For her commitment to restoring public confidence in the Madison County Courthouse, as well as the poise she displayed walking a political tightrope during a precarious judicial election cycle, our hats are off to the Record's 2006 Person of the Year.
Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis took over leadership from former Chief Judge Ed Ferguson in May and since then has ushered in a number of reforms including limiting judge shopping, out-of-state lawyers and cases filed under seal.
She has proved to be a tough but fair criminal judge, and in more recent times has demonstrated skillful management of the Civil Division.
She has promised to continue to, in her words, "look for ways to improve our court system both through reforms and through the fair and impartial operation of the courts."
And, Judge Callis has promised that the welcome mat at 301 N. Main St. in Edwardsville will no longer be out for cases that don't belong in Madison County, a problem that has plagued our hallowed halls of justice for years and earned us a negative national reputation.
In addition to various reform measures and new rules of efficiency, Callis also recently pushed through a mandatory arbitration program in Madison County. Effective Jan. 1, the dispute resolution program will further reduce the burden on our courts.