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Robert B. Spence

Of Counsel

Judge Robert B. Spence

Judge Robert B. Spence spent the first 20 years of his legal career in the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office, and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. During that time, he tried 17 First Degree Murder cases and numerous criminal sexual assault cases and drug trafficking cases. He spent every day in the courtroom for many years, gaining a high level of comfort appearing before judges and juries. Toward the end of that career, he supervised over 60 prosecutors working out of Chicago and Springfield, learning the ins-and-outs of leading people. It was in the trial courts where Judge Spence acquired a working knowledge of the Illinois Rules of Evidence and the Hearsay Rule, subjects he later lectured on while teaching police officers and prosecutors.

In 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously appointed Judge Spence to the Circuit Court of Kane County. From 2001 until 2019, Judge Spence served as a Kane County Circuit Judge, presiding over thousands of criminal, civil, and family cases. Judge Spence served in the Family Division for almost six years. In presiding over hearings in over 5,000 divorce cases during that time, he developed unique insights into the nuances of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

In 2011, the other Kane County Circuit Judges elected him as Chief Judge, making him responsible for the operation of the entire Kane County court system, which includes over 200 employees. As Chief Judge, Judge Spence helped improve the efficiency of the court system in a number of ways, but undoubtedly the most important was simplifying and streamlining the procedure for victims of domestic violence to obtain Orders of Protection. Judge Spence personally issued hundreds of Orders of Protection for victims of domestic violence.

In 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court assigned Judge Spence to the Second District Illinois Appellate Court, which hears all appeals from the northern 13 counties in Illinois. In his seven years on the Appellate Court, Judge Spence drafted over 500 opinions in divorce cases, criminal cases, and all types of civil cases. Judge Spence retired from the bench in 2019.

Judge Spence and his wife, Janet, have lived in Kane County since they married in 1982. Janet retired from her teaching position in the Wheaton public school system in 2020. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and a young grand-daughter (most-beautiful-child-ever).

In his personal life, Judge Spence has served others in a variety of ways. He served on the board of directors of Gospel Justice Initiative, a faith-based organization that has created over 100 legal aid clinics in cities around the country to provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford an attorney. Judge Spence has been a long-time supporter of Administer Justice legal aid clinics, and he and Janet have volunteered locally with Hesed House, Wayside Cross Ministries, and Feed My Starving Children.

The Spences are long-time members of Christ Community Church. Since 2008, Judge Spence has led 300+ people on over 25 mission trips to Mexico and Nicaragua. These trips have focused on providing medical care, building homes and churches, rebuilding schools, training Nicaraguan police officers, and providing professional development and training for teachers in poor rural areas.

Judge Spence is driven toward finding solutions for difficult circumstances. His vast experience in the court system gives him a unique perspective to meet the needs of clients.


  • John Marshall Law School, J.D.
  • Taylor University, B.S.
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