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Illinois Supreme Court appoints Joyce as circuit judge in Fourteenth Judicial Circuit

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Trish Joyce as a Resident Circuit Judge in Whiteside County in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Joyce was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. John L. Hauptman on December 5, 2016. Her appointment is effective December 21, 2016, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

Justice Kilbride recommended Ms. Joyce's appointment to the Supreme Court after an extensive application, evaluation and interview process that included the formation of a special judicial screening committee.

"I am extremely honored to be appointed to serve the people of Whiteside County as a circuit judge. I will work hard to ensure that justice is accessible and that each side of a controversy is heard," Joyce said. "I am very grateful to Justice Kilbride and to each Supreme Court Justice for affording me this opportunity."

Ms. Joyce is currently the State's Attorney for Whiteside County. She operated a solo practice from 2000- 2012, concentrating in family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, wills and estates and real estate. She also served as a part-time assistant public defender and an assistant state's attorney in both Lee and Whiteside counties.

She will be the first female circuit judge from Whiteside County and the eighth female judge in the 14th Judicial Circuit. Ms. Joyce also was the first woman to serve as the President of the Whiteside County Bar Association and the first female Whiteside County State's Attorney.

Ms. Joyce received her Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was editor-in-chief of The Gavel. She received a Bachelors of Arts with honors in Political Science and in Writing and Language from Aurora University.

Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court has the authority to fill judicial vacancies. To fill this vacancy, Justice Kilbride opened an application process for everyone interested in the appointment. He also sought and received public comment about three applicants, including Ms. Joyce.

The evaluation process included background checks by law enforcement authorities and with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, as well as a poll of attorneys in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association. The attorneys were surveyed on their opinions of the applicants' integrity, temperament, legal ability, management skills, and other qualifications. 

Justice Kilbride also appointed a 12-person judicial screening committee made up of representatives from the community, including non-lawyers to evaluate the applicants. The committee was chaired by Timothy Bertschy, managing partner at Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen in Peoria.

In addition to Mr. Bertschy, the members of the committee were: John Ames, attorney at Ames Law Offices in Orion; Chief Judge Walter Braud of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit; Joan Clark, retried program director, Rock Island-Moline Townships; Judge Sara Darrow of the U.S. Central District of Illinois; Jeanette Hunter, retired chief deputy circuit clerk for the Rock Island County Circuit Clerk's Office; Susan Noble, retired counselor for Sterling Public Schools; Marcy O'Brien, detective for the Moline Police Department; Diane Reinsch, Partner at Lane & Waterman LLP of the Quad Cities; Maureen Riggs, attorney for the City of Moline; Scott Verschoore, business manager for IBEW Local Union #145; and Lester Weinstine, attorney at Law Offices of Lester S. Weinstine, P.C. in Morrison.

The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit includes Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties.

Posted on December 6, 2016 by Morgan Yingst