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Joint Mid Year Meeting
Friday, December 10, 2021, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM CST
Category: Events

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Illinois Judges Association

50th Annual

Joint Mid Year Meeting

December 9 and 10, 2021




12:00 P.M.




Mary Jane Theis was born in Chicago. She received her bachelor's degree from Loyola University Chicago in 1971 and her law degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law in 1974. From 1974-83, she was an Assistant Public Defender in Cook County.

Justice Theis has served at every level of the Judiciary in the State of Illinois. In 1983 she was appointed an Associate Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, where she served for five years. In 1988, Justice Theis was elected to the Circuit Court, where she was assigned to both the Criminal and Chancery Divisions until 1993, when she was appointed to the Appellate Court, First District. She was elected to the Appellate Court in 1994. When Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald retired in 2010, the Supreme Court appointed Justice Theis to fill his vacancy on the Court.

In her 17 years on the Appellate Court, Justice Theis served as a Presiding Judge. She was Committee Chair of both the Committee on Judicial Education and the Committee on Judicial Conduct of the Illinois Judicial Conference, and a member of the Supreme Court Rules Committee. Justice Theis was President of the Appellate Lawyers Association and the Illinois Judges Association, as well as President and founding member of the Illinois Judges Foundation. She has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association and is a member of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.

Justice Theis has taught at numerous judicial education programs, as well as conferences and seminars for the ISBA and CBA, and at Loyola University School of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, and the John Marshall Law School. She has received various awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Judges Association, Catholic Lawyer of the Year from the Catholic Lawyers Guild, Celtic Lawyer of the Year from the Celtic Lawyers Society of Chicago, the Mary Heftel Hooten Award from the WBAI, and the Access to Justice Award from the ISBA. Justice Theis is the recipient of the American Constitution Society Legal Legend -  Honor from the Chicago Lawyer Chapter and the Chicago Bar Association's John Paul Stevens Award.

She is married to John T. Theis, and they have two children, Jack (Uma Amuluru) and Claire (Joshua) Merok, and seven grandchildren.

IJA thanks the Educational Programming and Annual Convention Committee for its work

Friday, December 10, 2021

8:30 - 10:00 a.m. IJA/ISBA Joint CLE Program: Rooting Out Racial Bias - Register Now

1.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.50* hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit in the following category: Diversity and Inclusion credit (subject to approval)

With the language of inclusion continually evolving, it’s likely that people will inadvertently offend someone, even while trying to be conscious of their wording. Don’t miss this timely discussion in which our two speakers draw on their experience in promoting all aspects of diversity in their legal community. Topics include: micro-aggression, implicit bias, and cultural appropriation.

10:30 - 11:45 a.m. IJA/ISBA Joint CLE Program: Chaos in the Courtroom: Civility, Decorum, and Order in the Court - Register Now

1.25 hours MCLE credit, including 1.25 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit in the following category: Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics credit (subject to approval)

Don’t miss this in-depth look at how to maintain civility, decorum, and order in the court with this online program. Listen as our speakers present vignettes detailing potential chaos in the courtroom, the applicable rules that currently exist on each issue, strategies to resolve the issues, best practices for judges and attorneys in common situations, and how to interrupt behavior before it rises to the level of reporting and discipline. Vignette scenarios include: pandemic-specific issues such as Zoom court dress code and mask mandates for in-person court sessions.

12:00 p.m. AWARDS AND 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Via Zoom (zoom link will be sent once registration is complete)


Barbara Crowder, IJA President

For further information, contact the IJA at [email protected] or 312/431-1283 

Illinois Judges Association