Circuit Judge Nick Byron

While attorney Thomas Hildebrand waits for the Illinois Supreme Court to decide his future in the practice of law, Madison County Circuit Judge Lola Maddox gets to decide if Hildebrand deserves six chances to obey a court order.

Hildebrand has ignored five orders to turn evidence over to defendant Tracy Sturniolo in a suit he filed for Pamela Craig over a 1997 car crash in Collinsville.

Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron signed an order Feb. 9, noting five failures to comply but giving Hildebrand 14 more days.

Byron heard the case on an emergency basis. Circuit Judge George Moran had set this and 127 other cases Feb. 9, but Moran did not show up. Days later he resigned.

Byron wrote in his order that if Hildebrand did not comply in 14 days, the court would dismiss the suit with prejudice.

The deadline passed Feb. 23. Byron did not enforce his order.

When Maddox accepted appointment to the bench, Chief Judge Edward Ferguson assigned the case to her. As of March 6 she had not set a hearing.

As of March 6 Hildebrand had not complied with Byron's order.

Last year the review board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recommended that the Supreme Court suspend Hildebrand for a year on charges of deception and conflict of interest.

The commission objected to the review board recommendation in a petition that asked the Justices to suspend Hildebrand indefinitely.

The commission's petition stated that Hildebrand engaged in deception and conflict of interest while on probation for deception and conflict of interest.

Hildebrand maintains that he did no wrong and deserves no punishment.

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