Presently, I serve as presiding judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County’s First Municipal District. I have held this position since January 31, 2003, and my office is located at 50 West Washington, Room 1301, Chicago, Illinois 60602. The First Municipal District includes civil and select criminal matters. Civil court sections include: civil jury and non-jury, forcible entry and detainer, housing, post judgment and supplemental proceedings, marriage and civil unions, and traffic. Criminal calls include: central bond court, felony preliminary hearings, and misdemeanor court. As presiding judge, I hear court calls as well as handle administrative duties.
I preside over the weekly consolidation call held Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 1307. This call consists of between 60 and 100 city of Chicago cases, as well as private disputes. In addition, at this time I may also hear arguments from litigants regarding transfer of cases or any other matter they feel has not been resolved. In addition, I hear torts and contracts non-jury civil cases that involve five or more witnesses. I routinely review applications to sue or defend as indigent person as well as routine motions. Routine motions include motions for special process server, motions for release and satisfaction of a judgment, and memorandums of judgment.
As presiding judge, I assume responsibility of covering calls for judges within my division to ensure all scheduled calls are heard. This means that, in addition to the court responsibilities noted above, I preside over felony preliminary hearings, misdemeanor cases, non-jury civil cases, and marriage and civil union court as needed. Most often I assist during busy vacation dates, the weeks of the Illinois Judicial Conference, as well as whenever we are simply short due to scheduled and unscheduled days off.
As presiding judge, my administrative duties are all encompassing. At any given moment, I am responsible for 80 – 95 judges and approximately 14 support staff. In both cases, I assume a hands-on management style. Every week I work with my Court Administrator to plan and coordinate the staffing needs of each court division for the upcoming week. On a day-to-day basis I strive to ensure that all the judges abide by the rules of the Office of the Chief Judge and the state of Illinois as well as efficiently dispense justice to the denizens of Cook County.