Hon. Franklin U. Valderrama
The Hon. Franklin U. Valderrama is a Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Valderrama was born in Panama City, Panama, and is the first Panamanian-American to serve as an Article III judge in the Northern District of Illinois.
Prior to joining the District Court, Judge Valderrama served as a judge in the General Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Valderrama serves on the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee and the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Evidence. Judge Valderrama has served as an Adjunct Professor at UIC Law School. Before joining the Circuit Court in 2007, Judge Valderrama was a partner at Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman, the largest minority-owned law firm in the City of Chicago, where he focused his practice on civil litigation.
Judge Valderrama serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Latino Judges Association and is a member of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Illinois Judicial Council. Judge Valderrama is a recipient of the National Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award and the Cook County Bar Association’s Kenneth E. Wilson Award. Judge Valderrama was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Service to the Profession Award by the DePaul University College of Law.
Judge Valderrama received his law degree from the DePaul University College of Law. He has served on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism since 2021.