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Free Webinar: Meet the Newest District Court Judges in the Northern District of Illinois
Thursday, April 23, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
1.25 hours Illinois MCLE Credit Hours pending approval
Thursday, April 23, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Our newest U.S. District Court Judges will speak and answer your questions about effective written and oral advocacy, motion practice, trial techniques and pitfalls to avoid.
Click here to register for this free webinar today!
Judge Martha M. Pacold earned her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and her law degree from University of Chicago Law School. Judge Pacold clerked for Judge Arthur Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Judge Jay Bybee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Judge Pacold then joined the Department of Justice as Counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. After a year, she joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. In 2007, Judge Pacold joined the Chicago Office of Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP as an associate and later as a partner. In 2017, she left that position to serve as Executive Secretary in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She became Deputy General Counsel months later and served in that capacity until she became a district judge. The President nominated Judge Pacold to the seat vacated by Judge John W.
Darrah, who took senior status on March 1, 2017. Judge Pacold officially joined the district court bench on August 23, 2019.
Judge Rowland received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of Chicago. She then served as a law clerk to Judge Julian Abele Cook, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She went on to serve for ten years in the Chicago Office of the Federal Defender, first as staff attorney and then as the chief appellate attorney. She later joined the firm of Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym Ltd. as a partner prior to her selection as a federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2012. Judge Rowland was nominated to the seat vacated by Judge Amy J. St. Eve, who was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on May 23, 2018. Judge Rowland officially joined the district court bench on August 22, 2019.
Prior to joining the district court bench, Judge Kness served as the General Counsel of the College of DuPage, where he oversaw all legal matters at the second-largest institution of higher learning in the State of Illinois. Judge Kness also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, with assignments in the National Security and Cybercrimes, Narcotics, and General Crimes Sections. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Kness served as a law clerk to Judge William H. Pryor Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Kness earned his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University. He performed for several years as a professional musician and served as a patrol officer for the Oak Park Police Department before returning to Northwestern for his law degree.
On June 24, 2019, the President nominated Judge Kness to fill the U.S. District Court judgeship previously held by Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, who retired on February 17, 2018. Judge Kness officially joined the district court bench on February 28, 2020.
Judge Seeger earned his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He then joined the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he practiced for twelve years, the last seven as a partner. In 2010, Judge Seeger became Senior Trial Counsel to the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served until joining the district court bench. The President nominated Judge Seeger to the seat vacated by Judge James Zagel, who took senior status on March 1, 2017. Judge Seeger officially joined the district court bench on September 16, 2019.
Ruben Castillo, a first chair litigator, focuses his practice on corporate investigations, white collar criminal defense, private arbitration, and mediation work for litigants. In addition, he serves as chair of Akerman Bench, one of the nation’s largest panels of former appellate and trial court judges, seasoned appellate lawyers, and former state and federal law clerks who provide guidance and feedback for optimal trial and appellate court presentations.
Prior to joining Akerman, Ruben served as Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, becoming the first Latino to hold this position in the district. He is known as a pioneer jurist who was pivotal in bringing diversity to the federal court system and the Chicago legal community. He has presided over high-profile and precedent-setting cases that continue to shape our legal system, and has advocated for clients from all walks of life, from Fortune 100 organizations to those underserved by our legal system. Before serving on the bench, Castillo was regional counsel to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He also served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Special Criminal Prosecutions Division for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
For more than 20 years, Ruben has taught trial advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law, with law students recognizing him with five teaching awards.