Jeffrey Cummings

Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse | United States District Court | Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 435-5670

Magistrate Judge Cummings earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1984 and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1987, where he was a member of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. From 1987 to 1989, he clerked for then-District Judge Ann Claire Williams in the Northern District of Illinois. Upon completion of his clerkship, he joined the firm of Miner Barnhill & Galland, PC, and became a partner in 1995, working there until he joined the bench. Judge Cummings has been a lecturer and speaker on such issues as voting rights, police accountability, and the federal rules of civil procedure. He was a guest lecturer at Notre Dame Law School and has taught trial advocacy at Northwestern Law School.

At Miner Barnhill & Galland, PC, Judge Cummings handled cases dealing with employment discrimination, civil rights, the Voting Rights Act, Section 1983 excessive force, housing discrimination, First Amendment, False Claims Act, and a variety of commercial litigation including breach of contract, tortious interference with a contract, fraud and consumer fraud. He has served as a hearing officer for the Chicago Police Board and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. During his 30-year legal career, Judge Cummings has been a speaker and panelist at several bar and community events addressing topics including the Voting Rights Act, civil procedures, and appellate issues.

Magistrate judges perform a variety of duties for the court, including conducting preliminary proceedings in federal criminal cases and the trial and disposition of federal misdemeanor cases upon consent of the litigants. They conduct various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings upon referral from a district judge of the court and the trial and disposition of federal civil cases upon consent of the litigants.

Magistrate Judge Cummings’ appointment became effective February 1, 2019. He will preside in Chicago, in the Eastern Division, and will immediately receive randomly-selected consent cases and civil referrals from his magistrate judge colleagues. He fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason. A public swearing-in ceremony will be held at a future date. Magistrate judges serve a renewable eight-year term.