Dixon attorney wins associate judgeship
DIXON – A longtime Dixon attorney will replace 15th Judicial Circuit Associate Judge Jacquelyn D. Ackert, who takes over Monday for retiring Judge Ronald M. Jacobson.
Douglas E. Lee, 56, of Ehrmann, Gehlbach, Badger, Lee & Considine, will assume his new role Jan. 2.
Lee was selected from a pool of four applicants that included former Lee County State’s Attorney Paul Whitcombe, who now has his own firm in Dixon where he is a criminal defense attorney and also handles divorce, family law and DUI/traffic cases; Paul A. Osborn, 63, of Sterling, who is the senior partner and president of Ward, Murray, Pace & Johnson in Sterling, Dixon and Erie; and Michelle Buckwalter-Schurman, 48, of Mount Carroll, with Nelson, Kilgus, Richey & Buckwalter-Schurman in Morrison.
Lee’s practice is concentrated on civil and commercial litigation, employment law, commercial law, personal injury, and real estate.
He also is chairman of the board of directors of KSB Hospital, has served as a member and president of the Dixon School Board, as a member and secretary of the Lee County Industrial Development Association, and as a member and chairman of the board of directors of the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Ackert, 51, a Republican, ran unopposed Nov. 6 to replace Jacobson, whose last day on the bench is Friday. She was appointed in 2004.
Before that, she was an attorney for 25 years, 12 of those practicing civil and criminal law in Dixon. She is the presiding Drug Court judge, a position she will retain.
A Dixon resident for 26 years, she also has volunteered as a coach through several local organizations, including the Dixon YMCA, Al Morrison Baseball League, Dixon Park District and Dixon Catholic sports programs. She and her husband, John Ackert, have five children.
The 15th Circuit covers Carroll, JoDaviess, Lee, Ogle and Stephenson counties. Associate judges oversee family, divorce, adoption and felony cases.