The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Commissioner Hon. Diane M. Shelley has been installed as President of the Illinois Judges Association (IJA). Shelley was installed for a 1-year term on Friday, May 29, at the Illinois Judges Association’s Annual Meeting.
Shelley has stated that one of her goals for the IJA is supporting the Illinois Supreme Court’s program to ensure public access to the judicial system during the coronavirus pandemic. She also said that she intends to develop a new committee focused on exploring the use of virtual platforms, which have become vital to the delivery of justice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Judge Diane Shelley has dedicated her career to making justice accessible for all in our society,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission. “Her leadership on and off the bench demonstrates a commitment to the betterment of the profession and communities across Illinois. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with her as a Commissioner and congratulate her on this well-deserved achievement.”
Shelley was elected judge from Cook County’s Fifth Judicial Subcircuit in 2006. She presided over 100 municipal jury trials before being assigned to the Law Division Jury Trial Section. She is currently assigned to an individual commercial calendar handling complex commercial litigation from inception through trial.
Prior to being elected judge, Shelley practiced law for almost 25 years, including serving as head of litigation at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. She began her legal career at Florida Rural Legal Services working with migrant workers.
Shelley was appointed to the Commission on Professionalism in 2018. She also serves as a faculty member of the Illinois Judicial Conference on Education and as a member of the Special Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Justice and Mental Health Planning. Shelley is the former Chair of the Illinois Judicial Council and a member of numerous bar associations and civic organizations.
Born and raised in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Shelley became involved in civic, social, and religious organizations at a young age. She participated in the first Free Breakfast for Children Program and Free Busing to Prisons Program. She received a J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
About The Illinois Judges Association
The Illinois Judges Association consists of over 1,250 current and retired judges. The Association supports judicial excellence and professional development and judicial education, fosters public confidence in an independent judiciary, works to preserve the independence of the judiciary by educating the public and students, and promotes a diverse judiciary that administers justice in a fair and impartial court system.
For additional information, contact IJA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-431-1283.
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.
Laura Bagby, Communications Director