1.) What is the importance of a 6th Circuit Judge to residents of Champaign County?
The role of judges in our society cannot be overstated. Codification and implementation of an orderly system of justice is a defining cornerstone of a civilized society. Judges are the interpreters and enforcers of the rules under which we live. Judges protect citizens from the unjust and unlawful actions of others. It is therefore critical to our citizens that we elect judges who have a thorough knowledge of the law and the courage to render unpopular decisions if the law and evidence require it.
2.) Why are you qualified to be a 6th Circuit Judge?
I have 36 years of experience in a broad-based, diverse practice in just about every kind of case. I have handled thousands of cases in most areas of the law and have tried numerous cases to both juries and to the court. I have practiced before every judge in every courtroom in the Champaign County Courthouse. I have made law in our state that other lawyers follow including a significant Illinois Supreme Court decision in the area of premises liability and 14 Illinois Appellate Court decisions. Not only do I have significant litigation experience, I also pride myself in my conduct with the members of our community, my colleagues in the bar, as well as the Judges and courtroom personnel. I will provide consults and discuss cases with any person regardless of race, gender, background or orientation. I do not pre-judge people. I do however, reserve the right to decline taking their case. I treat opposing counsel as adversaries, not enemies. I am on time to court and prepared. I consider myself to be a worthy adversary in the courtroom and a gentleman outside of it. I believe that courtesy and common decency are as important in a Judge as a thorough knowledge and understanding of the law.
3.) What areas of Law have you had substantial experience in?
I have tried multiple cases before juries and judges. I have extensive experience in civil and criminal cases including: felonies, misdemeanors, traffic, DUI, small claims, landlord-tenant, probate, wills, trusts, estates, real estate, mortgage foreclosure, mechanic’s liens, family law, divorce, custody, juvenile adjudication, domestic violence, orders of protection, stalking/no contact, civil negligence, products liability, medical malpractice, railroad litigation, motor vehicle litigation, common carrier litigation, dram shop and premises liability. Our local Judges routinely appoint me as Guardian ad Litem to represent disabled adults and children in cases involving divorce, adoption, guardianship, probate and real estate matters.
4.) Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
In addition to the trust and confidence our local judges have in my professional abilities by appointing me to be the voice of those who need to be heard as their Guardian ad Litem, my peers and colleagues have designated me as a Distinguished Member of the Bar with high ethical standards along with naming me an Illinois Leading Lawyer for 2018 and 2020. Being a lawyer is what I do, it is not who I am. Who I am is a lifelong Champaign County resident who is an intelligent, hard-working, kind courteous involved father of two college-age children. I have had my share of success and failure. I do not let success go to my head or let failure defeat me. Life is hard. We have a right to have Judges who have empathy, knowledge, understanding, courage and conviction to make the right decisions for the right reasons. I believe I am that person.