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Bench and Bar Newsletter
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Bench & Bar Section Council

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Newsletter articles from 2006

Adjudication of the rights of pro se litigants By Judge Alexander P. White July 2006 Three recent articles and a recent case have raised the issue of the role judges should undertake in the adjudication of the rights of pro se or self represented litigants.
Amended Rules of Judicial Conduct July 2006 The Illinois Supreme Court has amended Rules 64 and 65 of the Code of Judicial Conduct effective May 26, 2006.
Avoiding the appearance of impropriety: With great power comes great responsibility By Cynthia Gray April 2006 Judges must demonstrate their commitment to maintaining public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of their decisions by considering how the public might reasonably view their conduct.
Bankruptcy law and family court By Hon. Barbara Crowder September 2006 “I’m a state court judge (or lawyer). I don’t need to know no ‘stinkin’ federal law!”
Be careful what you file with the Court By Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. June 2006 Below (with omissions not noted) is an order the Hon. Leif M. Clark, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Texas, entered recently in an adversary proceeding before him: Order denying motion for incomprehensibility
A book review and personal recommendation By J.A. Sebastian June 2006 Three strings walk into a bar….
Chair’s Column By Hon. Barbara Crowder October 2006 When a lawyer is chosen to become a judge, whether the choice was made by the voters after an election or by appointment from other judges, the new judge swears to uphold the laws of the State of Illinois and the Constitution.
Chair’s Column By Judge Barbara Crowder September 2006 “Please empty your pockets and let me look in your purse or briefcase.”
Chair’s Column By Hon. Barbara Crowder July 2006 What an honor it is to be the Chair of the Bench and Bar Section Council during this year of changes in the court system in the State of Illinois.
Change in Small Claims limits affects arbitration By Hon. Michael Jordan April 2006 As most of you are aware, the Illinois Supreme Court recently raised the dollar amount of Small Claims from $5,000 to $10,000 effective the beginning of 2006.
Former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Seymour Simon, 1915-2006 By Michele M. Jochner October 2006 Justice Seymour Simon recently passed away at age 91, after an extraordinary career in law and politics that spanned nearly seven decades.
The high costs of justice: Expanding pro-bono and the community’s responsibility By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. September 2006 At the heart of a law license is a sense of civil responsibility, a fundamental duty not only toward the law, but to all people and the nation as a whole.
Justice McMorrow has announced her retirement April 2006 After more than 13 years as a Justice of the Supreme Court, former Chief Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow will retire effective July 5, 2006.
Living with the death penalty By Henry Leyte-Vidal and Scott J. Silverman July 2006 The judges who preside over death penalty cases are learned men and women dedicated to carrying out the law.
New court security restrictions in 9th Circuit By J.A. Sebastian September 2006 Jodi Pospeschil, reporter for Peoria Journal Star (, recently reported that, beginning September 1, 2006, the chief judge of the 9th Judicial Circuit has banned from the six western Illinois courthouses all cellular telephones, cameras, and video and audio recording devices.
The new MCLE rules: An overview By Michele M. Jochner April 2006 After several years of discussion and debate, the Illinois Supreme Court, on September 29, 2005, adopted new and amended rules requiring all active practitioners licensed in Illinois to comply with a “Minimum Continuing Legal Education” (MCLE) requirement.
The other shoe drops: Reflections on Illinois’ Long–Arm Statute By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. and Baseer Tajuddin October 2006 The Illinois Long-Arm Statute, 735 ILCS 5/2-209, poses a conceptual dilemma for courts trying to discern it.
Recent judicial appointments and retirements October 2006 1. The Illinois Supreme Court, pursuant to its constitutional authority, has appointed the following to be Circuit Judge
Recent judicial appointments and retirements September 2006 1. The Illinois Supreme Court, pursuant to its constitutional authority has appointed the following to be Circuit Judge:
Recent judicial appointments and retirements July 2006 1. The Illinois Supreme Court, pursuant to its constitutional authority, has appointed the following to be Circuit Judge
Recent judicial appointments and retirements June 2006 Recent judicial appointments and retirements.
Recent judicial appointments and retirements April 2006 Changes to Illinois' Judiciary.
The Ryan juror furor—The questions and implications are disturbing and far-reaching By John T. Phipps July 2006 The corruption trial of former Governor George Ryan has raised a number of troubling points about our juries and who serves on them.
Sage advice By Judge William J. Bauer April 2006 The pressures of large caseloads, the duties of running the courtroom day-to-day and all the other juggling of priorities that goes into the judicial business sometimes causes us to lose patience, to be less than kind.
Summary of important items from the June meeting minutes By Hon. Edward J. Schoenbaum, Jr. September 2006 This summary will, hopefully, appear shortly after each meeting of the Bench and Bar Section Council so that all readers will know what we are working on.
Summary of important items from the September 2006 meeting minutes By Hon. Edward J. Schoenbaum October 2006 Summary of the minutes from the recent Bench & Bar Section Council meeting
Supreme Court decisions that the General Assembly may wish to consider April 2006 In In re Adoption of L.T.M., S. Ct. Docket Nos. 95746, 97947 cons. (January 21, 2005), this court held that the enactment of a statutory scheme that provides appointed counsel for indigent parents facing termination of parental rights under the Juvenile Court Act, but not under the Adoption Act, violates the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.
Supreme court rules and custody: A summary By Hon. Barbara Crowder June 2006 The Supreme Court has established new rules that will dramatically change—and hopefully improve—custody and visitation procedures and outcomes.
The taming of the rude By Michael B. Hyman July 2006 Lack of civility concerns every judge and lawyer who takes pride in our profession.
Three strikes and you’re out: Judges talk about technology in the courtroom By Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek June 2006 Recently, we had the pleasure of hearing the thoughts of three tech-savvy judges about the use of technology in their courtrooms.