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Judges' Night


Every year the NSBA hosts Judges' Night to recognize judges that have made outstanding contributions to the bench and bar that make them deserving of these honors. The event provides an opportunity to highlight the honorees and thank them for their service.

About the 2021 Recipients:

JUSTICE MARY ELLEN COGHLAN
Since July 30, 2019, Justice Coghlan has served as an Appellate Justice in the First District, reviewing civil and criminal decisions entered in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Prior to that, Justice Coghlan served in the Circuit Court of Cook County for 25 years, mainly in the Probate Division. Justice Coghlan served as the Presiding Judge of the Probate Division from 2010-2019. Before sitting in the Probate Division, Justice Coghlan was a felony trial Judge, at the Leighton Criminal Courts. Justice Coghlan is immensely respected by her peers, and known for her breadth of legal knowledge. In 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Justice Coghlan to serve as a member of its Judicial Inquiry Board, and she served as a member of this important board until 2020. In March of 2001, Justice Coghlan was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Illinois Judicial Conference Study Committee on Complex Litigation, and she completed her initial term on this esteemed committee in 2009. In 2011, Justice Coghlan was appointed to a second term as a member of the Judicial Conference, and served on both the Executive Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee until 2016. Since March 2012, Justice Coghlan has served as a member of the Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Nominating Committee.

Before being elected to the bench, Justice Coghlan also had an impressive career as an attorney, first working as an associate attorney at the Coghlan and Joyce law firm, then as an Assistant Cook County Public Defender in the Felony Trial Division, and later as an Assistant Attorney General in the General Law Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Justice Coghlan is a proud graduate of Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and DePaul University, College of Law. The NSBA is privileged to honor such a wonderful legal jurist. 

JUDGE LAUREN EDIDIN
The Honorable Lauren Gottainer Edidin is a Cook County Associate Judge. Since 2007, Judge Ediden has been assigned to a felony courtroom at the Second Municipal District Courthouse in Skokie. Judge Edidin hears Chicago criminal cases, as well as a variety of other legal matters, including bond hearings, preliminary hearings, and domestic violence cases. Judge Edidin often serves as a resource and mentor for new judges, and she is praised for her knowledge of the law and her judicial demeanor. Judge Edidin also oversees the Mental Health Court in Skokie, where she is widely respected by participants, attorneys and social service providers. 

In recognition of the compassionate and fair manner in which she administers justice and assists so many people in need of mental health services, Judge Edidin was appointed a member of the Special Supreme Court Advisory Committee for Justice and Mental Health Planning.

Judge Edidin began her legal career as a Cook County Assistant States Attorney, and then went into private practice, working for well-regraded attorney Ernest Blomquist. Judge Edidin then opened her own law practice concentrating in criminal defense, and she also served as the Northbrook Village Prosecutor. Judge Ediden has been a member of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association since the beginning of her career, and she served as President of the Association in 2004. Judge Edidin received the Northwest Suburban Bar Association’s prestigious Public Service Award in 2018. 

Judge Edidin has presented at numerous CLEs, and she appreciates the opportunity to speak with students and interns regarding legal issues. Currently, Judge Edidin is a mentor for new lawyers from the UIC John Marshall Law School.

PRESIDING JUDGE MOSHE JACOBIUS
The NSBA is thrilled to honor Judge Moshe Jacobius. Today, Judge Jacobius is the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division. He is a respected jurist, possessing outstanding ability, intelligence and integrity. Judge Jacobius came from humble beginnings, making his rise in stature all the more remarkable. He was born in Israel and lived with his family in a one-room structure with no bathroom until he immigrated to the United States at the age of 10. He followed a path of hard work, dedication and perseverance, an experience shared by so many immigrants to this country.

After he graduated from law school, Judge Jacobius joined the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, rising to the position of Chief of the Civil Litigation Section and Counsel to the Attorney General.

Judge Jacobius served in the Attorney General’s Office for 17 years. However, his world changed dramatically upon his appointment to the bench because he was immediately assigned to the Domestic Relations Division. He remained in the Domestic Relations Division, except for a 5-month stint for good behavior in the Chancery Division immediately before he was named Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division in July, 2000.

Judge Jacobius is co-chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Custody and a member of the Court Security Committee. In December 2010, Judge Timothy Evans appointed Judge Jacobius as the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division. He is married and has two children and fourteen grandchildren.

JUDGE JEFFREY L. WARNICK
The NSBA is proud to honor Judge Jeffrey L. Warnick. Judge Warnick graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He attended IIT-Kent College of Law and graduated in 1978. Following law school, Judge Warnick served as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney from 1979 until 1988. Among his significant jury trials were People v. Jang Bae (the arson murder of three Chicago firefighters), and People v. Leonard Kidd (involving the murder of ten children). He served as supervisor of the Arson Unit in the Special Prosecutions Bureau, following years as a first chair in the Felony Trial Division. Judge Warnick went into private practice in 1988 and specialized in insurance coverage, property and liability defense, and fire-related litigation. Over the years, he developed an expertise in fire and construction litigation, as well as over 20 years of experience in insurance coverage, subrogation and fraud investigations and trials. Before becoming a judge, Judge Warnick had over 30 years of substantial jury trial and litigation experience.

In 2009, Judge Warnick was appointed a Cook County Associate Judge. In 2010, he was transferred to the Chancery Division and heard commercial litigation and mortgage foreclosure cases. Next, Judge Warnick was re-assigned to the Second Municipal District in Skokie where he presided over civil as well as criminal motions and trials. In 2011, Judge Warnick was dually assigned to the Law Division where he presided over a civil court call handling motions, jury trials and settlement conferences. For two years, 2015-2016, Judge Warnick was assigned to a felony criminal courtroom in Skokie where he presided over motions and trials of felony cases arising within the northern suburbs of Chicago. Notable trials included a cold-case murder involving the evolution of DNA and multiple sexual assault and abuse cases.

Currently, Judge Warnick presides over the Law Division civil courtroom in Skokie. This court hears both Law and Municipal Division cases.

Judge Warnick conducts pre-trial settlement conferences as well as numerous motions and trials. He is married to Kathy Warnick, who works as the Director of Legal Research for the First District Appellate Court in Chicago.


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