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Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council picks new co-chairs

The Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council has two new co-chairs to the Steering Committee: Judges Maureen Schuette and Joseph G. McGraw.

Schuette (left) is an associate judge in the Family Division in the 3rd Judicial Circuit, Madison County. She served as the presiding supervising judge of the Family Division from October 2017 to May 2021. She was appointed to the bench in October of 2015. Prior to her appointment on the bench, she practiced law for more than 25 years. She had her own practice, Schuette Law Office, in Edwardsville for 22 years. During that time, she was a guardian ad litem and mediator in hundreds of cases and served as an arbitrator.

Schuette is a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee, a member of the ISBA Family Law Section Council, and a member of the ISBA Bench & Bar Section Council. She is also a member of the Madison County Bar Association and the Tri-City Bar Association. She is the co-chair of the 3rd Judicial Circuit Family Violence Prevention Council and the co-chair of the Court Committee. She is also the co-chair of the PILI 3rd Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee. Schuette co-chaired the 3rd Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Accountability Court, one of the first in the state, and the Child Support Accountability Court, one of the first in the United States.

She attended the University of Puget Sound School of Law in Tacoma, Wash., and obtained her undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.

McGraw(right) is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A. – 1978) and Northern Illinois University – College of Law (J.D. – 1985). McGraw was appointed as a circuit judge by the Illinois Supreme Court in January 2002 and was elected to his position in November 2002. He was the presiding judge in Boone County from 2002 – 2003. He has served as the presiding judge of the Criminal Division from 2004 to present. Judge McGraw served as chief judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court from Jan. 1, 2012, to Dec. 31, 2017.

McGraw served as the chairman of the Illinois Conference of Chief Judges, from Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 1, 2018. He is the current chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Equality, and an active member of the Illinois Supreme Court Special Committees on Judicial Ethics, the Supreme Court’s e-Business Policy Advisory Board, the Civil Justice Committee, and the Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee. He is a former member of the Minimum Continuing Legal Education (M.C.L.E.) Committee.

McGraw is an adjunct instructor at Rockford University and Judson University. He is a regular instructor for the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor’s Trial Advocacy Program, a previous ED CON instructor on Post-Conviction Petitions and Extended Media Coverage in the court, and a current ED CON instructor on Administrative Issues for Supervising and Presiding Judges, Deliberative Decision Making, and Human Trafficking. He is a former faculty member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Capital Litigation.

McGraw is currently working to develop a multidisciplinary approach to combat human trafficking in Illinois courts.

Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott was the chairperson of the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council Steering Committee from October 2014 to May 2021.

The Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Councils, at both the state and local/circuit levels, provide a forum to improve the institutional, professional and community response to family violence including intimate partner abuse, child abuse, teen dating violence, and abuse against older adults and people with disabilities. Councils provide professional education and prevention; coordinate interventions and services for victims and perpetrators; and contribute to both the improvement of the legal system and the administration of justice.

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