JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Chief Justice Karmeier and Justices Freeman, Kilbride,
Garman, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and
1 On June 15, 2016, the circuit court of Cook County entered
an order of adjudication of direct civil contempt against
contemnor, Amy P. Campanelli, the Cook County public
defender, and sanctioned Campanelli $250 per day until she
purged herself of direct civil contempt or was otherwise
discharged by due process of law. Campanelli filed a notice
of appeal to the Appellate Court, First District. Campanelli
also filed an emergency motion to stay the fines imposed by
the trial court. The appellate court granted Campanelli's
motion to stay the fines.
2 The State then filed a motion for direct appeal to this
court pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 302(b) (eff.
Oct. 4, 2011). On July 29, 2016, this court allowed the
State's motion for direct appeal and transferred the
appeal of the case from the appellate court to this court.
This court also allowed the National Association of Criminal
Defense Lawyers, the National Association for Public Defense,
and Professors Vivian Gross, Steven Lubet, and Robert Burns
to file amicus curiae briefs in support of contemnor
Campanelli. Ill. S.Ct. R. 345 (eff. Sept. 20, 2010).
4 Defendant Salimah Cole was charged in a 16-count indictment
with 6 counts of first degree murder, 2 counts of armed
robbery with a firearm, 5 counts of aggravated kidnapping, 1
count of aggravated arson, and 2 counts of possession of a
stolen motor vehicle. The charges stemmed from the September
30, 2015, shooting, robbery, and kidnapping of La Prentis
Cudjo and the robbery and kidnapping of Charles Morgan.
Ashley Washington, Allen Whitehead, Zacchaeus Reed, Jr.,
Julian Morgan, and Brianna Sago were also charged in
connection with those crimes.
5 Cole appeared in court on April 12, 2016. A Cook County
assistant public defender appeared as a friend of the court,
as well as to defendant Cole, and informed the court that
Cole's mother had retained private counsel, who would
need a continuance of a week or two. Accordingly, the trial
court set the next court date for May 10, 2016.
6 At the May 10, 2016, court date, Cole informed the trial
court that she was not able to afford private counsel. The
trial court stated that it would appoint the public defender
to represent Cole. Contemnor Amy P. Campanelli, the public
defender of Cook County, then asked the court not to appoint
the office of the public defender to represent Cole.
Campanelli asked for leave of court to file a notice of
intent to refuse appointment and to ask for appointment of
counsel other than the public defender. When asked to explain
her motion, Campanelli stated that she actually was refusing
the appointment. Campanelli informed the court that the
public defender could not represent Cole because there was a
conflict of interest due to the codefendants in the case.
Campanelli explained that four of Cole's five
codefendants were charged with the exact same offenses as
Cole. In addition, codefendants Reed and Whitehouse were also
charged with intimidation of codefendant Washington, for
threatening to harm Washington and her family if she worked
with the police on the murder case.
7 The trial court then asked Campanelli to explain the direct
conflict to the court. Campanelli clarified that there was a
potential for conflict. Campanelli asserted that she did not
have to wait until a conflict developed, nor could she
divulge attorney-client privileged information in order to
inform the court of those conflicts. After considering the
matter, the trial court appointed the public defender of Cook
County to represent Cole, over Campanelli's objection.
Campanelli asked the court to hold her in friendly contempt
and to impose a nominal sanction so that she could seek
appellate review of the court's decision. The trial court
took the request under advisement and asked Campanelli to put
the basis for her refusal to represent Cole in writing.
8 Campanelli then filed a notice of intent to refuse
appointment and to request appointment of counsel other than
the public defender of Cook County. In her notice, Campanelli
argued that every client has a right to be represented by
conflict-free counsel and that concurrent conflicts of
interest are prohibited by Rule 1.7 of the Illinois Rules of
Professional Conduct of 2010 (eff. Jan. 1, 2010). Campanelli
noted that Rule 1.7 provided that conflicts arise whenever
the interests of one client are directly adverse to the
interests of another client or whenever the representation of
a client is materially limited. Based upon Rule 1.7,
Campanelli stated that she could not accept appointment to
represent Cole when she was already representing five other
codefendants. Campanelli indicated that she also had moved to
withdraw from representing codefendants Whitehead, Reed Jr.,
Morgan, and Sago, due to concurrent conflicts with one
another and with codefendant Washington. Because she was
bringing the conflict of interest to the court's
attention at an early stage, Campanelli claimed that it was
incumbent on the court to take action and alleviate the
conflict by appointing private counsel.
9 In addition to citing Rule 1.7, Campanelli contended that
the office of the Cook County public defender had a conflict
of interest in representing Cole because the office of the
Cook County public defender is a law firm as set forth in
Rule 1.10 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of
2010 (eff. Jan. 1, 2010). Consequently, Campanelli refused to
accept appointment to represent Cole.
10 At a hearing on May 19, 2016, the trial court found that
Cole was indigent and should be represented by the office of
the Cook County public defender. Campanelli again told the
court that she could not represent Cole because she was in
conflict due to her representation of five other codefendants
in the case. Campanelli stated that, pursuant to the Illinois
Rules of Professional Conduct adopted in 2010, she could not
represent more than one client on a case because of the
potential conflict. Campanelli also noted that the Counties
Code (55 ILCS 5/3-4006 (West 2016)) allows a court to appoint
counsel other than the public defender if the appointment of
the public defender would prejudice the defendant. The trial
court pointed out that it had not made a finding that
appointment of the public defender would prejudice the
defendant. Campanelli conceded that the trial court had not
made a finding of prejudice but stated she had given the
trial court enough testimony that she would be in conflict of
interest if forced to represent Cole.
11 In response to further questioning from the trial court,
Campanelli stated that there were approximately 518 attorneys
in the office of the Cook County public defender and that
those 518 attorneys did not all share the same supervisors.
With regard to the four other motions to withdraw that
Campanelli had filed concerning Cole's codefendants,
Campanelli acknowledged that she had four separate attorneys
from different divisions in her office representing those
defendants. In addition, those assistant public defenders
each had a different supervisor, but those supervisors might
report to the same deputy director. Campanelli conceded that
she has a multiple defender division for multiple offender
cases but contended that she was in conflict even in those
12 The trial court then reiterated that defendant Cole was in
custody without legal representation, that Cole was indigent
and had a right to counsel, and that, as public defender of
Cook County, Campanelli was sworn to represent an indigent
defendant unless the court finds that the defendant's
rights would be prejudiced. The trial court observed that it
had not found Cole's rights to be prejudiced, so that
Campanelli's refusal to represent Cole was contemptuous.
Campanelli continued to refuse to follow the order of the
court to represent Cole, repeating that she could not
represent Cole due to a conflict. Campanelli denied that she
was violating the Counties Code in refusing to represent
Cole, arguing that in fact she would be violating the
Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010 in
13 The trial court again stated that Campanelli was sworn to
represent an indigent defendant unless the court finds that
the defendant's rights would be prejudiced. The trial
court did not find Cole's rights to be prejudiced and
asked Campanelli to carefully consider her refusal to
represent Cole. The trial court then continued the case for
ruling on Campanelli's request for contempt. The trial
court also appointed private counsel to represent Cole in
light of Campanelli's refusal.
14 Campanelli next appeared before the court on June 15,
2016. The trial court noted that it had appointed private
counsel for Cole because she was an indigent defendant
without representation of counsel. The trial court repeated
that it had found there was no conflict in Campanelli
representing Cole and again ordered Campanelli to represent
Cole, indicating that it would vacate the appointment of
private counsel upon Campanelli's acceptance of the
15 Campanelli again stated that she was in conflict in
representing Cole, the sixth defendant in a six-defendant
murder case, when she already represented five of those
defendants. Campanelli indicated that she had filed motions
to withdraw with regard to four of the five other defendants,
as she was in conflict of interest with those defendants
also. Campanelli conceded that she had separate attorneys
assigned to those defendants but contended that, under the
Counties Code (55 ILCS 5/3-4006 (West 2016)), she was the
attorney for every client assigned to her office. Campanelli
also asserted that her office was a law firm and wanted to be
treated like any other law firm in the state of Illinois for
purposes of conflict of interest. Campanelli stated that she
represents every client in the public defender's office
and had a right to know every fact, every strategy, and every
defense of every case. If not allowed to know the confidences
between lawyers, she would not be acting as the public
defender of Cook County.
16 The trial court again ordered Campanelli to represent Cole
and warned that her refusal to represent Cole would be in
direct contempt of court. Campanelli responded that she
continued to refuse to represent Cole. The trial court
therefore found that Campanelli had willfully and
contemptuously refused to accept the trial court's
appointment to represent Cole after being ordered to do so.
The trial court found Campanelli's refusal to be without
basis, as there was no prejudice to Cole if Campanelli
accepted the appointment. The trial court therefore ordered
that Campanelli was in direct civil contempt for her willful
failure to obey a direct order of the court. The trial court
imposed a sanction consisting of a fine of $250 per day until
such time as Campanelli purged herself of direct civil
contempt by accepting appointment as counsel for defendant
Cole or until she was otherwise discharged by due process of
18 This case comes before this court on appeal of the trial
court's order finding Campanelli to be in direct civil
contempt and imposing sanctions. A court is vested with the
inherent power to enforce its orders and to preserve the
dignity of the court by the use of contempt proceedings.
In re Baker, 71 Ill.2d 480, 484 (1978). An order
cast in terms of a contempt proceeding imposing sanctions is
a final and appealable order. People ex rel. Scott v.
Silverstein, 87 Ill.2d 167, 171-72 (1981). This is
because the imposition of a sanction for contempt, while
occurring within the context of another proceeding, "is
an original special proceeding, collateral to and independent
of, the case in which the contempt arises." Id.
at 172. In reviewing the contempt order, we must examine the
propriety of the trial court's order directing Campanelli
to accept appointment as counsel for Cole. If the order was
invalid, the contempt order must be reversed. People v.
Shukovsky, 128 Ill.2d 210, 222 (1988).
19 Whether a party is guilty of contempt is a question of
fact for the trial court. In re Marriage of Logston,
103 Ill.2d 266, 286-87 (1984). Logston held that a
reviewing court will not disturb the trial court's
finding unless it is against the manifest weight of the
evidence or the record reflects an abuse of discretion.
Id. at 287. In Norskog v. Pfiel, 197 Ill.2d
60, 70-71 (2001), the court clarified that the proper
standard of review depends on the question that was answered
in the trial court. Thus, if the facts are uncontroverted and
the issue is the trial court's application of the law to
the facts, a reviewing court may apply de novo
20 In this case, to the extent our review concerns
application of this court's rules, we find that de
novo review is appropriate. When interpreting supreme
court rules, this court is guided by the same principles
applicable to construction of statutes. People v.
Salem, 2016 IL 118693, ¶ 11. The construction of a
statute is a question of law that is reviewed de
novo. People v. Smith, 236 Ill.2d 162, 167
(2010). To the extent our review concerns the trial
court's adjudication of contempt, we find it is
appropriate to apply an abuse of discretion standard.
21 In this court, as in the trial court, Campanelli argues
that she is barred from representing Cole due to a conflict
of interest between Cole and her codefendants. Campanelli
asserts that any representation of more than one defendant in
a multiple defendant case presents a conflict of interest for
the office of the public defender. Campanelli claims a
conflict based upon the sixth amendment to the United States
Constitution (U.S. Const., amend. VI), article I, section 8,
of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I,
§ 8), and Rules 1.10 and 1.7 of the Illinois Rules of
Professional Conduct of 2010 (eff. Jan. 1, 2010).
22 Those accused of crime have a sixth amendment right to the
effective assistance of counsel. People v.
Spreitzer, 123 Ill.2d 1, 13 (1988) (citing Cuyler v.
Sullivan, 446 U.S. 335, 343 (1980), and Glasser v.
United States, 315 U.S. 60, 70 (1942)). Effective
assistance of counsel means assistance by an attorney whose
allegiance to his client is not diluted by conflicting
interests or inconsistent obligations. Spreitzer,
123 Ill.2d at 13-14. The United States Supreme Court has held
that requiring or permitting a single attorney to represent
codefendants is not per se violative of the
constitutional guarantee of the effective assistance of
counsel. Holloway v. Arkansas, 435 U.S. 475, 482
(1978). The court in Spreitzer also recognized that
treating multiple representation of codefendants as creating
a per se conflict would put an end to multiple
representation altogether, "since a 'possible
conflict inheres in almost every instance of multiple
representation, ' and a per se rule would
'preclude multiple representation even in cases where
"[a] common defense *** gives strength against a common
attack." ' " Spreitzer, 123 Ill.2d at
17 (quoting Cuyler, 446 U.S. at 348, quoting
Glasser, 315 U.S. at 92). Cuyler
recognized, however, that since a possible conflict of
interest inheres in almost every instance of multiple
representation, a defendant who objects to multiple
representation must have the opportunity to show that
potential conflicts imperil his right to a fair trial.
Cuyler, 446 U.S. at 348.
23 Campanelli maintains that she did show that potential
conflicts imperiled Cole's right to a fair trial, so that
the trial court erred in finding her in direct contempt of
court. In making this argument, Campanelli contends that
representation by the office of the Cook County public
defender is tantamount to representation by a single attorney
for purposes of conflict of interest analysis. Consequently,
before we address whether Campanelli established that
potential conflicts imperiled Cole's right to a fair