Diane M. Shelley was installed as President of the Illinois Judges Association during the annual meeting on May 29, 2020. The Illinois Judges Association, which represents 1,250 active and retired Illinois state court judges, was founded in 1972 to provide services, support, and education to its member judges and raise public understanding of the Illinois judicial system. Judge Shelley was elected from Cook County’s 5th judicial subcircuit in 2006 after practicing law for nearly twenty-five years. Judge Shelley was born and raised in the Bronzeville area of Chicago. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Iowa College of Law.

Her philosophy for the association is to assist judges in meeting their charge of delivering an efficient, effective, accountable and fair justice process to the public. Judge Shelley, who takes over as President amid the global health pandemic, emphasized that one of her goals was to support the Illinois Supreme Court’s initiative of ensuring that the public has access to justice and to provide assistance and guidance now and as the courts gradually begin to re-open to the public with new procedures and guidelines in place. She also intends to create a new committee aimed at exploring the use of virtual platforms, which provided judges the ability to work remotely and serve the public, upholding the rights of individuals and maintaining transparency during the pandemic’s disruption. Finally, Judge Shelley stressed the IJA’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity and noted the organization’s strength of representing active and retired judges throughout the entire state.

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The Illinois Judges Association will also install other new officers for 2020-21 at the annual meeting. They are: 1st Vice- President, Judge Barbara Crowder, Retired Judge, Madison County; 2nd Vice President, Justice Eileen O’Neill Burke, 1st Appellate District; 3rd Vice President, Justice David Overstreet, 5th Appellate District; Secretary, Judge Mary Colleen Roberts, Cook County and Treasurer, Judge Elizabeth Rochford, Lake County. For more information about the Illinois Judges Association, see www.ija.org.

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