6th Circuit - Blockman Vacancy
What is the importance of a 6th Circuit Judge to your constituents in Champaign County?
The Circuit Courts are where citizens can settle their differences in a peaceful manner. It is critical to that process that the judges apply the law in an even-handed manner. It is perhaps even more important that all parties are treated in such a way that, even if they did not prevail, they are confident the judge listened to them and gave them a fair opportunity to present their case. If we, as judges, expect citizens to respect our decisions, we have to earn that respect by the way we conduct hearings and explain our decisions.
Why are you qualified to be a 6th Circuit Judge?
In 2014, the 14 Circuit Judges of the 6th Judicial Circuit appointed me as an Associate Judge. I served in that capacity, hearing virtually every kind of case that may be brought in state court, until 2016. At that time I was recommended as extremely well qualified by the Judicial Screening Committee, and unanimously appointed to fill the Circuit Judge vacancy created by Judge Blockman’s retirement, where I still serve. In March of this year, I received a 97.7 % bar poll approval rating from the Illinois State Bar Association. I believe that poll, conducted after I had served 3 years on the bench, demonstrates that I am viewed as contributing positively to the overall quality of the court system, by the very people who have observed me in that role day in and day out.
What is a key difference between you and your Opponent?
First, I have a track record of 4 years by which my judicial abilities may be evaluated. Another key difference is the breadth and depth of my legal experience. Before becoming judge, I was an Assistant Public Defender for 2 years, an Assistant State’s Attorney for 4 years and in private practice for nearly 25 years, including nearly 15 years as the managing partner/President of Beckett & Webber, P.C. In these capacities, I represented people from all walks of life on each side of many different types of cases, including criminal, traffic, divorce, personal injury, and landlord-tenant law to name just a few. My experience also included drafting wills, and representing people in probate proceedings, real estate closings, and other situations such as the sale or purchase of businesses.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter in Champaign County?
I would encourage all voters to investigate all of the candidates by researching our backgrounds. If you know attorneys who are familiar with our work, ask them for their opinions as to our qualifications. If you have friends or neighbors who have served on a jury or otherwise seen any of the candidates acting in our professional capacity, ask them for their impressions. Finally, if you have any specific questions about my background or experience please contact me through my website: judgerogerwebber.com or My Facebook page (friends of judge roger webber). I will answer all questions, unless doing so would amount to a violation of the Judicial Canons of Ethics.