Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Justice Thomas M. Harris has been assigned as an appellate court judge in the Fourth District. The assignment, which will fill the vacancy created following Just M. Carol Pope's retirement, takes effect on August 1, 2017, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2018 general election.
Justice Harris was first appointed as a judge in 2007 and was elected as resident circuit judge of Logan County in 2008. He has served for the Fourth District Appellate Court since January 3, 2013. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Harris had served as a civil trial lawyer since 1988.
Justice Harris currently serves on the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and previously served on the Special Supreme Court Committee to Study Courtroom and Judicial Security. He is a member of the Illinois Judges Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Logan County Bar Association, and the Lincoln-Douglas Inn of Court. He has previously served as chair of the Allerton Conference, Civil Practice and Procedure Section, and Tort Law Section of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Justice Harris is a past member of the board of directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation and previously served on the editorial board of the Illinois Bar Journal and as the publication's editor-in-chief. He is a frequent speaker at professional seminars and guest lectures at the University of Illinois College of Law.