(312) 793-3250 (Chicago Office)
(217) 558-4490 (Springfield Office)
The AOIC Executive Office is comprised of the Administrative Director, Deputy Director, Chief Legal Counsel, and other legal and administrative staff. Under the Administrative Director’s leadership, the Executive Office is responsible for coordinating and guiding operations of the Administrative Office’s six divisions and serves as a central resource for myriad operational issues which impact the administration of the Illinois judicial branch.
The Executive Office, on behalf of the Supreme Court, manages and coordinates liaison activities with Executive and Legislative Branch officials and agencies on matters that impact the Illinois Courts and the justice system. One of the major duties performed for the Supreme Court is the consideration of non-routine administrative matters presented during each Court term. The Administrative Director prepares and presents agenda issues to the Court for discussion and deliberation to assure that the business of the judicial branch is thoroughly and timely managed. Agenda items approved by the Court for action are then implemented by the Director through the Executive Office.
The Executive Office plans and coordinates Administrative Office staff support for Supreme Court Committees and the Committees of the Illinois Judicial Conference. In that regard, the Judicial Conference committees are charged with examining and making recommendations on matters of judicial branch policy. The reports and recommendations which flow from each Judicial Conference committee to the Supreme Court relate to the improvement of the administration of justice in Illinois. As such, the Court assigned new and on-going tasks and projects to Judicial Conference committees in 2015. The Administrative Director assigns senior level staff with subject matter expertise to serve as liaisons to assist each committee in its assignments.
In its administration of Supreme Court Rule 39 (Appointment of Associate Judges), the Executive Office conducted the election of 33 associate judges in 13 of Illinois’ 24 judicial circuits during 2014. Also, as provided by Rule 39, the Executive Office will manage the 2015 quadrennial reappointment process for Illinois’ more than 400 associate judges. The Executive Office additionally processes applications filed under Supreme Court Rule 295, which authorizes the assignment of associate judges to hear felony matters. Other matters administered through the Executive Office include applications for licenses issued to law students seeking to provide limited legal representation under Supreme Court Rule 711.
The Executive Office’s activities and responsibilities include securing and tracking legal representation through the Office of the Attorney General for members of the judicial branch named in a civil case or controversy arising out of the performance of their official judicial duties. Executive Office staff also negotiates, prepares, and manages office leases and contracts for the Supreme and Appellate Courts, mandatory arbitration programs, and the Administrative Office. All vendor contracts generated by the Administrative Office and state judicial branch managers for use in securing goods and services are reviewed and approved by the Executive Office. Written summaries of recent Supreme Court opinions are prepared by legal staff within the Executive Office for distribution to all Illinois judges.
The Executive Office also oversees the Human Resource Unit and the Labor Relations Unit. The Human Resource Unit provides personnel services to state-paid judicial branch employees and managers; maintains comprehensive attendance and leave records for all judicial branch personnel covered by the Supreme Court’s Leave of Absence Policies; and assists individuals with questions regarding the Supreme Court’s leave and personnel policies. The Human Resource Unit also works with judicial branch employees and managers in administering the judicial branch’s classification and compensation plan, as well as assisting judicial branch managers in their recruitment and selection process. Additionally, the Human Resource Unit is responsible for EEOC reporting and dissemination of economic interest statements required under Supreme Court Rule 68.
The Labor Relations Unit negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of chief circuit judges and circuit clerks. The Labor Relations Unit has frequently been called upon to offer advice relative to personnel matters to assure appropriate actions that are just and in compliance with the negotiated agreements, common law rules of the workplace, and federal and state statutes.
Additionally, the Executive Office provides secretariat services to the Illinois Courts Commission, which includes filing and preservation of Commission records, distributing the Official Illinois Courts Commission Reports, and performing all other duties typically executed by a clerk of a court of record. Finally, Executive Office staff prepares and executes grants which provide for programming funded through the Lawyers’ Assistance Program Act.