Member Monday Profile: Honorable Janet Brosnahan

Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County

I have been a judge for over fourteen years.  Presently, I am privileged to preside in the Motions Section of the Law Division, where my caseload consists of approximately 1,200 high-value civil matters.  The assignment is challenging and rewarding, due in part, to the excellent lawyering and the wide variety of cases, which run the gamut: medical negligence, defamation, products liability, construction negligence, legal malpractice, intentional torts and many more. There’s always an interesting issue to tackle, in matters of procedural and substantive law.

Why you are a member of the WBAI?

When I returned to the Daley Center after a long stretch in a suburban courthouse, my WBAI membership certainly helped me to re-acclimate and build new relationships.

Through its always evolving programs and services, the WBAI constantly strives to address the needs of its membership and the community at large.  A recent example is the “Legally Mom” lunch series.  I had four children within 4 ½ years, and continued working full-time while they grew up, first as a lawyer, then a judge.  I applaud this initiative aimed at assisting “legal moms” balance the demands of motherhood and career, with success at both.  This exemplifies WBAI’s goal-focused programming, where participation, mutual assistance and collaboration are encouraged, with tangible results benefitting the members, our families, our profession and our society.

What you are most looking forward to in 2017?

I’m looking forward to a vacation in Italy with my husband to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  I also expect to make great memories on a women’s adventure with my friends, back-packing and hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire.

Tell us something interesting about you.

I may have more seniority than anyone else current sitting in the Circuit Court.  I’m approaching the 39th anniversary of the day, in 1978, that I first donned the black robe and was sworn in as a judge (for the day) by Chief Judge Harry Comerford.  The honor was my reward for winning the citywide “Justice Day” contest while a student at Portage Park Elementary School on the northwest side.