U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk on Wednesday announced the formation of a search committee that will recommend a nominee to fill a vacancy on Chicago’s federal court.
The vacancy was created late last year when U.S. District Judge James Holderman went on senior status. Those seeking consideration for the judgeship must submit an application, which can be found here, to Kirk's office by Feb. 14.
Kirk, R-Ill., appointed 16 attorneys and former judges to serve on the committee that is charged with reviewing applications, interviewing candidates and recommending a nominee, who will then need to obtain approval from the president and U.S. Senate.
“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," Kirk said in a news release.
He added, "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."
Kirk named Peter V. Baugher, a senior partner at Schopf & Weiss LLP in Chicago, chairman of the judicial search committee.
Baugher said in the release, "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."
"Without exception," he added, "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."
Baugher is joined on the committee by former U.S. Representative Judy Biggert, a Republican who represented Illinois’ 13th District; and former judges Fred Foreman, who retired earlier this month from Lake County's bench, and Wayne Andersen, who previously served on Chicago's federal court.
The following Chicago attorneys were appointed to Kirk's search committee: Roxane Busey of Baker & McKenzie LLP; James Figliulo of Figliulo & Silverman P.C.; Victor Henderson of Henderson Adam LLC; James Montana of Vedder Price P.C.; Jennifer Nijman of Nijman Franzetti LLP; Richard Porter of Kirkland & Ellis LLP; and Ronald Safer of Schiff Hardin LLP.
The committee also includes Lynn Mirabella of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella LLC in Wheaton; Larry Kuster of Rammelkamp Bradney P.C. in Jacksonville; Keith Bleyer, a faculty member at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale; Terrence R. Brady, senior vice president and general counsel of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. in Northbrook; and Marschall Smith, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Co. in Decatur.