Justice Kilbride seeks comment on applicants for 9th Circuit vacancy
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride is seeking public comment on five attorneys who have applied to fill a resident Circuit Court vacancy in Fulton County in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.
The vacancy will be created upon Circuit Judge William C. Davis' retirement, effective September 5, 2016. Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Kilbride uses an extensive application, evaluation and interview process to make recommendations to the full Court for judicial vacancies in the Third Judicial District.
The five attorneys who have applied to fill the vacancy are Bruce C. Beal of Cuba, Jeremy A. Beard of Dunlap, Curtis S. Lane of Canton, Jeff L. Neigel of Canton, and Hugh F. Toner III of Peoria.
The process will now proceed to background checks by law enforcement authorities and with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Justice Kilbride will also use a poll of all attorneys residing in the Ninth Circuit conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association. The attorneys will be surveyed on their opinions of the applicants’ integrity, temperament, legal ability, management skills and other professional qualifications.
Justice Kilbride will appoint a judicial screening committee made up of representatives from the community, including members of the legal profession and non-lawyers, to evaluate all of the information. The names of the committee members will be announced at a later date.
Those wishing to send written comments about the applicants may address them to: Judge Appointment Comments, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 3101 Old Jacksonville Road, Springfield, IL 62704. Comments must arrive by 12 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, include contact information, such as name and address, and be brief, preferably no more than 250 words.
Among qualities an applicant must possess are a demonstrated reputation for integrity and good character; a demonstrated commitment to equal justice under the law; outstanding legal ability and competence; and the appropriate demeanor, character, and personality necessary for the judicial temperament required by a Circuit Court judge.
Notice of the vacancy and the appointment process were posted at various courthouses within the Ninth Circuit, which includes Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough and Warren counties. The person appointed to fill the vacancy must be a resident of Fulton County.