INFORMATION RELEASE

Monday December 28, 2009 10:00 am

 

 

Illinois Supreme Court Appoints

Belleville Lawyer Mendillo

to the A.R.D.C.

 

             The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed James R. Mendillo of Belleville to serve as a Commissioner of the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC). The ARDC is the Supreme Court agency that investigates allegations of lawyer wrongdoing in Illinois. His appointment is effective on January 1, 2010.

             Mr. Mendillo is a partner in the Belleville firm of Freeark, Harvey, Mendillo, Dennis, Wuller, Cain & Murphy, PC. He is licensed to practice law in both Illinois and Missouri.

A trial attorney, Mr. Mendillo has substantial experience in the following types of cases: automobile; employment discrimination; construction accidents; insurance and bad faith; products liability; railroad grade crossings; Fair Credit Reporting Act; legal, dental, and medical malpractice; federal tort claims; and domestic relations. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants.

A past President of the St. Clair County Bar Association, he is also a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the St. Clair County and Illinois State Bar Associations, the Missouri Bar Association, the Illinois and American Trial Lawyer Associations. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is a listed mediator with U.S.A.& M. in St. Louis, Missouri.

The new Commissioner earned his undergraduate degree from the University of New Haven and received a Juris Doctor from the Washington University Law School. He was a note editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly. After his admission to the bar, he was a staff law clerk under Chief Judges Marion Mathis and William Webster in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit before joining his current law firm in 1974.

            Mr. Mendillo served for over three years as an ARDC Hearing Board member. The Hearing Board functions much like a trial court in a civil case and is comprised of three panel members, two lawyers and one non-lawyer, appointed by the ARDC. Hearing Board officers serve as judges in lawyer disciplinary cases.

Mr. Mendillo succeeds lawyer John P. Kujawski, who served as an ARDC Commissioner for nine years and had reached the maximum number of terms of service. Mr. Kujawski, of O’Fallon, brought to the Commission the experience and insights that he gained as a respected prosecutor for the Office of the St. Clair County State’s Attorney before entering private practice. He is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who handles Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) cases, Illinois and Missouri Workers' Compensation matters, medical malpractice claims, product liability cases, maritime negligence and general negligence issues.

During his tenure on the Commission, Mr. Kujawski was active in fostering the development of ARDC educational programs throughout the state in order to inform lawyers about attorney regulation and professional ethics and to minimize inadvertent practice mistakes. Mr. Mendillo looks forward to continuing the accomplishments of Mr. Kujawski. 

 The ARDC is composed of seven members, three of whom are non-lawyers. Attorney Benedict Schwarz II of West Dundee is the Commission Chairperson. Attorney R. Michael Henderson of Peoria is the Commission Vice-Chairperson.

Commissioners receive no compensation for their services. The Commissioners establish ARDC policies, appoint members of the ARDC Inquiry and Hearing Boards and, subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, appoint the Commission's chief executive officer, the Administrator. The ARDC Administrator is Jerome Larkin.

One hundred and seven full time employees and over one hundred lawyer and non-lawyer volunteers work for the ARDC. All funds expended by the agency are from annual fees paid by Illinois attorneys. There are no tax dollars used to support the disciplinary system. Yearly fees are imposed on most of the 87,000 Illinois lawyers in order to fund the ARDC. There are two ARDC offices: One Prudential Plaza in Chicago and the One North Old Capitol Plaza in Springfield

 For additional information, contact: 

James J. Grogan, Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago.

312-565-2600 or 1-800-826-8625