Madison County Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn will retire just prior to the end of this year.
Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis' office announced Mendelsohn's retirement in a press release at 10:18 a.m. Tuesday. Mendelsohn's retirement is effective Dec. 29.
Mendelsohn was not available for comment due to illness, according to the chief judge's office. Messages left at the judge's office Thursday had not been returned as of press time.
The court is seeking applications for a new associate judge.
Callis said Mendelsohn approached her about his retirement about a month ago. She said she was not sure of his reason except that he had reached retirement age.
The chief judge credited Mendelsohn, who heads the circuit's Alternative Dispute Resolution in Wood River, with helping Madison County achieve high numbers of cases that are resolved without the need for trial.
"He will be sorely missed," she said.
He was reappointed for his current term in 2007. It would have ended in 2011. He was first appointed to the bench in 1999.
In his years on the bench, Mendelsohn presided over several high-profile civil cases including a suit over the drug Paxil in which he approved a nearly $64 million settlement in 2007.
Mendelsohn took over running the arbitration center when it opened in 2007.
Mendelsohn's retirement comes not long after Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack announced his retirement next year. Madison County State's Attorney William Mudge has already announced plans to run for Stack's seat.
Those interested in serving as an associate judge must be U.S. citizens licensed to practice law in the Third Judicial Circuit.
Applications can be secured at the Chief Judge's office at the courthouse on Main Street in Edwardsville and must be received by Nov. 18 at 5 p.m.