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 2017

Another Step Toward Equal Justice: Identifying Implicit Bias

November 29, 2017

Traditionally, efforts to ensure that all persons are treated equally under the law have focused on what are often perceived to be objective criteria: making sure that meaningful access to judicial resources is available to all who....

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Re:SearchIL will be a welcome addition for court users

November 29, 2017

The Supreme Court’s May 30, 2017, Order on e-filing amended the January 2016 Order mandating civil e-filing in several respects. Among these is the implementation of re:SearchIL, which will provide an efficient way for ....

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Over 1,300 new attorneys admitted to practice in Illinois

November 29, 2017

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court administered the attorney’s oath to approximately 1,335 new attorneys on Thursday, November 9, at five separate locations across ....

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Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards

November 29, 2017

With the importance of the American judicial branch receiving new levels of attention on the national stage, Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the ....

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Illinois Supreme Court History: Bicentennial Commemorations

November 29, 2017

As we approach the 199th anniversary of the State of Illinois on December 3, 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission announces events and activities to commemorate the upcoming 200th anniversary of the ....

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18th Circuit first to employ all certified full-time interpreters

November 29, 2017

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts would like to recognize the 18th Circuit Court for being the first circuit to have all certified full-time staff interpreters. Counties with full-time staff interpreters have ....

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Circuits receive grants to improve access for self-represented litigants

November 29, 2017

“Hundreds of thousands of litigants appear in the Illinois courts without an attorney every year. The growing number of self-represented litigants in court is not unique to any one circuit, county, or ....

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Can We Just Be Friends? A Review of Opinions on Lawyers and Judges Connected on Social Media

November 29, 2017

An ethical conundrum exists for the bench and bar connecting through social media, let alone communicating on those platforms. The ethical waters are still just as muddy as the various states’ opinions across the ....

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Dowling, Revisited

November 29, 2017

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” said a 13-year-old Juliet to Romeo. In the vernacular of the modern-day millennial, Juliet’s pronouncement in Shakespeare’s 1 timeless tragedy roughly translates into a ....

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Justice Corner November 2017

November 29, 2017

“How much assistance, if any, can a judge give a self-represented litigant at trial with evidentiary issues ....

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Peter Michael Gonzalez appointed to fill Cook County Circuit Judge vacancy

November 29, 2017

“The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Peter Michael Gonzalez as a Circuit Judge of Cook County, at Large, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Lynn M. Egan. The appointment is ....

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Associate Judge MacKay appointed to 18th Judicial Circuit vacany

November 29, 2017

“The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Associate Judge Jeffrey S. MacKay as a Circuit Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit, at Large, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Kathryn E. Creswell. The appointment is ....

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Reaffirming our Commitment to the Profession

October 25, 2017

This month’s issue of Illinois Courts Connect reminds us that fall is a time of reflection and renewal for the judicial system. The U.S. and Illinois Supreme Courts reconvene with new cases to hear and decide. Bar exam results are....

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Moving the Courts Forward Through Strategic Planning

October 25, 2017

On October 19, 2017, the membership of the Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC) convened for an annual meeting mandated by the Illinois Constitution “to consider the work of the courts and to suggest improvements in the....

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Justice Corner October 2017

October 25, 2017

I have a case where one side is represented by an attorney and one side is pro se. When scheduling a continuance for a status date, the pro se litigant asked if he could call-in rather than come in person to court to avoid....

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ARDC Efforts to Assist Lawyers to Remedy Issues that Interfere with their Effective Representation of Clients

October 25, 2017

The mission of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) is to promote and protect the integrity of the legal profession, at the direction of the Supreme Court, through attorney registration, education, investigation, prosecution....

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Entering the Profession, Excelling through Mentoring

October 25, 2017

Our newest Illinois lawyers will soon trade their backpacks for briefcases at the upcoming November 9, 2017 admission ceremonies. In their academic years, they have had many questions and strived to find the answers. They will have many ....

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Abraham Lincoln and Illinois' History of Lawyers as Substitute Judges

October 25, 2017

The practice of lawyers substituting for judges was common in early Illinois history. Since a county circuit court met for only two weeks annually on average, it was necessary that cases be dispensed with in an ....

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Bail Reform Act Webinar set for December 19

October 25, 2017

The Committee on Judicial Education is asking judges to mark their calendars for a live one-hour webinar on Tuesday, December 19, beginning at 12:15 p.m. The webinar will offer judges an opportunity to learn and....

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Supporting the Legal Aid Safety Net

October 25, 2017

For the 1.6 million Illinois residents who live in poverty, paying market rates for the services of an attorney in private practice is an unattainable luxury. For these individuals and families, not-for-profit legal aid organizations are....

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New Appellate Resource Specialist/JusticeCorps Officer to Address Service Gaps for Self-Represented Litigants

October 25, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission and the Civil Justice Division of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) are pleased to announce the addition of our newly hired ....

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Illinois Supreme Court assigns Judge John Schmidt to fill vacancy in Fourth District Appellate Court

October 25, 2017

Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Circuit Judge John P. Schmidt of the Seventh Judicial Circuit has been assigned as an Appellate Court Justice in the ....

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Term Opens with Flurry of New Initiatives

September 27, 2017

While the Supreme Court does not convene as a body during the summer (see 705 ILCS 10/2 (West 2016)), the business of the court never stops. This summer was particularly busy. While the members of the court drafted....

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Chief Justice Karmeier Addresses Illinois Legal Aid Conference

September 27, 2017

In remarks to over 500 legal aid advocates in Chicago on September 7, Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier stressed the importance of equal access to justice as a fundamental organizing principle of our....

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Director's column: An honor to serve the Court

September 27, 2017

On behalf of the Supreme Court, I welcome you to another edition of Illinois Courts Connect. I am extremely fortunate and honored to have been selected by the Illinois Supreme Court earlier this year to serve as its....

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How the ARDC tackles the Unauthorized Practice of Law

September 27, 2017

To become lawyers, candidates generally spent at least three years in law school, pass a bar examination, and have their backgrounds and character examined during a rigorous admissions process. The vetting is designed to protect the....

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20 Legal News Sources for Illinois Lawyers and Judges

September 27, 2017

Lawyers have a duty to maintain their competency. The evolution of the practice of law is in constant flux. Statues, rules, and procedures are changing practically daily, demanding attorneys and judges “keep abreast of changes in the law and....

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Justice Corner September 2017

September 27, 2017

Dear Justice Corner: If a litigant reports they receive food stamps (SNAP) on the Supreme Court Rule 298 Application for Waiver of Court Fees, but I suspect they have enough money to pay the court fees, what should I do?...

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Standardized forms library continues expansion with improved suite of expungement and sealing forms

September 27, 2017

Since 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice has been promulgating plain language, standardized court forms for use by self-represented litigants. This process is time consuming and....

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What Are the Illinois Supreme Court's 10 Most Significant Cases?

September 27, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission needs your help. In 1939, Ralph Snyder published an article in the John Marshall Law Quarterly (5 John Marshall L.Q. 438, 1939-1940) that listed the 10 most significant....

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Preston Jones, Jr. appointed as Circuit Judge of Cook County

September 27, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Preston Jones, Jr. as a Circuit Judge of Cook County, at Large, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Thomas E. Flanagan. The appointment is effective September 25, 2017 and.....

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Charles S. Beach appointed Circuit Judge in the Sixth Subcircuit of Cook County

September 27, 2017

Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Charles S. Beach as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 6 th Subcircuit. Mr. Beach was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Hon. Richard C. Cooke.....

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Memorial service held for Supreme Court Justice John J. Stamos

September 27, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court hosted a memorial service in honor of the late Justice John J. Stamos on September 20, 2017, in Springfield. Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier gave the opening and closing remarks with.....

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ICE Arrests Threaten to Chill Access to Justice

August 28, 2017

Since the beginning of this year, state court officials, primarily from the western part of the United States, have begun reporting that federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are being deployed to state courthouses to...

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The Legacies We Inherit and Leave

August 28, 2017

I retired as the Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts on August 1, 2017, having had the incredible privilege and honor of a 40 plus year career with the Illinois Courts. After submitting my retirement notice to...

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New ARDC Webcast Offers Free Diversity and Inclusion CLE

August 28, 2017

The future of the legal profession is being shaped not just by technology but also by our increasingly diverse population. As our nation and state become more diverse, so does our workplace. Are lawyers prepared to meet not just the challenges of...

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Pledge Introduces New Law Students to Professionalism

August 28, 2017

Law students will comprise our next generation of attorneys and leaders of our profession. At the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, we work with law schools to create programs for law students throughout their...

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Illinois Supreme Court History: The Supreme Court’s Veto Power through the Council of Revision

August 28, 2017

Under the first Illinois Constitution, the Council of Revision was a constitutionally created body consisting of the Illinois governor and the four members of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Its purpose was to approve or...

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August 2017 Justice Corner

August 28, 2017

Dear Justice Corner: Where do I turn to get tips or advice for dealing with self-represented litigants in my courtroom?...

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Highlighting a Few Access to Justice Champions

August 28, 2017

In these waning days of summer, we thought it was a good time to celebrate the vibrant access to justice community in Illinois, and express appreciation for the judges, lawyers, circuit clerks, law librarians and...

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Shick appointed Chief Judge of the 5th Circuit

August 28, 2017

The Hon. Mitchell K. Shick has been appointed Acting Chief Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit, effective Sept. 1, 2017. He will serve out the remainder of the term of Chief Judge Craig H. DeArmond, who is on assignment to the...

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Oran F. Whiting appointed to Cook County vacancy

August 28, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Oran F. Whiting to a Cook County vacancy that will be created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Litricia P. Payne. The appointment is effective August 7, 2017 and goes through...

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Thanking a Valued Leader, Welcoming a New One

July 25, 2017

The month of July has been a significant one for the judicial branch. For the first time since the 2015 fiscal year, we have received an appropriation from the General Assembly. That means we will once again be able to carry out our...

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Proactive Management Based Regulation: ARDC Self-Assessment Course will provide Illinois Lawyers with the Tools for Better Practice Management

July 25, 2017

Attorney regulation in the United States has typically been reactive. As a result, the focus of lawyer regulatory efforts has been aimed at addressing problems in a lawyer’s practice that have already arisen. Yet, in January of...

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Advancing Access to Justice in Illinois: Introducing the 2017-2020 ATJ Commission strategic plan

July 25, 2017

Since it was established by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) has sought to expand access to justice for unrepresented and vulnerable litigants, across...

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Ceremony to dedicate courthouse for Justice Garman set for August 4th

July 25, 2017

A ceremony dedicating the Vermilion County Courthouse in the name of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman has been scheduled for Aug. 4. Former Gov. Jim Edgar will be the keynote speaker at the 3 p.m. ceremony, which is...

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Illinois Supreme Court History: The Origins of the Judicial Robe in Illinois

July 25, 2017

It is a universal sight to see a judge wearing a robe while on the bench or at a ceremonial function. The robe is a symbol of the legal knowledge, dignity, and status of its bearer in implementing the rule of law. It demonstrates the...

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Illinois Supreme Court Assigns Chief Judge DeArmond to 4th District Appellate Court

July 25, 2017

Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that the Hon. Craig H. DeArmond, Chief Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, has been assigned as an Appellate Court Justice in the...

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John S. Fotopoulos appointed as a Circuit Judge of Cook County

July 25, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed John S. Fotopoulos as a Circuit Judge of Cook County, at Large, to fill a vacancy that will be created by the upcoming retirement of Circuit Judge Evelyn B. Clay. The appointment is effective ...

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Samuel J. Betar III appointed to Cook County 13th Subcircuit vacancy

July 25, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Associate Judge Samuel J. Betar, III, to a 13th Subcircuit vacancy that will be created by the upcoming retirement of Circuit Judge Ann O'Donnell. The appointment is effective...

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Kankakee attorney LaBeau appointed to Committee on Character and Fitness

July 25, 2017

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Kankakee attorney Robert Bevan LaBeau has been appointed as a member of the Committee on Character and Fitness, Third District. LaBeau is filling the vacancy left by...

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The Importance of Dialogue: Preserving the Right to Oral Argument

June 23, 2017

Oral advocacy is the foundation of the English legal system and was central to the American system of justice during its formative years. It is no surprise then that when most Americans are asked to imagine what happens when...

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Moving Forward – Bail Reform and Court Based Pretrial Services

June 23, 2017

On June 9, 2017, Governor Rauner signed Public Act 100-0001 into law. This Act makes numerous amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, implementing various reforms to the bail system in Illinois. While many implementation details remain to...

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Illinois Supreme Court Clerk's Office, Appellate Courts join eFileIL ahead of July 1 deadline

June 23, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court Clerk's Office and the five Appellate Courts have joined the eFileIL e-filing community ahead of the July 1 deadline. Filers for the state's reviewing courts will need to access the eFileIL filing platform at...

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Revised Pro Hac Vice rule makes life easier for Illinois judges

June 23, 2017

How can life be made easier for the judges of our State? One way that made life better was to revise the pro hac vice rule. No longer do judges have to hear motions from out-of-state counsel to appear on...

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Scott Bibb Historical Marker Unveiled in Alton

June 23, 2017

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Rock Island County Circuit Clerk Tammy Weikert has been appointed as a non-lawyer member of the Supreme Court Commission on...

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Supreme and Appellate Justices preside over Global Institute for Secondary Educators

June 23, 2017

The University of Illinois College of Law hosted a demonstration of an appellate oral argument on Thursday, June 22, 2017, for a group of 20 educators from 19 nations. Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman presided and...

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The Silent Injustice of Ineffective Interpreting and How Courts Can Prevent It

June 23, 2017

Ensuring meaningful access to justice requires that all litigants—including those with limited English proficiency [LEP]—are equally given the opportunity to participate meaningfully throughout the...

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The Future is Now: Legal Services 2.017

June 23, 2017

The Commission on Professionalism recently hosted its second future law event focused on innovations in the delivery of legal services. Co-sponsored by various bar associations, the event brought together nine speakers and...

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Illinois Supreme Court Assigns Justice Harris to Fill Vacancy in Fourth District Appellate Court

June 23, 2017

Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Justice Thomas M. Harris has been assigned as an Appellate Court Judge in the Fourth District. Justice Harris was reassigned to fill the ...

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Marian E. Perkins appointed to Cook County 5th Subcircuit vacancy

June 23, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Marian Emily Perkins to a 5th Subcircuit vacancy that will be created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Rickey Jones. Perkins' appointment is effective July 13, 2017 and...

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Rock Island County Circuit Clerk appointed to Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice

June 23, 2017

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Rock Island County Circuit Clerk Tammy Weikert has been appointed as a non-lawyer member of the Supreme Court Commission on...

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Illinois Supreme Court announces amendments to statewide e-filing order

May 30, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court today announced amendments to the January 22, 2016 E-filing Order, with the goal of further facilitating the Illinois courts' statewide move to an electronic filing system. The amendments address court and...

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Reducing Fees – Improving Access

May 25, 2017

Last month in this column I added my voice to the urgent call by law firms, in-house counsel, bar associations, and court officials from throughout the United States to protect Legal Services Corporation (LSC) against the threatened elimination of...

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Director Michael J. Tardy announces retirement from Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

May 25, 2017

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced his retirement effective August 1, 2017, following a sterling 40-plus year career with the Judicial Branch. Tardy was named...

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Illinois Supreme Court announces appointees to six Judicial College committees

May 25, 2017

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court announced on May 16 appointees to the six standing committees of the Judicial College. The committees, which will develop curricula for the Judicial College, are...

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Illinois Supreme Court adopts statewide policy statement for pretrial services

May 25, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a statewide policy statement for pretrial services. The statewide policy statement is a continuation of the advancement of pretrial services in Illinois...

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Reporter of Decisions creates Style Manual help site

May 25, 2017

The Reporter of Decisions office has created a help site as a companion resource to the Style Manual for the Supreme and Appellate Courts of Illinois for chambers staff drafting opinions. The website provides expanded examples on...

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Illinois Supreme Court hosts 'Law School for Legislators'

May 25, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court hosted 'Law School for Legislators' on May 9, 2017, with all seven Supreme Court Justices and leadership and new members of the Illinois House of Representatives and...

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Illinois Supreme Court amends MCLE requirement to broaden credit for judging law student simulation training

May 25, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted changes in the minimum continuing legal education (“MCLE”) Rules today, including a change that will broaden the MCLE credit available to Illinois attorneys who judge any type of...

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Appellate Justice Carol Pope announces plans to retire effective August 1

May 25, 2017

Fourth District Appellate Court Justice M. Carol Pope, of Petersburg, recently announced plans to retire effective August 1, 2017...

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ARDC Webcast on Succession Planning for Sole Practitioners – Supreme Court Rule 776

May 25, 2017

With no partner, associate, executor or formal plan to close a lawyer’s practice, the ARDC has been required to step in and seek appointment as receiver of a lawyer’s practice under Supreme Court Rule 776. Since 2012, the ARDC has...

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Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center is First PREA Compliant Juvenile Facility in Illinois

May 25, 2017

The Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) is pleased to announce the facility is the first juvenile facility in Illinois to be certified as being compliant with the standards of the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). PREA was...

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Illinois Court History: The Beginnings of Illinois’s Elected Judiciary

May 25, 2017

Illinois has had an elective judiciary since 1848, when the second Illinois Constitution took effect. Why did the framers of that constitution decide on popular elections for judges and justices? Even though popular election for judges was...

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476 new attorneys admitted to practice in Illinois

May 25, 2017

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court administered the attorney’s oath to 476 new attorneys on Thursday, May 4, at five separate locations across the state...

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Trainings help circuit clerks with their No. 1 challenge - self-represented litigants

May 25, 2017

Every year in Illinois, hundreds of thousands of litigants appear in civil cases without an attorney. They must assert and defend their legal rights in vitally important areas including housing, custody, domestic violence, and...

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A Message from the Chief Justice

April 19, 2017

Welcome to Illinois Courts Connect, the e-newsletter of the Judicial Branch of the State of Illinois. Beginning this month, and each month thereafter, I will use this space to address matters of importance to the administration of...

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Director's Column: Court adapting to changing legal needs

April 19, 2017

On behalf of the Illinois Supreme Court, I welcome you to the inaugural issue of Illinois Courts Connect. I am honored to present, for the first time, a newsletter dedicated to reporting on the inspiring and crucial work of the...

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E-filing project ahead of schedule; 7 exempt counties join project

April 19, 2017

At its most basic, access to justice ensures all people have the ability to meaningfully participate in the justice system regardless of income, race, nationality, language, education, gender, legal representation, or any other characteristic. Traditionally, access to the courts was achieved by...

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Jury Composition Pilot Program underway

April 19, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to implement the Jury Composition Pilot Program in the counties of Peoria, Rock Island, St. Clair, Sangamon, and Winnebago. The pilot program, which will be implemented with...

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How to improve access to justice in Illinois? These 4 programs lead the way

April 19, 2017

At its most basic, access to justice ensures all people have the ability to meaningfully participate in the justice system regardless of income, race, nationality, language, education, gender, legal representation, or any other characteristic. Traditionally, access to the courts was achieved by...

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Joint Secretary of State & Supreme Court Restoration Project of Illinois Attorney Oaths Complete

April 19, 2017

A long-term restoration project between the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office and the Supreme Court of Illinois has led to the discovery of some rare, historic documents involving famous and infamous...

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Illinois Supreme Court Amends Rule on Minimum Continuing Legal Education Requirement

April 19, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court in March announced changes to a rule impacting the requirements for continuing legal education (CLE) in Illinois. Under Amended Supreme Court Rule 794(d), all Illinois lawyers will be required to ...

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New Source of Legal Aid Funding Passes $1 Million Mark

April 19, 2017

A recent change to the rule governing how lawyers deal with unidentified funds in their pooled client trust accounts has generated over $1,000,000 for legal aid in Illinois. In March 2015, the Supreme Court of Illinois amended Rule...

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Plans Underway to Celebrate Our 200th Birthday

April 19, 2017

The Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission is working with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the judicial branch with events, projects, publications, and exhibits that will highlight the history and importance of the...

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Walking in the Public’s Shoes – Courthouse Professionalism Training

April 19, 2017

As Professionalism Counsel at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, Mark C. Palmer promotes civility and delivers statewide professionalism programming, including its...

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Supreme Court Approves New Rule Regarding Jury Trials in Involuntary Admission Proceedings, Standardized Mental Health Orders

April 19, 2017

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court announced in March the approval of Supreme Court Rule 293, which requires trial courts to commence a jury trial if requested by...

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CONTACT


Chris Bonjean
Director of
Communications

cbonjean@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-2323


James Brunner
Senior Communications
Specialist

jbrunner@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-6155


Morgan Yingst
Senior Communications
Specialist

myingst@illinoiscourts.gov
312-793-0870