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  • Wed, October 14, 2020 10:50 AM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)


    The Illinois Judges Foundation's Golf Outing has a few spot left!  The Event is this Saturday, October 17, 2020.

    If you are interested, you may sign up here:  IJF - 2020 Golf Outing 

    If you would like to sign up, but are having trouble, please call Kevin Fagan at 312-554-2008. or E-Mail at kfagan@ijafoundation.org

  • Thu, September 24, 2020 10:31 AM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    CHICAGO – On September 24, 2020, the Illinois Judges Foundation hosted its Annual Reception through Zoom.  It was the first ever virtual reception for the IJF, which retreated to the Internet due to the Pandemic.  Various members of the legal profession from throughout Illinois participated in the event, which also raised funds through good will offerings.

    With the challenges of the Pandemic, Cook County Judge Janet Adams Brosnahan, who serves as Chair of the IJF’s Harold Sullivan Scholarship Committee, swayed the Directors of the IJF to double its scholarships this year, notwithstanding the financial challenges facing the Foundation.  With each of the law schools of Illinois represented through applications for these scholarships, and with more than twice the number of applications received since last year, Brosnahan noted, “Unfortunately, the pandemic has clearly affected the financial standing of the law schools as well as the students.”

    This year, the IJF awarded scholarships to 

    Gretha Rodriguez-Franco of the DePaul University College of Law, 

    Bora Ndregjoni of Chicago-Kent College of Law,

    Deijha Swanson of UIC John Marshall Law School, and 

    Rebecca Day of UIC John Marshall Law School.

    Retired Judge Helaine Berger awarded the scholarships at the Reception, and comments were received from the Deans of the law schools of each student. 

    Greetings and congratulations were offered to the scholarship recipients from the Supreme Court of Illinois through

    Justice Michael Burke, who attended the Reception after terming of the IJF Board in May.  As well, McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel, who serves as President of the IJF, explained, “These students are stellar and hopeful examples of our next generation of attorneys and judges.”

    In its tradition, the IJF also honored three pillars of the legal community in Illinois.  

    Judge Raymond McKoski, who is a former Chief Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit in Lake County, and who now serves on the faculty at UIC John Marshall Law School, was honored for his decades of service and work on ethics with the judiciary in Illinois.  

    Retired Judge Barbara Crowder, who recently retired as a Circuit Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit in Madison County, and who serves as First Vice President of the Illinois Judges Association, was honored for her years of service and contributions through local and statewide bar associations.  

    Attorney Floyd Perkinsis a long-time Partner with Nixon Peabody in Chicago, who for many years, and since the founding of the IJF, has served as counsel to the IJF and the IJA on a pro bono basis, was honored for helping the Foundation chart its course over the past thirteen years.

    Next on its agenda for the Foundation, and working within the limits of the Pandemic, the IJF will head outside this weekend to host its first Golf Outing and 19th Hole at The Odyssey in Tinley Park on October 17, 2020, thanks to the organizational efforts of Cook County Judge Tom Sianis.  Further information on this and other events can be found at ijafoundation.org.

  • Tue, February 04, 2020 6:23 PM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    On February 3, more than a hundred judges attended the third biennial Ed Con I Reception of the Illinois Judges Foundation at the Westin in Lombard.  CourtCall (Nicole Hebel) and Lexitas (Rhonda Jensen) sponsored the reception.  IJF VP Mike Chmiel welcomed guests for IJF President Deb Walker.  IJA President Margaret Mullen also greeted the guests with thanks for their support of the  programs of the IJA.  Attendees also included the first IJF President - Justice Mary Jane Theis, and Justice Thomas Kilbride.  Proceeds from event will support projects of the IJF, including the “Page It Forward” program of the IJA, and the Harold Sullivan Scholarships of the IJF.


  • Sat, January 18, 2020 3:26 PM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    IJF Vice President Michael J. Chmiel of McHenry County and Retired Judge Thaddeus S. Machnik of Cook County attended the January 18, 2020, offering of “Amicus Poloniae” - the PNA Volunteer Legal Clinic, to encourage the volunteers. The Clinic is supported by the Advocates Society and operates at the Polish National Alliance, 6100 North Cicero Avenue, Chicago. The Clinic is coordinated by Mark Dobrzycki of the PNA, and is co-chaired by Attorneys Alexander Fiedotjew and Robert Groszeck.  Each clinic welcomes volunteers at 9 a.m. and those seeking legal advice at 10 a.m.  Each clinic is staffed by a dozen or so volunteer attorneys and a half dozen or so students who facilitate paperwork. Each clinic serves dozens who typically speak Polish as their native  language. At this clinic, the 19th anniversary of the graduation of Attorney Fiedotjew from John Marshal Law School was also recognized.


  • Thu, August 23, 2018 8:08 PM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    Famous Portrait Of Lincoln To Arrive At Marshall Co. Courthouse

    The Lacon Home Journal – August 23rd, 2018

    A famous Abraham Lincoln photograph will be presented to the Marshall County Courthouse on Tuesday, September 4. The unveiling ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. at 122 N. Prairie St., Lacon. The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. Historians consider Hesler’s portrait one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years. The permanent installation is made possible by donations from the Illinois Judges Association Famous Portrait Of Lincoln To Arrive At Marshall Co. Courthouse (IJA), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and their respective foundations – the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation.  Printed on canvas, the image of the beardless Lincoln is encased in a richly stained wood frame and measures 30-inches wide by 40-inches tall.

    The four organizations are partnering with the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS), which owns the glass-plate positives of Hesler’s Lincoln portrait. The ISHS is leading a statewide campaign to place a framed copy in a courthouse in each of Illinois’ 102 state’s bicentennial this year. “We are thrilled to be a part of this historic endeavor to honor Abraham Lincoln during the state’s bicentennial,” said Michael McCuskey, who is an ISBA Board Member, IJA Board Member, and judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit. “This image captures Lincoln as he prepares to transition from trial lawyer to presidential candidate.”

    Click this link for PDF containing Article

  • Fri, August 17, 2018 9:00 AM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    Pictured are Judge Debra Walker-IJF Treasurer, Judge Sebastian Patti, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, Judge Diann K. Marsalek-IJF President, Judge Janet Adams Brosnahan-IJF Scholarship Committee Chair, Judge Louis Berrones and Justice P. Scott Neville.

     On August 16, 2018 the Illinois Judges Foundation (IJF) presented awards and scholarships at their Annual Summer Reception held at the Hotel Allegro in Chicago, Illinois. Awards were presented to Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer of the United State District Court, Justice P. Scott Neville of the Illinois Supreme Court, Judge Louis Berrones of the Lake County Circuit Court and Judge Sebastian Patti of the Circuit Court of Cook County. All award recipients were presented with a framed book of Abe Lincoln’s Hat, a book read to young children by Judges who visit classrooms throughout the State of Illinois. The award recipients were recognized for their mentoring and others contributions to the legal community.

    In addition, the Harold Sullivan Scholarships were awarded to students from Loyola Law School, Hannah O’Keffe and Niclle Provax.  Each winner will receive a scholarship worth $10,000.00, after applying matching donations from Loyola Law School. 

    Click here for PDF version
  • Fri, August 03, 2018 1:04 PM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    by Dawn Schabbing Daily News

    Full Article

    EFFINGHAM — In another way to commemorate the Illinois bicentennial celebration this year, a reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph was unveiled at the Effingham County Government Center Friday.

    Measuring 30 inches wide by 40 inches tall, the image printed on canvas is that of the beardless Lincoln. The photo was originally taken on June 3, 1860, in Springfield by photographer Alexander Hesler.

    The large portrait will be hung in Courtroom B of the center, located at 120 W. Jefferson, Effingham.

    The image was used for Lincoln's 1860 presidential campaign and was considered by Lincoln to be his favorite photograph, said Fourth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Kimberly Koester.

    The portrait is part of an effort to have a wood-framed copy in each of the 102 counties in Illinois by the end of this year to commemorate the state's bicentennial. The Effingham portrait was made possible by donations from the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois State Bar As, the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation. Thirty-two counties stepped forward to sponsor portraits without the help of the Illinois Judges Association, while the association has sponsored the rest.

    “It is appropriate that Lincoln be honored. It's widely known about Lincoln and how he distinguished himself as a lawyer in the state of Illinois before he went to Washington as president,” said retired Judge John Coady, who began his legal career in Effingham.

    Coady said many don't know that Lincoln also served as a judge in Illinois.

    “The rules then were that if the sitting circuit judge was unavailable to preside, the parties with their attorneys could agree to a member of the local bar to preside over a case and serve as judge,” he said.

    Coady said Lincoln presided over 95 cases in downstate Illinois in 1858.

    Koester will participate in eight other ceremonies in counties across Illinois that have their own memories and contacts with Lincoln.

    “The Illinois State Historical Society owns the glass plate, positive image, made from a long-gone original negative,” said Koester. “Anyone who sees this reproduction will agree with the Illinois State Historical Society that it is perhaps one of the finest presidential images of Lincoln ever taken.”

    Koester said she has another Lincoln portrait in her judge's chambers, along with several Lincoln quotes, because he has always been one of her favorite historical figures.

    “His leadership and deep insight that he showed during his years as a lawyer, as a politician and finally as our president is unmatched,” said Koester.

    Coady said this particular portrait came about after Lincoln was nominated in Chicago by the Republican party to seek the office of president of the United States. The campaign committee wanted a photograph of him, so he brought several with him.

    “But, they found them unsuitable,” said Coady. “His hair was messy in a number of photographs. It was important that they have a striking photograph of Abraham Lincoln.”

    That's when they retained Alexander Hesler, a photographer from Chicago, for purposes of creating images for newspapers, buttons, posters and pamphlets. This was the first presidential campaign to use photographs, Coady said.

    Lincoln's honesty, integrity and commitment to the law are ideals that people still expect from lawyers and judges today, he said.

    Local historian Delaine Donaldson, who serves as the president of the Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association, noted local ties to the 16th president.

    Donaldson referred to a local tailor, Joseph Horn of Teutopolis, who repaired Lincoln's jacket, which had gotten torn while he was riding the circuit. That brought a long-time friendship between Horn and Lincoln.

    Donaldson said there are plenty of stories throughout history of the connections Effingham County residents have had to Lincoln the lawyer, the legislator, and the president.

    “Always in the county, there's been a connection, either directly or in terms of the mindset of this man, (Abraham Lincoln,)” said Donaldson.

    Dawn Schabbing can be reached at dawn.schabbing@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151, ext 138

  • Sat, July 21, 2018 11:48 AM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    By Will Buss, Voice Correspondent
    Posted Jul 21, 2018 at 10:18 AM


    MACOMB — A reproduced photograph of Abraham Lincoln will be formally presented to the McDonough County Courthouse Friday afternoon in commemorating Illinois’ bicentennial celebration.
    All 102 Illinois counties are receiving a copy of the photo reproduction of the Great Emancipator encased in a 30-by-40-inch stained wood frame. McDonough County Courthouse will unveil theirs at 2 p.m. Friday.
    Ninth Circuit Court Judge William Poncin said the photographs were made possible by donations from the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation.
    The original photograph was taken by Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, during Lincoln’s presidential campaign and before the future president grew his trademark beard. Poncin said the state historical society owns the original glass-plate positives.
    “Photography was relatively new at that time and this photo was taken, if I recall, just before Lincoln left Springfield,” Poncin said. “It was a very flattering likeness of Lincoln and it turned out to be very good photograph, considering the technology at the time.“
    The official photograph presentation will be in Courtroom 201. Poncin said the photograph will be hung in the courthouse hallway on the second floor.
    “The plan is to hang it on the floor of the courthouse in the hallway, where we think it will be most visible,” he said. “We thought the organizations that are doing this would want to recognize Lincoln the lawyer and that it should be on the floor where legal business is conducted in the courthouse. It will be in the middle of the hallway, and we have wall space that would work quite well.“
    Two years before Lincoln sat for his photograph in Hesler’s studio, he visited Macomb, twice, during his campaign for the U.S. Senate in an election against incumbent Sen. Stephen Douglas. Lincoln’s first visit was on Aug. 25, 1858. He returned for a second time two months later on Oct. 25 of that year. Lincoln lost that election to Douglas, but defeated Douglas in the presidential election two years later, about five months before Hesler took his photograph.

    For any questions or comments about this article, email editor@mcdonoughvoice.com.


    Full Article On-Line:

  • Fri, July 06, 2018 8:58 PM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    Lincoln portrait placed in Hancock County Courthouse as part of statewide campaign

    By Matt Hopf Herald-Whig

    By Matt Hopf Herald-Whig

    Posted: Jul. 6, 2018 10:05 pm Updated: Jul. 7, 2018 1:39 pm

    CARTHAGE, Ill. -- A high school class reunion made it possible for the Hancock County Courthouse to be the first in the 9th Judicial Circuit to receive a reproduction of a pre-presidential Abraham Lincoln photograph.

    Judge Debra Walker, a Carthage native who presented the high-quality photograph to Hancock County on Friday, said she had to push for an early date if she was going to speak at the ceremony.

    "I said it needs to be on July 6 because I'm going to Carthage on July 6 for my reunion," Walker said.

    A circuit court judge in Cook County, Walker said the portrait will be in public view "recalling Lincoln -- the lawyer, the leader and the man."

    The permanent installation is part of a statewide campaign to place a framed copy of the Lincoln photograph in the courthouse of each of Illinois' 102 counties for the state's bicentennial, the celebration of which officially begins Dec. 3.

    The photograph was taken June 3, 1860, at the Old State Capitol in Springfield by photographer Alexander Hesler for Lincoln's presidential campaign, and it is considered one of the best photos taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.

    The Illinois State Historical Society owns the glass-plate positive image of Hesler's Lincoln portrait.

    The Historical Society partnered with the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation on the project.

    Also in attendance at Friday's presentation was Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride, who said Lincoln faced many losses throughout his life, both personal and political.

    "The fact that he persevered was remarkable, I think, with all the hurdles and challenges he faced," Kilbride said.

    Walker noted that Carthage was well-known to Lincoln because his childhood friend Alexander Simpson settled there.

    Lincoln spoke in Carthage on Oct. 22, 1858, as he campaigned for the U.S. Senate, which he eventually lost to Stephen Douglas.

    "After the speech that he gave 160 years ago, he was followed by a big group of people to his friend's home, so he spoke to them again from the doorway of the Simpson home," Walker said. "And I believe that doorway is one of the items in the Kibbe Museum that's here in Carthage."

    Lincoln also was hired to defend William Fraim, who was accused of murder in Schuyler County and was tried in Hancock County. Lincoln lost the case, and Fraim was the only client of Lincoln's who was executed.

  • Thu, July 05, 2018 2:18 PM | Kevin Fagan (Administrator)

    Greenville Advocate July 05,2018 Issue -  as PDF linked HERE:

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