Thomas More Donnelly (Officers, Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago)

Hon. Thomas M. DonnellyHon. Thomas More Donnelly
Past President

Associate Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County
2307 Richard J. Daley Center
50 West Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Telephone: (312) 603-6010

Tom serves as an Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. He is assigned to the Law Division, Trial Section. Sworn in as a judge in 2000, he currently hears civil jury trials, after having presided over criminal jury trials from 2008 to 2009. He has presided over several hundred jury trials.  In September 2012, he authored an opinion in a highly publicized First Amendment case involving the Occupy Chicago protests:  City of Chicago v. Alexander.  He spearheaded the development of three court programs to assist self-represented litigants:  CBA Summary Suspension Volunteer Program, the CARPLS Consumer Collection Self-Help Desk, and the CBA Municipal Court Pro Bono Panel program.
He chairs the Illinois Judicial College Board of Trustees, the Illinois Supreme Court’s educational arm, responsible for the training of Illinois judges and those who assist judges in the court system, including probation officers, court clerks, guardians ad litem, trial court administrators, and law clerks. He also teaches for the National Judicial College.

Before becoming a judge, he clerked for the Honorable Mary Ann G. McMorrow (Loyola Law ’53) and served as an assistant public defender for thirteen years. He serves on the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee. He has chaired both the CBA Chicago Bar Association (CBA) Professional Responsibility Committee and the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Standing Committee on Professional Conduct. He coauthored an online annotation on Illinois Legal Ethics for Cornell Law School. He served as the Reporter for the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility (1996-2000).
Tom has taught at Loyola Law School since 1987, and has directed the Philip H. Corboy Trial Advocacy Fellowship for twenty years from 1995-2016.  He currently teaches Illinois Civil Litigation Practice at Loyola. He has taught Illinois Tax Litigation and Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Professional Responsibility Seminar, and Criminal Procedure at Loyola. He is a past recipient of the St. Robert Bellarmine Award for a distinguished young alumnus and is an honorary member of Loyola‘s Circle of Advocates.

He authored Survey of Illinois Law: Enforcement of Judgment, 31 S.IU.L.J. 819 (2006) (coauthored with Judge Sanjay Tailor) and, responding to an article by Loyola Professor John Breen, The Leaven of the World: Serving the Poor is Neither the Air in the Balloon nor the Cherry on the Sundae, 43 Gonz.L.Rev. 607 (2007-2008). Recently, he has authored “New Supreme Court Rule:  Help for self-represented litigants” ISBA Bench & Bar Newsletter, Vol. 45, pp. 1-3 (September 2014); “New Illinois Rule of Evidence: Business record certification,” Trial Briefs, Vol. 57, no. 8, (March 2012) “Respecting Religious Freedom Without Sacrificing Justice: The Right to Wear Religious Garb in Court Proceedings,” ISBA Bench & Bar Newsletter, Vol. 42, pp. 9-10 (October 2011).

Tom serves on the Advisory Board of Loyola’s Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.  He has spoken at many Hank Center presentations at both the Lakeshore and Water Tower campuses.

Tom serves as president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago, which named him 2014 Catholic Lawyer of the Year; he has served on the Guild’s board since 1988.  He is the past chair of the John Howard Association and the current vice-chair of the National Center for the Laity. He is the father of four boys and married to Anne Wicker. Living in Chicago’s Queen of Angels parish, he serves as a lector, teaches RCIA classes to adults interested in becoming Catholic, and served as a confirmation catechist for seven years.