In Memory of Peter M. Shannon, Jr.

Peter M. Shannon, Jr.

Peter M. Shannon, Jr.

Mr. Peter Michael Shannon, Jr., former CDEL Board Member passed away on Monday, April 21, 2014.

In 2010, the Center for Disability & Elder Law (CDEL) honored Peter with the Pro Bono Lifetime Service Award at CDEL’s 2010 Winter Awards Gala.  This special award recognizes a lifetime achievement for outstanding dedication and service in the provision of pro bono legal services to low-income and/or indigent persons with disabilities.  As a parent of a child with special needs, Peter understood the inherent inequalities that exist regarding the significant lack of resources and attorneys available to advocate on behalf of children with disabilities.  Mr. Shannon argued numerous cases so that all children with special needs had the right to an appropriate public education as required under federal law.

In 2012, the CDEL Board of Governors unanimously voted to name Peter as a Lifetime Director of CDEL in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to our organization and to the field of disability rights. Peter will be sorely missed by all of us at CDEL.

In addition, Peter has received numerous awards and accolades which include the 1995 Pro Bono Service Awards of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Legal Clinic for the Disabled for his work related to representing children with developmental disabilities in their educational placement.  Peter was included in the “Who's Who in American Law,” “Who’s Who in America” and Who’s Who in Practicing Attorneys.”  Prior to entering private practice in 1980, Mr. Shannon served for three (3) years as the National Director of Interstate Commerce Commission’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement in Washington, D.C.  He also was a litigation attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.


In Memory of the Hon. Richard J. Elrod

Judge Elrod

Honorable Richard Jay Elrod

Judge Richard J. Elrod passed away peacefully in his home on Saturday April 19, 2014 from complications from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer at the age of 80. He was surrounded by his family.

PROFESSIONAL:  Judge Elrod devoted his entire career to public service. At the time of his death, he was serving as a Cook County Circuit Judge. He has often been heralded as one of the hardest working judges in the County. Judge Elrod handled numerous complex jury trials in a wide variety of civil actions, earning the respect of veteran attorneys. In addition to his trial calendar he worked with litigants and counsel in settlement conferences to help resolve disputes that would otherwise require much courtroom time. He has consistently received the highest ratings by all legal associations that evaluate judges for retention.He also served for 16 years as the Sheriff of Cook County, having been elected to four consecutive terms:








Judge Elrod’s bar association, civic and charitable work was extensive and multifaceted. Some of the organizations for which he has served in leadership positions include: the Jewish Judges Association of Illinois; Center for Disability & Elder Law (Board of Directors); Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago (President); Chicago Bar Association; National Council Boy Scouts of America; Safer/Pace Foundation; Grand Lodge of Masons of Illinois (33rd Degree); State of Israel Bonds (Chairman); B'nai B'rith Council of Greater Chicago; the Decalogue Society of Lawyers and the Medinah Shrine Police Unit and Legal Committee.

In the late 1960's, Elrod served as Chief City Prosecutor for the City of Chicago and as legal advisor to the Chicago Police Department. He was present at all mass demonstrations, protests, riots, and civil disturbances to advise and counsel police and to ensure that the civil and constitutional rights of the demonstrators were being protected. He was severely injured on October 11, 1969 during the demonstration led by the Weatherman Faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in downtown Chicago. Never letting his physical disability deter him, Judge Elrod successfully ran a county-wide campaign for Sheriff less than 12 months after his injury. He was elected to his first term as Cook County Sheriff on November 4, 1970.

Elrod's tenure as Cook County Sheriff is noted for the significant professionalism of the Sheriff's Department and for numerous reforms and accomplishments, including establishment of a Merit Board for selection of sworn personnel, the upgrade and renovation of the Cook County Jail, the establishment of the Youth Services Division, and the national accreditations of the county police and corrections departments. In 1983, he was elected President of the 3,000 member National Sheriff's Association.

AWARDS AND HONORS:  Judge Elrod received special recognition by more than 30 organizations, many of which have honored him as their “Man of the Year.”

Appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the United States President’s Child Safety Partnership (1986) Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Board of Trial Advocates (2011).

The Decalogue Society of Lawyers - Man of the Year (2012)

Elected President of the National Sheriff's Association (1983-1984)

Elected President of the Illinois Sheriff's Association (1978)

Mayor Richard J. Daley's Chicago Police Medal of Honor (1978)

National Institute of Municipal Law Officers, Man of the Year (1985)

Disabled American Veterans - Meritorious Service Award (2005)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Award

Illinois Security Chiefs Association - Outstanding Service Award

Chicago Bar Association - Bench and Bar Committee's Outstanding Service Award

Medinah Shriners - Community Service Award

Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry - Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement

Shaare Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel - Man of the Year

PERSONAL:  Judge Elrod is survived by his wife and best friend of 58 years, Marilyn Elrod. They both attended Northwestern University and graduated in 1955. Judge Elrod graduated with a degree in political science.Richard and Marilyn Elrod were married in June, 1955.

Elrod played football (guard) for the Northwestern Wildcats (1951-1954). He was also an All Star football player at Riverside Military Academy, Gainesville, GA (1947-1951).  Elrod attended Northwestern University Law School and earned his juris doctor degree in 1958.

Judge Elrod was the son of the late Cook County Commissioner and 24th Ward Committeeman, Arthur X. Elrod and Della Elrod Mulmat. He was the brother of the late Gloria Sheppard Bliss.

He was born on February 17, 1934 in Chicago, IL.

At the time of his death, he resided in Lincolnwood, IL.


Children: Steven Elrod: Executive Partner, Chicago office Holland & Knight LLP

Donna Elrod: President, Links North Shore Youth Health Service.

Audrey Lakin: President, Executive Productions Ltd

Ron Lakin, Sr.: Vice-President CBRE

Grandchildren: Elizabeth Mollen: President, Stone Textile, Austin Texas

Russell Mollen: Bares Capital Management

Daniel Elrod: Attorney, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Chicago IL

David Lakin: Teach for America, Yes Acadamy, Detroit, MI

Lauren Lakin: Student, University of Texas, Austin Texas

Judge Elrod was a mentor, friend and inspiration to everyone he met.

The Honorable Richard J. Elrod Memorial Fund