From: kenneth ditkowsky
Sent: Feb 25, 2013 10:26 AM
To: JoAnne Denison , NASGA , probate sharks , yjd
Cc: states attorney , Cook Sheriff
Subject: Fw: Firing bad judges – NEWS: (Cook County) How clout keeps court cases secret
On November 28, 1961 I took the same oath that every lawyer in the State of Illinois is mandated to take. A few days later I tried my first case in the Superior Court of Cook County and a couple of days later tried a case in the Circuit Court of Cook County. In 1970 by the ‘blue ballot’ Constitutional convention the Superior Court merged with the Circuit Court.
The practice of law in 1961 -62 was quite different from what exists today. Lawyers belonged to the same fraternity. 95% of us were friends and we had an interest in solving our client’s problems rather than churning their files and bankrupting them. When a case came into the office, the lawyers discussed the case and determined what, if anything, could be agreed upon. We then submitted the matters that were in issue to the Judge. Most of the time the ‘Judge’ would cut to the heart of the issue and the matter would be further reduced in complexity. The net result that except of very few cases trial and expense was avoided. Oh, there were clients who would not settle for love or money, but, most of the lawyers could be said to have had an agreement to agree. What we did not have was the ‘take no prisoners’ approach that exists today.
Yes, in 1961 were had corruption and some of it was blatant. The perniciousness of the corruption was as bad as it is today; however, the big difference was that we did not have as many pious public officials and organizations fostering it. When a court file was not open to the public, the lawyers, the judge, and everyone else knew that there was hanky/panky going on. Most miscreants were not anxious to broadcast their “motion to fix.” Most judges wanted no part in the ‘game’ and they acted accordingly. There of course were a few who played the ‘game’ but the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Tribune reporters made them very nervous. A Sykes case as an example would have been addressed on day one – the guardian ad litem, assuming that they were innocent would have covered themselves with detailed reports to the Court. As an example, Mr. Stern upon observing the extensive remodeling going on at the plenary guardian’s home would have reported this to the Judge and would have reported Ms. Gloria Sykes statement concerning that event. The pending Motion for a Protective order filed by Mary Sykes would have disqualified the plenary guardian on day one, and 755 ILCS 5/11a – 10 would have been carefully observed.
Ms. Gloria Sykes reported the disappearance of the Court file in Sykes. It has now reappeared – so there is hope that it is in the same condition that it was prior to its disappearance!
Mr. Mayor – thank you for forwarding the article. Chicago is not ready for reform – we cannot even obtain an honest, complete and comprehensive investigation. The two Chicago newspapers are apparently disinterested in the fact that senior citizens are being deprived of their liberty, their property, their civil rights and human rights right now in Chicago. Mary Sykes has suffered for more than 3.5 years!