Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (10th Subcircuit (O'Neill Burke 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 sitting Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County. In September 2016, I was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court on the recommendation of Justice Mary Jane Theis.
I began my judicial career in the First Municipal District. While in that assignment, from September 2016 to November 2017, I handled hundreds of cases in the civil section where I presided over contract disputes, torts, collection proceedings, landlord-tenant disputes, and pro se matters. I also presided over trials, negotiated settlements, ruled on pre-trial and post-trial motions including motions for summary judgment, motions to dismiss, motions to produce, motions in limine, motions to quash service, and numerous issues relating to discovery.
Additionally, I presided over high volume court calls in both the traffic and misdemeanor sections where I heard jury and bench trials, as well as pre-trial motions and post-trial motions. In November 2017, I was transferred to the Domestic Violence Division where I currently preside over high volume civil and criminal court calls. In this division, I hear emergency motions, as well as hearings for orders of protection, workplace orders of protection, civil no contact orders, and stalking no contact orders.
In the criminal section, I preside over misdemeanor and felony cases where family or household relationships exist between the victim and the defendant. Prior to being appointed, I began my legal career in 1996 as an Assistant State's Attorney for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. I stayed in that position for 12 years, the last 8 of which were in the Felony Trial Division, during which time I tried over a thousand criminal cases from traffic offenses to murder. In addition, I litigated hundreds of motions, engaged in pre-trial conferences, ran court calls, and prepared discovery.
I also supervised attorneys as the Domestic Violence Coordinator where I was the lead attorney in charge of all domestic violence cases in the Second Municipal District. Additionally, I wrote appellate briefs and argued before the Illinois Appellate Court, First District.
In 2008, I left the Cook County State's Attorney's office to open my own law practice. I handled both criminal and civil litigation matters where I appeared in court and negotiated dispositions for my clients by way of plea, motion, and/or trial. I also learned how to run my own business which was an invaluable experience. While in private practice, I was a volunteer attorney in my community for the Amicus Poloniae Legal Clinic, which is a division of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.
Additionally, I was a volunteer at my children's school, Decatur Classical Elementary, where I was the Vice-Chairman of the Local School Council and PTA Vice-President of Arts & Education. I am a lifelong resident of Cook County and I live on the northwest side of Chicago with my husband, my son, and my daughter. I am qualified to remain a Judge because of the significant amount of courtroom experience that I possess.
I have spent my entire 21 year career either in court or preparing for court. I possess the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and demeanor to remain a competent and conscientious jurist. I am humbled by the role entrusted to me by the Illinois Supreme Court and I have cherished my role as a public servant. I strive each day to ensure that justice is served to all who appear before me. I am able to do that because I have a sense of fairness that comes from my experience representing parties on both sides of the aisle.
I am proud to say that I have a balanced approach as a judge because I know what each side faces when they step up before the bench. I understand the consequences of what happens to the parties after their case is over and how lives can be changed by the outcome of what the judge decides. I know and appreciate the importance of reaching an informed and equitable decision. I believe I am the most qualified candidate to retain my position as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge based upon my experience as a judge and as a litigator.
In fact, the Alliance of Bar Associations, as well as the Advocates Society found me Highly Qualified, Highly Recommended, Qualified, or Recommended for the judiciary. Moreover, the Chicago Bar Association found me "Qualified" for my current position stating that: "Stephanie Saltouros is 'Qualified' for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Saltouros was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1996 and served as an Assistant State's Attorney for 12 years before entering private practice. Ms. Saltouros is well regarded for her knowledge of the law, integrity, fine temperament, diligence, work ethic, communication skills, and punctuality."
For more information about my candidacy, please visit www.judgesaltouros.com.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
My husband is an actor who started his own not-for-profit theatre company and I helped him in that endeavor by putting together the programs and house managing all of the plays that he produced and acted in.