Hon. James F. HoldermanHon. James F. Holderman

United States District Court Judge
Northern District of Illinois





Judge James F. Holderman has been a United States District Judge of the Northern District of Illinois since 1985, and was the chief judge of that court from July 1, 2006 to July 1, 2013.  During his more than twenty-five years on the bench, 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 federal bench by President Ronald Reagan, Judge Holderman was a partner in the international law firm now known as Dentons, 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 United States Department of Justice awards for distinguished service.

Judge Holderman is the immediate past-chair of 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. 

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 at several law schools, including the University of Chicago College of Law, the Chicago-Kent College of Law, The John Marshall Law School, and the University of Illinois College of Law, where for more than twenty years he has taught an intensive course titled "Intellectual Property Trial Advocacy" with his wife Paula Hudson Holderman, who is an attorney and currently the president of the Illinois State Bar Association.

In 2012, Judge Holderman was named the 2012 Distinguished Intellectual Property Professional of the Year by the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association.  He was also awarded the Justice John Paul Stevens Award by the Chicago Bar Association, as well as the Mark T. Banner Award by the ABA Section on Intellectual Property Law.  He has received additional awards and honors from various other bar associations and organizations, including the Chicago American Inn of Court, the Illinois Bar Foundation, the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, and the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago.

Judge Holderman has been 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.