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updated: 2/10/2012 4:54 PM

Terrence Jordan: Candidate Profile

Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy) (Democrat)

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  • Terrence Jordan, running for Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy)

    Terrence Jordan, running for Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy)




Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Riverside


Office sought: Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy)

Age: 60

Family: divorced two married children

Occupation: Attorney at Law Jordan Law P.C. sole practioner

Education: B.A. History & Political Science, DePaul University 1973 J.D. John Marshall Law School 1976 Licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois in 1976 Admitted to practice in various U.S. District Courts North America and Europe; U.S. Supreme Ct

Civic involvement: Current Chairman Zoning Board of Appeal, Riverside IL masonic organizations Boy Scouts of America, formerly District 96 Community Caucus, formerly Trustee Riverside Presbyterian Church, formerly Moot Court judge John Marshall Law School

Elected offices held: none

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

A judge should be honest, fair and experienced.

Key Issue 2

Knowledge of the law and a common sense application of the law are essential.

Key Issue 3

Judges who have had experience in the private practice bring a unique perspective to the bench. Judicial demeanor involves a sensitivity to circumstances that the average person faces on a daily basis.

A judge should also be sensitive to any acts of incivility observed in and about the courtroom.

Incivility between lawyers has become a serious issue.

Civility can be positively influenced from the bench. It starts with the judge being civil to the court room personnel as well as all of those who appear in his or her court and by not permitting any uncivil conduct to go without a corrective comment.

Questions & Answers

Do you favor the appointment of judges or do you prefer the election process' Please explain your answer.

Partisan politics should be removed from the selection of the judiciary as much as possible.

But that does not mean that the voter should abdicate the right and authority to choose who should be a judge.

I have not seen an appointment system which I believe truly serves the interests of the citizen. Non-partisan elections are currently held to elect most of our municipal officers. I would prefer a non-partisan election process in which every one who is running for judge is on a single ballot and those with the most votes get elected to the available judicial vacancies. If there are 20 vacancies and 40 candidates, the top 20 vote-getters are elected to those vacancies.

What special qualifications or experiences make you the best person to serve as a judge?

As a private practitioner I have been involved with a great variety of cases.

In the last 10 years, the vast majority of practice has been in the field of civil litigation.

In the course of my 30 plus years of practice, I have also represented clients in Criminal Court for felony and misdemeanor charges, both in Federal and State courts. My practice has even taken me to the United States District Court in Europe where I represented a U.S. Air Force Airman in a court martial related to criminal negligent homicide charges.

I have dealt with a variety of litigation related matters in every division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

I have successfully tried and defended civil RICO cases in the United States District Court.

I have appeared in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, although in recent years I have declined to accept new cases in Bankruptcy Court.

I have appeared in many of the Judicial Circuit Courts in Illinois, including but not limited to those in DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Will, Champaign, Livingston, and Grundy Counties.

I have also appeared pro hac vice in courts in Wisconsin.

In short, I have had a well balanced exposure to the many aspects of the practice of law. It's my firm belief that my diverse private practice experience has been a significant benefit in both my private and professional life. I believe that these experiences will enable me to contribute to the diversity and enhancement of the judiciary in Cook County.

What are your thoughts on mandatory sentencing? Do you believe judges should have greater leeway when it comes to sentencing defendants' Why or why not?

I believe that judges should have greater leeway.

The legislature makes the law and determines how serious to treat the violation of the law.

The legislature also sets the penalty range for violation of its laws.

Mandatory sentencing, where implemented, has not served the citizens well and has not produced the societal outcomes promised.

A judge is in the best position to determine the punishment based on all of the facts of the case.

The judge, nevertheless, must not be influenced by any prejudice in sentencing.

Sentencing should be as uniform as possible so that punishment in one part of the State for violation of the same law, is similar to the punishment ordered in another part of the State.

What are your thoughts on the use of drug courts, domestic violence courts, veterans courts, mental health courts and prostitution courts' Have they been effective?

Separating cases by type has long been a practice of courts when there is a significant volume of cases.

Generally that practice has served the legal community and the citizens of this State well. But when it comes to effectiveness on a case by case basis, there is room for improvement.

In the domestic violence court, some women unfortunately still appear before Judges with outmoded and outdated notions of domestic violence. Consequently, there remains work to be done to ensure that all judges understand, recognize and accept that any violence against a spouse/partner is a wrong with or without a specific statutory protection.

Do you support eliminating the ban on cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms' Why or why not?

Cameras and recording devices should be allowed in all courtrooms.

The reasons for the original bans are no longer existent.

Reasonable rules concerning use of cameras and recording devices are working in various jurisdictions around the country without any adverse effect on the integrity of the judicial process.