Justice Rita B. Garman has announced that she is retiring from the bench, effective July 7, 2022. Justice Garman is the longest-serving judge in the State of Illinois.
Justice Garman was first appointed to the circuit court in 1974. At that time, she was the first female judge to serve in the Fifth Judicial Circuit and one of only eight female judges in the State. In 1995, she was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth Judicial District, and elected to that position the next year. She has served on the Illinois Supreme Court since 2001, including serving as Chief Justice from 2013 to 2016.
Before serving on the bench, Justice Garman was an Assistant State's Attorney in Vermilion County and was engaged in private practice with Sebat, Swanson, Banks, Lessen & Garman. Justice Garman received her J.D. degree with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1968 and her B.S. degree in economics with highest honors from the University of Illinois in 1965, Bronze Tablet. She graduated as valedictorian of Oswego High School in 1961.
Justice Garman's full statement announcing her retirement may be found here.
The Appellate Lawyers Association thanks Justice Garman for her distinguished, groundbreaking career and commitment to public service, and wishes her the best in her retirement.