Chief Judge James F. Holderman has been a United States District Judge in Chicago since 1985, and has been the Chief Judge of the Northern District of Illinois since July 1, 2006. During his more than twenty-five years on the bench, Chief Judge Holderman has presided over numerous cases in all areas of federal jurisdiction, and has also served by designation on judicial panels of the United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for the Federal Circuit.
Before his appointment to the United States District Court, Chief Judge Holderman was a partner in the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (now SNR Denton), where he specialized in federal court litigation throughout the United States. Before his years in private practice, he was an assistant United States attorney in Chicago and received several Department of Justice awards for distinguished service.
Chief Judge Holderman currently chairs the ABA's Commission on the American Jury, served as co-chair of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association American Jury Project Commission, is a founding member of the ongoing Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program, and sits on the seven-member board of the Federal Judicial Center, chaired by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. Chief Judge Holderman has been a speaker at numerous judicial and bar association seminars, both nationally and internationally. Over the past three decades, Judge Holderman has taught various courses at several law schools, including the University of Chicago, the Chicago-Kent College of Law, The John Marshall Law School, and the University of Illinois College of Law, where for twenty years he taught an intensive course titled AIntellectual Property Trial Advocacy@ with his wife, Adjunct Professor Paula Hudson Holderman.
In 2012, Chief Judge Holderman received the "Justice John Paul Stevens Award" from the Chicago Bar Association and the "Mark T. Banner Award" from the ABA Section on Intellectual Property Law. Additionally, he was named the "The 2012 Distinguished Intellectual Property Professional of the Year" by the Intellectual Property Owner's Association. He has also received awards and honors from various other bar associations and organizations including the Chicago Inn of Court, the Illinois Bar Foundation, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois, and the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago.
Chief Judge Holderman is a contributing author of the Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook published by the ABA and has written numerous articles for law reviews and other legal publications on various legal topics. While he was in private practice, he represented the members of the ABA before the United States Congress on ways to improve the rules and procedures applied by the United States Courts. He received both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and during law school served as the managing editor of the law review.