Octavio Duran, associate attorney from Willens Law Offices, recently hosted an event called “Lunch with the Judge” where he introduced the Honorable Joy V. Cunningham as a speaker for the Chicago Bar Association (CBA). Mr. Duran currently serves as a Special Project Coordinator for the Young Lawyers Section of the CBA, where he is tasked with scheduling four different lunch events for judges to speak before the CBA. Mr. Duran not only introduces the judge as a speaker, but also serves as moderator.
“I’m very privileged to be able to collaborate with all these judges and to be able to introduce them as speakers, “ Mr. Duran said, “I’ve learned so much from these judges whenever they speak and they always give the young lawyers excellent pointers about the practice.”
On January 15, 2013, Justice Cunningham spoke about the career path that she took which helped her attain the position of Illinois Appellate Court Justice. She also spoke generally about the process to appeal a case and how they are heard and decided by the Appellate Court Justices. The floor was opened for Q&A and then attendees were allowed to approach the judge after the conclusion of the event to ask any more questions.
“I was very impressed with Judge Cunningham,” Mr. Duran said, “I learned that she was the first black woman to serve as the President of the CBA. I was also very flattered that she was willing to spend so much time interacting with the attendees. I’m very thankful that she agreed to become one of our speakers.”
This series of Lunch with the Judge provides a unique forum because the attendees get to see the Judges in a venue different from the courtroom where they get an opportunity to ask questions they likely wouldn’t get to in other forums.