Judges from Douglas’s Past

Earlier today, I attended a routine hearing in the Douglas County Courthouse to close a Decedent’s estate. The hearing took place in Courtroom 2, the smaller of the building’s two courtrooms, which is usually reserved for the traveling associate judge or for visiting Circuit Judges. Today, it was a visiting Circuit Judge who held Court, addressing cases in which the presiding judge had a conflict of interest.

I enjoy appearing in Courtroom 2, mainly because this was the room in which I conducted my first hearing back in November, 1998, less than 2 weeks after being admitted to practice. That hearing was the approval of an interim accounting in a guardianship case.

The hearing was heard before the Honorable Art Powers, the then-traveling Associate Judge who heard cases in Douglas, Dewitt, Moultrie and Piatt Counties, one day a week for each.  I was very nervous in the moments that lead up to that hearing! Here is an excerpt the docket entry for the hearing I appeared for that day:

The Guardian ad Litem (which is what they call the attorney who acts as the “eyes and ears” of the Court in cases like this) who appeared that day with me was Tuscola attorney Michael G. Carroll. This was a prophetic first encounter, for less than 8 years later, I would find myself working again with Mike; first, during his brief tenure at Beckett & Webber in its new Tuscola office, and then for the next 8 years before Mike in his capacity as the elected Resident Circuit Judge of Douglas County. Talk about a coincidence!

While that first hearing introduced me to a future judge, it was pictures of former judges hanging on the wall that caught my interest:

These pictures display every county judge for Douglas County from 1859 to 1964. As I noted in my earlier post on the history of Illinois judges, 1964 was the year when the position of county judge was abolished, and when Illinois started the Circuit/Associate Judge system that continues to the present day.

I am always inspired by these photographs of past jurists, and their simple brief to handle whatever routine matters came before them in this rural county. Their efforts are now filled by another Judge, still traveling Circuit, still continuing a tradition in this county that began 158 years ago.


Greatest hits

For people who have made it to this blog but not my campaign website or my Facebook page, here is a link to the page full of articles I have written about running for Judge. These articles explain everything you would ever want to know about my campaign so far.

These articles (currently 4 of them) describe the position of circuit judge, my experience, and my judicial philosophy. I will continue to publish article from time to time.

First Steps

And so it begins.

With the miracles of modern technology and the help of skilled professions who know how to wield it, I inaugurate this weblog to document the 2017-2018 campaign of Chad Beckett for Circuit Judge.

You can read the details about who I am and the judicial position I am running for here.  Rather than recount all of that material, I’d like to spend this post looking forward discussing what is to come.

And what is to come?  A lot of campaigning!  Campaign stops at parades and picnics, fairgrounds and 5Ks, happy hours and house parties.  I will be taking my message to voters in 6 counties, 84 townships and  111 municipalities and unincorporated communities.

I plan to attend more than 100 gatherings within the Sixth Circuit over the next 15 months.  If the information made available through this blog, my website, and my Facebook page doesn’t afford you a reasonable time and place to meet and ask me questions about my campaign, then it can rightfully be said that I haven’t earned your vote.

To that end, the next gathering I plan to attend is The Champaign County Young Democrats Happy Hour on August 23, 2017 at 6 pm.

During the next four weeks, I also plan to participate in the Urbana Sweet Corn Festival, the Arthur Cheese Festival, the Urbana Labor Day Parade, the Arcola Broomcorn Festival and the Clinton Apple Pork Festival. Details for specifically where and when I will be to meet during these events will follow shortly.  Meanwhile, feel free to check out the contact page on my website or send an email to beckett4judge@gmail.com for more specific information.

I’d like to thank my good friend Marc Hanger of Pixel Architecture for getting this blog up and running.