Christina Stueve Hodges Jan. 10, 2013, 8:10am

Madison County Circuit Judge Richard L. Tognarelli has been appointed vice-chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.

The announcement was made in a press release issued Wednesday by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Cook County Circuit Judge Debra B. Walker has been named chair of the commission.

In the release, the court also announced that Springfield attorney William F. Moran III was appointed as a member of the commission.

The appointments were effective Jan. 1.

Tognarelli has served as a member of the Commission on Professionalism since its creation and also serves as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Planning & Oversight Committee
for the Judicial Performance Evaluation Program.

He was appointed an associate judge in January 2002, and elected a circuit judge in November 2008. Currently he is chief judge of the
Criminal Division and supervises Drug, Mental Health and Veteran’s Courts.

Prior to his election as a circuit judge, Tognarelli served in the Family, Traffic & Misdemeanor and Civil Divisions.

He received his law degree from Saint Louis University in 1974. He was in private practice in the Collinsville area for 27 years before his appointment to the bench.

Walker, who succeeds Gordon B. Nash as chair of the commission, has served as a member of the Commission on Professionalism since its inception in 2005 and was appointed by Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow as a member of the predecessor body, the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Civility. Elected to the bench in November 2008, Walker currently sits in the Domestic Relations Division. She was previously a partner at the Chicago law firm of Clausen Miller, P.C., concentrating in defending professional liability matters.

Walker obtained her juris doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1987.

In addition to being a member of the Commission on Professionalism, Walker also serves as a commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. She is past president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, and in October 2012, was inducted as president of the Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association. She is the second female president in the organization’s 61-year history.

“I am honored to be working with the very best of our profession serving the Court in this critical work," Walker said. "I am delighted to lead the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and am grateful to the Court for the confidence it has placed in me. Working closely with our Commissioners and the Court, I look forward to continuing our efforts to promote professionalism, including with our statewide mentoring program.”

Nash, who served as Chair of the Commission on Professionalism from Jan. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2012, will remain a commissioner through the expiration of his term on Dec. 31, 2014.

He worked closely with Walker, who was chair of the Audit & Finance
Committee of the Commission for the past three years.

Moran is a partner at the firm of Stratton, Giganti, Stone, Moran & Radkey where he concentrates his practice in the areas of administrative law, including the representation of attorneys before the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and other professionals before the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

Moran received his juris doctor degree in 1985 from Southern Illinois University School of Law.

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism was established in 2005 to promote among the lawyers and judges of Illinois the principles of integrity, professionalism and civility; to
foster commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness within the legal and judicial systems; and to ensure that those systems provide equitable, effective and efficient resolution of problems and disputes for the people of Illinois.

To further these goals, the Commission collaborates with lawyers, law firms, bar associations, law schools and the judiciary throughout Illinois on a number of creative and ambitious initiatives. One such collaboration is the Commission’s statewide Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program which it launched in late 2011.

This voluntary, structured, year-long program emphasizes the importance of professional conduct and provides an opportunity for experienced lawyers to provide professional guidance and to share practical knowledge and skills with new lawyers during the critical transition from law student to legal practitioner. Just over a year old, the program involves approximately 900 attorneys across Illinois as it continues to grow and has become a model for other states.

Additionally, the Commission collaborates with all Illinois law schools on professionalism pro-grams for incoming first year law students, develops and approves continuing legal education courses on professionalism issues, promotes pro bono and diversity initiatives and works with judicial circuits to design and implement professionalism programs.

There are 15 commissioners, all of whom are appointed by the Supreme Court. In addition, the director of the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Program and the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission serve as ex-officio members of the commission.

The commissioners serve without compensation for three-year terms. All funds expended by the commission are from annual fees paid by Illinois attorneys with no tax dollars used to support the work of the commission

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