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Illinois Supreme Court

Illinois Supreme Court forms Committee on Equality

Posted on July 2, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the formation of a Committee on Equality, charged with promoting equality and fairness in all aspects of the administration of justice in Illinois Courts.

The Committee on Equality will consist of 15 judges and attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court. The membership of the Committee will reflect the diversity of the State of Illinois itself, based on age, race, gender, and background, as well as including members from urban, suburban, and rural parts of the state.

Supreme Court amends rule to require online attorney registration

Posted on May 28, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court announced on Wednesday changes to a rule that will now require attorneys to register online each year.

Under Amended Supreme Court Rule 756, attorneys will also have to provide specific practice-related information to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC).

The amendments to Rule 756, which governs the annual attorney registration process, will make Illinois one of at least seven states that will require the online submission of registration data by next year. At least a handful of states already mandate lawyers to do so.

ARDC Administrator Jerome Larkin said while 81 percent of Illinois' approximate 95,000 attorneys registered online this year, the rule's mandate for online registration will allow the ARDC to collect practice-related information from all lawyers, not just those who provide it voluntarily.

Historically, lawyers have been required to provide an address and telephone number for inclusion on their public listing on the Master Roll. With the amendments, an attorney will also have to furnish to the ARDC a residential address; the name of all other states in which he or she is licensed to practice law; the type of entity at which the attorney practices; the number of lawyers working there; the areas of law the lawyer primarily practices; and whether that organization has created a written succession plan.

"The disclosure of practice-related demographic information will allow us [the ARDC] to better understand lawyers' practices," Mr. Larkin said. "We'll be able to target our educational and regulatory resources to lawyers and assess whether those approaches are working."

Quick takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on May 21, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Marks v. Vanderventer, McVey v. M.L.K. Enterprises, LLC, Turcios v. The DeBruler Company and Warren County Soil and Water Conservation Dist. v. Walters and the criminal cases People v. Allen, People v. Gaytan and People v. Kuehner.


Marks v. Vanderventer

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth, LLC

Here the Illinois Supreme Court overturned the trial court’s rulings that held unconstitutional a $10 surcharge collected by a county recorder of deeds as set forth in the original and amended versions of state legislation primarily aimed at funding the Rental Housing Support Program, which the General Assembly created to help local governments address the shortage in the state of affordable, decent rental housing. The circuit court certified a class of plaintiffs required to pay the fee for recording real estate-related documents and a class of defendants consisting of the county recorders of deeds throughout the state.

Illinois Supreme Court disbars 6, suspends 17 in latest disciplinary filing

Posted on May 14, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on May 14, 2015, during the May Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Karim G. Dure, Evanston

Mr. Dure, who was licensed in 1999, was disbarred on consent. He pled guilty to a federal criminal indictment charging him with wire fraud. Mr. Dure participated in a scheme to fraudulently obtain mortgage loan funds from a lender for use in a client’s purchase of two Chicago properties. Mr. Dure assisted the client in making misrepresentations to the lender regarding the client’s assets.

  • Deeba Khursheed Mallick, Arlington, Va.

Ms. Mallick, who was licensed in 2006, was disbarred on consent. She pled guilty to a federal charge of misprison of felony. In her plea agreement, she admitted that, while holding various roles at Gallant Pharma International, Inc., including office manager, she identified prospective customers for misbranded, non-FDA approved drugs and arranged for the importation and distribution of those drugs. The imported drugs included injectable chemotherapeutic agents, injectable cosmetic fillers, and injectable agents used to treat side effects of chemotherapy, many of which were subject to federally-mandated strict temperature controls which were not complied with by Gallant. She was sentenced to a nine-month prison term. She was suspended on an interim basis on February 27, 2015.

Chief Justice Garman receives ALA's "Spirit of Lincoln Award"

Posted on May 13, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Garman with her "Spirit of Lincoln Award"The Abraham Lincoln Association (ALA) awarded Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman with its first-ever “Spirit of Lincoln Award”. The award was established to recognize individuals who have displayed the spirit of Abraham Lincoln in their professional careers for the betterment of humanity. The award was presented by Robert A. Stuart, Jr., President of the ALA, at the Sangamon County Bar Association Law Day luncheon. The award itself is a bust of Abraham Lincoln by Illinois sculptor John McClarey specifically created for this award.

President Stuart stated that in President Lincoln’s legal career he represented integrity, professional ability, reverence for the law, fair mindedness, professional neutrality, goodwill and collegiality. The ALA believes that Judge Garman has upheld these principles as the longest-serving female judge and the second-longest serving judge in Illinois. She also has received a lifetime achievement award from the Illinois Judges Association and she was named Person of the Year by Chicago Lawyer magazine in 2013.

President Lincoln and his administration were the force behind many laws that Americans still feel the effects of today. The fact that he worked to improve the lives of Americans through legislation while serving as commander-in-chief during the Civil War inspired a committee of the ALA board members to create this annual award.

Illinois Supreme Court tosses pension reform

Posted on May 8, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court overturned the 2013 pension law on Friday, ruling it unconstitutional. Justice Karmeierdelivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Garman and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Kilbride, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion, which can be found at

Over 600 new attorneys admitted throughout state

Posted on May 6, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Richard D. Felice (left) delivered remarks at the 1st District Admission Ceremony in Chicago and is pictured with (from left) new admittee Kevin Fritz, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Charles Freeman and Illinois Appellate Justice Cynthia Cobbs.Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court administered the attorney’s oath to 600 new attorneys on Thursday, May 7 at five separate locations across the state.

The largest group, 403, were admitted in the First Judicial District during three ceremonies at the James R. Thompson Center Assembly Hall, 100 W. Randolph St. in Chicago. The ceremonies were held at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Justice Anne M. Burke presided over the 9 a.m. ceremony in the First District. Guests of the morning ceremony included Thomas A. Clancy, of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar; Celestia L. Mays, president of the Cook County Bar Association; and Anita DeCarlo, president of the Justinian Society who moved for admission of the class.

Justice Charles Freeman and Appellate Justice Cynthia Cobbs presided over the 11:30 a.m. ceremony. Guests of the second First District ceremony included: Sheila B. Kennedy, of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar; Illinois State Bar Association President Richard D. Felice; and John Litchfield, president of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association.

Chief Justice Garman stresses need for legal aid, pro bono services

Posted on April 27, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman knows the important role legal aid services and pro bono work plays in ensuring equal access to the justice system.

Not only has she seen the need for these services in the courtroom as a longtime judge, but Chief Justice Garman told attendants of Prairie State Legal Services' annual Pro Bono Recognition luncheon earlier this month that she understands the need from their perspective too.

The Chief Justice's first job out of law school in 1968 was making $90 a week as a legal aid attorney in Vermilion County.

"Legal aid formed who I am today," Chief Justice Garman said after delivering the keynote address at the April 16 event in Peoria.

Quick takes on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on April 16, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Leetaru v. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and Illinois State Treasurer v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and the criminal case People v. Barner


Leetaru v. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.

Issues of sovereign immunity divided the Court in this suit by a doctoral student against the University of Illinois and one of its associate vice chancellors (Guenther). Leetaru filed a circuit court action to enjoin further action in connection with an investigation defendants were pursuing against him regarding allegations that he engaged in academic misconduct. Leetaru contended that defendants violated University rules and regulations in conducting the investigation, exceeded their authority, and deprived him of due process.

The circuit court dismissed the action, finding that the Court of Claims had exclusive jurisdiction. After the appellate court affirmed, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded.

Supreme Court announces Circuit Court vacancy in 8th Circuit

Posted on April 13, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a Circuit Court vacancy in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy is created by the retirement of Judge Scott H. Walden on June 30, 2015. Judge Walden has been a Resident Circuit Judge in the Eight Circuit since 1996.