Illinois Bar Association president visits Moline


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Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2013, 11:19 pm
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By Eric Timmons etimmons@qconline.com
The Illinois State Bar Association wants judges to be disqualified from cases in which political contributions could lead to a perception of bias.

John Thies, bar association president, said the code of judicial conduct in Illinois does not contain specific references to political contributions.

In December, the association's general assembly approved changing the code of conduct so judges would be disqualified if there was a "probability of bias" based on cash or in-kind contributions to a judge's political campaign.

Mr. Thies said the change is now being considered by the Illinois Supreme Court.

In a meeting with the editorial board of The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Thursday, Mr. Thies said the change would begin to address the influence of money and politics on the judicial system.

The bar association supports merit selection of judges, which would mean that a non-partisan panel would pick qualified candidates to become judges, rather than the electorate. The governor or state legislature would then pick judges from a list of candidates.

The 32,000 member state bar association provides professional services to Illinois lawyers. Mr. Thies, a lawyer in Champaign-Urbana, has been president of the association since last June.

Since becoming president, Mr. Thies said he has appointed a committee to investigate the impact of law school debt on the delivery of legal services.

Mr. Thies said law school debt now averages more than $100,000 and can make it difficult for small law firms in rural areas to attract lawyers. The special committee will publish its report and recommendations later this year.

Mr. Thies also said he hoped to use his presidency to protect funding for the state's court system.

About 0.6 percent of the state's budget goes to the courts, with counties providing most of the funding, which he said has resulted in a disparity in services between poor and wealthier counties.

Mr. Thies has appointed a committee to identifythreats to "fair and impartial courts," and the members have surveyed chief judgesaround the state and will publicize their findings.






















 



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  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








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