Illinois Bar Association president visits Moline


Share
Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2013, 11:19 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
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.






















 



Local events heading








  Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The female sex seems to have gone crazy on the subject of dry goods. When high prices keep them from increasing their wardrobes, they turn to stealing. Yard goods, hats, shoes and other items are being picked up and carried home.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.






(More History)