Sunday, March 04, 2018

Keely Patricia Hillison: In her own words

Keely Patricia Hillison is a candidate for the countywide Flanagan vacancy. Her punch number is 137.

I have a unique combination of extensive trial court, appellate court, and arbitration experience. For the past 29 years, I have worked in courtrooms on a daily basis, both downtown and at suburban courthouses. I have handled dozens of trials, dozens of appellate court oral arguments, hundreds of appeals, and hundreds of arbitrations. I have the knowledge, experience, integrity, patience and temperament to be a good judge.

I have worked at the same downtown law firm for the past 29 years and have risen to the rank of partner in Parrillo Weiss LLC. I handle every aspect of civil litigation, including jury trials in personal injury cases, property damage cases, and insurance coverage cases as well as non-jury trials in contract cases and insurance coverage cases.

I supervise the firm's insurance law and appellate practices. I have argued appeals in the Supreme Court of Illinois, the Appellate Court of Illinois, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. I have researched and written hundreds of briefs about a variety of legal issues which judges and attorneys encounter during trials but seldom have time to research in depth.

For the past 17 years, I have also served as an arbitrator and chair-arbitrator of mandatory arbitration hearings in the Circuit Court of Cook County, presiding at evidentiary hearings and making the same types of rulings as are made by judges during trials.

I am active in several bar associations, as a mentor to new attorneys in a Chicago Bar Association program, a member of the Board of Directors of the Appellate Lawyers Association, and co-chairperson of the Appellate Lawyers Association Sponsorship Committee. For many years, I have been a judge of the Appellate Lawyers Association's annual Moot Court Competition, serving on panels of three lawyers who act as "Supreme Court Justices" while hearing, questioning, and critiquing law school students' oral arguments. I am also active in the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.

I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then returned to Champaign to earn the degree of Juris Doctor Cum Laude from the University of Illinois College of Law. During law school, I earned an American Jurisprudence Award for Real Property and was twice honored as a Harno Scholar.

I grew up in Cook County and raised my children here, too, living in Mt. Prospect, Chicago, Brookfield, and finally, Western Springs, where I live now with my husband, Bob, son, Joe, and daughter, Jamie. Jamie attends college in Minnesota. Joe has special needs and is striving to enter the work force someday.

Raising a child with special needs has taught me so much. Above all, I learned to be calm, patient, practical and respectful with everyone, even, and especially, in difficult situations. Between my experience at home and my experience at work, I am prepared to deal with anyone or anything I may encounter as a judge and to do so fairly, courteously, and effectively.

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