Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride will speak on the history and innovation in the Illinois judicial system on Wednesday, February 13, at 4 p.m. in the Trustees Room on the third floor of Alumni Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Kilbride’s talk will focus on the selection of state Supreme Court justices and judicial innovations that have occurred in Illinois since he was elected to the court in 2000. Two of those innovations include the introduction of cameras into Illinois courtrooms and the citation of online opinions, two initiatives that occurred during his term as Chief Justice from 2010 to 2013.
These innovations can be viewed as a continuation of the traveling Bicentennial of Illinois Law Exhibit, which is on display in the Bayer Study Area on the third floor of Alumni Hall through February 18. The exhibit showcases the contributions of the legal community to the history of Illinois.
Kilbride received his law degree from Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C., and practiced law for 20 years in Rock Island as a legal services attorney, then in civil and criminal practice. He was elected to the Supreme Court of Illinois for the Third Judicial District in 2000 and was retained for a subsequent 10-year term in 2010. He was elected to a three-year term as Chief Justice by his colleagues on the Supreme Court in 2010.
During Justice Kilbride’s tenure as Chief, the Supreme Court approved several initiatives, including: enhancing the use of technology in all Illinois courts by encouraging electronic filing and other digital means of conducting court business; establishing a pilot project allowing cameras in Illinois trial courtrooms; and creating the Commission on Access to Justice to make it easier for all parties, including the poor and those with limited English proficiency, to navigate the Illinois court system.
Kilbride’s talk and the Bicentennial of Illinois Law Exhibit are sponsored by the Illinois Supreme Court Historical Preservation Commission to commemorate 200 years of the Illinois judicial branch.