Justice Sterba elevated to appellate bench

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Presiding judge of B’view courthouse named Illinois Appellate Court justice

by Kevin Olsen
staff reporter

Palos Heights’ own Judge David S. Sterba is a Cook County judge no more.

Sterba was elevated to the position of justice of the 1st District Appellate Court in Chicago by the Illinois Supreme Court on April 15.

At age 53, Justice Sterba has climbed up the ranks since he was elected judge in 1996. He served as presiding judge of the 5th Municipal District courthouse in Bridgeview from 2008 until his appointment.

“It’s a great honor and I thought it would be a great challenge,” Sterba said. “It’s a responsibility I take seriously.”

Of the 435 judges in Cook County, only 24 hold the position of appellate court justice. The justices, divided into six divisions of four, handle all appeal cases from the lower courts, including civil and criminal cases. Nearly 4,000 civil and criminal cases were filed in the 1st District alone in 2009. There are only 52 appellate court justices in the entire state.

Sterba will not hear his first oral arguments until May 12, but has been plenty busy stowed away in the justices’ chambers, where the vast majority of his time is spent reading briefs and drafting opinions.

“I’m intrigued by all law,” Sterba said. “It’s exciting to look at new areas of laws doing what I love to do

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