Judge Robert Gordon

Judge Robert E. Gordon was elevated to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2006 by appointment from the Illinois Supreme Court and will be on the retention ballot on November 3, 2020, under the listing of Circuit Court Judges.

Judge Gordon was born and raised in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, he attended Mozart Elementary School, Roosevelt High School, the University of Illinois at Champaign, and the DePaul School of Law. He worked as a trial lawyer for 36 years in personal injury, medical malpractice, workers compensation, criminal defense, as well as representing the automobile industry, trades, commercial law, zoning and sports law, receiving numerous notable jury verdicts. He served as Special Assistant Attorney General from 1985-1996.

In 1996, he was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court, later elected. As a trial judge, he presided over the most jury trials in civil cases and obtained the most settlements of cases in the history of the court. See Law Bulletin Article at: https://justicerobertgordon.weebly.com/law-bulletin-article.html

In 2006, he was assigned to the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. He is the former presiding justice of the 1st, 5th and 6th Divisions and is now the presiding justice of the 4th Division, and an alternate on the Workers Comp Appellate Court representing Cook County. He was the Chair (Chief Justice) of the First District Executive Committee from September 2015 to August 2016.

Since his appointment to the Appellate Court, Judge Gordon has authored the most opinions, dissents, and special concurrences in 11 of the 14 years he has been in the court. Judge Gordon has also scheduled the most oral arguments during his tenure in the Appellate Court. During the Corona Virus pandemic, Judge Gordon’s chambers has been open five days a week on a continual basis and he continues with his panel to hear oral arguments via Zoom.

In addition to his work as a lawyer and a judge, he has voluntarily served the Chicago region in various capacities including representation of homeowners in suburban Northbrook, pro bono, in zoning battles against the Village and County, the homeowners voted him “Man of the Year” from 1972 to 1974. He received the Northbrook Park District Special Achievement Award in 1974 for his work in assisting the Park District acquire land for parks through the passage of a referendum. He was then elected Village Trustee of Northbrook from 1975 to 1984, becoming Chairman of the Zoning Committee. In 1978, he received the Public Service Award for honesty and hard work in government. He served as Chairperson of the Council of Governments of Cook County in 1983, made up of more than 500 municipal bodies. He was spokesperson for the council before the Illinois Problems Commission and the media.

He was a member and later Chairman of the Local Board No. 5 of the Draft Board for 20 years, 1982 to 2002, where he was a recipient of the Presidential U.S. Selective Service Medal in 2002. He was a member of Operation PUSH where he served on its Juvenile Mentoring and Early Intervention committees.

He served on the Illinois Supreme Court ADR Committee for 10 years, and also served on the Appellate Court Administrative Committee for 10 years, the Educational Committee, and number other committees of the Chicago Bar Association and Illinois Bar Association. He was certified as a mediator in 2006. He is a former member of the Jesse White Legal Committee. and is the Treasurer for the United Council for Higher Education in Haiti.

Judge Gordon is a member of the Board of Managers of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. He was the recipient of Decalogue’s President’s Award in 2008, received the Founders Award in 2011, the Justice Charles E. Freeman Judicial Merit Award in 2012 and the Vanguard Award in 2017. He was designated as a fellow from the Advanced Sciences and Technology Adjudication Resource Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Counselor Award from the Illinois State Bar Association in 2012. Judge Gordon received the Advocate for Diversity Award from the Diversity Scholarship Foundation in 2015.

Judge Gordon was recognized as a legal scholar by the Public Interest Law Institute in 2011. He was the recipient of a special recognition award at the 10th Annual Jury Verdict Reporter Awards Ceremony in 2019 for being the judge who presided over the most jury verdicts in the preceding 30 years.

A judicial bar association awards two scholarships ever year to diversity students in need in Judge Gordon’s name. He is a former member of numerous school and park district committees. He is also an author, teacher, and speaker on the law and history of sports. On a personal level, he coached little league for six years and served as commissioner of baseball in the northern suburbs for 10 years.

He has been married to Marilyn Statland-Gordon for 61 years. The couple has four children, Lawrence, Anthony, and Jonathan, who are lawyers, and Lori Kenzel, a specialized nurse now working in the emergency room, treating the Corona Virus; he has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Judge Gordon recommends to the community at large to vote “Yes” for all of the judges running for retention.

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