The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed Associate Judge Michael N. Cook to fill the circuit court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Annette A. Eckert, resident circuit judge of St. Clair County in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit.

The appointment, made upon the recommendation of Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, is effective Oct. 1.

Cook has served as an associate judge since 2007. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he served as an associate with the Belleville law firm of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin. He was also an assistant public defender for St. Clair County.

Cook graduated in 1999 with a juris doctor degree from the University of Tulsa. While there, he served on the Board of Advocates and in the Elder Law Legal Clinic. He graduated in 1994 with a bachelor of science degree in anthropology from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

His is a member of the St. Clair County Bar Association and currently serves as its first vice-president. In addition, Cook also serves as chairman of the paralegal scholarship program at Southwestern Illinois College.

Cook was the only candidate seeking to succeed Judge Eckert, and will be unopposed on the November ballot.

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