CBA Record January-February 2022

Timeless Tips 9

Judge Richard Mills, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, recounts the day he was sworn in more than 60 years ago—May 23, 1957, at the Capitol Building in Springfield, IL. He recalls, “We were sworn in as new lawyers before the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois. My only guests were my mother and father. My dad was an Assistant Attorney General of Illinois at the time, having been a State’s Attorney of Cass County for two terms and a lawyer for almost 35 years. He simply leaned across the luncheon table, and without a word, slid a piece of paper over to me that listed these points.”

Points to Remember: 1. Never go in the courthouse unless in a coat and tie. 2. Do not go into a saloon or tavern during the day. 3. Never take a drink of alcohol at lunch on a work day. 4. Never mess with your secretary or your divorce clientele. 5. If work begins at 9 a.m., be there at 8:50 a.m. 6. If work ends at 5 p.m., leave at 5:10 p.m. 7. Always stand and address the judge as “Your Honor.” 8. If you have authority to present to the court, have a copy of it with the pertinent portion highlighted. (This includes copies of the statutes, rules or appellate opinions!) 9. Answer or return phone calls the same day.

He said, “I followed those guidelines to the letter all during my private practice, four years as States Attorney, 10 years as a Circuit Judge, nine years as an Appellate Court Justice and 36 years now as a U.S. District Judge.”

Judge Richard Mills served in the United States Army Reserve, JAG Corps from 1952 to 1954. He was a State’s Attorney of Cass County, Illinois from 1960 to 1964. He was a circuit judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Illinois in Virginia from 1966 to 1976, and then a Justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District in Springfield from 1976 to 1985. He received a Master of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1982. He has been a judge in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois since 1985.

Judge Richard Mills

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24 January/February 2022

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