David Bernthal

David Bernthal

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Guiding you through felony case progression

We read and hear about criminal cases on a regular basis. This column attempts to provide some insight regarding the progress of a felony case in federal court. Key terms will be printed with all capital letters for emphasis.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Three disputes, three jobs well done

Last month, I had the opportunity to serve as mediator in three commercial disputes. They involved three sets of individuals who had entered into similar but unrelated business relationships with a particular corporation. The written agreement in each situation was lengthy and detailed. As sometimes happens, things did not go as expected and each side found fault with the other.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Many factors in determining jurisdiction

"Well, don't make a federal case about it."

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: The judicial system from a new point of view

One of my early columns dealt with the subject of jury service. I made the assertion that jury duty was an honor. Shortly thereafterm I received a notice from the office of Katie Blakeman, circuit clerk of Champaign County. It turned out to be the first step in the process of conferring the honor of jury service upon me.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Do you have a warrant, Dan-O?

Hear more from Judge Bernthal Tuesday at 7:40 on WDWS.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: 'Merit system' and politics ... you be the judge

A previous column dealt with the process by which judicial vacancies are filled. Readers may recall that most judicial positions in the Illinois courts are filled through the electoral process while justices and judges serving under Article III of the United States Constitution are appointed. Today's column deals with a recent high-profile example of the latter.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Celebrating the rule of law on May 1

When I was a lad, the first day of May was commonly celebrated as May Day. Children would pick flowers, put them in baskets and secretly deposit the baskets on the front porch of the nice lady who always gave the best Halloween candy. It was also the day the Soviets celebrated themselves by parading missiles and soldiers through Red Square.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Jury doesn't always see all evidence

Trial by jury is an extremely important aspect of the judicial system in our country. I have written about it before and will likely do so again. A reader from Danville wrote me recently. While I cannot address personal legal matters or offer advice, the individual did raise a subject that I think impacts many.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Federal courts have limited jurisdiction

"Why was this case in federal court?" That was a question asked by a juror following a trial over which I presided a few years back. It was a great question which provided an opportunity to explain the limited jurisdiction of the federal courts. In fact, it is a question that every judge in federal court must ask when a case is filed.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Naturalization ceremonies a time of joy

No one will be surprised to hear that there are not many happy days in a courtroom. My friends in state court get to do weddings and adoptions that for the most part are uplifting. That was not part of my federal court experience. In that setting, the feel-good days happened about four times a year, when the adversarial arena was transformed into a place of celebration.