Deidre Baumann runs for Cook County Circuit Court Judge (Cook County, IL) — If elected as Cook County Circuit Court Judge, Deidre Baumann said she’d treat everyone who comes before her with respect and dignity, a mentality that must trickle down to staff members from the top.
“The judge has to make sure that all of the staff within the courtroom (including) the clerk, the sheriff, any translators, everyone, has to know this is a place where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. If you start from the top and insist on that, the people appearing before you appreciate that,” she said, noting that includes accommodating the needs of those who need translators and confirming the pronouns a transgender individual prefer the court use.
“Simple things like that, treating people like they should be treated, makes a lot of difference to give people in the courtroom some assurance that there’s fairness, there’s justice and that the law is being applied equally to all people,” she continued.
Baumann said she’s uniquely qualified for the role due to her 30 years practicing law at state, federal and appellate levels.
She’s litigated on a variety of issues including personal injury, civil rights and employment discrimination. She’s worked for the Cook County Public Defender’s office, assisting with felony jury trials. She went on to work for a firm specializing in first amendment law. There, she represented persons restrained from engaging in constitutionally protected speech. She was lead counsel in the Burr Oak Cemetery litigation, filing the first class action suit in the case. Now, she’s the owner of her own civil litigation practice, Baumann & Shuldiner.
She’s seen the system improve over the years in different ways. That’s in terms of bail reform, specialty courts and restorative justice courts. But she said she’d like to continue to push for more positive changes.
“These are all things I’ve been very passionate about over the years and I’m finally seeing some changes in the system so I think my experience and my passion will serve me well as a judge,” Baumann said.
She’s spent her career representing “the underrepresented or people who don’t always have a voice in society,” which has informed her world view, she said. She knows the world isn’t black and white and as a judge, she’d make sure clients on both sides of a case have a fair shot.
“I understand that everyone is equal before the law, regardless of your position in society,” she said.
Baumann has served as president of both the Decalogue Society of Lawyers and the Board of Decalogue Foundation. She has served on the executive boards for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association, Alliance for Women, and chaired the Suburban Bar Coalition for many years. She has additionally served on the Public Affairs and Interfaith Committees of the Chicago Bar Association.
She is an active member of the Bar. She chairs the general practice and small firm section council of the Illinois State Bar association. She currently holds the following roles:
Secretary for the Federal Civil Practice Committee of the Illinois State Bar
Board of director for the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association
Board of director for the Board of Decalogue Foundation
Board member of the Lane Tech Alumni Association
- Member of the Southland Black Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Deidre Baumann runs for Cook County Circuit Court Judge