Clare Joyce Quish
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (Jordan 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 was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court on June 28, 2016. Upon my appointment, I was assigned to Traffic Court where I heard criminal misdemeanors and minor traffic tickets, handling up to five separate court calls each day.
I am currently assigned to the non-jury trial section of the First Municipal Division in the Daley Center, where I hear civil cases involving amounts in controversy under approximately $50,000. As a judge, I have conducted hundreds of bench trials, many contested evidentiary and motion hearings, and numerous settlement conferences.
Prior to becoming a judge, I was a partner at Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, P.C. where I had an appellate and litigation practice. I represented businesses, professionals and insurers in both state and federal appellate courts, including the Illinois Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, on a wide range of civil matters. I also served as litigation counsel, handling all aspects of commercial and civil litigation in state and federal courts, including cases involving tort claims, medical malpractice, employment litigation, construction law, trucking law, insurance coverage, declaratory judgments, due process and equal protection claims, and breaches of contract. Previously, I was an associate at Crisham & Kubes, Ltd. and served as a judicial law clerk to then-Illinois Appellate Court Justice Mary Jane Theis.
I taught second-year law students appellate brief writing, persuasive writing skills and oral argument techniques as an Adjunct Professor of Appellate Advocacy at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. As a lawyer, I contributed hundreds of hours in service to the bar each year. For the past 10 years, I have been involved in the Appellate Lawyers Association in various capacities. I am currently Vice-President and will become President of that organization in June 2018. I also served as Treasurer, Secretary, and co-chair of several committees.
For several years, I co-authored the Civil Section of Cases Pending, which summarizes all civil cases pending in and recently decided by the Illinois Supreme Court. Additionally, as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court's Committee for Character and Fitness for the First Judicial District from 2013-2016, I investigated, interviewed and assessed the character and fitness of individuals seeking to become attorneys in Illinois.
I frequently lecture and write on legal issues to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. In addition to speaking to lawyers about appellate practice and writing a chapter on interlocutory appeals for an appellate practice book, I served as a panelist at the Women Construction Owners and Executives Midwestern Regional Conference and gave several presentations to architects, engineers and other design professionals at Schuyler, Roche & Crisham's annual risk management seminar. I volunteer at expungement seminars and speak to grade school children about reading, President Abraham Lincoln and the law. I have also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House next to Lurie Children's Hospital.
I have been found qualified or recommended to serve as a judge by all twelve bar associations that evaluate judicial candidates. In addition to finding me qualified, the Chicago Council of Lawyers found that I am "considered to have very good legal ability," noted that I am "praised for [my] temperament and for being hard-working" and that I have "substantial litigation-related experience." I work hard every day to be prepared, on time, and to fairly apply the law to the facts and evidence presented in each case.
I strive to treat everyone in my courtroom with respect. I work expeditiously and efficiently to handle my high volume docket while also providing each litigant with a fair and impartial hearing. I take my job seriously and understand that I am making decisions every day that have real effects on the lives of the parties before me as well as their families and communities. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I love my job as a judge and feel honored to serve. I strive to ensure that everyone who appears before me, both lawyers and self-represented litigants, has a chance to be heard. I hope to continue to work hard for the citizens of Cook County as a judge on the circuit court and endeavor to serve the public every day with compassion, humility and integrity.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
My very first concert was watching Michael Jackson and the Jackson family perform at the old Comiskey Park when I was nine years old.