Philip J. Rarick
Previous Illinois Supreme Court Justice
Previous Illinois Appellate Court Justice 5th District
Previous Circuit Judge Madison County, Illinois
Philip J. Rarick is a native of the metro east. He grew up in Collinsville, IL, with his two younger brothers and mother and father. Phil lived there until he was a young adult. He would eventually move to Troy, IL in 1973 where he lives today with his granddaughters.
He went on to go to college and earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His was the first class ever to graduate from the Edwardsville campus. He has always acknowledged his education at that institution and continues to give back to the university year after year, establishing a scholarship, and mentoring young people who want to be lawyers. He has been apart of the new pre-law legal program at SIUE since its inception.
After SIUE, he attended and graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law. Phil worked at the steel mill in Granite City during his time in undergraduate and law school. And he earned a fine education, but the mill is where he learned the importance of blue-collar work and physical labor employment. At the mill, he met many lifelong friends and never forgot his roots. He would later settle in Troy, IL with his wife and son, where he would continue working on his land, tending to livestock, working from dusk till dawn. He loves the law, but he also loves being outside in the fresh air.
His professional life has known no boundary. He has always persevered through any challenge. And still today, after 30 years on the bench, and 20 in private practice, his heart remains with the plight of working men and women and his loyalty to those affected by injury.
Justice Rarick’s career began in a private law practice in Collinsville, Illinois in 1966 until 1975, during which time he served as City Attorney for the City of Collinsville, Township Attorney for Collinsville and Jarvis Townships, and Assistant State’s Attorney in Madison County, Illinois.
He became a judge in 1975 and served as Chief Judge in the Third Judicial Circuit from 1985 to 1987. He also served as Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division in Madison County, Illinois from 1982 to 1985 and from 1987 to 1988. For those who worked with him in Edwardsville, he was admired and respected for his position, legal knowledge but also, a dear friend and confidant.
In 1988, he was elected to the Appellate Court, Fifth District, and was retained in 1998. He often talks about his time on the appellate court being not only personally fulfilling but also professionally because his interpretation of the law would ensure the rights of all people—from a simple contract dispute, to complex estate matters, high profile murder cases, and wrongful death lawsuits.
He also served on the Industrial Commission Division of the Appellate Court from 1992 until 2002. This was a position where he could make a direct impact on the lives of working people. Justice Rarick has participated as a faculty member for numerous education conferences and regional seminars as well as new judges’ seminars.
The pinnacle of his career and most proud moment professionally was serving on the Illinois Supreme Court. Justice Rarick was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court effective September 2002 and served on that court until his retirement in December 2004. Had his retirement not been necessitated by medical issues, he intended to serve many more years. His reentry into private law practice was a testament to his courage and determination.
Following his retirement from the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice Rarick was of counsel to the firm of Callis, Papa & Szewczyk, P.C. in Granite City, Illinois from 2005 until 2019.
Since 2019 Justice Rarick has been of counsel to the firm of Justin B. Mattea Law, LLC in Maryville, Illinois. He is happiest when he’s practicing law. He now enjoys advising his new colleagues, (and neighbors in Troy), Justin and Morgan. He calls them “young lawyers” and they accept that.
Throughout his storied career, he’s never lost the ability to remain humble and gracious, the foundation of his character. He is one of the most respected legal figures in the metro-east. Justice Rarick will focus his practice on estate law and will also provide guidance on personal injury, worker compensation and criminal law.