Thomas L. Kilbride

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Thomas L. Kilbride (born 1953 in LaSalle, Illinois), is the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois. He was elected Chief Justice by his colleagues in 2010 for a three-year term, and has served as the Illinois Supreme Court Justice for the Third District since 2000.

Kilbride received a B.A. degree magna cum laude from St. Mary's College in Winona, Minnesota in 1978 and received his law degree from Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1981.

Justice Kilbride practiced law for 20 years in Rock Island, Illinois, engaging in the general practice of law, including appeals, environmental law, labor law, employment matters, and other general civil and criminal matters. He was admitted to practice in the United States District Court of Central Illinois and the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He was elected to the Supreme Court of Illinois for the Third District in 2000.

Justice Kilbride is a past board member, past president and past vice-president of the Illinois Township Attorneys Association, a past volunteer lawyer and charter member of the Illinois Pro Bono Center, and a member of the Illinois State Bar and Rock Island County Bar Associations. He has served as volunteer legal advisor for the Community Caring Conference, the charter chairman of the Quad Cities Interfaith Sponsoring committee, volunteer legal advisor to Quad City Harvest, Inc., and a past member of the Rock Island Human Relations Commission.

As of October 2012, he is continuing to promote a 2012 movement, that he and others spearheaded, to place cameras in the Illinois state circuit courts (twenty-three out of 102 Illinois counties are participating to some extent; Cook County, Illinois, the county whose seat is Chicago, Illinois- the state's largest city by far, and the nation's third largest- has not yet begun the experimental program, which so far is going relatively well in the districts and courtrooms where it is allowed). It is hoped that it will spread to all the courts of first instance (the state's circuit, or district, courts, at the county level) in the state, and then perhaps the Illinois State Court of Appeals and eventually, the Illinois Supreme Court and the federal courts of Illinois, perhaps even nationwide (though some regulations, statutes, or laws may still prohibit this in certain cases- e.g., in the state and federal Supreme Courts, capital cases, cases involving juveniles, or cases involving national security and/or classified information). According to the Sunday, October 21, 2012 Peoria Journal Star (Peoria, Illinois) online article on this subject, by Michael Tarm of the Associated Press (AP), the first big test for state court cameras will be the upcoming trial of Nicholas Sheley, 33, accused of the alleged aggravated first-degree murder of eight people, through bludgeoning, in a serial killer-type mass murder spree through Illinois and Missouri; this trial in northwestern Illinois is for the death of 93-year-old Russell Reed.[1]

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