Longtime Carterville attorney James R. Moore was appointed to the office of circuit judge, at large, in the First Judicial Circuit, filling the vacancy created by the election to the Appellate Court of Judge Bruce Stewart, the Illinois Supreme Court announced today.
Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier of the Fifth Judicial District recommended the appointment of Moore after an extensive application, evaluation and interview process that included review by a six-member screening committee appointed by Karmeier.
Stewart unseated Justice Stephen McGlynn in the November general election.
Moore's appointment will be effective May 1 in order to give him a sufficient amount of time to phase out his significant law practice, according to a press release issued by the Court.
His appointment will terminate Dec. 1, 2008, when the position will be filled by the November 2008 election.
"I feel grateful and I give thanks to the grace of God for this appointment," Moore said in a release. "I am very honored and humbled that Justice Karmeier and the Supreme Court, after a review by a committee of esteemed judges and lawyers, would select me to succeed such a good man and such a good judge as Bruce Stewart.
"It's difficult to walk away from something that you've done for so long and the relationships that you've built and maintained, but this is a very honored task and I appreciate the trust that has been placed in me."
Moore has been practicing law out of his own law firm in Carterville since 1979. His practice has been broad and extensive, including civil litigation; the representation of municipalities, corporations banks and small business; and personal injury and worker's compensation litigation.
After graduating cum laude in 1977 with his law degree from Southern Illinois University, Moore worked as an assistant city attorney for the City of Carbondale until he founded his own law firm two years later.
He was a distinguished undergraduate at SIU. Majoring in economics with a minor in political science, he accrued a 4.952 grade point average on a scale of 5.00; received University Highest Honors, was on the President's List and was a member of the scholastic fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi.
A lifelong resident of Carterville and a graduate of Carterville High School in 1971, Moore has long been active in civic and charitable affairs.
He has been elected to the Carterville City Council three times, was an elected member of the Williamson County Board of Regional School Trustees and is currently a member of the Williamson County Courthouse Public Building Commission.
He is a former elder of his church, a member of the Carterville Chamber of Commerce and an active community volunteer for the homeless.
He also is the developer of a Carterville subdivision with over 100 residential lots on land acquired by his great-great grandfather in 1874.
He and his wife, Cynthia, have been married for 31 years. They have eight children and five grandchildren.
Justice Karmeier sought applications for the vacancy through notices distributed to each of the First Circuit's judges and circuit clerks as well as to the bar associations of Jackson, Williamson, Pulaski and Alexander counties.
The 12 applications were reviewed by the screening committee and Justice Karmeier made the recommendation after interviewing four
finalists chosen by the Committee.
Members of the screening committee were: Illinois Appellate Judge Steve Spomer; retired Circuit Court Judge Don Lowery of Golconda; Saline County Public Defender Todd Bittle of Harrisburg; Marion attorney Joe Bleyer; Carbondale attorney Richard Green of Feirich
Mager Green and Ryan; and Carbondale attorney Rebecca Whittington.
The First Judicial Circuit is composed of nine counties: Alexander, Pulaski, Massac, Pope, Saline, Williamson, Johnson, Jackson and Union.