My name is Brad Rau. I’m 58 years old and was born in Decatur, Illinois. My wife Jill and I will be celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary this year. We are the parents of three boys: Bradford Jr., Christian, and Brendan. In 2004, Jill and I moved with our sons from Decatur to Sullivan, where we’ve made our home ever since.

Our oldest son, Bradford Jr., has followed in my footsteps and is now the Shelby County Public Defender. He is married to Jenny (Buxton) Rau of Sullivan. Our son Christian is a graduate of Truman State University and works part time at Lakeland Community College. Our youngest son, Brendan, is a junior at Sullivan High School.

Jill and I are both members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mattoon.


            I graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 1976. Four years later, I graduated from Illinois Weslyan University with a double major in biology and business administration. In 1983, I obtained my law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and I’ve been licensed to practice law since then.


            During my time practicing law, I’ve had several jobs throughout central Illinois. From 1983-86, I worked for the firm of Routman & Lawley in Springfield, Illinois. From 1986-88, I worked for Elder & Elder in Sullivan, Illinois. Then, from 1988-97, I worked for over 9 years in the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office in Decatur, Illinois. During that time I handled juvenile, traffic and misdemeanor cases, and spent over seven years in the felony division, handling hundreds of felony prosecutions, numerous murder trials, and serious drug offense cases. While at the drug division, I worked closely with State Police Task Force X.

            In 1997, I took a position as an Assistant Public Defender in Macon County and opened my own law practice. While working as an Assistant Public Defender, I became partner at Morthland, Morthland, Kehoe & Rau, P.C. I handled up to 350 felony public defense cases a year, while simultaneously maintaining a family and divorce practice at my private firm.

            In 2002, I left my public defense job and opened a satellite office of MMKR in Sullivan, where I shared an office with McLaughlin & Florini. In 2004, I was appointed as Moultrie County Public Defender by Judge Dan L. Flannell. I served in that capacity for more than a decade. I maintained a private solo practice in Sullivan from 2004-11, during which time I shared offices with McLaughlin & Florini and Elder & Elder. In 2011, I opened the law firm of Rau, Elder & Associates, which I owned and managed until my appointment to the bench in 2017. Rau, Elder & Associates was a general legal practice, with an emphasis on criminal, divorce, child custody and probate law.

            In 2017, I was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created when Judge Dan L. Flannell retired on January 13, 2017. I was honored and humbled to be selected by the appointment committee, and I look forward to continuing my career in public service. 



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