Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Bonnie C. McGrath: In her own words

Bonnie C. McGrath is a candidate for the Fabri vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit. Her punch number is 156.


I am a lawyer with an outstanding record of public service, commitment to the law, and a fine temperament--qualities needed to serve the public in a dignified and unbiased manner.

A lawyer for 24 years, I have done just about everything. As a prosecutor for the City of Chicago, I became an expert in vehicle impoundment law, advising lawyers from Michigan who had to argue an impoundment case before the U.S. Supreme Court; appearing on MSNBC to debate the legal issues; and leading discussions on the topic at bar association meetings. I also advised Cook County judges and the Chicago City Council on the subject.

Later, as a general practitioner, I practiced in every division of the Cook County Court. I also completed 30 criminal appeals, nine cases in juvenile court, and have decided hundreds of cases as a chair-qualified arbitrator in Cook County.

I have done hundreds of bench trials. I have also done counseling in family, probate, juvenile arrest, employment, landlord-tenant and bankruptcy law as a pro bono attorney.

I have taught law in various settings to lawyers, law students, college students, paralegal students and high school students. And I have written voluminously about the law.

I won three awards for legal writing from the Chicago Bar Association, and one of my articles has been cited in a law review. I’ve contributed to legal handbooks and I have had regular columns in the Illinois Bar Journal, and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. I have been on the Chicago Bar Association editorial board for 26 years. I am also on the CBA Public Affairs Committee.

My bar leadership has been outstanding. I have chaired several CBA Committees--including the Criminal Law and Bench/Bar Relations committees, and I was president of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. I have participated in scores of bar association projects and panels.

Many of my former law professors, and judges who know me, have referred cases to me dealing with their own friends and family, which is an honor and a vote of confidence concerning my abilities.

I also won the Chicago Bar Association Pro Bono Award for Sole Practitioners, which is NOT an award that you apply for. THEY find YOU! I also started a pro bono civil order of protection desk in Maywood, supervising scores of attorneys, which won an award from the American Bar Association.

I spent 15 years on the John Howard Association Board--a prison watchdog/reform group—and have visited prisons around Illinois and every division of the Cook County Jail numerous times. This has given me insight into the world of incarceration and alternatives to incarceration.

I am also a journalist, which has helped me develop objectivity and lack of bias. I have 24 major journalism awards, proving that I have integrity, objectivity and a lack of bias. I had a regular column in the Chicago Tribune in the 1990s, and was a contributing writer for the Chicago Reader for decades.

Several years ago, I was included in the Today’s Chicago Woman list of “women making a difference.”

I also spent five years in the 1970s as a telephone installer for Illinois Bell and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 165.

I am a volunteer at the Glessner House Museum and I am on the boards of Art Encounter, Intuit Gallery and Project Onward (for artists with developmental disabilities and mental illness. (My daughter, who is autistic, is an artist there).

I am also on the boards of Cedille Records, a not-for-profit recording company, Friends of Downtown, Picosa Ensemble, and my homeowners association in the South Loop. And I am very involved with the Lyric opera and the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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2 comments:

Sheila Jones said...

It is an honor to know and collaborate with you as a active Member) Volunteer of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, Bonnie. Your dignity and respect for the rights of others and passion for the Arts serves your life commitment to Justice well. Continue please...

Bonnie McGrath said...

wow!!! just seeing this lovely comment, albeit a month late.. thanks so much, Sheila!!!