John Andrew O'Meara
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (4th Subcircuit (Riley 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.
On November 18, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court selected me for the position of Circuit Court Judge after an intensive screening conducted by 12 bar organizations.
I was found "highly qualified," "recommended," or "qualified" by the entire independent bar organizations. The Chicago Bar Association rated me as "highly qualified" stating that I have "... extensive trial experience and (am) well-regarded for my knowledge of law, legal ability, integrity, calm demeanor, and excellent temperament". I currently preside in a courtroom at the Daley Center where I am responsible for over 5,000 civil cases.
I hear both jury and non-jury trials. These cases involve different issues such as personal injury, property damage, breaches of contract disputes, and fraud. I am also one of two judges in the First Municipal Division responsible for hearing Supplemental Proceedings cases in detitnue, replevin, bank citations, and recognition of foreign judgments. Before I became a judge, I was in private practice concentrating on personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, complex litigation, governmental law, and construction negligence matters. I had successfully tried over 75 jury trials to verdict.
The trial skills I honed as a lawyer have served me well on the judiciary. In fact, I have been requested by my presiding judge to lecture lawyers on the issue of evidence for Continued Legal Education credit and certification as arbitrators. I present these lectures throughout the year. In addition to my regular judicial duties and lecturing, I also volunteer my time as a judge for early morning Flex Time/Pro Se call where self-represented litigants can have their cases heard at 8:00 a.m. without missing time from work. I am the only candidate in my judicial subcircuit race that has judicial experience.
It is my experience as a judge as well as extensive trial experience that uniquely qualifies me to retain my judicial position. I am also the highest rated candidate in my race. The reason I seek to maintain this judicial position is because I am passionate about the litigation system and dedicated to a fair, impartial judiciary. I strive to treat every person in the courtroom with courtesy and respect. I recognize that the courtroom in which I sit, is the peoples' courtroom, not mine. My mission is to find pure justice and the ultimate truth in every decision I make.
I am committed to our community and upholding the integrity of the office. I reside with my wonderful wife and our four amazing children in the fourth subcircuit. I was raised by a single mother who worked as a night nurse. Through her, I learned the value of hard work and compassion. Through grit and determination, I put myself through college working at a facility for mentally disabled adults while going to school full time.
I am active in my community and volunteer at several local organizations. These are the experiences and attributes that I bring to the bench every day. It is truly a privilege to serve the community as a judge and I ask for your support.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I've gone skydiving twice...before I got married and had kids!