The information on this web site does not constitute legal advice. The law is constantly changing, and we make no warranty of the accuracy of information on this site or any site to which we link.
Q. How are judges chosen?
A. In Illinois, state judges consist of two types at the trial level. Circuit Judges are elected to their first term by the public and thereafter run for retention on their record every six years. Associate Judges are appointed by the Circuit Judges are appointed by the Circuit Judges and hold their office for four years.
Q. Why should I perform jury duty?
A. Because a democracy depends on its citizens' participation. Doing so will help you understand the justice system better. Soldiers have died or been injured in wars to preserve this right. Lastly, if you have your own case in court for jury trial, you would appreciate the conscientious participation of your neighbors in the jury trial process.
Q. What should I bring to court?
A. Bring whatever your Lawyer tells you to; typically this list includes receipts, cancelled checks, photographs, and contracts.
Q. What should I wear to court?
A. Wear your best clothing to show the judge that you are taking your legal matters seriously.
Q. What kind of fee arrangements are available?
A. These vary depending on what you and your Lawyer agree to; but basically charge by the hour, by a set rate, or on a contingent basis. Hourly fees tend to be for divorce and criminal matters. Set rates are often used for transactions of short duration such as drafting a Will, attending a real estate closing or filing for bankruptcy. Contingent fees are commonly used in cases involving personal injuries or workers compensation. These are different than the first two types because contingent fees are paid to the Lawyer for his or her services only if the client is successful in his or her case. The fees are based upon a percentage of the recovery. However, win or lose you might still be responsible for paying the Lawyer's out-of-pocket expenses for items like court reporters and medical records.
Q. Do I really need a Lawyer?
A. In most cases a Lawyer can help you to understand the legal process better and get better results for you than if you went to court by yourself. Every Lawyer in the State of Illinois has at least a bachelor's degree plus a law degree obtained in post-graduate study, has passed the Illinois Bar Exam, and is licensed by the State of Illinois. Many also belong to professional organizations such as the Will County Bar Association to help them stay current on the latest developments in the law. Keep in mind that the other party to the dispute usually has a Lawyer. Judges are prohibited by law from giving legal advice to either party.
Q. How do I find a Lawyer?
A. You can visit our Lawyer Referral Service on this web site, or call our Lawyer Referral Service directly at (815) 726-0383 or (815) 726-1015.