Charles "Charlie" Beach
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (6th Subcircuit (Cooke Vacancy district)
Responses to our questions
Please submit an essay that explains your legal background, why you are qualified for this position and why you seek this position.
I graduated from DePaul College of Law in 1996 and have been a practicing lawyer in Cook County for 21 years.
I have spent almost every working day in the well of a courtroom. My career includes time as a Public Defender and as a Clerk to an Appellate Court Justice. The bulk of my career, however, was spent defending the rights of the working people of Cook County protecting their freedom, Constitutional rights, and their ability to work and provide shelter and food for their families.
I have taken to trial 100's of cases ranging from misdemeanors to complex felony matters and I have argued countless motions. Additionally, through the Chicago Bar Association pro bono program I have handled civil jury and non-jury matters.
On September 15, 2017 Justice Mary Jane Theis swore me in as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge where I have served by appointment in the Richard Cooke vacancy, the position I am now running for. I have long believed that attorneys must be dedicated to their clients, but also must be dedicated to the advancement of the profession and society as a whole. Accordingly, I have dedicated significant amounts of time to pro bono programs and neighborhood advocacy.
I served as President of Hamlin Park Neighbors, NFP and as a Chicago Police Department Beat Facilitator as well as a Board Member for Lathrop Community Partners. Over ten years ago, I helped found a pro bono program with the Chicago Bar Association that assists the indigent in restoring their driving privileges. I also was a charter member of TLAB an organization providing pro bono legal resources to the transgender community.
I was elected President of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2014, and served as Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Traffic Committee six times. I am dedicated to the advancement of the legal profession and have lectured over 20 times to various bar organizations, including the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Decalogue Society, the Women's Criminal Defense Bar and the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. I have also taught at the Chicago Police Academy, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the Cook County Public Defender's Office.
I recently testified before the Judiciary Criminal Committee in Springfield as an expert on DUI testing and crime lab procedure. Finally, I am a published author on Practice and Procedure in DUI and Traffic cases for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. I am running for Judge because Judges have a profound effect on people's lives. I have seen first-hand the deep impact a Judge can have on an individual, their family, and the community in which they live.
I have practiced law, and now sit as a Judge, with a deep respect for the basic human right to be treated with dignity and fairness. For over two decades I stood in the well of the courtroom with my arm around the downtrodden and forgotten doing my best to protect their dignity and fundamental rights.
I believe that I have the experience, temperament and knowledge to continue my work advancing the legal profession, more importantly, I can continue my efforts to ensure that every person that steps into my Cook County courtroom is treated with respect, dignity and fairness.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I am an amateur woodworker and enjoy working with my hands. I have designed and built furniture, planters and most anything that I can sketch on a napkin and have the time to build.