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Robert L. Carter


Robert L. CarterAppellate Judge
Robert L. Carter
Third District

Justice Carter of Ottawa, Illinois, has been a judge in the State of Illinois since 1979 and was assigned to the Appellate Court, Third District, on September 1, 2006.  He was elected Circuit Judge in 1988 and became Chief Judge in 1993, keeping a full caseload.  In December 2002, Judge Carter was elected Chair of the Conference of Chief Judges and re-elected in 2003 and 2005. He holds A.B. (1968) and J.D. (1974) degrees from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and a Master of Arts (1974) in Administration from Sangamon State University.  He completed a one-week course in mediation at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, in the summer
of 2001. 

In 1969-70, Judge Carter served in the United States Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.  He was a law clerk to Justice Howard C. Ryan of the Illinois Supreme Court in 1974-1975 and engaged in the general private practice of law from 1975-79.

Since 1980, by appointment of the Illinois Supreme Court, Judge Carter has been a frequent lecturer at judicial education programs for Illinois judges on such topic areas as jury trials, evidence, contempt and domestic relations.  In 2005, he taught and chaired a seminar on Judicial Administration and Management.  In 1998, Judge Carter served on the Judicial Mentor Training Committee to assist in the implementation of the Illinois Supreme Court's mentoring program for new judges.  Judge Carter is past president of the Illinois Judges Association and a member of its Board of Directors.  He is Chairman of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee on Family Violence issues.  He is a member of and past post commander of the American Legion, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Illinois and LaSalle County Bar Associations.

A lifelong resident of Illinois, Judge Carter is married to Nancy Rink Carter, an attorney, and they have two children, Mary and Matthew.