Statement by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans Released on 5/10/2012 6:15:41 PM
The Circuit Court of Cook County is saddened today to learn of the death of one of our distinguished colleagues, Circuit Judge Lester D. Foreman.
Judge Foreman was an outstanding, hardworking jurist who achieved a long and honorable career on the bench spanning more than 25 years. He served with distinction and integrity in the most prestigious divisions of the court where he presided over numerous high profile cases of public interest.
Admired by judges and attorneys alike, he was a meritorious judge who presided over his courtroom with the highest dignity and decorum, fairness and impartiality. He frequently served as a mentor and confidant to scores of judges. Judge Foreman also was well known for his interest in mentoring children and for hosting groups of students in his courtroom.
His breadth of knowledge about the law was peerless, as was his ability to put justice before all else. He served as a longtime faculty member of the Illinois Judicial Conference, and as a frequent speaker at bar associations and continuing legal education programs hosted by law firms.
Most importantly, Judge Foreman was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who took great joy in the accomplishments of his two grandsons.
On behalf of the court, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family.
Judge Foreman was elected an associate judge in 1977 and later elected a circuit judge in 1980.
He began his career as a judge in Bond Court in the First Municipal District. In 1978 he was additionally assigned to the Criminal Division, with brief stints in the Tax Section of the Law Division. In 1980 he was transferred to the Law Division, serving first in the Trial Section, then the Motion Section. In 1986 he was appointed to serve as Acting Presiding Judge of the Law Division. In 1990 he was transferred to the Chancery Division where he remained until his death. In 2001 he was appointed Acting Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division.
In May of 1997 he was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as the Circuit Court of Cook County’s representative on the Judicial Inquiry Board. The Judicial Inquiry Board has the authority to conduct investigations, receive or initiate complaints concerning any member of the judiciary, and file complaints with the Illinois Courts Commission.
Judge Foreman was admitted to the bar in 1953. Prior to becoming a judge in 1977, he was a seasoned trial attorney with the law firm of Rudnick & Wolfe for 24 years. He became a senior partner in the firm, Rudnick, Wolfe, Snyderman & Foreman in 1972.
He received a B.A. from Roosevelt University in 1950 and an LL.B. from IIT/Chicago Kent College of Law in 1952.
He was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Decalogue Society of Lawyers.
Funeral arrangements are pending.