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Lawyers Assistance Program To Honor Justice Karmeier

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier will be recognized for his long-standing support and commitment to the mission of the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP).

LAP, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping members of the legal community with alcohol abuse, drug dependency or mental health problems, presented Justice Karmeier with its annual Joseph R. Bartylak Award on April 17 in Springfield.

“While a member of the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice Karmeier has personally shown a keen interest in the work done by LAP and its work of outreach to the Illinois legal community,” said Timothy L. Bertschy, a Peoria attorney and executive member of LAP’s Board of Directors.

“As a regular attendee of LAP’s public events, both in Chicago and downstate, Justice Karmeier has demonstrated by words and action the significance of LAP’s role in our profession and the recognition accorded that role by the Illinois Supreme Court.”

LAP created the Joseph R. Bartylak Award in 2010 to honor attorneys and volunteers committed to increasing access to the justice system for those lacking financial resources, a mission the award’s namesake devoted his entire career to. Joe Bartylak, an Alton attorney who passed away in 2010, served as LAP’s associate director from 2002 to 2007 and spent more than three decades as executive director of Land of Lincoln Legal Services.:

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman said, “I can think of no one more deserving of this honor than my colleague and friend, Justice Lloyd Karmeier.

“I have had the privilege of serving with him for over a decade and have long been impressed with his dedication and commitment to the highest standards of the legal profession,” Chief Justice Garman said. “His efforts on behalf of the LAP are just one of the many ways in which he serves the legal community and the citizens of the State of Illinois. I offer him my congratulations and urge others to follow his lead in supporting the important work of the LAP.”

Justice Karmeier gave the keynote address at the very first Joseph R. Bartylak Award Dinner in 2010, when he stressed the important role organizations like LAP play in the lives and careers of lawyers, as well as the legal community as a whole and the public it serves.”

LAP was established in 1980 by the Illinois State Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association. It provides confidential assistance to attorneys, judges and law students with addiction or mental health issues through a variety of services, including education, information and referral, peer assistance and intervention.

“When things seem bleakest for our colleagues, LAP and its volunteers are often the only helping hand to reach out from the darkness to offer comfort and hope,” Justice Karmeier said in his keynote address at the 2010 event. “They give strength to those whom depression or addiction have weakened. They provide courage to make it through the next challenge. They help those diminished by personal turmoil to remember what they are capable of achieving and to become again all that they once were.”

The Joseph R. Bartylak Award Dinner was held on April 17 at the Sangamo Club in Springfield. DuPage County Circuit Judge Robert J. Anderson, the incoming president of the Illinois Judges Association, will be the keynote speaker.

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