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Misconduct Report: December 2014

Suzanne Conlon

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Suzanne Conlon
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #7
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   2/22/1988 - 4/17/2004
Senior:   4/17/2004 - Present
Preceded by:   Thomas McMillen
Succeeded by:   Virginia Kendall
Personal History
Born:   1939
Hometown:   Portland, OR
Undergraduate:   Mundelein College, B.A., 1963
Law School:   Loyola U. Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1968
Grad. School:   U. of London, Diploma in Foreign and Comparative Law, 1971

Suzanne B. Conlon is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, one of the largest federal courts in the nation. She joined the court in 1988 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. She is serving on senior status.

Early life and education

Judge Conlon received her B.A. from Mundelein College in 1963. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law with her J.D. in 1968. She also received a Diploma in Foreign and Comparative Law from the University of London in 1971.[1]

Professional career

  • Law clerk, Hon. Edwin Robson, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1968-1971
  • Private practice, Chicago, Illinois, 1972-1975
  • Faculty, DePaul University, 1972-1975
  • Assistant professor, 1972-1973
  • Lecturer, 1973-1975
  • Assistant U.S. attorney, Northern District of Illinois, 1976-1977, 1982-1986
  • Assistant U.S. attorney, Central District of California, 1977-1982
  • Assistant general counsel, U.S. Sentencing Commission, 1986
  • Executive director, U.S. Sentencing Commission, 1986-1987
  • Special counsel to Associate U.S. Attorney General Stephen S. Trott, 1988
  • Adjunct professor, Northwestern University School of Law, 1991-present[1]

Judicial career

Northern District of Illinois

Conlon was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on April 2, 1987, to a judgeship vacated by Thomas McMillen. Conlon was confirmed by the JS Senate on February 19, 1988, on a senate vote and received commission on February 22, 1988. Conlon assumed senior status on April 17, 2004.[1] Conlon was succeeded in this position by Virginia Kendall.

Judicial style

Conlon has been rated by lawyers as a judge that has the lowest amount of pending cases in the entire Northern District of Illinois court, but has been criticized by other lawyers over her temperament. Lawyers have said to accomplish her goal of a small docket, Conlon makes inappropriate demands on attorneys. Attorneys have been critical on Conlon's scheduling, claiming it can be unrealistic, but is nonetheless enforced inflexibly. The Chicago Bar Association and many judicial rating websites have claimed she has unacceptable behavior for a federal judge. It has been suggested that she has the tendency to use the jury or others to call out attorneys that are late.[2]

Conlon's temperament has been noted in a couple of notable controversies during her tenure as a federal judge. First, she fired a law clerk for refusing to carry her lunch up a flight of stairs when the elevator was not working. Second, she fired a law clerk on September 11, 2001 for complying with a evacuation order on the Senator Everett Dirksen Federal Building in Downtown Chicago.[3]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Thomas McMillen
Northern District of Illinois
Seat #7
Succeeded by:
Virginia Kendall

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