Sometimes the hometown boy does good and you don’t get the memo.
Back in December and without a lot of fanfare, longtime Kane County judge Donald C. Hudson was selected by his colleagues to serve as the presiding justice of the Second District Appellate Court.
That’s a pretty big deal and worthy of note, even in a career as full of achievements as Hudson’s.
Hudson cut his teeth in Kane County and rose up the ranks quickly. After attending DePaul University and John Marshall Law School, he served as a first assistant state’s attorney in Kane County. He was appointed to the bench as an associate judge in 1993, and in 2000 he was elected to the position of circuit judge. In December 2004, Hudson was elected to the position of chief judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit, and he was re-elected chief judge in 2006.
Under his leadership, Kane County’s mental health court was established, and in connection with the establishment of the mental health court in Kane County, the legislature enacted the first mental health court treatment act in the state of Illinois.
Hudson and then Circuit Court Clerk Deborah Seyller developed a new program to assist the victims of domestic violence. Kane County was the first county in the state of Illinois to develop and implement this program.
Hudson was also instrumental in developing and opening the Kane County Self Help Legal Center.
His accomplishments extend beyond the 16th Circuit, as well.
In 2005, Hudson was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to be chairperson of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Statewide Committee on Criminal Law and Probation Administration. In 2006 and 2007, he was reappointed by the Supreme Court as chairperson of that committee.
Hudson has served as a faculty member for the Illinois Education Conferences, and the National Center for State Courts selected him to serve on a national working group to meet and develop policies on using risk and needs assessment information in implementing evidence-based practices at sentencing hearings in criminal cases.
In December 2008, Hudson was appointed to be the chair of a Special Supreme Court Committee whose work culminated in the adoption of codified rules of evidence in the state of Illinois.
“Trial practice requires that the most frequently used rules of evidence be readily accessible, preferably in an authoritative form,” he said at that time. “The committee believes that all of the basic rules of evidence in one easily accessible, authoritative source will substantially increase the efficiency of the trial process.”
Hudson served on the Judicial Inquiry Board since April 2007 and was chair of the Board in from 2008 to 2015. He also serves as chair of the Illinois Appellate Court Administrative Committee.
Hudson’s most recent promotion came in December 2016, when he became presiding justice of the Second District Appellate Court. You can read more about him at www.illinoiscourts.gov/
About the Illinois Second District Appellate Court
The Illinois Second District Appellate Court is one of five districts of the Illinois Appellate Court. It encompasses the northern counties in Illinois, including some of the most populated areas in the state. The Second District court meets in Elgin.
The Second District Appellate Court includes the following counties: Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Lake, Carroll, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, Kane, Kendall and DuPage.
Published opinions of the Illinois Appellate Court can be found here.