Chief Judge Evans appoints Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. as Presiding Judge of the First Municipal District

Released On 01/30/2003

Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans today appointed Circuit Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. as Presiding Judge of the court’s First Municipal District effective February 4, 2003. Judge Wright will succeed First Municipal District Presiding Judge Jacqueline P. Cox who was recently appointed a judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

In praising the new presiding judge who will oversee the largest district in the court system, Chief Judge Evans said, "Judge Wright has the necessary practical experience as a lawyer in municipal court matters, and a well-established track record as a productive, respected, and fair judge. Before his current assignment in the Probate Division, he served in many of the sections of the First Municipal District, including the civil section, both jury and non-jury; the felony preliminary hearings section, including felony preliminary drug hearings; and the traffic section."

Chief Judge Evans continued, "In addition to his stellar service in all of his judicial assignments, Judge Wright possesses an excellent academic and professional background that will permit him to be innovative in approaching his administrative duties as presiding judge."

A nine-year veteran of the bench, Judge Wright, age 61, was first appointed a circuit judge in July 1994 by the Illinois Supreme Court and was later elected a circuit judge in November 1994. Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Wright engaged in private practice, specializing in criminal, divorce, and probate real estate matters, and civil litigation.

Judge Wright has served with distinction in his nine years as a judge, and in 2000 was rated highly recommended by the Suburban Bar Coalition, recommended by the Cook County Bar Association, and qualified by the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Chicago Council of Lawyers.

He is a member of the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association and a former chairman of the CBA’s Civil Practice Committee Division II. He also serves on the board of the Chicago Urban Day School.

Judge Wright received a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1977. He received a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Illinois in 1970, a M.A. in Education from the University of Arkansas in 1967, and a B.S. from the University of Arkansas (AM&N College) in 1964.

Judge Wright said, "I am grateful to Judge Evans for the confidence he has placed in me in this appointment. I will work as hard as I can to ensure that the system continues to perform at the same high level it enjoys now."

The First Municipal District encompasses the City of Chicago and is comprised of six sections with more than 100 assigned judges.



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