She also called on Illinois lawyers, through their bar associations,
to participate more in the administrative rule-making and other
activities of the Supreme Court and its committees.
the second woman to head Illinois' third branch of government when
she was installed as chief on Oct. 28. She said that during her
tenure as chief justice, she will continue the Supreme Court's
emphasis on civility and professionalism in the legal profession;
will work to ensure "prompt judicial decision-making" at all levels
of the court system; tailor judicial education programs to include
the complexities of today's litigation; and support increased use of
technology in courthouses and courtrooms to make the system more
efficient and more transparent.
"Courts are where the people meet the promise of this nation,"
Garman noted. "The four goals that I have set out — civility and
professionalism, prompt decision-making, increased use of
technology, and judicial education — all serve to make our courts
more able to meet that promise."
Garman made her comments at a luncheon on Wednesday in Chicago.
It was hosted by the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar
Association, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois and the
Appellate Lawyers Association.
The collective goal of her tenure as chief justice is "to do the
work that the constitution assigns to the judicial system on behalf
of the people of the state of Illinois; and I want to do this work
as efficiently and effectively as possible," she said.
She called for the support and cooperation of all levels of the
judiciary, court personnel and members of the Illinois bar in
helping to achieve that goal.
[to top of second column]
She said lawyers can and should provide an instrumental role
in improving public understanding of the judicial process, even
clarifying and correcting misleading or erroneous material
publicized through the media.
"The media do not always understand how the judicial system
operates," Garman said. There are "common misunderstandings about
the law itself and the judicial function. The court is limited in
its ability to counter such confusion. ... We cannot speak out
publicly to combat misunderstandings in specific cases, but the
members of the bar, either individually or collectively through the
various bar associations, can certainly and should do so."
Garman also encouraged bar associations to become more involved
in the rule-making and other activities of the Supreme Court and its
"Attend open meetings. Write letters to committee chairs. Discuss
proposed rule changes at your meetings and communicate your opinions
to members of the Rules Committee and the court," she said.
"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor once said that 'We don't accomplish
anything in this world alone. ... Whatever happens is the result of
the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual
threads from one to another that creates something.'
"I invite the bar associations, and all of their members, to be a
part of the tapestry that I hope to weave over the next three
[Text from file received from the
Illinois Supreme Court]