Justice Karmeier

Louis Costa, clerk of the Fifth District Appellate Court, is retiring June 30 after more than 20 years on the job.

Costa, who earned his juris doctor degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law, said he will be joining the law practice of his wife, Sharon, in Mt. Vernon.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier praised Costa for innovations he brought to the office and for his professionalism. Karmeier had served as a circuit judge within the Fifth District before his election to the Supreme Court.

"When Lou was appointed Clerk of the Fifth District Appellate Court in 1988 to succeed Walter 'Buck' Simmons, the office he inherited would have been familiar to practitioners from the 19th century," Karmeier said in a statement. "Over the past 21 years, Lou has shepherded the Fifth District into the computer age, seen online research supercede library volumes, recruited and retained a thoroughly professional legal and support staff, and overseen the modernization and expansion of one of the most significant courthouses in Illinois."

Karmeier also said Costa was instrumental in the recent installation and dedication of a new Lincoln statue on the courthouse grounds.

"In every respect, it was a job well done," he said.

Costa began his career in 1978 as a clerk for Appellate Judge Charles E. Jones. He clerked for Appellate Judge George Kasserman, Jr. from 1979 to 1981, and he was court administrator until he was appointed clerk in 1988.

John J. Flood, a staff attorney for the Fifth District since 1984, will succeed Costa as clerk on July 1.

Costa said he is leaving the Court on the "best of terms." He also said that during his tenure he has been "challenged by good minds and good people."

"I treasure the education I have received here, and I treasure the friendships I have made here," he said. "Departing an enjoyable and challenging position and the people I work with is not easy. I really enjoy my job."

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