Long-time Commissioner and current Vice Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, Edward J. Walsh, is retiring from the Commission. Although Ed, the founding partner of Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered, continues to selectively represent clients who have been catastrophically injured, he is devoting more time to pro bono representation of non-profit environmental organizations in southeast Minnesota. As a result, Ed will step down from his role with the Court, effective September 1st, 2017.
Ed Walsh began his career with the Commission on Professionalism back in 2001, before it was a formal Commission of the Court. That year, he was appointed to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Special Committee on Civility, which eventually blossomed into the Commission that it is today. Appointed a Commissioner in 2010, Ed rejoined the organization, graciously serving in various capacities ever since.
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas expressed his gratitude for Ed’s service to the Commission on Professionalism over the last seven years stating:
Ed Walsh is the embodiment of professionalism. The Court appreciates the many years Ed devoted to the establishment of the Commission, which has grown under his leadership to become the premier professionalism commission in the nation. I wish him well in his endeavors in Minnesota.
John F. O’Reilly will fill the remaining months of Ed Walsh’s term. O’Reilly, a fellow Wheaton-based litigator, devotes all of his practice to litigation. As a general partner of O’Reilly Law Offices, John frequently represents municipal and corporate entities in the defense of litigation involving claims related to municipal, employment, federal civil rights, premises, personal injury, automobile, and product liabilities.
When speaking with Justice Thomas about the new appointment, he noted the legacy of Roger O’Reilly.
As the son of Roger K. O’Reilly, John’s appointment is symbolic to the origins of the Commission on Professionalism.
In 2000, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas, Former Commission on Professionalism Chair David Rolewick, and Ed Walsh organized the Roger K. O’Reilly Symposium on Civility and Advocacy to commemorate his father’s legacy in the Illinois legal community promoting the values of civility and professionalism that he personified.
As a nod to the Court’s commitment to keeping professionalism alive and well, the son of Roger O’Reilly’s term will begin September 1, 2017.
In addition, current Commissioner Martin Sinclair will replace Ed Walsh as Vice-Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. His term as Vice-Chair expires December 31, 2017.
Expressing her appreciation for Ed Walsh’s leadership over the years, Chair of the Commission Hon. Debra B. Walker, is also optimistic for the future.
As Chair of the Communications and Outreach Committee and as the Vice-Chair of the Commission, Ed was a supportive leader. Always sending notes of encouragement and congratulations to his fellow Commissioners, he was the quintessential gentleman and professional. Though we are sad to see Ed go, I am delighted to welcome John O’Reilly to the Commission, and am confident that Martin Sinclair will excel as the new Vice-Chair.
About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
The Commission on Professionalism was established by the Illinois Supreme Court in September 2005 to foster increased civility, professionalism and inclusion among lawyers and judges in the State of Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers, we work to better serve clients and society alike. These duties upheld by the Commission are defined under Supreme Court Rule 799(c). For more information, please visit 2Civility.org, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s website.