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Kirk Announces Formation of Non-Partisan, Statewide Judicial Search Committee

Panel of 16 Lawyers and Former Judges to Recommend Candidates to Senator Kirk

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today announced formation of a statewide, non-partisan Judicial Search Committee. The Committee will recommend a nominee for the vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which was created when Judge James F. Holderman became a senior judge at the end of last year.

"I am confident that these 16 panelists will conduct a productive, non-partisan and satisfactory review of the applicants as they work to fill the judicial vacancy for the Northern District of Illinois," Senator Kirk said. "With their combined experience and knowledge, I am certain that we will submit the strongest applicant possible for review by the President and the U.S. Senate."

Leading up to their official decision and nomination, the primary responsibilities of the Search Committee will be to review the submitted applications, host interviews, ensure the application process is fairly and satisfactorily conducted, all while holding thoughtful discussion regarding the best candidate for the position.

"Senator Kirk always selects from the full range of legal experience, including top-flight civil and criminal practitioners, lawyers with business and transactional expertise, bar association leaders, former judges, and law professors," Judicial Search Committee Chair Peter Baugher said. "Without exception, the men and women selected by Senator Kirk for his Judicial Search Committee are committed to finding the best women and men to preside from the federal bench and serve the people of Illinois."

Senator Kirk's Judicial Search Committee will identify a possible judicial nominee for President Obama's consideration. After reviewing the Search Committee's recommendation, the President will send the name of his nominee to the Senate for consideration, where the nominee will then be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Committee will conduct a confirmation hearing for the nominee and then hold a vote on the nominee. Should the Committee vote in favor of the nominee, the Committee will report the nominee to the full Senate. Then, the nomination is placed on the Senate's Executive Calendar where it will await consideration by the full Senate. If a majority of the Senate votes in favor of a nomination, the President is notified of the Senate's action, and the nomination is confirmed.

Qualified applicants for federal judgeships can find an application here. The application is similar to those used by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The deadline for submission is close of business on Friday, February 14, 2014.

Peter Baugher (Chair) is a senior partner in the business litigation firm Schopf & Weiss LLP where he works across the country defending and prosecuting commercial cases. He has won major trials and arbitrations including a multi-million dollar securities action, a million dollar jury verdict in a business acquisition dispute, a multi-million dollar contractual indemnification suit, and a large claim against the U.S. government. Mr. Baugher is also President of the Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association, was prime drafter of Illinois' International Commercial Arbitration Act, and co-authored A Trial Lawyer's Guide to Discovery, and Litigation Risk and Opportunity in the United States. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, and was a law clerk for Judge Philip Tone on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The Honorable Fred Foreman (joining the Commission after January 20, 2014) will soon be retiring from serving the Nineteenth Circuit Court as a judge for the last ten years, and chief judge for the last two years.Prior to his election as a judge in 2004, he had 30 years of experience in civil and criminal litigation and tried more than 200 cases in federal and state courts. He was a member of the law firm of Freeborn and Peters for over ten years where he represented clients in environmental, gaming and crisis management matters. Judge Foreman also previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1990-1993 and as Lake County State's Attorney from 1980-1990. Additionally, he has served as outside counsel on behalf of the State of Illinois v. Philip Morris and has acted as special counsel in representing the Governor and other state officials and agencies. Judge Foreman attended Carroll College and John Marshall Law School.

The Honorable Wayne Andersen (Ret.) served as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois for 19 years. Before joining the federal court, he served seven years as a state court trial judge. He has presided over thousands of cases during his tenure on the state and federal judiciary. His private practice in law has covered federal and state court general litigation, estate planning, real estate, property taxation, corporate law, banking, probate, and bankruptcy. He is currently an arbitrator and mediator working with JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services).

Keith Beyler has been a faculty member at the Southern Illinois University School of Law since 1982. He teaches Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, and Federal Courts with a special interest in personal jurisdiction, publishing an article on the subject that led to a change in the Illinois personal jurisdiction statute. For over a decade Professor Beyler served as an officer, and at times, a director of Green Earth Inc., a local land trust involved in preserving the Carbondale area's natural resources. He has also served as Professor-Reporter for the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee for the past 18 years, working with Illinois judges and attorneys to improve the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.

The Honorable Judy Biggert served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2013. Voted by her colleagues as one of the ten most bi-partisan Republican members of the House, she led the Congressional Women's Caucus and founded and co-chaired the House Caucus on the Judiciary, which promoted cooperation between the judiciary and legislative branches. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern University School of Law. The Congresswoman began her legal career as clerk to the Honorable Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association. She currently serves as a member of the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Terrence R. Brady is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Underwriters Laboratories Inc., a global independent safety science company with more than 11,000 professionals operating in nearly 50 countries. Terry was a partner for 20 years in the Chicago office of Winston & Strawn LLP. Terry has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Leading Lawyers Network, named as a top attorney in Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts in The Legal 500, and named an Illinois Super Lawyer. He attended Dartmouth College and Notre Dame Law School, where he was Editor in Chief of the Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.

Roxane Busey is a Partner at Baker & McKenzie and has over 30 years of experience advising companies on a wide range of antitrust issues. Chambers USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in the Word, and Illinois’ Top 10 Women Lawyers have all recognized Ms. Busey as a leading antitrust authority. Ms. Busey also served as Chair of ABA Antitrust Section from 2001 to 2002 and is a graduate of the Northwestern Law School.

James Figliulo is a founding partner in Figliulo & Silverman, P.C., a 20-year-old law firm that concentrates on business related litigation. As a trial lawyer, Figliulo has 35 years of experience in this field along with significant experience in jury and bench trials and arbitrations in federal and state courts representing clients in a wide range of complex business disputes. He has been Chair of the Merit Selection Panel for Federal Magistrate Judges for the last 10 years. Mr. Figliulo is a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers and Chairman of its State Committee for northern Illinois. He is a former president of the 7th Circuit Bar Association.

Victor Henderson is a trial lawyer with Henderson Adam LLC. He sits on the Board of Trustees for the John Marshall Law School, was appointed to the Illinois Community College Board by Governor Quinn, and the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, appointed by Board President Preckwinkle. He is a past president of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and former Chairman of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Mr. Henderson practiced as a certified public accountant before becoming a lawyer. He is the recipient of numerous awards and is regularly listed in the Illinois Super Lawyers.

Larry Kuster is the senior shareholder in Rammelkamp Bradney P.C., a 118-year old Jacksonville law firm with a litigation and school law practice. He has been designated an Illinois Leading Lawyer and serves on the Illinois Association of School Board PRESS Advisory Council. He is a former President of the Lincoln Douglas Inn of Court, a former MacMurray College Trustee, and a member of the Illinois and Morgan County Bar Associations. In 2012, Leading Lawyer magazine listed him as one of the top 100 downstate business lawyers.

Lynn Mirabella is a partner at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick, & Mirabella, LLC. The firm was founded by her grandfather and has been in existence since 1949. Her practice is concentrated in family law, with a high volume of guardian ad litem and mediation files. She is currently on the Executive Councils for the DuPage County Bar Association and Justinian Society of Lawyers, DuPage Chapter. Previously, she served on the DuPage County Judiciary Screening Committee for a 3-year term.

James Montana is a Partner at Vedder Price PC, where he specializes in federal, civil, and criminal litigation. He was a former United States Attorney in Chicago, a Chief Legal Counsel to then-Governor Jim Edgar of Illinois, and former Chief Justice of the Illinois Court of Claims. Mr. Montana is a graduate of Georgetown University and Northwestern Law School. He is also an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and is a member of the Bar in the States of New York and Illinois, the Federal trial Bar and the United States Supreme Court.

Jennifer Nijman concentrates her practice in the areas of Environmental Law and Litigation. She was formerly chair of the environmental practice group at a large Chicago firm and started the environmental law firm of Nijman Franzetti LLP in 2008. She is a certified mediator and arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. Ms. Nijman was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Commission on Access to Justice and serves on the boards of the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois and the Public Interest Law Initiative. She was President of the Chicago Bar Association in 2002-2003. She is a member of the Federal Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois and is admitted to the Illinois and Wisconsin Bar, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. She received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Richard Porter is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP who focuses on business financings, acquisitions, dispositions and reorganizations. He represents several Illinois-based private equity firms, as well as public and private companies in several industries. A member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, Chicago Council on the Global Affairs and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, as well as a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, Mr. Porter is a former Special Assistant to George H.W. Bush and Counselor to Vice President Dan Quayle, where he worked on the Administration's legal reform initiatives. Mr. Porter is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and awarded the John Olin Prize for Law and Economics, and was a law clerk for the Honorable Richard A. Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Ronald Safer has been a managing partner at Schiff Hardin LLP since 2005. He was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois for ten years (1989-1999) where he was Chief of the Criminal Division. While working as Chief, he led the prosecution of the 40 leaders of the Gangster Disciples, which was the largest monolithic gang in the nation with over 30,000 members. He assisted in the prosecution of Richard Bailey for the murder of candy heiress Helen Brach and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Flannery, United States District Court for the District of Columbia as an appointee by President Nixon. Safer graduated first in his class at Georgetown University Law Center.

Marschall Smith serves as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) in Decatur. Prior to joining ADM, Mr. Smith worked with 3M Company as senior vice president, legal affairs, and general counsel, where he led the legal affairs team and was responsible for government affairs, ethics and environmental matters. In addition, he served as general counsel at Brunswick Corporation, Digitas, Inc., and IMC Global, Inc. Mr. Smith also served in the law departments of Baxter Healthcare and ICI Americas, and began his career in private practice. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and served in the United States Marine Corps.

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