Greener pastures

The Madison County Record Oct. 23, 2005, 5:51am



Don't call him counselor

Retired Madison County Judge Phillip Kardis is aiming for a new career, and it won’t require his coming before former colleagues on the bench.

When he’s not relaxing in Arizona or managing his Metro-East apartment empire, the Alton native will serve as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases, sources tell Dicta.

That means Kardis, 62, first admitted to practice law in 1972, doesn’t have plans to pay the $229 registration fee to renew his Illinois law license this January. That fee is waived for all sitting judges, which Kardis had been since 1988.

Of the judges on the Madison County Court, Kardis would have certainly been voted “most likely to leave the law” as his life hasn’t been completely litigious.

Kardis has a chemical engineering degree from University of Illinois and worked as one briefly before becoming a legal eagle.

Asbestos Fund watch

President Bush’s nominee to replace retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court backs creation of an asbestos trust fund, effectively ending such litigation in magnet jurisdictions like Madison County.

Harriet Miers, now serving as White House counsel, offered support of the concept during a speech last April before the American Tort Reform Association.

"Litigation should not be an attempt for lawyers, or those not ill, to cash in on the suffering of others," Miers said.

A bill to create a $140 billion trust fund passed the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in May. It hasn’t been called for a full Senate vote.

Gearing up

How serious are Republicans about keeping the seat warm for Steve McGlynn on the appellate bench?

A fast-talking, number-crunching staffer has left behind a comfy Illinois House GOP job to manage something even more daunting than electing Republicans to the General Assembly--a fierce 37-county battle for the 5th District.

Jimmy Morani of Troy has signed on as a consultant to McGlynn. He’s also a GOP precinct committeeman and a nearby neighbor of former State Supreme Court Justice Phil Rarick.

Rarick, as we’ve reported, is a big backer of McGlynn’s most likely opponent, Saline County Judge Bruce Steward.

Let the fun begin.

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