On December 11th, Circuit Judge Margaret Mullen moderated a panel discussion at the Illinois State Bar Association/Illinois Judge Association Mid-Year Meeting at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on “Media Talk: How and Why Judges and Lawyers Should Speak on Legal Topics.”
By Order of the Illinois Supreme Court, Circuit Judge Daniel B. Shanes has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the newly created Illinois Judicial College of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Separately, the Illinois Supreme Court also appointed Judge Shanes to its Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions for Criminal Cases. Judge Shanes regularly serves as faculty at new judge seminars and education conferences for Illinois judges. In 2015, he joined the National Judicial College as faculty, teaching judges from across the United States.
Circuit Judge Margaret J. Mullen was presented with the Presidential Service Award from the Illinois Judges Association this year.
On December 3rd, Lake County Judges Victoria Rossetti, Margaret Mullen, Christen Bishop and Elizabeth Rochford spoke The Lake Forest Club on the topic, “Successful Women Lawyers: Paths Traveled, The Future and Diversity.”
On November 11th, the Circuit Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit held its Fourth Annual Veterans History Project Program at the Lake County Courthouse. The program is dedicated to thank and honor all servicemen and women who put their lives at stake for our country’s freedom. This year 26 veterans from World War ll, the Korean War and the Vietnam War had their oral histories recorded by court reporters. Transcripts will be archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for use by researchers and for future generations to learn about the experiences of the veterans.
The month of November is Adoption Awareness Month. Currently, almost 1,500 children in Illinois wait to find a family and home. On November 20th, Chief Judge John Phillips and Presiding Judge of Juvenile, Judge Valerie Ceckowski, honored local agencies who work to facilitate adoptions to provide forever homes to children. Other presenters included Lake County Board Members Nick Sauer, District 17; Charles “Chuck” Bartels, District 10; and Jane Drew Waller, Circuit Judge (Ret.).
The Nineteenth Judicial Circuit hosted the fall meeting of the Judicial Circuits of the Second Appellate District on October 1-2. Topics included “Reimagining Courts – A Design for the Twenty-First Century,” presented by members of the National Center for State Courts; “Technology and the Cloud,” presented by Microsoft staff; “Workforce of the Future;” and Roundtable discussions. The attendees included Chief Judges, Court Administrators and administrative staff from the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 22nd, and 23rd Circuits of Illinois.
Judge Jorge Ortiz was appointed this year by the Illinois Judicial Conference Committee on Education to serve as a member of the 2016 Ed Con Faculty. In October 2015, Judge Ortiz was presented with the Lake County Latino Leader of the Year Award from the Mano a Mano Family Resource Center.
The Coalition to Reduce Recidivism presented Judge Christopher Stride with the Vanguard of the Year Award for his work in specialty courts and his commitment to help reduce recidivism. The event took place in October at the Coalition’s 12th Annual Luncheon in Waukegan.
This fall, Chief Judge John Phillips was recognized by the Illinois Judges Foundation as one of three recipients who received a “Judicial Icon” award. Judge Phillips was cited for his commitment to service, restorative justice and his leadership role and deep commitment to treatment courts in Lake County and throughout the State.
Circuit Judge Mitchell Hoffman was appointed as a member of the Judicial Education Conference Faculty this year. Judge Hoffman has also continued in a role as a Judicial Evaluation Facilitator for the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.
Associate Judges are appointed by the Circuit Judges to a four year term. Thereafter, they are considered for reappointment every four years. In 2015, the term of office for the 24 Associate Judges of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit began on July 1, 2015 and will terminate on June 30, 2019.
Chief Judge John Phillips received notification from the National Association of Counties (NACo) that the Veteran’s Treatment and Assistance Court (VTAC) Mentoring Program of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit was a recipient of NACo’s Achievement Awards. The awards are presented to honor innovative and effective county government programs that enhance services for its county residents. VTAC’s Mentoring Program helps veteran offenders remain in compliance with court ordered rehabilitative treatment and other court conditions. The Achievement Award was presented at NACo’s annual conference held in North Carolina in July.
Judge Elizabeth Rochford began serving a one-year term as President of the Illinois Judges Foundation in June of 2015. She was appointed to, and is concurrently serving on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Judges Association. In 2013 she was elected to, and is currently serving a three-year term on the ISBA Board of Governors. Pursuant to the appointment of the LCBA President, she currently serves as the Chair of the Community Outreach Committee.
Circuit Judge Jorge L. Ortiz was unanimously elected Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit by the Circuit Judges at a meeting held on June 17, 2015. Judge Ortiz’s term commences January 4, 2016 and terminates January 1, 2017.
In May, Judges Jorge Ortiz, Margaret Mullen, Thomas Schippers, Helen Rozenberg, Nancy Waites and Luis Berrones received the “Outstanding Volunteer Group Award” from the United Way of Lake County for the judges’ participation in the United Way of Lake County’s Reading Success Program for the tutoring of two local second grade classes in reading.
As part of the Nineteenth Circuit’s Law Day program, Liberty Bell Awards are presented to an individual and also to an organization for their outstanding service and for their dedication to further the administration of justice. The 2015 Liberty Bell Awards were presented by Chief Judge John Phillips to Mrs. Rita Pennington who, individually, and together with her sew-in group, Quilts of Valor, has donated numerous quilts to veterans statewide, including graduates of the Veterans Treatment and Assistance Court and to returning military personnel at Great Lakes Naval Base in North Chicago. The Organizational Award was presented to the Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County (AHCLC). AHCLC is a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency that provides free and reliable housing counseling to homeowners in foreclosure. The Liberty Bell Awards were presented at a Lake County Bar Association meeting in April.
At a Circuit Judges meeting held on December 15, 2014, John T. Phillips, Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, was re-elected by fellow Circuit Judges to serve a second term as the leader of the Circuit Court of Lake County. Judge Phillips second term as Chief Judge commences January 5, 2015 and terminates January 3, 2016.
Judge Mitchell L. Hoffman was appointed as Circuit Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Fourth Subcircuit by the Illinois Supreme Court effective February 3, 2014. Judge Hoffman filled the position previously held by Circuit Judge Fred Foreman who retired from the bench in January.
Circuit Judge Fred Foreman retired as a member of the Lake County judiciary on January 24, 2014.
In December, John T. Phillips, Acting Chief Judge, and Supervising Judge of Specialty Court Cases, was selected as Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. He will serve for a term of one year, commencing January 6, 2014 and terminating January 4, 2015. Judge Phillips was elected unanimously by the other fourteen Circuit Judges of Lake County.
Judge Christopher C. Starck has been appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the following: the Judicial Conference of Illinois Automation and Technology Committee and to the Committee on Strategic Planning. Judge Starck was reappointed to the Judicial Conference Executive Committee and the Judicial Conference Study Committee on Complex Litigation.
The Judges of Lake County honored World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans at the courthouse on Veterans’ Day, November 11th. Twenty-five war veterans were interviewed and had their oral histories recorded by official court reporters. The transcripts will be archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for use by researchers and for future generations to learn about the experiences of the veterans.
Lake County Judges teamed with United Way and participated in a Page It Forward Corporate Challenge where businesses and organizations competed against each other to recruit the highest percentage of volunteers to assist children improve and develop better reading skills. The judges took second place in the campaign with 44% participation.
Judge Margaret Mullen spoke at a seminar at the Thompson Center on Best Practices for Case Management, Motions, Settlement Conferences and Trial.
Judge Luis Berrones addressed legal practitioners on Lake County’s new Foreclosure Mediation Program.
Justice Mary Seminara Schostok and Judge Margaret J. Mullen were speakers on “Civility and Professionalism” at a WBAI event at Starved Rock in October.
Chief Judge Fred Foreman received the Illinois Judges Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
Judge Donna Jo Vorderstrasse was appointed to the Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Section Council.
Judge Elizabeth M. Rochford was appointed to the Illinois State Bar Association’s Board of Governors.
Circuit Judge Jay Ukena, Presiding Judge of the Family Division, was reappointed to serve on the Child Support Advisory Committee for the State of Illinois for a third one year term.
Extended Media Coverage - Pursuant to the Supreme Court of Illinois, extended media coverage was authorized in the circuit courts of Illinois on an experimental, circuit by circuit basis on January 24, 2012. The Nineteenth Judicial Circuit made an application with the Supreme Court of Illinois for extended media coverage and was approved one year later on January 24, 2013. The Judges of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit approved Circuit Court Rule 21.06 – Extended Media Coverage on March 4, 2013 which defines the policies and procedures related to the Extended Media Coverage Pilot Program.
Chief Judge Fred Foreman extended an invitation to members of the media to attend a meeting on March 14, 2013 to discuss the rules, policies and procedures of Extended Media Coverage as it relates to Lake County.
Since commencing Extended Media Coverage, the Circuit Court of Lake County has approved requests for cameras in courtrooms for trials and sentencings.
The Criminal Division Judges have been instrumental in establishing the procedures for extended media coverage, and they have ensured that these procedures are observed by the media. To date the Nineteenth Circuit has received over 50 requests mainly focused on Criminal Division cases.
Fred Foreman, Acting Chief Judge and former Presiding Judge of the Felony Division, has been named the Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. His new title and term of office is effective as of May 1, 2012, and he will serve as Chief Judge for a term of one year. Judge Foreman was elected unanimously by the other twelve Circuit Judges of Lake County.
In January 2012, Circuit Judge Jay W. Ukena was reappointed to the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee. The committee was created to review child support policies, and consists of members representing the legislature, state’s attorneys, attorney general, clerks of the courts and community-based groups. Judge Ukena was appointed to the committee in 2011. His reappointment in 2012 is for a one year term.
Victoria A. Rossetti, Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, was re-elected by her fellow Circuit Judges to serve a second term as the authoritative leader of the Circuit Court of Lake County. The unanimous vote to re-elect Judge Rossetti took place in April 2011 at a Circuit Judges meeting. Judge Rossetti’s second term as Chief Judge commences May 1, 2011.
On April 8, 2011, Circuit Judge Fred Foreman received The John Marshall Law School's "Spirit of John Marshall" award. The award is presented to esteemed and highly respected individuals who hold to the ideals of the law school. The award was presented to Judge Foreman by John R. Lee, president of The John Marshall Law School Foundation, and Illinois Appellate Court Justice Joseph Birkett.
On March 21, 2011, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Circuit Judge Christopher C. Starck to the Study Committee on Complex Litigation for a term expiring December 31, 2011. On this same date, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Circuit Judge Christopher C. Starck as a member of the Judicial Conference and as a member of the Executive Committee, both appointments for a term expiring December 31, 2013.
Circuit Judge Fred Foreman was presented with the Lake County Bar Association’s Professionalism and Ethics Award at its President’s Award Dinner held in February 2011.
In February 2011, Circuit Judge Jay W. Ukena was appointed by the Director of Healthcare and Family Services to a one year term on the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee.
In January 2011, the Supreme Court appointed Judge Starck Chairman of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Capital Cases. He is a certified presenter for the National Center for State Courts to teach “Case Management” and “Purposes and Responsibilities of the Courts.”
Circuit Judge Victoria A. Rossetti was elected unanimously by the Circuit Judges of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit as the Circuit’s Chief Judge effective May 1, 2010, and currently serves in that capacity. Judge Rossetti was successfully retained as Circuit Judge in the general election held in November 2010.
Circuit Judge Raymond J. McKoski received the Presidential Service Award from the Illinois Judges Association in 2009. In 2009 and 2010, Judge McKoski was appointed to the ethics faculty of the new Judge Seminar by the Illinois Supreme Court and in 2010 he was named to the ethics faculty of the bi-annual Judicial Conference attended by all Illinois Judges. In an article authored by Judge McKoski entitled, “Judicial Discipline and the Appearance of Impropriety: What the Public Sees is What the Judge Gets” was published in the Minnesota Law Review.
In 2010, Circuit Judge Fred Foreman was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Judicial Conference faculty. Judge Foreman was appointed as Co-Chairman of the Judicial Selection and Retention Committee of the Illinois Judges Association. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Judges Association and the Illinois Judges Foundation.
In August 2010, Judge Michael Fusz received a Faculty Recognition Award for 25 years of service at the College of Lake County, Grayslake, Illinois.
In August 2010, Associate Judge Nancy S. Waites was sworn in as a member of the Illinois Judges Association’s Board of Directors.
Circuit Judge Margaret J. Mullen was presented with the Benedict J. Ori Award in June, 2010. Judge Mullen was named faculty by the Illinois Supreme Court for the New Judge Seminar in January 2011. In January 2011, Judge Mullen was named Vice President of the Illinois Judges Foundation.
In April 2010, Judge Fusz received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for Exceptionally Meritorious Service for the Armed Forces of the U.S. (September 1996 – April 2007) from William D. Catto, Major General, USMC, Chief of Staff, U.S. Europe Command.
Circuit Judge Christopher C. Starck, named faculty by the Illinois Supreme Court, taught at the 2009 Judicial Conference and at the New Judge Seminars in December 2009 and January 2011.
Associate Judge Luis A. Berrones was appointed as judicial faculty for the regional seminar “Predicting Violent Behavior in Custody and Visitation” held on November 4-5, 2010. He was a panelist at the child representative training program held at the College of Lake County held May 18-19, 2010. In 2009, he was a panelist on “The Rules of Evidence” as part of the Illinois Judges Association Judicial Perspective Cable TV Program. Judge Berrones was guest lecturer on “The Judicial Process in America” held at Columbia College of Missouri in September 2009.
Associate Judge Wallace B. Dunn was appointed to DePaul University’s Advisory Board in 2009.
Associate Judge Michael J. Fusz served as a judge at Notre Dame University Law School Intensive Trial Advocacy Trials in November 2009 and March 2010. He also served as faculty in January 2010. He served as faculty at the New Judge Seminar in 2009 teaching a course on the “Right to Bail, Counsel and Jury Trial,” and served as faculty at the New Judge Seminar in January 2011.