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Justice | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Harris, Sheldon A.

  • Title: Appellate Court Justice
  • District: 1

Sheldon A. Harris was born in Chicago and grew up in West Rogers Park and later in Skokie, Illinois. He was educated at the University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Arizona at Tucson (B.S. Business Administration 1963) and the John Marshall Law School (J.D. 1966). While in law school, he was an eighth grade and special education teacher in the Chicago Public School system. He began his law career in 1966 as a trial lawyer for the Legal Aid Bureau in Chicago litigating contested child custody and support cases. In 1970, he started his own practice. After 10 years specializing in divorce and domestic relations matters, he switched to a trial lawyer practice in personal injury, medical malpractice, and corporate disputes. He was a principal in Haas and Harris, Ltd for 3 years and thereafter for over 25 years as Sheldon A. Harris & Associates. During his private practice years, he represented hundreds of clients at trial and in the Appellate Court in the fields of tort, negligence, bankruptcy and commercial law. He presided in numerous arbitration and mediation hearings for the Circuit Court of Cook County, ADR Systems of America in Chicago, and private mediations. He served as the first pro bono mentor to attorneys in the Chicago Bar Association’s Access to Justice Program when it was initiated. As Circuit Judge beginning February 2000, he served in its Municipal Division presiding over jury and bench trials in tort, commercial cases, forcible detainer/entry and DUI cases. From 2008 to 2010, he served in the Law Division - Trials Section presiding in jury and non-jury tort and commercial cases. He was a member of the Supreme Court I.P.I. Civil Jury Instructions committee for several years till November 2, 2010, when he was sworn in as Justice of the Second Division, First District of the Illinois Appellate Court. On November 4, 2014 he was elected to the Appellate Court and sworn in on December 1, 2014. He is married to Jane Anne Harris, and has 2 children and 2 grandchildren.