Steve Thomas
Attorney at Law

Justice in Piatt County 2000-2020

Introduction

I knew when I graduated from law school in 1999 that I was not ready to practice law, but now, more than 20 years later, I am aware more than ever how true that was at the time.  Law school did not begin to teach me what I know now about how our legal system administers justice, especially here in Piatt County, Illinois.

At that time I was learning how the justice system worked. Now I find that, in many ways, the justice system does not work so well, as I will explain in this book.

The administration of law depends largely on its judges. Here at the beginning of 2020, I find myself concluding that I could have done a better job than many of the judges I have encountered over the years. That is not to say that most of these judges are not highly competent and deserving of the greatest respect. I wish to document here, however, several cases in my experience in which certain judges and other legal officers at certain times have not upheld the highest standards, and in which justice suffered as a result. I will try to explain how
I would do things differently if I were the judge.

I hope the reader, by taking the time to read this short volume, gains some insight into the justice system from a real, local perspective.

Steve Thomas, April 2020