Friday, January 17, 2014

Chris Lawler: In his own words

Judge Chris Lawler is a candidate for the Sterba vacancy in the 15th Judicial Subcircuit. His punch number is 176.

Before being appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County and sworn in on July 8, 2013, I was a trial attorney for 25 years. I represented both plaintiffs and defendants in all types of personal injury matters. Due to my extensive jury trial experience, I was invited to become an Associate Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). My experience trying plaintiff and defense cases also resulted in my being appointed as the Independent Arbitrator by my colleagues on numerous arbitration files.

My courtroom and arbitration experience gave me the knowledge and training that I have been using on the Bench to make very difficult rulings in both civil and criminal matters. In the 6 months that I have served in the Markham Courthouse, I have handled various civil matters including personal injury, joint actions (evictions), collections, and paternity cases. I have also heard criminal matters including traffic, misdemeanor, and domestic violence cases. Unlike in my law practice, the majority of the people appearing before me have not been represented by attorneys.

I believe that I have demonstrated the required skills and knowledge that justify the "well qualified" rating that I received from Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke's Judicial Evaluation Committee; as well as the ratings of Qualified, Recommended, and Highly Qualified that I received from all the participating Bar Association groups who reviewed my credentials.

I also believe that my involvement in the communities where I live and work has provided me with a vast knowledge of the needs of the people who appear before me. For the past 11 years, I have been a member of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors and Board of Advisors. I also serve as the Division Chair for Child, Youth & Family Services and I am a member of the Family & Parish Support Committee. My wife and I were also past Presidents of the Adoptive Parents' Guild of Catholic Charities. I have been a member of the Board of Directors of Marist High School in Chicago for the past 9 years and served as Chairman of the Board from 2008 - 2013. I continue to serve on the Executive Committee for Marist's President. My family and I volunteer with and financially support the Maple/Morgan Food Pantry. I feel that my continued involvement in the communities where I live and work has given me an awareness of the needs of the people that appear before me and an appreciation for the issues and problems facing the people in the areas that I serve.

I want to continue to serve as a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. For the majority of the people who appear before me, this will be their only legal experience and exposure to our Court system. I try to make sure that the people who appear before me feel that they have been treated fairly and with the respect that they deserve and that I would hope to receive. Even though some of them may not be happy with my rulings and decisions, I hope that they feel that I have allowed them to have their say, listened to their arguments, and made a ruling based on the law.

No comments: