New Video Released Features Judges Adapting to Ensure Justice

Illinois (May 18, 2020) Illinois judges across the state are stepping up and administering justice and handling caseloads despite the disruption to the courts caused by the global health pandemic.

To highlight those efforts, the Illinois Judges Association (IJA) along with the Illinois Judicial Conference Public Relations Task Force have produced a short video, featuring how judges are carrying out their duties to ensure that the court system is not only operating, but innovating.

The video includes appearances from judges throughout Illinois who are embracing new technology, conducting virtual hearings and proceedings remotely and even appearing in person for emergency hearings while adhering to the required safety protocols to minimize risk.

View the video here.

“Despite these unprecedented circumstances, Illinois courts and judges have worked to enhance procedures and protocols to keep the system running, ensure the rights of individuals remain upheld and serve the needs of families,” said Illinois Judges Association President Margaret Mullen. “Illinoisans should have confidence in knowing that judges are prepared to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.”

The video features the following judges: Justice Joseph Birkett, Illinois Appellate Court, Second District; Justice David K. Overstreet, Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District; Associate Judge Laura Bertucci Smith, Domestic Violence Division, Cook County Circuit Court; Associate Judge David Brodsky, Civil Division, Lake County Circuit Court; Associate Judge Ronda Holliman, Criminal/Traffic Division, Champaign County Circuit Court; Circuit Judge David Navarro, Pretrial Division, Cook County Circuit Court; Associate Judge Veronica O’Malley, Family Division, Lake County Circuit Court; Associate Judge Linda Pauel, Juvenile Justice Division, Cook County Circuit Court; Circuit Judge Diane Shelley, Law Division, Cook County Circuit Court; and Associate Judge William Yu, Domestic Relations Division, Cook County Circuit Court.

In the video, the judges also thank a variety of individuals who play vital roles in keeping essential court proceedings operating during these difficult times. These include court clerks, defense attorneys, public defenders, administrators, sheriff’s deputies, prosecutors, probation officers and adjudicators.

“Judges and courthouse personnel across Illinois strive to be trusted and open to all by being fair, innovative, diverse and responsive to changing needs,” said Judge Celia Gamrath of the Circuit Court of Cook County and Co-Chair of the Illinois Judicial Conference Public Relations Task Force. “We are developing and executing on new ways to deliver court services while focusing on strategies to ensure accessible justice and equal protection under the law now and in the future.”