The Third Circuit Court's nine circuit judges will soon select a new associate among 14 who have submitted job applications.Martin Mengarelli: An asbestos and personal injury attorney from Andrews and Mengarelli in Granite City.
In April, the Third Circuit -- which includes Madison and Bond counties -- learned it was gaining a new associate judge position due to population gains reflected in the 2000 U.S. Census report. Statewide, a total of 26 new associate judgeships were authorized. The positions have gone unfilled so long due to budgetary constraints, according to a spokesman from the Illinois Supreme Court.
Internet searches for the following applicants produced mixed results. For some candidates, abundant biographical information was available; and for others, sparse information.
The applicants for Madison County Associate Judge include:
Dennis Orsey: Former assistant Illinois attorney general to Neil Hartigan and former assistant Madison County state's attorney. Currently in private practice, general law, in Granite City.
Edwin Potter: Family law lawyer from Highland.
Maureen Schuette: Alton bankruptcy attorney.
Stephen Stobbs: A partner with Alton-based Stobbs & Sinclair, general practice. Stobbs represents Godfrey on the Madison County Board and chairs its Judiciary Committee.
Paul Welch: Collinsville real estate lawyer.
Mary M. Albert-Fritz: Described as "firm, but fair" on her website, she is a Brighton estate planning, personal injury and family attorney.
"I consider myself to be a 'Holistic Lawyer.' What this means is that I look at the entire picture-beyond just your legal problems-and help you heal legally, financially, and emotionally. You don't need a stranger in a black robe deciding your future or the future of your children," says Albert-Fritz.
Scott Cain: An Edwardsville criminal law lawyer.
Amy Chapman: Assistant Madison County state's attorney.
John Haynes: Edwardsville family attorney.
Eric Jackstadt: A partner with the Callis Law Firm from 1993-2003, then joined SimmonsCooper LLC in 2003. He is an avid sports fan and motorcyclist.
Robert Larson: Alton plaintiff's attorney.
Amy Maher: Assistant Madison County state's attorney and animal rescuer.
Larry Calvo: Partner with Calvo & Mateyka in Granite City. Past president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.
Circuit judges, who have likely received their secret ballots since the May 5 application deadline has long passed, have two weeks to return them to the Illinois Supreme Court.
If no candidate receives the majority of at least five votes in the first round, a second balloting takes place for the top contenders.
The last time an associate judge position became available in the Third Circuit -- upon the retirement of Judge Lola Maddox on Nov. 30, 2004 -- 14 area attorneys took out applications:
Stephen Stobbs, David Hylla, Duane Bailey, Donald Flack, Allen Gilliard Jr., John Haynes, Janet Rae Heflin, Keith Jensen, Susan Jensen, Robert Larson, Martin Mengarelli, Dennis Orsey, John Rekowski and Greg Roosevelt.
Heflin, an Edwardsville family law attorney, received at least five votes on a first ballot to earn the associate judge title.
Steve Gonzalez contributed to this report.