Judge Schwarm Named to 5th District Appellate Court

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Published on March 14 2014 9:55 pm
Last Updated on March 18 2014 12:52 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the appointment of Chief Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm to the Appellate Court in the Fifth Judicial District. Chief Judge Schwarm will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Appellate Justice James M. Wexstten, effective January 29.

The appointment is effective April 1 and will expire December 5, 2016, when the position will be filled by the winner of the 2016 General Election.

"I am honored to be selected to fill the vacancy in the Fifth District Appellate Court," Chief Judge Schwarm said. "My humble thanks go to Justice Lloyd Karmeier and the Supreme Court for giving me this opportunity.

"I am especially pleased to follow retiring Justice Jim Wexstten, an outstanding jurist and colleague."

Chief Judge Schwarm, 58, has served for the past 20 years as a Resident Circuit Judge for Fayette County in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. Since 2001, he has served as Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit, having been elected seven times by the Circuit Judges of the Fourth Circuit.

Since 2006, Chief Judge Schwarm has served as chairman of the Conference of Chief Circuit Judges. The Conference of Chief Circuit Judges is composed of the chief circuit judges from the 24 Illinois ju-dicial circuits. Chief Judge Schwarm has been elected chairman five times by the 24 chief judges in the state of Illinois. The Conference meets regularly to discuss issues related to the administration of jus-tice in the circuit courts and other matters referred to the Conference by the Supreme Court.

Chief Judge Schwarm has served on numerous committees and commissions for the Supreme Court, including serving as chairman of the Supreme Court Legislative Committee since 2012; chair of the Supreme Court Judicial Mentor Committee since 2006; and as co-chair of the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council since 2005. He has also served since 2012 as a member of the Supreme Court Committee on Strategic Planning and as member of the Illinois Judicial Conference. Since 2002, Chief Judge Schwarm has served as faculty for numerous judicial education conferences, seminars and sym- posiums. He is certified as a judicial mentor for new judges and for peer judges.

Prior to his service on the bench, Chief Judge Schwarm worked as named partner of the firm of LeFevre, Zeman, Oldfield and Schwarm Law Group of Vandalia from 1983-1994. While there, he was engaged in the general practice of law, including civil litigation, bankruptcy, real estate and estate planning. While in private practice, he also served as Illinois Special Assistant Attorney General, rep-resenting the state in eminent domain cases.