CBA Record July-August 2019



EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Justice Michael B. Hyman Illinois Appellate Court


Unconscious Bias: None of Us is Immune J ust a few decades ago, hardly anyone gave much thought to unconscious bias (also known as implicit or

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anne Ellis Proactive Worldwide, Inc.

deeply we believe in our own objectivity— have implicit mental associations that will, in some circumstances, alter our behavior.” Nevertheless, we can overcome negative biases. This was one of the takeaways at a seminar held during CBA Membership AppreciationWeek. (See story on page 14.) An authority on unconscious bias, Prof. Sarah E. Redfield, told the attendees that awareness is only the first step; disrupting unconscious bias also requires motivation, commitment, time, and lots of effort. (Redfield is the editor of Enhancing Justice: Reducing Bias , published by the ABA.) Being a judge, I constantly worry about unconscious bias. In every case, I make sure that personal preferences, generalizations, gut feelings, and the like do not sneak into my decision-making. I examine my deci- sion-making process, not just the contours of the decision itself. In so doing, I seek to eliminate, or, at the very least, mitigate, the potential impact of unconscious bias. Lawyers, too, must be vigilant; other- wise, unconscious bias closes the mind and

SUMMARY JUDGMENTS EDITOR Daniel A. Cotter Latimer LeVay Fyock LLC

hidden bias). Now, though, unconscious bias has become a subject of conversation, controversy, and research. And a matter of concern, especially for people who work in the legal system. For those still unfamiliar with the concept, unconscious bias describes an automatic judgment or association favor- ing or disfavoring one person, thing, or group that has so ingrained itself into our thinking and emotions that we do not even notice its presence. What happens is that automatic judgments, not facts or reason, drive our thinking. Left unchecked, this can lead to discriminatory behaviors, stereotyping, misunderstandings, flawed assessments, and erroneous assumptions. None of us is immune. As noted by the authors of “Implicit Bias in the Court- room,” 59 UCLA L. Rev. 1124, 1186 (2012), “[A]ll of us, no matter how hard we try to be fair and square, no matter how

YLS JOURNAL EDITORS Daniel J. Berkowitz Aronberg Goldgehn

Kruti Patel Charles Wintersteen & Associates Kaitlin King Hart David Carson LLP

Carolyn Amadon Samuel, Son & Co. Amy Cook The Farmer Chef Alliance Nina Fain Janet Sugerman Schirn Family Trust Anthony F. Fata Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP Clifford Gately Hinshaw & Culbertson Jasmine Villaflor Hernandez Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Lynn Semptimphelter Kopon Kopon Airdo LLC John Levin Kathryn C. Liss DePaul University College of Law Bonnie McGrath Law Office of Bonnie McGrath Clare McMahon Law Office of Clare McMahon Pamela S. Menaker Clifford Law Offices Peter V. Mierzwa Law Bulletin Media Kathleen Dillon Narko Northwestern University School of Law Adam J. Sheppard Sheppard Law Firm, PC Richard Lee Stavins

Robbins, Saloman & Patt, Ltd. Rosemary Simota Thompson Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. Circuit Court of Cook County

THE CHICAGO BAR ASSOCIATION Sharon Nolan Director of Marketing

6 July/August 2019

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