The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to welcome Justice Sharon O. Johnson, Judge Bonita Coleman, and attorney John F. Kennedy as Commissioners. The Commissioners were appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court for three-year terms.
In addition, Commissioner John K. Kim, counsel at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., was appointed Commission vice-chair.
“Justice Johnson, Judge Coleman, and attorney Kennedy have shown exemplary professionalism throughout their years of service to the Illinois legal community,” said Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke. “I look forward to collaborating with these new Commissioners to promote civility and professionalism. In addition, I would like to thank past-Commissioners Judge Diane M. Shelley, Bill Moran, and Lance Northcutt for their dedication to the Commission and its mission throughout their terms.”
The new Commissioners will replace attorneys William F. Moran III and Lance D. Northcutt, whose terms expired in 2021, and former Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane M. Shelley (Ret.), who stepped down from the Commission following her appointment by the Biden administration as a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator.
Justice Johnson currently serves on the Illinois Appellate Court First District. Prior to her election to the Appellate Court, Justice Johnson served in the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Relations Division from 2010 to 2020. Before her term as a circuit court judge, Justice Johnson owned a boutique law firm and worked for the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Employment and Training.
Judge Coleman was elected judge in the First Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County in December 2010. She presides over cases involving family matters. Before becoming a judge, Judge Coleman devoted more than 18 years to her legal practice, focusing on areas of family, criminal, probate, and real estate law. She was also appointed by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) as a hearing officer panelist, where she served for three years.
Attorney Kennedy is a trial lawyer and partner at Taft Law. He has tried cases before state and federal courts, including the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Court. His cases include civil rights claims, whistleblower actions, defamation, commercial disputes, and environmental litigation, among others. He also serves as outside general counsel and vice president of the board of directors of NAMI Chicago, which connects people suffering from mental illness and their loved ones to care and has been a guest lecturer and adjunct professor at various law schools.
“Justice Johnson, Judge Coleman, and attorney Kennedy will add unique perspectives and experiences to the Commission, and I’m delighted to welcome them as Commissioners,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism. “It has been a pleasure work alongside Judge Shelley, Bill Moran, and Lance Northcutt to advance civility in the legal profession, and I would like to thank them for their years of service to the lawyers and judges of Illinois.”
About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
The Illinois Supreme Court established the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism under Supreme Court Rule 799(c) to foster increased civility, professionalism, and inclusiveness among lawyers and judges in Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers and judges, the Commission on Professionalism works to better serve clients and society alike. For more information, please visit 2Civility.org and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.
Laura Bagby, Communications Director