Justice Mathias W. Delort was born in Chicago. He earned his B.S. in mathematics cum laude from DePaul University and his J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago Law School (formerly The John Marshall Law School), where he was awarded the Dean’s academic scholarship. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration (M.P.A.) from the University of Illinois, where he was admitted to membership in the Pi Alpha Alpha public administration honor society. He is a proud honors graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep, which granted him a scholarship for scoring among the top five students on the school’s entrance exam.
He was appointed as an Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in 2007 and served almost exclusively in the Chancery Division of that court. He was a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Mortgage Foreclosure Committee which developed new court rules to assist persons involved in the foreclosure process. He received the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services “Court of Honor” award in 2012 in recognition of his work as a trial court judge. He was elected to the appellate court in 2012. He has served both as presiding justice of several divisions of that court and as chair of the court’s Mediation Committee. In 2017, he received the Judge Howard T. Markey award from The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association in recognition of his service and leadership on the bench. In 2020, he received the Robert J. Mangler Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association.
Before becoming a judge, he was a partner and head of the Local Government Practice Group of Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton & Taylor, Ltd. (now known as Robbins Schwartz), specializing in local government and election law. In that role, he represented numerous Chicago-area municipalities and other governmental bodies for a period of over twenty years. As a practicing attorney, he earned the distinction of being named a “Super Lawyer” and “Leading Lawyer” in the field of Cities and Municipalities Law. He was the first Illinois attorney to be named as a Local Government Fellow by the International Municipal Lawyers Association, a distinction which requires passing a challenging examination and publishing a scholarly article.
Justice Delort teaches judges at education conferences sponsored by the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts. He has authored dozens of articles on legal topics and is a frequent speaker on judicial ethics, dealing with self-represented litigants in the courtroom, election law, appellate practice, and mortgage foreclosure law. He has served as an adjunct professor at The John Marshall Law School, teaching the Election and Voting Rights Law and Local Government Law courses. He has served as the editor in chief of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Election Law Handbook since 2002, and is the editor and primary author of the AOIC Mortgage Foreclosure Bench Book.
He is the past chair of the Constitutional, Election and Local Government Law Committees of the Chicago Bar Association and is a former member of its Board of Managers. Before being admitted to the bar, he worked on the professional staffs of both the Illinois House of Representatives and Cook County Board of Commissioners.