Effingham attorney Martin W. Siemer has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Circuit Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit. He is seeking the at-large position being vacated by the retirement of Circuit Judge Sherri L.E. Tungate.
“It is with great respect for the position of Circuit Judge that I seek to take this next step in public service,” Siemer said. “After almost 20 years in private practice, and having also invested more than 16 years in serving my community as a school board member, I feel this is the right time to offer my experiences in a new role.” Siemer has been elected five times to the Board of Education for Teutopolis Community Unit District No. 50, and he has served as its President since 2007. “Too often, these important judicial elections go uncontested. I feel the residents of the Fourth Circuit deserve a choice in the selection of their judges.”
The Teutopolis native hopes to bring his long and diverse legal experience with him to the bench. “Over the years, I have appeared in court in at least 18 different counties throughout Central and Southern Illinois, in a wide variety of cases -- primarily civil cases, but also including criminal, traffic, juvenile and others. I’ve briefed and argued numerous cases on appeal in the Appellate Courts for the Fourth and Fifth Judicial Districts and the Illinois Supreme Court, and I’ve also represented clients in federal court in Benton and East St. Louis.”
Hoping to apply lessons learned from his current area of concentration for the benefit of the courts and the public, Siemer continued, “In recent years, I’ve concentrated my law practice in the areas of Elder Law, estate planning, real estate and estate and trust administration. From my perspective, I would especially like to see greater protections and access to the courts for our area seniors and disabled. This can be difficult to achieve, but it should continue to grow as a priority.”
“I believe that our state courts exist to serve the residents of each county, to follow the law of the land, and to seek justice according to the facts – but not at the expense of common sense,” Siemer commented. “I am committed to serve by these ideals if elected.”
Siemer, 46, is a founding member of Resch Siemer Law Office, LLC, with offices in Effingham and Casey. He has been licensed to practice law before the Illinois Supreme Court since 1994, and the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Illinois since 1998. He is also licensed to appear before the Federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and is accredited as an attorney to represent Veterans and their families before the Veterans Administration.
Siemer has served on the Elder Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association since 2006. He has been a continuing legal education speaker at the Elder Law Short Course for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, at the Illinois Department on Aging Elder Rights Conference, and for the national conference of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association. He frequently speaks on the topic of Elder Law for local organizations, and his articles on Elder Law have appeared in the Southern Illinois University Law Journal on multiple occasions.
In addition to his work in the Elder Law and estates areas, he also currently serves as City Attorney for the City of Casey. He has also assisted in the representation of several other local governments.
Siemer graduated in 1994 as Valedictorian of his law school class at Saint Louis University School of Law, and he is a 1990 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education. He still holds an active Illinois license to teach grades 6 through 12.
He resides in Teutopolis with his wife, Lisa, who is director of youth activities and coordinator of high school religious education at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Teutopolis, where they are parishioners. They have 4 children, ages 8, 12, 14 and 17. Siemer is a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Teutopolis Lions Club, and a past board member for the Teutopolis Educational Foundation.
The Fourth Judicial Circuit consists of nine counties (Christian, Clay, Clinton, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Marion, Montgomery and Shelby), and election of the open at-large seat takes place in all nine counties. “I feel honored to even be able to seek this important position. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve the nine counties of the Fourth Circuit.”