Judge Lorna Propes has served on the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, since 2010, and presently sits in the court's law division. Judge Propes is a graduate of Indiana University and Loyola University School of Law. She began her career as a as a prosecutor in the Cook County State's Attorney's office where she served for five years, and became one of the first women in Illinois history to handle major felony cases. She entered private practice in 1980, specializing in the representation of persons injured by the negligence of others. Uniquely, Judge Propes also represented major corporations in high stakes mass tort and class action product liability cases. Over her three decades in both public service and private practice, Propes participated in nearly than 100 jury trials, earned Chicago Magazine's acclaim as one of Chicago's “œ30 Toughest Lawyers,” and has been named one of Chicago's pre-eminent trial lawyers by numerous publications.
Judge Propes has served for 35 years as a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and has earned the organization's Faculty Award for outstanding service. She is a published expert and lecturer on trial advocacy and the use of technology in the courtroom, and was featured in Your Witness, Lessons on Cross-Examination from Great Trial Lawyers published in 2008.
For 18 years Judge Propes served as a member of the Illinois Racing Board. Appointed by four governors, she served as chairman from 2001 through 2005. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Recently, Judge Propes has received the Law Bulletin Media's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Chicago Inn of Court Joel Flaum Award, ABOTA's Judge of the Year award and the Chicago Bar Association's Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Philanthropic Award.