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Ronald Guzman

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Ronald Guzman
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #20
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   11/15/1999-11/16/2014
Senior:   11/16/2014-Present
Preceded by:   Brian Duff
Succeeded by:   Jorge L. Alonso
Past post:   Magistrate Judge
Past term:   1990-1999
Personal History
Born:   1948
Hometown:   Rio Piedras, PR
Undergraduate:   Lehigh University, 1970
Law School:   New York University Law School, 1973

Ronald A. Guzman is an Article III federal judge on senior status in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, one of the busiest courts in the nation. He joined the court in 1999 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. Guzman transitioned to senior status on November 16, 2014.[1]

Early life

Justice Guzman graduated from Lehigh University with a bachelor's degree in 1970 and his juris doctorate degree from New York University Law School in 1973.[2]

Professional career

Guzman started out as a private practice attorney for two years. In 1975, Guzman became an assistant states attorney for Cook County until 1980. For the next four years, he served as a staff attorney for the Association House of Chicago, a Chicago community center, while also working as a private practice attorney until his appointment to the federal judiciary.[2]

Judicial career

Northern District of Illinois

From 1990 to 1999 Guzman served as a US Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Then in 1999 on the recommendation of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Guzman was nominated by President Bill Clinton on August 5, 1999, to a federal seat vacated by Brian Duff. Guzman was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 10, 1999, and received commission on November 15, 1999.[2]

Notable cases

Pitchman sentenced to ten years in prison (2014)

     United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (United States of America v. Kevin Trudeau, 10 CR 886)

In March 2014, Judge Guzman sentenced television pitchman Kevin Trudeau to ten years in prison for violating a 2004 court order which prohibited Trudeau from making misleading infomercials or promoting false claims about his weight-loss book. Trudeau sold such books as The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About, Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About and Debt Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About.[3] His weight-loss book had previously resulted in a civil case of the Federal Trade Commission. [4]

The March sentencing followed the November 2013 conviction of criminal contempt by a jury. At sentencing, Judge Guzman sharply criticized Trudeau. The judge called him "deceitful" and accused Trudeau of "steadfastly attempt(ing) to cheat others for his own personal gain."[3] Trudeau said that his four months in prison had changed him, and that he had since had "a true awakening."[5]

Defense attorneys argued that Trudeau should receive no more than two years in prison, while prosecutors wanted at least ten years.[4][3]

Congress Plaza Hotel and Chicago labor dispute (2009)

     United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (520 South Michigan Avenue Associates, LTD., v. Alderman Robert Fioretti and the City of Chicago, 1:07-cv-04245)

On September 28, 2009, Judge Guzman ruled that the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago's right to a fair consideration of it's application to have a sidewalk cafe is protected by the Constitution of the United States.[6]

The Equal Protection Clause mandates equal protection for all similarly situated entities or persons in a class--for example, hotels doing business in Chicago.

Judge Guzman ruled against the City of Chicago and 2nd District Alderman Robert Fioretti for denying the hotel's permit application, finding it was denied due to the fact that there was a strike by hotel employees and a labor dispute between them and the hotel's operators. The judge ruled that the City of Chicago's actions violated the National Labor Relations Act, which prohibits cities or states from tipping a labor dispute to one side or the other.[6]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Brian Duff
Northern District of Illinois
Seat #20
Succeeded by:
Jorge L. Alonso

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