Judicial Candidate

Justice Michael B. Hyman, assigned by Supreme Court to Appellate Court, First District

The Illinois Supreme Court assigned Justice Hyman to the Appellate Court, First District, in January 2013. He joined the bench in 2006, the finalappointee of Justice Mary Ann G. McMorrow. In 2008, as the endorsed candidate of the Democratic Party, Justice Hyman won the primary and then the election to the Circuit Court. He and was retained by the people of Cook County in 2014. He has twice served as presiding justice of his Division.

His judicial assignments since joining the Circuit Court Of Cook County (in reverse order) are the following: Appellate Court, First District (Jan. 2013- present);  General Chancery Division (Oct. 2010 – Jan. 2013); Domestic Relations Division (Mar. 2009 – Sept. 2010); Supplementary Proceedings, Courtroom 1401 (mid-Dec. 2006 – Mar. 2009); Municipal Court, non-jury, contract and tort trials (mid-Sept. 2006 – mid-Dec. 2006); Traffic Court (July 2006 – mid-Sept. 2006).

Justice Hyman has a habit of getting involved in causes he cares about. Some of his many activities are former president of organizations including: the Illinois Judges Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, The Jewish Judges Association of Illinois, and Scribes, the National Association of Legal Writers. He also has served on several boards and bar committees including the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice (chair), the ISBA Bench & Bar Council (chair twice), the Coalition for Equal Justice (chair), and the Illinois Supreme Court’s Equality Committee. He is a long-time member of the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee, and the vice-chair of the Justice Advisory Council of Cook County, an entity under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Board.

As chair of the Lawyers Conference of the ABA’s Judicial Division, Justice Hyman initiated Perceptions of Justice to address issues involving the perceptions of the courts by people of color. He also is the former chairperson of the Illinois Judicial Conference Strategic Planning Committee and served on the Joint Task Force on Limited Scope Representation, which prepared a report to the Illinois Supreme Court that resulted in rule changes to bring about limited scope representation in Illinois.

Justice Hyman is a frequent lecturer, speaker,and writer on appellate practice, civil procedure, legal writing, Abraham Lincoln, judicial conduct, and unconscious bias and diversity, among many other topics. He writes a quarterly column in the Chicago Lawyer magazine, Judging History, and a quarterly column in the Illinois Bar Journal, Judging Your Writing. He has been editor-in-chief of the CBA’s flagship magazine, the CBA Record, for more than 20 years, and writes a column for each issue, Editor’s Briefcase.

Among the honors he has received are as follows:the inaugural Diversity Initiative Award (2006) from the Chicago Bar Association, the Presidential Service Award (2007) from the Illinois Judges Association; the Court of Honor Award from Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (2008);  the Barristers Philanthropic Award from Lawyers Lend-a-Hand to Youth (2011); the Distinguished Service Award from the Chicago Bar Foundation (2013); the Justice John Paul Stevens Award from the Chicago Bar Foundation and the Chicago Bar Foundation presented by Justice Stevens (2014); the Don Hubert Award from the Hales Franciscan Alumni Association (2015); the Vanguard Award from the Decalogue Society (2016); and the Kimble Award for Distinguished Service to Scribes (2019).

A graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism and Northwestern School of Law, Justice Hyman served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General in the Antitrust Division before joining Much Shelist, Chicago, where he managed a nationwide practice primarily involving the litigation of securities, antitrust, and consumer claims.

Justice Hyman has prepared majority, concurring or dissenting decisions in hundreds of cases.  He does not decide appeals based on who the parties are or who their counsel is, on policy preferences, on ideological attitudes, or on popular or personal opinion. What matters are the facts and the law and the legal arguments and the written record of the proceedings.  What matters is that  every litigant and every lawyer  be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. What matters is that the parties and their counsel understand his reasoning. What matters is that justice not only be done, but be seen to be done; otherwise, it is not done at all.