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Details | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Illinois Judges Receive Recognition and Awards


October 28, 2019

Illinois judges are increasingly being recognized for their dedicated work in courtrooms throughout the state. Here are some of the recent honors received by Illinois judges:

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke was honored on October 16, 2019, as the recipient of the 2019 Catchers in the Rye Humanitarian Award by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at their Karl Menninger, MD, Plenary in Chicago. The award was bestowed to Justice Burke for her "outstanding contributions to the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and tireless work advocating for the developmentally disabled".

“The Catcher in the Rye Award reflects Holden Caulfield’s dream about saving children before disaster befalls them. Much of my career as a teacher, mother, attorney and judge has focused on those very systems that are designed to save children,” Justice Burke said. “Sadly, as you know our systems are not perfect. But imperfection does not mean unfixable. While we have many challenges ahead of us in our education and healthcare systems, some progress is being made. This is not like Holden’s dream. It is our reality. We have made changes and more can come if we are determined and work together to create a better future for all children.”

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and AOIC Assistant Director for Probation Rich Adkins both received Legislative Service Awards from the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association during its Fall Conference on Thursday, Oct. 24, in Bloomington/Normal.Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas and Cook County Circuit Judge LaGuina Clay-Herron were honorees of the Illinois Judges Foundation on September 25, 2019, at their 2019 Annual Reception in Chicago.

6th Circuit Court Judge Heidi Ladd was honored on October 18, 2019, as the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Bench & Bar Award by the University of Illinois College Of Law, from which Judge Ladd earned her Juris Doctorate in 1982. The award recognizes Judge Ladd for her "tireless service to the College and significant contributions to the profession" and was presented during an All Alumni Reception at the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Law Library in Champaign.

Retired Judge John Coady of Taylorville was presented with the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Alumni Distinguished Service Award at the College's annual Homecoming Awards Dinner and Ceremony on October 18th.

The LAS Alumni Distinguished Service Award is given periodically to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in service to the college. Meritorious service reflects a contribution of time, talent, or resources that have enhanced excellence within the college. The award was last presented in 2010.

Coady currently represents the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences on the Illinois Alumni Association board. He served six years on the College of LAS Alumni Association Board, including two years as president, and meets regularly with students to talk about careers in law. Coady also serves as a charter member of the Political Science Board of Visitors. He is actively engaged in supporting fellow alumni and staff, and he has offered advice and shared resources to improve the student experience.

Have you recently received an award? Please let us know at