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An Update from Chief Justice Burke and Guest Column from Chicago Bar Foundation Executive Director Bob Glaves

June 23, 2020

You may recall that, in my first Illinois Courts Connect column in October 2019, I explained that it was my intention to use this space to highlight the events and happenings of the court and to introduce you to some of the people making a difference in the administration of justice here in Cook County and throughout the State. One such person is Bob Glaves.

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Supreme Court Releases Statement on Racial Justice, Next Steps for Judicial Branch

June 23, 2020

The events of recent days and weeks have exposed frailties in our public institutions and brought to the forefront the disproportionate impact the application of certain laws, rules, policies and practices have had on the African American population, the Latinx community, and other people of color in Illinois and nationally.

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Updates Regarding the Illinois Supreme Court's Volunteer Pro Bono Program in Criminal Appeals

June 23, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court recently approved a training curriculum and modifications to eligibility requirements for the Volunteer Pro Bono Program in Criminal Appeals. These updates are intended to streamline operations and increase the availability of eligible attorneys interested in participating in this important initiative.

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Diversity and Inclusion: Professionalism at Work in the Law

June 23, 2020

On February 25, 2020, as representatives of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, Judge Debra B. Walker and Judge Diane M. Shelley lead an open discussion with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers at Petterino's in Chicago centered around diversity and inclusion in the legal workplace.

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The ARDC's Intermediary Connecting Services Proposal: An Update

June 23, 2020

On February 3, 2020, the ARDC released for public comment its Intermediary Connecting Services Proposal and companion materials. The proposal is a step toward increasing the opportunity of lawyers to advertise and connect with clients. The proposal recognizes that connecting services can assist the public in bringing awareness to the legal nature of problems and of the availability of legal services to address those problems, that connecting services can bridge geographic and technological gaps, and that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to connecting lawyers to clients. The proposal seeks to bring some clarity and regulation to services that connect lawyers with consumers, by proposing certain amendments to Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2 (which deals with lawyer advertising rules) and Supreme Court Rule 730 (which currently requires group legal services to register with the ARDC). The proposed amendments would clarify when lawyers can participate in connecting services and what connecting services have to do so that lawyers can participate.

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Supreme Court Rules Committee Holds Remote Public Hearing on Proposals via Zoom

June 23, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee heard comments on June 24, 2020, at a remote public hearing via the Zoom videoconference platform on seven proposals, including a proposal to require all written opinions by the Appellate Court to be published and a proposal to create a new Supreme Court Rule that would require all eviction complaints to include a copy of the written eviction notice or demand.

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Access to Justice Commission to Accept Proposals for Two Grant Initiatives

June 23, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts have launched an application process for two grant initiatives to begin an expansion of the network of court personnel who assist self-represented litigants (SRLs). The application process for both grant initiatives will open on June 15, 2020 and run through July 15, 2020.

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Probation Division welcomes Rizvi, Venvertloh to Pretrial Services

June 23, 2020

The Probation Services Division is pleased to announce the addition of two new staff. Sharjeel (Sarge) Rizvi and Wendy Venvertloh will be joining the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) in July. Pretrial Services has been an increasing priority for the Supreme Court and AOIC over the past few years. The expertise and experience of Sarge and Wendy will be instrumental in advancing pretrial practices in Illinois.

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Chief Judge Daniel P. Guerin Announces a New Specialty and Juvenile Courts Division for Dupage County to be Led by Circuit Judge Ann Celine Walsh

June 23, 2020

In 2018, in response to the growing heroin and opioid epidemic in DuPage County, the 18th Judicial Circuit implemented a nationally recognized First Offender Call Unified for Success (FOCUS) program which provides non-violent first-offenders the necessary treatment, counseling and education needed to successfully complete their term of probation. Thanks to the leadership of the DuPage County Board and Health Department, the court received a $50,000 grant from the Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education Taskforce (HOPE). This innovative problem-solving court was added to four established DuPage County problem-solving courts which include Drug Court, Mental Illness Court Alternative Program (MICAP) and Veterans Court. Using a team approach with a specially trained judge and comprehensive staff including clinical specialists, these courts share the same goals of rehabilitation and restorative justice principles by employing evidence­ based practices. They provide participants with intensive monitoring, treatment options, and accountability to address addiction and mental illness so that participants can achieve and maintain recovery, become productive members of their communities, and decrease recidivism.

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Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court Conducts Zoom Graduation

June 23, 2020

For the first time in the 20-year history of Kane County Drug Court, a remote graduation ceremony was conducted on June 4, 2020. Eleven participants in this specialty court program participated in a graduation using the Zoom video conferencing tool. Judge Marmarie J. Kostelny presided. Kane County Courts have limited the number of people present for in court hearings during this coronavirus pandemic in accordance with health guidelines.

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Justice McMorrow, Ellen Martin Oaths on Display

June 23, 2020

In honor of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the Illinois State Archives included a display on women's suffrage at the Capitol Complex visitor center during the March Term. The display includes the attorney oaths of Justice Mary Ann McMorrow and Ellen Martin. The visitor center is currently closed.

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Juvenile Courts

June 23, 2020

On July 3, 1899, the Illinois Juvenile Court Act took effect, marking the beginning of a separate court experience for children 16 and under. The new court focused on rehabilitation and differed from criminal courts by treating the child as a person in need of assistance rather than punitive justice for the crime. The Illinois Juvenile Court was the first of its kind, and soon after, other states passed similar laws. Within a few decades, every state and a number of other countries had juvenile court systems.

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Illinois Supreme Court Holds Oral Arguments Via Zoom for First Time in its History

May 26, 2020

Illinois Supreme Court Zoom Hearing
 

The Illinois Supreme Court, for the first time in its history, held oral arguments via the Zoom videoconference platform in May. The Court did this to practice social distancing while still conducting court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Illinois Supreme Court Amends Rules to Support use of Remote Hearings in Court Proceedings

May 26, 2020

Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced the repeal of Supreme Court Rule 185, creation of new Rule 45, and amendments to Rule 46 and Rule 241. These rules all relate to the use of remote hearings via telephone or video conferencing in the courts and the official recording of these court proceedings. The rule changes are effective immediately.

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Guidelines for Resuming Judicial Branch Operations During COVID-19 Pandemic

May 26, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court issued an order and operational guidelines to help courts statewide resume in-person operations and establish procedures for remote hearings. Since mid-March, the state's courts have been operating under precautionary measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to conduct emergency and essential matters.

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Illinois Supreme Court Issues Pandemic-Related Temporary Order for Eviction Cases

May 26, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court announced a temporary order to harmonize the current procedure for eviction cases during the COVID-19 pandemic with new federal requirements recently adopted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020.

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Clerk's Office to Take Requests for Certificates of Good Standing Online

May 26, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court announced that on June 1, 2020 the Supreme Court Clerk's Office will begin offering an option for attorneys to request a Certificate of Good Standing online through a link on the Supreme Court's website.

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Guidance for Remote Appearances During the Pandemic and Beyond

May 26, 2020

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) was investigating ways to increase the use of remote appearances across the state. Remote appearances have many access to justice benefits. For the litigant, remote appearances decrease the time and expense of coming to court (missing work, paying for childcare, finding transportation). Remote appearances also assist lawyers serving large geographic areas to handle more cases and allows judges in rural jurisdictions to hear cases from outlying courthouses without driving between them.

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Nineteenth Amendment

May 26, 2020

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which prohibited the federal and state governments from denying the right to vote on the account of gender. While the movement was national in scope, Illinois played a leading role to secure the right to vote for women.

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A Message From the Chief Justice

April 28, 2020

While preparing my remarks for this edition of Illinois Courts Connect, I took a moment to step back and ponder all that has transpired over the past few months.

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Kane County Treatment Alternative Court Conducts Historic Remote Graduation

April 28, 2020

For the first time in the history of Kane County, the Treatment Alternative Court (TAC) held a remote graduation ceremony on April 23, 2020. Although Kane County Courts have limited in court hearings to emergency and necessary matters during this coronavirus pandemic, two participants in this specialty court program participated in a historic graduation using the Zoom video conferencing tool. Judge Marmarie J. Kostelny presided.

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AOIC Announces Creation of Courts, Children and Families Division

April 28, 2020

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced this month the creation of a Courts, Children and Families Division (Division), effective May 1, 2020. Heather Dorsey will serve as Assistant Director of the new Division.

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ARDC During the Coronavirus Shutdown

April 28, 2020

Following directives and orders from the Illinois Supreme Court, the Governor’s office, and the ARDC’s Commissioners and Administrator, both the ARDC’s Chicago and Springfield offices are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ensuring Language Access to Courts While Maintaining Social Distance

April 28, 2020

While many courts are only hearing emergency matters and are operating under reduced capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, courts are still serving people with limited English and utilizing interpreters.

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

April 28, 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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Illinois Judicial College Hosts Live Webcast on Remote Hearings in Child Protection Cases

April 28, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court Judicial College (Judicial College) Committee on Guardian ad litem Education (GALE) and Committee on Judicial Education (COJE), hosted a one-hour live webcast on April 17 titled Conducting Remote Hearings in Child Protection Cases.

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Illinois Supreme Court Issues Order Limiting Freezes on Personal Bank Accounts

April 28, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court announced an emergency order which limits freezes on personal bank accounts during the Covid-19 pandemic. This order temporarily relieves debtors of the burden of asset freezes, up to the $4,000 exemption provided by law, at a time when they have limited recourse to the courts.

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Illinois Supreme Court to Hold May Oral Arguments via Zoom

April 28, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court, for the first time in its history, will hold oral arguments via the Zoom videoconference platform when it hears cases in May. The Court is doing this to practice social distancing while still conducting court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Attorneys with June 30, 2020 as Their MCLE Compliance Deadline May Choose a Three-month Extension at no Cost

April 28, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court recognizes that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attorneys with last names beginning A-M in the 2018-2020 reporting period may be unable to complete their continuing education credits by the upcoming June 30, 2020 deadline.

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Leading the Way – Problem-Solving Courts Adapt During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 28, 2020

Problem-Solving Courts (PSC) are evidence-based programs whose successful outcomes are attributed to operating in compliance with rules and guidelines set forth in PSC Standards. PSC teams rely on frequent face to face interaction and regular drug testing to monitor the progress of participants.

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Supreme Court Rules Committee to Hold Public Hearing

April 28, 2020

In accordance with Supreme Court Rule 3 (Rulemaking Procedures), the Supreme Court Rules Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, beginning at 10:30 a.m., in Room C-500 at the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle Street, in Chicago

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Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices Releases Final Report

April 28, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices (Commission) has released its final report concerning pretrial reform in the Illinois criminal justice system. For two years, the Commission studied best practices in use around the country, consulted pretrial reform experts, listened to stakeholders throughout the state, and analyzed the myriad sources of academic and professional analysis of pretrial issues. A preliminary report was released in December 2018.

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Commission on Professionalism Launches “Reimagining Law” Video Series

April 28, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the launch of a new video series. Reimagining Law will explore how legal and judicial professionals are adapting the delivery of services to meet the unique needs of today’s consumers. The first episodes will focus on the ways that attorneys and judges are continuing to deliver justice amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Mary Welles and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854

April 28, 2020

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the launch of a new video series. Reimagining Law will explore how legal and judicial professionals are adapting the delivery of services to meet the unique needs of today’s consumers. The first episodes will focus on the ways that attorneys and judges are continuing to deliver justice amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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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 Douglas’s 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