News & Articles

17 February 2016

MADISON COUNTY UPDATE: Associate Judge Appointees

As we previously informed you, during the last half of 2015, the Madison County Circuit Court needed to appoint 5 associate judges to fill the vacancies left by judges who were not reappointed earlier that year. The Third Judicial Circuit judges have since voted to select Donald M. Flack, Maureen D. Schuette, Luther W. Simmons, Sarah D. Smith and Jennifer L. Hightower as associate judges of the Third Judicial Circuit to fill those vacancies. You may recall that Donald Flack was one of the 5 associates judges not previously re-appointed by the same judges earlier that year. Donald Flack was a former asbestos plaintiff attorney practicing in Madison County. Maureen Schuette was previously in family law practice and has since been appointed to the family law division. Luther Simmons was previously with the Madison County Public Defenders’ Office and in general practice. Sarah Smith formerly served in various positions including the JAG Corps, as a personal injury plaintiff lawyer and for the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office. Interestingly, Jennifer Hightower was most recently employed by the Simmons Hanly Conroy firm doing asbestos litigation after graduating law school in 2009. Six years later she ascended to the bench in the county where Simmons continues to focus their practice. At just 32 years old, she is one of the youngest judges appointed in Madison County.

These new appointees join the likes of David Hylla and Martin Mengarelli who also used to be former asbestos plaintiff lawyers practicing in Madison County.