Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Coming and going

By The Madison County Record | Jun 18, 2005




Arizona Dreamin, Part II

Was that Judge Philip Kardis and his wife at the Edwardsville courthouse last week, talking retirement options with the county’s pension consultant?

Dicta sources say Kardis, once aiming to take a 5th Appellate Court promotion before Judge Lloyd Karmeier’s upset victory mussed up plans last November, is figuring the cost/benefit of retiring to Arizona now versus two years from now

Kardis, 62, has served on the Madison County Circuit Court since 1989.

Piling on

Voting ‘yes’ on medical malpractice reform, St. Clair County State Senator James Clayborne (D-East St. Louis) has been taking a whole lot of heat lately from his anti-tort reform party partisans. No surprise here.

But even Dicta is a bit taken aback by the remarks of Judy Cates, the Swansea attorney and president-elect of the powerful Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA).

In a Record Q & A this week, Cates accused Clayborne of “lining his own pockets,” supporting tort reform only because his law firm—Chicago-based Hinshaw & Culbertson—represents doctors.

The Senator was “obligated” to back caps because of his side job, according to Cates, who went on to suggest that Clayborne betrayed his black constituents with his vote.

Corruption. The race card. Gee—all Cates was missing in her Clayborne attack was a reference to Adolph Hitler.

Here’s a hint: studying at the Dick Durbin School of Needlessly Incendiary Political Rhetoric is no way to resuscitate the Illinois trial bar’s plummeting reputation. And accusing a respected sitting state senator of what amounts to taking an indirect bribe is a bad idea, particularly when you’re the president of what’s supposed to be a prestigious state association.

For what it's worth, Cates was one of Clayborne’s first donors a decade ago – cutting the wide-eyed freshman senator a check for $200. See what that got her.

Speaking of…

The 41 year-old Clayborne is reportedly traveling the state as he ponders a run for state treasurer or lieutenant governor, according to Dicta sources keeping tabs on 2006 campaign maneuvering.

That’s lieutenant governor as Clayborne would be a running mate for a Democrat challenger to Governor Rod Blagojevich. State Comptroller Dan Hynes, Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine, and former Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas are all seriously considering a run.

Vallas placed second to Blagojevich in the 2002 Democrat primary, taking 35% of the vote to 37% for the Governor, who ran particularly well in Southern Illinois.

Adding Clayborne to a ticket, sources surmise, would help a challenger chip away at Blagojevich’s strength around these parts while earning it kudos with the black vote, key in and Democratic primary.


Judge and past-era fireballer Clyde Kuehn threw out the first pitch at the Gateway Grizzlies- Ohio Valley Red Coats minor league baseball game in Sauget last Thursday, celebrating his birthday and looming retirement.

Kuehn was first appointed to the St. Clair County Circuit Court in 1994 and has served as a judge on the 5th District Appellate Court since 1995. But he is perhaps best remembered as the lawyer whose client took temporary ownership of the East St. Louis City Hall to satisfy a $3.4 million judgment against the town.

He retires from the bench July 7.

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Illinois Trial Lawyers Association