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May 01, 2023

Longtime Illinois advocate for civility and professionalism honored with ABA ethics award

CHICAGO, May 1, 2023 – Jayne R. Reardon, a former trial attorney who became one of the nation’s leaders in lawyer professionalism and ethics, is the 2023 recipient of the Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award, one of the American Bar Association’s top ethics honors. The award recognizes an individual whose contributions reflect the highest level of dedication to legal professionalism. 

A University of Michigan J.D graduate, Reardon joined the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) as disciplinary counsel after a career as a trial attorney. She spent a decade in that role, enforcing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and studying recurring disciplinary issues. In 2006, she was appointed deputy director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and in 2009 was appointed executive director, where she remained until her retirement in 2021.

The Commission on Professionalism is charged with promoting greater integrity, professionalism and civility among both lawyers and judges in Illinois; fostering a commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness within the legal and judicial systems; and ensuring the legal and judicial systems provide equitable, efficient and effective service to Illinois citizens.

Reardon also served as an ABA leader in various roles, including chairing the Standing Committee on Professionalism, and her current role as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Protection. Through her work on ethics and professionalism, she became nationally recognized as a thought leader, lecturer, teacher and commentator about civility and professionalism in the legal system.

“There are few people who have dedicated so much time, passion and energy to improving the profession,” wrote a fellow lawyer in nominating Reardon for consideration.

The award is named in honor of Michael Franck, the late director of the State Bar of Michigan and long-time champion of improvements in lawyer regulation in the public interest. It will be presented to Reardon on June 1 at the National Conference on Professional Responsibility in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

The Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR) Coordinating Council, which consists of the chairs of the committees and commissions that are housed within CPR, made the selection.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews).