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Supreme Court justice ordered to testify

Friday, Feb 27, 2015

* Crain’s

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier has been ordered to give testimony in a civil case that accuses State Farm Insurance of fraudulently concealing the extent of its involvement in his campaign.

Karmeier and State Farm had fought against requiring the justice to give a deposition in the case, which was filed in 2012 in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis and seeks $8 billion in damages. But Judge David Herndon rejected those arguments.

The plaintiffs can question Karmeier under oath “as to his knowledge concerning all aspects of his campaign including his decision-making process for running for the position in the first place and the persons with whom he consulted to make that decision, how the campaign was managed, how the campaign was financed, who was involved in the decision-making and strategy of the campaign,” Herndon ruled yesterday. “Without allowing the inquiry, there will never be light on the facts of this case and the federal rules will be thwarted.” […]

Herndon also granted the plaintiffs’ request to depose an attorney for State Farm, Robert Schultz, who served as a member of the judicial evaluation committee for the Illinois State Bar Association when Karmeier was elected to the Illinois high court in 2004. Schultz now works for State Farm.

Karmeier’s opponent in the election had written a lower court opinion upholding a $1.05 billion verdict against State Farm. After winning election, Karmeier cast the crucial fourth deciding vote to overturn that decision.

There’s whole a lot of smoke in this case, but nobody has yet even come close to proving that a fire actually exists. It’ll sure be interesting to see what he says under oath.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - How Ironic - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 1:51 pm:

    Interesting. Is there precedence for this type of action, or is this the first time a Justice has had to answer these sorts of questions?


  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 1:52 pm:

    You can’t triple stamp a double stamp, Lloyd. If he only would have recused himself, it still would have been a 3/2 victory for State Farm.


  3. - Qui Tam - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 1:53 pm:

    =There’s whole a lot of smoke in this case, but nobody has yet even come close to proving that a fire actually exists.=
    Yeah it’s all just a great big $eries of coincidence$.
    Nothing to see here… Move along…


  4. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    Will Karmeier and company try to bring their fight against this deposition to the federal court of appeals? They were there before trying to throw this case out.


  5. - Uninterested Party - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    “If he only would have recused himself, it still would have been a 3/2 victory for State Farm. ”

    Not true. The constitution requires four votes for the court to rule. If less than four justices agree, the case is dismissed and the appellate court’s ruling is affirmed.


  6. - Ahoy! - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’m glad to see that a judge is holding another judge accountable by at least making him answer questions. He should also have to answer why he didn’t recuse himself. That defies logic, unless of course you need to deliver.


  7. - A guy - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:10 pm:

    Can anyone else hear Dana Carvey as the Church Lady saying “Well now, isn’t that interesting?”
    Oy.


  8. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    @Uninterested Party

    Thanks for the education. I didn’t realize that.


  9. - chi - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    Interesting because it concerns the line between political support and political bribery. A mighty thin, and sometimes confusing, line.
    #$20MillionExtortionFund


  10. - too obvious - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    It is hard to think of a decent reason why Karmeier didn’t recuse himself from that case. He should have.


  11. - Anonin' - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    Whole lot o smoke
    But first with statements made under oath. Good luck Lloyd :)


  12. - 340 East - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    $20 Billion Judge. When will you see the fire, before or after everyone dies from it? You don’t see the fire because these people are your friends, Rich.


  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    ===You don’t see the fire because these people are your friends, Rich. ===

    Huh?

    I haven’t seen the fire because nobody has proven a thing. If it was as easy to prove as what you think it is, then people would already be in prison.


  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    Also, bite me.


  15. - Wordslinger - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    If you’re going to elect Supremes, big money is going to be a player.


  16. - Adam Smith - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    Well, we all know trial lawyers can make any argument sound convincing. If they can’t hijack the entire tort system to line their pockets with obscene riches, then try to subvert the system and destroy anyone who dares stand up to you.

    These trial lawyers are the real scary puppet masters of the Democratic Party, not the unions.


  17. - first time - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    Well now, isn’t that special?”

    Fixed it for you. :)


  18. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    Well thanks for thought-provoking and insightful comment Adam Smith. It sheds new light on the accusations against State Farm and Justice Karmeier and I never would have seen it that way without your unique take on this set of facts. You’ve added a lot of context to this that is so helpful in understanding what exactly happened here, if anything.

    Bravo sir, really well done. Thanks for bringing so much to the conversation. We’re all really grateful that you chose to share that with us.


  19. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    No idea what, if anything, happened here. But, to me, this is a prime example of why we (a) shouldn’t elect judges; or (b) should completely publicly finance judicial elections.


  20. - MrJM - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    Also, bite me.
    [checks watch]

    Yep, Friday afternoon.

    – MrJM


  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 27, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    This is a complex story. Bottom line is that if Karmeier recused himself, that would have decided the case (Appellate Court ruling stands). If he did not recuse himself, his vote was the 4th one deciding the case.
    He chose to participate and vote. Difficult situation all around and it does point to a problem with judicial elections.
    Rich Miller is correct that there is more to the story perhaps on both sides to watch for.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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