The Trusted Adviser
June 2015 | Volume 8 · Number 5


ATG President Peter J. Birnbaum Appointed Chief Justice, Illinois Court of Claims

Peter Birnbaum photo

Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Peter J. Birnbaum, president and CEO, Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG®), as chief justice of the Illinois Court of Claims. Birnbaum has served as a judge on the Court since 2004.

The Illinois Court of Claims was established by the legislature in 1889 as a forum of limited jurisdiction to render decisions on monetary claims and lawsuits against the state. Birnbaum is one of seven judges on the Court of Claims. They are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Illinois Senate. “I am honored to be chosen by Governor Rauner to lead the court, and I welcome the challenges and responsibility that go with the role of chief justice,” Birnbaum said. “It is a privilege to serve on a court that plays an integral role in determining the rights and responsibilities of the state and its citizens.

During his tenure, Birnbaum has provided leadership for the court in a number of areas, for example, cases involving soldiers killed in the line of duty. He also has authored several significant opinions including Dorsey v. State, a case involving a State Trooper who killed two young girls while he was texting and driving at reckless speeds.

In October 2014, the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, presented its 16th Annual Distinguished Award for Excellence to Birnbaum. In 2011, he was inducted as a laureate in the Academy of Illinois Lawyers, the highest honor bestowed by the Illinois State Bar Association, for his lifetime of service to the public and the profession.

A past president of the alumni board and current member of the board of overseers for the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Birnbaum was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the college in 2004. In 2013, he was named one of the college’s 125 Alumni of Distinction over its 125-year history for his outstanding professional and community service achievements. He was elected to the board of the American Land Title Association in 2009 and currently serves as treasurer.

Birnbaum joined ATG in 1981 and was named president and CEO in 1991. Founded in 1964, ATG has evolved under Birnbaum’s leadership into a family of companies offering a broad spectrum of services to nearly 4,000 lawyers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. He lives in Chicago with his wife Juliet and children Madeline, Ben and Lucy.

[Last update: 6-3-15]

Back to Issue