Robert E. Gordon
First District, 4th Division
Judge Robert E. Gordon was born and raised in Logan Square, attended Roosevelt H.S., and the University of Illinois at Champaign, then earned a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul law school. Gordon was appointed to the bench by the supreme court in 1996 and later elected, then assigned, to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2006. He was the Chair of the First District Executive Committee from September 2015 to August 2016 (chief justice), former presiding justice of the 1st, 5th, and 6th Divisions, and now the presiding justice of the 4th Division, and alternate on the Workers Comp Appellate Court representing Cook County. Before that, he was a jury trial judge who presided over the most jury trials in the judiciary in the history of Illinois. He also obtained the most settlements. As a trial lawyer, Gordon was a defense litigator for 18 years and then switched for the next 18 years to plaintiff personal injury, malpractice litigation representing medical providers as well as patients, criminal defense, automobile industry, trade dress, workers compensation, condemnation, commercial law, franchising, zoning, and sports law, receiving numerous notable jury verdicts. In 1977, Justice Gordon was honored to be selected in Who’s Who in American Law. He was voted “Man of the Year” in 1972 to 1974 by homeowner associations in Northbrook, for his legal zoning battles against the County and village representing homeowners pro bono. He was then elected Village Trustee from 1975-1984, becoming Chairman of the Zoning Committee, Chairperson, Council of Governments of Cook County, 1983 (over 500 Municipal bodies). Spokesperson for the council before the Illinois Problems Commission and media, Special Assistant Attorney General from 1985-1996. Member and later Chairman of Local Board No.5 of the U.S. Draft Board for 20 years (1982-2002), recipient of the Presidential U.S. Selective Service Metal in 2002, Member of Operation PUSH and former member of its Juvenile Mentoring and Early Intervention Committee, and a sports historian. A former 10-year member of the Supreme Court ADR Committee, and appellate court ADM committee, former member of the Educational Committee, and numerous committees of the Illinois, American, federal, and Chicago bar associations. Former member of the Jesse White legal committee. Treasurer for the United Council for Higher Education in Haiti. Recipient of Northbrook Park District Special Achievement Award (1974) for his help in acquiring land for parks through the passage of a referendum, and the Public Service Award in 1978 for honesty and hard work in government. In 2006, certified as a mediator. Member of the Board of Managers of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. Recipient of Decalogue’s President’s Award, 2008, designated as a fellow from the Advanced Sciences and Technology Adjudication Resource Center in Washington, D.C., 2009, Founders Award 2011, and the Justice Charles E. Freeman Judicial Merit Award in 2012. Distinguished Counselor Award from the ISBA in 2012. Recipient of the Advocate for Diversity Award from the Diversity Scholarship Foundation in 2015. In 2018, the Marquis Who’s Who Publications Board awarded Justice Gordon their Lifetime Achievement Award. Recipient of the Vanguard Award in 2017. Recognized as a legal scholar by the Public Interest Law Institute in 2011. 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 Illinois. In 2020, received the highest Yes votes in the retention election for male judges. Considered as one of the hardest-working judges in the judiciary. See Law Bulletin article attached. A judicial bar association awards two scholarships every year to diversity students in need in Judge Gordon’s name. Little League coach for 6 years, commissioner of baseball in the northern suburbs for 10 years, and former member of numerous school and park district committees. Author, teacher, and speaker on the law and sports. Married to Marilyn Statland-Gordon for 61 years with 4 children, Lawrence, Anthony, and Jonathan, lawyers, and Lori Patsis, a specialized nurse now working in the emergency room, treating the COVID-19 virus; 8 grandchildren; and 3 great-grandchildren. After serving on the Illinois Appellate Court for close to 15 years as an appointee, he will be on the ballot for election to the appellate court in 2022.