What’s next? Following up on the 1990 Illinois Task Force Report on Gender Bias in the Courts

In 1990, a task force of the Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois issued a report on gender bias in the Illinois courts. The report studied and recommended reforms in four main areas: (1) domestic relations, (2) criminal justice, (3) civil damage awards, and (4) courtroom dynamics. Many of the task force's recommendations have been implemented. However, we would like your help to identify what areas, if any, warrant further study or action. Please mark the areas you think need to be addressed, describe the aspects of the gender issues presented and list any suggestions about how to address them.

I. Domestic Relations

Property Distribution:

❑ Maintenance:

❑ Litigation Expenses:

❑ Child Support:

❑ Child Custody and Visitation:

❑ Domestic Violence:

❑ Other:

II. Criminal Justice

❑ Sexual Assault:

❑ Domestic Violence:

❑ Sentencing:

❑ Other:

III. Civil Damage Awards

❑ Gender-Based Assumptions Regarding Injuries and Earning Capacity:

❑ Selection and Presentation of Witnesses:

❑ Jury Selection:

❑ Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions:

❑ Other:

IV. Courtroom Dynamics

❑ Underrepresentation of Women Attorneys in the Field of Litigation:

❑ Lack of Diversity in Women Attorneys' Caseloads:

❑ Judicial Conduct:

❑ Attorney Conduct:

❑ Treatment of Women Litigants and Witnesses:

❑ Acceptance of Women Litigators in Professional Community:

❑ Other:

V. Role of ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law

What can the ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law do for you?

❑ Provide educational programs on: _______________________

❑ Propose legislation on:________________________

❑ Sponsor professional development programs on:___________

❑ Study issues regarding:________

❑ Other: _____________________

Thank you for your help with this important project.

Please mail your completed form to:

Illinois State Bar Association, c/o Janet Sosin, 20 S. Clark St., Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60603-1802.

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June 2004Volume 9Number 4PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)