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Justice | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Gordon, Robert E.

  • Title: Appellate Court Justice
  • District: 1

Robert E. Gordon was born in Chicago in 1937 and grew up on Division and Damen and later in Logan Square. He now lives in the city. He was educated at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and DePaul Law School, J.D., 1962. He began his legal career as a trial lawyer for a small insurance company, later tried cases for Aetna Insurance (Cigna), then after 18 years as a defense litigator switched to plaintiff personal injury, medical mal-practice, (handled cases for plaintiffs and medical providers) criminal defense, defense of automobile dealers and factories, trade dress, workers compensation, condemnation, commercial, franchising, zoning, and sports law. He was a principal in Gordon and Brustin; Gordon, Brustin & Schaefer; Gordon, Schaefer & Gordon; and Gordon & Gordon, Ltd. practicing as a trial lawyer for 34 years. In 1996, he was appointed to the bench and later elected. Gordon presided over jury cases in the Municipal and Law divisions until appointed to the Appellate Court in July, 2006. Presided over the most jury trials in the municipal division for seven consecutive years and in 2007 authored the most opinions and orders in the Illinois Appellate Court. Former Presiding Judge of the First Division, now the Presiding Judge of the Sixth Division, and the Alternate Justice on the Workers Compensation Appellate Court for the First District. He was voted “Man of the Year” in 1972, 1973, and 1974 by homeowners in Northbrook, for his legal zoning battles against the County and Northbrook representing homeowners pro bono. He was then elected as a Village Trustee in the Village of Northbrook from 1975-1984 and was the Chairman of the Zoning Committee for many years, and 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 for the State of Illinois from 1985-1996. Member and Chairman of Local Board No.5 of the Illinois Draft Board for 20 years (1982-2002), and recipient of the U.S. Selective Service System Bronze Metal in 2002. He is a Member of Operation PUSH and former member of their Juvenile Mentoring and Early Intervention Committee, and a sports historian. He was a 10 year member of the Supreme Court ADR Committee, and is now a member of the Supreme Court’s Educational Committee, a member of the Appellate Court Administrative Committee of the Supreme Court, and has served on numerous Committees of the Illinois, American, and Chicago Bar Associations. He is presently on the Board of Managers of the Decalogue Society, a member of the Settlement Committee of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and 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 Richard Hollobow Public Service Award in 1978 for his honesty and hard work in government. Recipient of Decalogue Society of Lawyers President’s Award, 2008, Founders Award 2011, and the Justice Charles E. Freeman Judicial Merit Award in 2012. Past President and one of the founders of the Jewish Judges of Illinois, presently their Treasurer. Little League coach for 6 years, commissioner of baseball in the northern suburbs for 10 years, and member of numerous school and park district committees. He is married to Marilyn Statland-Gordon, his wife of 56 years, has 4 children and 8 grandchildren.