DANVILLE — The director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced the reappointment of 5th Judicial Circuit associate circuit judges Mark S. Goodwin, Karen E. Wall and Derek J Girton to four-year terms beginning July 1. Associate judges are subject to reappointment by receiving at least 3/5 vote of the circuit judges every four years.
These three associate judges are assigned to Vermilion County and handle high-volume court calls in Danville, according to a release. The diverse nature of the associate divisions requires the judges to be knowledgeable, resourceful, and versatile. They routinely preside over civil small claims, eviction, traffic, misdemeanor, divorce, and order of protection cases. They are also occasionally appointed to hear felony and law division cases.
• Goodwin has served since 2009 and is the presiding judge of the Vermilion County Mental Health Court. He served the Illinois Judicial Conference, concluding five years of service as chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinating Committee. He is a member of the Illinois Judges Association and the Vermilion County Bar Association, of which he recently began a term as president.
Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law in Vermilion County for 22 years, with a general practice. Goodwin graduated from Illinois State University and John Marshall Law School. He lives in rural Danville with his wife and has three adult children.
• Wall has served as an associate judge for eight years and is the presiding judge of the County’s Veterans Court. She has served on the board for the Illinois Judges Association for the last six years and the Illinois Supreme Court Committee for Civil Justice for the last two years. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and vice president of the Vermilion County Bar Association.
Prior to becoming a judge, she practiced law with Manion, Devens & McFetridge in Danville as an associate attorney, and later became the first female partner of that firm. Thereafter, she was a founding partner of the firm, Spiros & Wall, practicing primarily personal injury litigation. Wall graduated from Illinois State University and John Marshall Law School. She lives in rural Danville with her husband and two sons.
• Girton also has served as an associate judge for eight years and is the presiding judge of the county’s Drug Court. He is a member of the Illinois Judges Association, ISBA, and Vermilion County Bar Association. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law as a partner in the Danville firm of Acton & Snyder with a general practice, but primarily handled family law and criminal defense cases. Girton graduated from The Pennsylvania State University and Ohio Northern Law School. He lives in Oakwood and has two adult children.