Editor's note: This article has been corrected to correctly identify the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.
A former Illinois Supreme Court justice and Cook County
State’s Attorney who authored the state high court’s landmark decision
upholding the rule requiring attorneys to report misconduct by other lawyers
has died, the Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday.
According to the release, former Justice John J. Stamos died
Saturday, Jan. 28, at the age of 92, in Northbrook.
Stamos served as a justice on the Illinois Supreme Court from
1988-1990, serving on the seat from Cook County and the state’s First Judicial
District. Stamos was appointed to the state high court in 1988 after former
Justice Seymour Simon resigned.
Stamos had been seated on the Illinois First District
Appellate Court in 1968 and served on that court until appointed to the Supreme
Before winning a seat on the appeals court, Stamos served as
assistant Chicago city corporation counsel, and then worked in the Cook County
State’s Attorney’s office, beginning in 1954. He was appointed Cook County
State’s Attorney in 1966, but landed on the appeals court two years later after
former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley refused to support his candidacy for state’s
attorney, choosing Edward Hanrahan instead, according to an article published by
the Chicago Tribune in 1988 at the time of his appointment to the high court.
Stamos opted not to seek election to the Illinois Supreme
Court, leaving in 1990 to enter private practice with his son at the firm of
Stamos & Trucco.
While his time on the state Supreme Court was relatively
brief, the court’s release announcing Stamos’ passing noted he left his mark,
writing the opinion known as In Re: Himmel,
a decision which affirmed the duty and obligation of lawyers to inform the
courts of misconduct on the part of other lawyers or other officials involved
in the justice system.
“The case has been cited hundreds of times in the legal
literature and has had a profound and positive impact on how lawyers conduct
themselves in Illinois and throughout the United States,” said current Chief
Justice Lloyd Karmeier, in a prepared statement. “The people of our state owe
him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering commitment to the highest principles
of justice. He will be missed."
The release from the Illinois Supreme Court noted Stamos had
received numerous “awards and accolades,” including the Distinguished Service
Award from the National District Attorneys Association, the Professional
Achievement Award from the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association, and the
Liberty Bell Award from the Federal Bar Association.
Former Appellate Justice Gino L. DiVito, who served with
Stamos in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, described Stamos in the
release as “a great state's attorney and justice."
"He was always dedicated to doing the right thing. He
truly believed in that," DiVito said in his statement provided by the high
The release said funeral services for Stamos will be
Thursday, Feb. 2, at 11:30 a.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church,
1401 Wagner Road, Glenview. Visitation will be Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 4-9 p.m.
at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Homes, 6150 N. Cicero Ave., Chicago.