CBA Record October 2017

JUDGE ANN CLAIRE WILLIAMS HONORED AT CBA LUNCHEON Celebrating an American Judicial Trailblazer By Nina Fain

CBA Record Editorial Board O n Friday September 15, the Chi- cago Bar Association honored Senior Judge Ann Claire Wil- liams of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, celebrating Williams’ two decades of dedicated service as a jurist on the federal bench. During her historic career, Williams repeatedly has been rec- ognized nationwide for her superlative service as a federal jurist. After a success- ful career as a Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Clerk, federal prosecutor and Division Chief, Judge Williams’ judicial trajectory began in 1985. Not only was she among the youngest judges ever appointed to the federal bench in the United States, Williams, appointed by President Reagan, became the first African-American woman to be appointed as a U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Illinois. In 1999, Williams was appointed by Presi- dent Clinton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. So as JudgeWilliams made a decision in the summer of 2017 to assume the status as a Senior Judge on the U. S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, it was quite fitting that Chicago Bar Association mem- bers, judges and guests gathered to hear three of our nation’s most prominent cur- rent and former members of the judiciary

JudgeWilliams is congratulatedby a supporter as CBAPresident Hon. JudgeThomas R. Mulroy looks on. Photo by Bill Richert.

extol Williams’ contribution to American courts with their personal and professional accolades. Video tributes were offered by United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Hon. Diane P. Wood, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh District and the Hon. Patri- cia Brown Holmes, retired, who is now the Co- Managing Partner of the law firm of Riley, Safer, and Holmes & Cancila. Each praised her contributions to the federal judiciary, her legal brilliance, integrity, work ethic and diligence. Additionally, in front of the capacity crowd of Chicago’s most prominent lawyers and judges, the Hon. William J. Bauer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh District and the CBA President, the Hon. Thomas R.

Mulroy gave remarks about Judge Wil- liams’ and her legendary career. Finally, celebrating the next milestone in her storied career, Williams accepted the praise from her colleagues and peers with characteristic modesty. She stood first among equals in the audience as an outstanding jurist and a leader in the refor- mation of court administrative policies. In this next phase of her career, Williams can apply her keen intellectual focus to move beyond the rigors of daily deliberation in case management to focus on her commit- ment to public service in new ways. It was for these many reasons that the CBA was proud to honor Williams as an important member of Chicago’s legal history.

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16 OCTOBER 2017

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