Press Releases

Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Judges Association Joint Meeting December 10-12, 2009 at Sheraton Chicago

Chris Ruys Communications, Inc.
Chris Ruys
(312) 337-7746 or
For Immediate Release: 
December 1, 2009
CHICAGO, Ill. – The Illinois Judges Association (IJA) and the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) will hold their 2009 Joint Meeting on Thursday through Saturday, December 10-12 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, 301 E. North Water Street.
The opening program on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., presented by the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council, is “Lincoln’s Legacy: Lawyers Who Protect Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” a program featuring Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and a panel discussion hosted by WTTW Chicago Tonight host Phil Ponce.  At the luncheon following the presentation, retired federal judge George Leighton, will receive the ISBA’s first Diversity Leadership Award.  
Friday’s events include the following:
  • From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., the Illinois Bar Foundation, which is the charitable affiliate of the ISBA, will host its annual awards breakfast honoring Chicago Circuit Court Judge Nancy J. Katz and Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of northern Illinois James F. Holderman.
  • The IJA will present two seminars on Friday morning. From 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., the seminar titled “Ten Things Lawyers and Judges Need to Know about Military and Veteran’s Laws,” will feature a panel including Joseph Butler and Brian Clauss, co-executive directors of The John Marshall Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic; John Costello, of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office; and Colonel Richard Fox, of the Illinois Army National Guard.
  • The IJA’s second program, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., will feature a panel to discuss “Dynamics of Domestic Violence and Its Implications on Custody and Visitation.” Honorable Victor Reyes, District Court Judge of the 10th Judicial District located in Pueblo, Colorado, will make the presentation.
  • Beginning at 12 noon, the IJA/ISBA joint luncheon will begin with a keynote address by Ann Claire Williams, a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  • Also at the joint luncheon, the IJA will present its annual awards, as follows:
Judge Warren D. Wolfson will receive The Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his many years of devotion to promoting a strong and independent judiciary and in appreciation for his time and valuable contributions to the IJA.
Richard L. Thies will receive The Founders Award, which recognizes a long term commitment by an individual, who is not a member of the judiciary, to creating and maintaining an independent judiciary. 
The Presidential Service Award will be given to Judges Raymond J. McKoski and Mel R. Jiganti (retired). As a past-president of the Illinois Judges Association, Judge Jiganti will receive the award in recognition of a long term commitment by an individual to creating and maintaining an independent judiciary. JudgeMcKoski will receive the awardin recognition of his contributions in the area of judicial ethics. 


  • Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald will deliver the keynote address at the event’s dinner, which begins at 7 p.m., following a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., co-sponsored by the Illinois State Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association.
The ISBA’s Assembly will convene on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. 

For further information, visit the IJA’s Web site at, or the ISBA Web site at

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