Justice Robert Steigmann is the 2019 honoree for the Richard J. Elrod Public Service Award. The award was bestowed upon Justice Steigmann at the Jewish Judges Association of Illinois 17th Annual Awards and Installation Dinner on October 30, 2019. The award's namesake, Richard J. Elrod, devoted his entire career to public service and has often been heralded as one of the hardest working judges in Cook County.
Justice Steigmann received two degrees from the University of Illinois: a B.S. in 1965 and a J.D. in 1968. After he was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1968, he was a staff attorney with the Illinois Legislative Reference Bureau. From 1968 to 1976, he served as an assistant State's Attorney and in 1976 was elected as a circuit judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. In 1989, he was assigned to the appellate court in the Fourth District and was elected in 1994. Bob has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and in the Illinois Police Training Institute. From 1997 to 1999, he also served as a faculty member of the New York University Law School Institute of Judicial Administration.
Known as one of the finest legal minds in the judiciary, he is a frequent lecturer on criminal law and the rules of evidence. He co-authored with Professor Michael Graham Illinois Evidentiary Foundations and is a co-author of the three-volume treatise Illinois Evidence Manual, which he updates annually. He has written numerous articles on the law, lectured to prosecutors, police, and the general public, and has been a guest for 38 years on Champaign radio station WDWS-AM discussing the law.