of the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, an outgrowth of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Civility, which was formed in 2001.

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Justice Thomas Delivers Speech During Education Conference

February 24, 2020

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas delivered this speech on February 5, 2020 at the Education Conference in Lombard.

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Supreme Court Appoints Judge Daniel Shanes as Chair of the Illinois Judicial College Board

February 24, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court recently appointed Lake County Judge Daniel B. Shanes as the Chair of the Illinois Judicial College Board of Trustees. Judge Shanes is currently the Presiding Judge of the Felony Division in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court (Lake County).

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Jensen Named Assistant Director for Court Services

February 24, 2020

Nathan Jensen has joined the AOIC as Assistant Director for Court Services. Jensen previously worked as Director of Court Administration (a TCA type position) for Montgomery County, Texas (a county similar to Kane and Will Counties). Jensen's first day in the Springfield Office was Feb. 3.

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Kane County Veterans Treatment Court Holds Inaugural Graduation

February 24, 2020

The Kane County Veterans Treatment Court held its first graduation ceremony on February 24, 2020 at the Kane County Judicial Center Court Room.

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Transcending the Binary: Inclusion for Transgender
and Non-Binary Attorneys

February 24, 2020

In April 2017, the Court amended Supreme Court Rule 794(d) to require all Illinois attorneys to complete one hour of diversity and inclusion and one hour of mental health and substance abuse Continuing Legal Education (CLE) as part of their Professional Responsibility CLE requirement. In doing so, then-Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier stated that the Court had noted that "as Illinois and the Illinois bar have become more diverse, there has been a marked lag in interest in educational programs addressed to facilitating diversity and inclusion generally and in the legal profession specifically."

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

February 24, 2020

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state.

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Ferdinand Barnett

February 24, 2020

One of the most prominent African American attorneys in the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-centuries was Ferdinand Barnett. Barnett was born in 1852 in Nashville, Tennessee. His father purchased his and his family's freedom and became a blacksmith. The family moved to Canada before the Civil War, then to Chicago in 1869. Young Barnett graduated from high school, moved to the South to teach, and returned to Chicago to attend the Union College of Law (now Northwestern Law School). On June 11, 1878, Barnett received his law license, becoming the third African American admitted to the Illinois bar.

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Commission on Professionalism Launches Free Online CLE on Lawyer Resiliency

January 27, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the launch of a free online CLE on lawyer resiliency. The Resilient Lawyer explores how daily challenges can test lawyer resiliency and demonstrates why developing a resilient mindset can help manage those challenges.

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Kane County Treatment Alternative Court Increases Capacity

January 27, 2020

The Kane County Treatment Alternative Court Program has expanded in order to increase the number of participants by 50 percent effective immediately. Previously, Treatment Alternative Court (TAC) had a maximum capacity of 20 participants, which will now increase to 30 participants. 

 

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Stephen Douglasís Legal Career

January 27, 2020

The Kane County Treatment Alternative Court Program has expanded in order to increase the number of participants by 50 percent effective immediately. Previously, Treatment Alternative Court (TAC) had a maximum capacity of 20 participants, which will now increase to 30 participants. 

 

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Justice Corner

January 27, 2020

Dear Justice Corner,
I am interested in getting more training about Access to Justice issues, how can I do that?
Judge Wanttolearn

Dear Judge Wanttolearn,
One opportunity for training on access to justice-related topics is at the upcoming Judicial Education Conferences. Check out some of these sessions:

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Associate Judge Clayton Lindsey to Visit Local Classroom for Illinois Judges Association Reading Project

January 27, 2020

In conjunction with the February celebration of the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, Associate Judge Clayton Lindsey of the 15th Judicial Circuit will be among the many Illinois judges to deliver a program to grade school students based on the popular children's book by Martha Brenner, Abe Lincoln's Hat. Judge Lindsey will deliver the program to a first-grade class at Mary Morgan Elementary School in Byron, Illinois on February 12, 2020.

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

January 27, 2020

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges:

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Contact
 
Chris Bonjean
Director of Communications
cbonjean@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-2323
 
James Brunner
Sr. Communications Specialist
jbrunner@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-6155
 
Morgan Yingst
Sr. Communications Specialist
myingst@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-0870