Judge Joel Flaum, Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Joel Flaum

Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Joel Martin Flaum was born in November 1936 in Hudson, New York. He earned an undergraduate degree from Union College and a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law. He also holds a Master of Laws from the same institution. He was a United States Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander in the JAG Corps for 12 years. 

He was in private practice in Chicago, Illinois, before entering into public service as an Assistant State’s Attorney of Cook County, Illinois, for four years. He served as a lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law, and founded the Police Legal Advisory Program there. 

Flaum was an Assistant Attorney General of Illinois and later became First Assistant Attorney General of Illinois. He then served as First Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. 

He was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by President Gerald Ford and served there for nearly ten years, when he was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He was confirmed by the Senate and received his commission in May 1983. He served as Chief Judge for six years, and assumed senior status in 2020. 

In the News…

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will need to recalculate the restitution owed by an Indiana woman who was convicted of stealing thousands of dollars by creating fake credit cards after the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated its remanded order for a second time. 

The woman and two other co-participants, created 647 fake credit cards and made $52,631.15 in fraudulent purchases. She was convicted in 2019, and sentenced to 60 months incarceration. In addition, she was ordered to pay over $50,000 in restitution. 

Legal arguments, decisions and appeals went back and forth over the judgment on restitution, who was responsible for it, who should be the recipients, and in what amounts. 

In the most recent decision, Seventh Circuit Senior Judge Joel Flaum wrote for the court, “The district court procedurally erred when it did not address [the woman’s] argument for joint and several liability and explain why sole liability—a more onerous sentence—was appropriate after remand.” In addition the district court was instructed to address the woman’s arguments concerning her ability to make restitution, claiming indigency. 

On the final point, Judge Flaum found since the second restitution order was vacated on the first two points, it needed not opine on what procedures were necessary prior to its entry. “However, as noted above, the district court is not precluded from exercising its discretion to hold another sentencing hearing on remand,” Flaum wrote. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Flaum today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Joel Flaum 
Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 
Everett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse 
219 S. Dearborn St. 
Chicago, IL 60604 


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