May Business Meeting – Judge Jesse G. Reyes

The May meeting kicked off at 11:30 am with early attendees networking.  68 people registered for the event, including new members Kamilah Wentworth and Katie Leonard.  The event was sponsored by S&P Global.  Representatives Tim Gilroy & Cortland Martin were present.  Lexis provided the door prizes.  Tim Koppang from Lexis attended.

Scott Vanderlin opened the Meeting at 12:03 and gave a brief welcome statement and introduced the new members Kamilah Wentworth, Katie Leonard, and Christian Naick.  He thanked S&P and Lexis for their continued support of CALL and introduced Mandy Lee.

Speaker: Incoming president Mandy Lee introduced Judge Jesse G. Reyes, Appellate Justice – Illinois Appellate Court, First District, Third Division. Jesse Gregory Reyes received his B.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his J.D. degree from the John Marshall Law School. He has been a member of the judiciary since December, 1997, serving both as an associate and elected judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Reyes was elected to the Appellate Court in November, 2012.

Judge Reyes spoke and talked about his early background and his entry level work at Lord Bissell and how impressed he was with the setting,  On his interview tour of the firm for a position in the mailroom   he met the librarian and she asked him to file some CCH binders.  He did a good job and was offered a job in the library instead.  He worked there all through college and law school and this gave him a solid grounding in the law.

A major issue for trial court judges are all the appellate districts and how those are conflicting at the moment.  There is some overlap as to which appellate district the County trial courts choose to follow and the Illinois Supreme Court does not take a lot of cases.  This means the appellate court judges often have the last word and they need to make sure their rulings are as clear as possible to make sure if there are conflicts between the district it  can be a problem.

How do they develop their rulings?  First they determine which kind of case it is, is it a Rule 23 case or a different kind of ruling or case.  Do they need to have oral arguments or can they do it only on briefs?  The First Circuit tends to give people more than 15 minutes for their oral arguments.  Once the oral arguments have been heard they have a judicial conference to discuss the case and then they write bench memos based on the briefing.  Judge Reyes loves oral arguments as this gives him time to interact with the attorneys and have some fun with the questioning.  As they come to their determination Judge Reyes prefers to get his colleagues to come to an agreement so that the authority is clear when people are looking at the opinions for precedential value.  Judges have law clerks and a staff attorney that help write the opinions.  COVID has had a major impact on their staffing load.  However, the court does need to be back and operational.  As of September, 2022 the court has been doing oral arguments in person.  This has not been without challenges including elevator issues.


One question that was asked is which would you prefer – Merit Selection or Election Retention?  He would not give an opinion on which is better, but talking about the various methods of getting to be a judge, such as appointment or merit selection (such as getting vetted and asked to run and put your name on the ballot).  Judge Reyes was on a committee set up by Governor Thompson looking at Merit Selection for judges and that report was filed in the drawer and never seen from again.  The issue with Merit Selection is who is doing the selecting and are they really non-partisan.  The current system is the closest you can probably get to merit selection.

Chapter Awards:

Jamie Sommers presented the Chapter awards

  • Award for Outstanding In-House Publication – Emily Byrne, Chapman and Cutler LLP Emily won for her work this year on the Library Week publications.  She has also won in 2018 and 2019.
  • Agnes and Harvey Reid Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Librarianship – Shari Berkowitz Duff & Jessie LeMar
    • Shari Berkowitz – Shari has dedicated her career to supporting library communities such as RIPS and the Private Law Librarians. She also has supported the AMPC committee and helping people develop programs for annual meetings.
    • Jessie LeMar – Jessie has served on the CALL board and many CALL committees. She is always willing to lend a hand as needed and updated the CALL directory.
  • Lifetime Achievement in Law Librarianship Award – Claire Toomey Durkin & Bill Schwesig
    • Claire Toomey – Throughout her career she was known for being a wonderful manager and always available to her staff and the law students. Claire has been a strong member of the John Marshall, UIC, and CALL community for years.
    • Bill Schwesig – He started in 1986 at the U of C library and he has built up the U of C’s law school collections. His career expanded to becoming one of the Deans at the U of C’s law library and has supported the law school and community for over 36 years.

Board & Committee Announcements

  • Jessie LeMar – Membership: Please renew your membership. Make sure you do it before the end of June or you will need to join again as a new member.  If you need an organization invoice please reach out as you cannot do this online.
  • Lisa Winkler – Community Service: CALL volunteered for Cradles to Crayons. Also volunteered for the Chicago Rivers and helped clean up the river.  For our final business meeting, the Community Service Committee would like to encourage donations for Books to Women in Prison. They accept any size monetary donations, but you can also purchase books from their wish list.  Let community Service know if there is some organization you would like to support.
  • Diana Koppang – Mentorship & Leadership Development – Wed, June 7th there will be an event on how to survive the conference and get the most out of them.

Door prize drawings

The Lexis door prizes were drawn by Claire Willis and were won by Katy Lenard and Scott Byrd.

Board transition

Scott Vanderlin announced the board transition and handed over the gavel to incoming president Mandy Lee.

  • Transitioning off the Board
    • Sarah Andeen (Secretary)
    • Carrie Port (Director)
    • Jamie Sommer (Past-President)
  • New Board Members
    • Clare Willis (Secretary)
    • Lucy Robbins (Director)
    • Philip Johnson (Vice President/President-Elect)

Presidential Gavel Passing : (Mandy Lee, incoming CALL President)