Robert Dow

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Robert Dow
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Court Information:
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #3T
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   12/5/2007 - Present
Preceded by:   Charles Kocoras
Personal History
Born:   1965
Hometown:   Madison, WI
Undergraduate:   Yale U., B.A., 1987
Law School:   Harvard Law School, J.D., 1993
Grad. School:   U. of Oxford, D. Phil., 1990

Robert Michael Dow, Jr. is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, one of the busiest federal courts in the nation. He joined the court in 2007 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.

Early life and education

A native of Wisconsin, Dow was a graduate of Yale University in 1987, earned a PhD from Oxford University in 1990 and graduated from Harvard with his law degree in 1993.[1]

Professional career

After law school, Dow was a law clerk for Judge Joel Flaum in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1993 to 1994 before becoming a private practice attorney from 1995 until 2007.[1]

Judicial career

Northern District of Illinois

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Dow was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by President George W. Bush on July 17, 2007, to a seat vacated by Charles Kocoras. Dow was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 13, 2007 and received his commission on December 5, 2007.[1]

Notable cases

Wealthy developer bribes Chicago Alderman (2010)

     United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (United States, v. Calvin Boender and Isaac Sims Carothers, 09-cr-186-1)

Judge Dow was the presiding judge in the trial of Chicago real estate developer Calvin Boender for bribery, illegal campaign contributions, and obstruction of justice. In March of 2010, Boender was convicted of bribing a former West Side alderman, Isaac "Ike" Carothers, in exchange for his support on a development project.[2]

Boender, in 2000, bought 50 acres of land in Chicago's Armitage Industrial Corridor; at the time, the parcel was zoned for manufacturing, and was the city's largest undeveloped tract of land. Boender intended to build a residential and retail community on the land, but Chicago's Department of Planning and Development intended on designating the corridor as a manufacturing district.[3]

The wealthy developer made campaign donations, along with his wife, to the congressional campaign of Carothers' aunt, and spent about $40,000 on home repairs for the alderman. Carothers' influence helped Boender acquire favorable zoning designations, as well as an additional parcel of land.[3]

Subsequently, the parties were investigated, indicted, and then charged. In June of 2010, Boender was sentenced by Judge Robert Dow to 46 months in federal prison; Carothers, who cooperated in the investigation, was sentenced to 28 months in prison.[4]

Early in the case, Boender's attorney Robert Sanger drew attention when he indicated he might call Mayor Richard Daley and 10 other aldermen to testify for the defense, but none were called.[2] Boender later appealed to the Seventh Circuit, but his arguments were rejected and they declined to overturn his conviction.[3]

The opinion in Boender's appeal may be found here.

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
Charles Kocoras
Northern District of Illinois
Seat #3T
Succeeded by: