ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT
Illinois Supreme Court Justice, First Judicial District (2022 – Present)
Appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court and sworn in on December 1, 2022.
ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Illinois Appellate Court Justice (2006 – 2022)
Responsibility for a busy appellate docket and all that it entails. Served as Presiding Justice multiple times being responsible for administrative management and oversight of the division. Served on and chaired the Settlement Committee multiple times. Co-chaired the First District’s Diversity Committee. Served on the Orientation Committee for new justices. Decade of service on Education Committee; Chaired Court’s Judicial Performance Committee.
NORTHWESTERN MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE (2000 – 2006)
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Reported to and provided counsel to the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Northwestern Memorial Healthcare’s family of corporations. Managed and oversaw diverse portfolio of responsibility including, Legal, Risk Management, Government Relations, and Insurance Departments of the Northwestern Memorial HealthCare System’s family of corporations, which includes; Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Foundation, Northwestern Memorial Insurance Company, and Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group. In addition to general oversight, responsibilities included proactively identifying opportunities and compliance issues as well as advising the corporations of necessary steps to avoid negative legal, financial, and risk management outcomes, and providing counsel on initiatives to retain Northwestern’s highly respected image and market position
CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY (1996 – 2000)
Associate Circuit Court Judge
Assigned to the civil trial division of the Circuit Court of Cook County: First and Second Districts. Responsible for managing a civil trial docket with occasional criminal docket assignments in Second District.
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY (1986 – 1996)
Associate General Counsel and Chief Counsel for HealthCare
Established, directed, and managed, Loyola University’s in-house healthcare legal division, including a varied corporate legal practice, healthcare, litigation, legislative and compliance practices as well as responsibility for a broad spectrum of higher education legal matters.
FRENCH ROGERS KEZELIS AND KOMINIAREK (1984 – 1986)
Civil trial attorney focusing on medical malpractice, personal injury, products liability and insurance coverage.
ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT; FIRST DISTRICT (1982 – 1984)
LAW CLERK TO HON. GLENN T. JOHNSON
General Appellate law clerk duties with opportunities to work on significant decisions of the court.
OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL; CIVIL DIVISION (1981 – 1982)
Extern pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711; then after earning law degree; Assistant Attorney General; Worked on civil matters representing the State of Illinois.
PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC INVOLVEMENT
Active in professional, civic, and non for profit organizations, including Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyer in the Classroom program; Early Childhood Education and Youth Mentoring; Former Board Member; Chicago Association for the Education of Young Children; Former Board Member; Center for Conflict Resolution; Former Board Member; Chicago Legal Clinic; Former Board Member Center for Elder Law. Board Member; Loyola University Health System; Board Member; James R. Jordan Foundation; Board Member Metropolitan School.
- Loyola University School of Law
- Loyola University School of Business Administration
- Northwestern University School of Law
- Legal Ethics; Business Ethics; Appellate Procedure in Criminal Cases.
SEMINAR SPEAKER / STUDENT EDUCATION
Judge of Moot Court Competitions; various law schools. Seminar presenter on a wide range of legal, judicial, government and healthcare topics.
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS AND ACTIVITIES
- Honorary Degree- Dominican University – 2023
- Matteson Mayor Sheila Chalmers-Currin Inspiring Women in Leadership Award-2023
- Women’s Bar Association of Illinois-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Judicial Achievement Award-2023
- Black Women Lawyers’ Association- Judge Ann Claire Williams Award-2023
- The First African American woman elected President of the Chicago Bar Association, the nation’s largest municipal bar association
- Recipient of the John Paul Stevens Award – 2014
- Contributor; Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education; Rules of Evidence
- Recipient of Earl Burrus Dickerson Award
- Co-chair; Illinois Appellate Court, First District – Diversity Committee
- Recipient of Sage Award City of Chicago and Chicago Commission on Human Rights
- Co-chair Joint State and Federal Task Force for Judicial Security
- Law School commencement speaker multiple times
- Recipient of WBAI Mary Heftel Hooten Award
- Recipient of Torchbearer Award; Operation PUSH
- Keynote speaker at Chicago Commission on Human Relations Public Forum
- Author; Legal Chapter; widely used Surgical Textbook with noted Cardiac Surgeon, Roque Pifarre, M.D.