Judge Mallott will not seek re-appointment

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 24, 2007, 5:00am

Madison County Associate Judge Lewis Mallott will not seek another four-year appointment to the bench and will retire at the end of his current term in June.

"I have been a judge for over 14 years," Mallott said. "I am ready to move on."

Currently, Mallott presides in Madison County's satellite courts in Granite City, Collinsville, Alton and Highland. On Wednesdays he works in Edwardsville.

Since taking his oath in 1993, Mallot has presided over criminal, family and civil cases.

In March 2005, Mallott signed an order giving Rex Carr $2,848,485 in fees from a class action judgment of $8,545,549. The order was later reversed in October 2006 by the Illinois Appellate Court.

"Because the plaintiff has proven no damages, the plaintiff's Illinois and Minnesota statutory consumer fraud claims must fail, and the order of the circuit court of Madison County, which is not supported by the evidence, must be reversed," wrote presiding Justice Stephen Spomer in the majority opinion.

The case was filed by the Alton law firm of Smith, Mendenhall, Emons & Selby in February 1999, against West Publishing Corporation alleging breach of contract, common law fraud, and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and Minnesota's consumer fraud statute.

Class members claimed West Publishing defrauded them by adding, on a pro rata basis, a $6 per CD-ROM shipping-and-handling charge to the monthly billing statements sent to the firm pursuant to a subscription agreement.

The firm claimed West failed to identify the added charge and in contravention of West's previous practice of not charging customers for shipping and handling.

The suit further alleged the $6 per CD-ROM shipping-and-handling charge exceeded the actual cost of "transportation and handling" and that the class had suffered damages as a result of the discrepancy between the amount charged for shipping and handling and the actual cost of shipping and handling.

Spomer borrowed a famous sports analogy in his written opinion.

"The National Basketball Association has an unwritten rule that is applicable to this case: 'no harm, no foul,'" he wrote.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis said she has not heard from the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) about the vacancy, but once she does plans to have applicants apply for Mallott's position.

In Illinois, associate judges are elected by a circuit's elected judges. Every four years all of the associate judges have to be retained by the circuit judges even if they have only served for several days.

In Madison County you need a majority of five votes to be elected as an associate judge and six votes to be retained.

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