Remembering A Champion of Professionalism

This week the legal profession lost a man who was the epitome of professionalism.

On November 1, 2015, former Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald passed away after his long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Justice Fitzgerald will be remembered in the legal community as a model of integrity. His commitment to advancing the quality of justice for those he served was unapproachable. He often reminded lawyers that they are guardians and champions of the legal process.

Justice Fitzgerald is most often acknowledged for his professionalism in presiding over the impeachment trial of Governor Blagojevich. However, he holds a special place in the hearts of those at the Commission on Professionalism for his work with the law school orientation program over the years. We will always remember and often repeat what he told law students:

Your reputation is like a fine china vase. Once broken, it is nearly impossible to put it back together.

Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court on Professionalism, Jayne Reardon, sat down with the former Chief Justice two years ago, and recounted several highlights of his career.

Former Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald was an excellent lawyer and a wise jurist who exuded clarity of purpose and kindness toward all.  His unwavering dedication to the law and to integrity will never be forgotten.

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Erika Kubik

Erika Kubik

Former Communications Specialist at Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
Erika is the former Communications Specialist for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. She successfully developed strategies to increase 2Civility’s social presence across channels. As a recent graduate of Bradley University, Erika received her Bachelor of Arts studying Public Relations and Social Media Marketing where her passion for writing and brand development took flight. Outside of the office, Erika works to develop her own personal brand as she takes on Chicago for the first time having grown up just outside of the Greater St. Louis area. Though she may not be accustomed to the deep dish pizza as a Celiac, she has found the Windy City to be quite accommodating to her active lifestyle as a runner and fitness fanatic.
Erika Kubik

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