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June 17, 2024

Minnesota appeals judge, Illinois court commission to receive ABA civility awards

CHICAGO, June 17, 2024 – The American Bar Association Judicial Division announced today that the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and Judge Peter M. Reyes Jr. of the Minnesota Court of Appeals will receive the Honorable William D. Missouri Civility Award for 2024.

The award honors judges and legal professionals who exhibit exceptional qualities of civility, courtesy and professionalism toward colleagues, litigants and the public. It is named in honor of the late Judge William D. Missouri of Maryland, who embodied courtesy in the courtroom.

Reyes was nominated by Marcella Holland, former judge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. “Judge Reyes is a true gentleman, always civil, understanding and caring,” Holland wrote. “In meetings, he is the one that always has the calm, well thought out and kindest answer to an issue or a problem. Having known Judge Bill Missouri and having been mentored by him, I am sure he would be extremely pleased to have Judge Reyes receive this honor in his name.”

Daihana Estrada, an associate with Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Chicago who clerked for Reyes, also wrote to support him for the award. “Judge Reyes's dedication to fostering an atmosphere of respect and civility is evident in every aspect of his interactions, whether with colleagues, litigants or members of the public,” she wrote. “In the courtroom, Judge Reyes consistently demonstrates patience, attentiveness and a willingness to listen, ensuring that all parties are afforded the opportunity to be heard and understood.”

Reyes has served on the Minnesota Court of Appeals since 2014. He is a member of the ABA House of Delegates and chairs the Judicial Division’s Ethics and Professionalism Committee. He is a former president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association.

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism promotes integrity, professionalism and civility among lawyers and judges in the state, fosters commitment to eliminating bias and divisiveness in the courts and ensures that the justice system provides equitable, effective and efficient resolution of problems and disputes.

The commission was nominated for the Missouri Award by several Illinois legal leaders, including Illinois Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Rochford, Illinois Appellate Court Justices Michael Hyman and Debra Walker, former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Thomas, former commission chair Martin Sinclair Jr. and Daniel Cotter of Dickinson Wright in Chicago, on behalf of the ABA Annual Meeting Host Committee

Among its many projects, the commission recently began an anti-bullying study, to be followed by programming and action. “Bullying presents a very real challenge for our professional communities and Illinois is in the lead in addressing the problem through the work of the commission,” Rochford wrote in her nominating letter. The commission, she concluded, “helps us to be better, and do better, every day.”

The Missouri Awards will be presented July 31 at the 2024 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. ABA President Mary Smith will present the awards during a judicial reception at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The event is free and open to all Annual Meeting registrants.

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 X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.