Jonathan Clark Green
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (Clay 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 am currently a supervising attorney in the City of Chicago Department of Law, where I engage in all aspects of civil litigation, including civil rights and torts litigation, and have tried a number of jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court.
I am involved on a daily basis in attorney supervision, discovery, motion practice, experts, and jury trial activities. I am also a chair-certified arbitrator for the mandatory arbitration program of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and I have practiced in nearly all divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County throughout my career.
In the private sector, I also worked both to recognize and enforce child support and maintenance payments and to protect defrauded senior citizens as a Special Assistant Attorney General working in securities fraud litigation. Prior to joining the Corporation Counsel's Office, I was in private practice as Principal of Green & Green, P.C. and Of Counsel to Rock, Fusco & Garvey, Ltd.
I am a former Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, where I engaged in civil litigation in both federal and state courts, representing state employees and the constitutionality of state statutes. I also served on the legal staff of the Illinois House of Representatives, reviewing and drafting legislation.
I am a graduate, with distinction, of The Georgetown University Law Center's master's degree program in international and comparative law, and also have a diverse background in international litigation and transactional matters.
I was a fellow of the American Society of International Law in Washington, D.C., where I worked with lawyers and government officials from around the world, and previously worked in private practice both in Brussels and Chicago for European, Asian and American clients.
In March of 2017, I lectured at the Faculty of Law of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Litigation Challenges and Issues regarding Law Enforcement in Chicago, reviewing the civil jury trial system in Chicago, the agencies involved in law enforcement investigations, forensic evidence and technology in such investigations, and other issues impacting such trials. I also judged a Canadian National Final Round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition while in Edmonton.
In addition, I have taught continuing education seminars regarding protective orders and federal practice at the Corporation Counsel's Office, and acted as an instructor in trial skills in January 2014 at the Kirkland & Ellis National Trial Advocacy Institute (KITA). In June of 2012, I also lectured at the National Business Institute (NBI) CLE on "Defending the Police Liability Claim: Police Investigations, the Disciplinary Process, Protective Orders and FOIA Exemptions," presented to supervising police and lawyers representing various municipalities in the Chicago area. I have been active in the legal community through the Chicago Bar Association and the Decalogue and Advocates Societies.
I was the Chair of the CBA's Local Government Committee (2011-2012), and International and Foreign Law Committee (1999-2000); I was also a former member of the Publications Committee of the Section of International Law of the American Bar Association, and Associate Editor of the Section's International Law News newsletter.
I am active in the community through the 44th Ward Democratic Organization, as an Advisory Board Member of Little City Foundation for Children and Adults with Autism and other Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Palatine, IL, where I am the sole guardian of my brother and sister who are developmentally disabled, and as Past President and current Board member of my condominium board.
I have been qualified or recommended by all of the bar associations to serve as a judge. I aspire to be a judge because I want to do what I have committed my life to: helping others through public service, and ensuring everybody gets their day in court, whoever they may be.
My parents, both attorneys, instilled in me not only a love for the law, but an understanding of its true meaning and importance: fairness, Justice and respect for all, no matter where you are from, and no matter what your faith, culture, traditions or background. I truly aspire to be a judge because I care about the Rule of Law.
I believe my temperament and life experience, as well as the great legal and practical mentoring I received through the years, from both my father, the late Hon. Albert Green of the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and my mother, the later Virginia Bucko Green, a pioneering attorney in her own right who helped pave the way for future generations of female attorneys in Illinois, would be great assets for the bench. I am also able to bring not only my over thirty years of legal experience to the bench, but also my life experiences in the legislature and in both the public and private legal sectors, with knowledge of the special demands each of those sectors experience.
My extensive litigation practice over the years in both state and federal courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution, are important experiences to offer the bench. I also seek to bring my own experiences of being raised with developmentally disabled siblings to the bench, where I can contribute my knowledge of the special needs and sensitivities involved with raising and caring for such children and adults to the judiciary.
My judicial philosophy is simple, to be the best person I can be, to treat everyone as I wish to be treated, and to be honest and caring. Everyone appearing before a judge deserves respect, an opportunity to be heard, and to be treated equally, no matter what their background, traditions, culture, religion, or economic position in life. I have siblings with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and I have learned a great deal about the need to not stereotype people and always to be kind to people, and they have made me a more compassionate person. As a judge I will bring this philosophy, temperament, and behavior to the bench.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I have a number of personal life experiences that I believe will help guide me on the bench. I was raised Catholic with a Jewish father, and have great cultural and religious knowledge in both faiths.
I was raised with three of five siblings with special needs and have personally experienced the constant demands and delights that families with developmentally disabled children regularly experience. I am now the sole guardian for my surviving older brother and older sister who are now planning for the demands of older age at Little City Foundation, where they live in group homes in Palatine.
I continue to volunteer and support Little City as an advisor on the Board and a member of the Parent, Family and Guardian Group, and was recently awarded this last year the "Spark Plug" award from Little City for my efforts in supporting and encouraging others to support the work of Little City. I also have an extensive international cultural background, developed through my previous studies, educational work and law practice internationally.
I have visited and worked with law schools and government officials in numerous countries worldwide in support of the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition through the years, supporting the development of the future legal leaders of the world. I speak French, and have been a long-time member of the Chicago-Paris Sister Cities Committee, where I organized successful biotech trade missions between Paris and Chicago in 2000 and 2003, promoting further economic relations between the two cities. Finally, I was born and raised in Chicago, and my love for the diverse people of Cook County and the City of Chicago is strong.
I was raised with a strong commitment to the community, from volunteering during grammar school at St. Thomas of Canterbury food pantry in Uptown, to my Jesuit education at St. Ignatius High School, to my present volunteer work with my wife at Top Box Foods where, for the last few years, we have volunteered, each month, providing fresh food to the underserved areas of the City's south side. I regularly work the Route 1 truck, distributing food at 101st and Torrence, St. Ailbe's at 91st and Stony Island, and at St. Philip Neri's on 72nd Street in South Shore.
Both my parents embraced the diversity of Chicago, and instilled in me a recognition of both community service and equal treatment for all. My father, a WWII Army Air Corps veteran from the west side, went on to serve on the bench for 25 years. He met my mother, of Polish decent from the northwest side, at DePaul University. She was one of three women in her law school class of 1948, and the only one who went on to practice law, which she did for over 50 years. I had the honor of practicing with her and hearing first-hand her stories of the challenges she experienced in breaking the professional gender barrier, providing me a valuable perspective on justice and equal opportunity for all.