Oran F. Whiting
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (Brewer 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.
In my thirty years of law practice, I have amassed a broad range of legal experience which more than qualifies me to continue serving the citizens of Cook County as a sitting Circuit Court judge.
I was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court on August 9, 2017. Currently assigned to the First Municipal District, I preside in traffic court and over jury trials. My legal background comprises substantial experience on both sides of the bench, serving as judge, quasi-judicial and hearing officer, advocate, client (general counsel), and legislative counsel. I practiced commercial litigation and regulatory law as a partner at the nation's largest firms since graduating from Georgetown University Law Center.
I tried jury and bench trials, drafted federal and state appellate court briefs, and argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. I served as legislative counsel to the Illinois General Assembly for two years (while "on loan" from my law firm partnership); as an Illinois Court of Claims Commissioner for nine years, presiding over 26 civil and criminal bench trials, concurrently with being a law firm partner; and as a hearing officer for the Illinois Secretary of State. Serving as general counsel for Mercy Hospital (and several client businesses) completes my legal experience.
These experiences have honed my proficiency in litigation and its management; statutory construction and interpretation; and the act of judging among competing claims. I have taught, presented, and published extensively on multiple areas of the law, and currently serve as executive editor of the American Bar Association's Litigation News Magazine, and as a member of the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission's Oversight Committee.
I have been unanimously favorably rated by all members of the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, including the Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois. Four of the dozen rating organizations gave me their highest possible recommendation. I have been endorsed by the Democratic Party, as well as numerous elected officials and organizations.
I seek to continue serving as a judge because the citizens of Cook County expect and deserve an unbiased, competent, diverse, compassionate, and efficient judiciary. My judicial philosophy is to assess each case on its own merits, based on thorough understanding of the facts and thorough knowledge of the law, without prejudice against any party, and with respect for all parties. I have the integrity, experience, legal knowledge and ability, common sense, and compassion to continue fairly and impartially serving all citizens of the County.
As a true Chicagoan, born on the West Side of Chicago, raised on the South Side, and educated on the North Side, I bring a unique perspective to the law.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I am a frustrated pilot (and aviation fanatic); I race bicycles for recreation; and I played the role of prince charming in my school's 8th grade production of Cinderella.