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updated: 2/14/2014 10:43 PM

James Kaplan: Candidate Profile

Cook County Circuit Court - 12th subcircuit (Democrat)

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  • James Kaplan, running for Cook County Circuit Court - 12th subcircuit

      James Kaplan, running for Cook County Circuit Court - 12th subcircuit


Back to Cook County Circuit Court - 12th subcircuit


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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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City: Glenview


Office sought:

Cook County Circuit Court - 12th subcircuit

Age: 69

Family: Married; 3 children

Occupation: Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County - 12th Sub-Circuit

Education: J.D. - I.I.T. - Chicago Kent College of Law

B.A. - University of Arizona

Civic involvement: Current:

Illinois Judges' Foundation, Board of Directors

Advisory Council Comprehensive Transplant Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

United Service Organizations (USO) - O'Hare Airport

Trustee, St. Patrick's High School


Illinois Court of Claims

Chairman, Illinois Board of Higher Education

Chairman, Illinois State Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities

Joint Education Committee

Midwest Higher Education Compact

Illinois State Board of Education/Monitoring Compliance Team

Elected offices held: None.

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

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?

My current assignment in Domestic Relations in Paternity and Child Support is one of the toughest courtrooms a judge can manage; tensions between parents are palpable and the responsibility for the children is heavy. Yet for me, it has become one of the most meaningful times of my professional life because I am able to make a positive difference in the lives of many children. I do not take this responsibility lightly; I fully recognize the impact my decisions have on families. I work actively to promote the welfare of children by making crucial decisions as to their homes, safety, and family life.

What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?

After three years on the Circuit Court, and 5 ½ years on the Court of Claims, I currently have been found qualified and recommended by all evaluating bar associations. I also have a completely unblemished record in my 43 years of being an attorney.

Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?

I currently volunteer with the USO at O'Hare International Airport. My work for this organization includes advising traveling military, food preparation, cleaning tables and answering phone calls. A lot of the personnel passing through the USO-O'Hare station are teenagers who have never left home at any time in their lives. They are embarking on a career in the military and are unfamiliar with issues that arise during travel and their obligations upon arrival at O'Hare. Most of these young recruits are going on to Great Lakes Naval Station. They are in need of assistance, reassurance, and sometimes just a friendly face to greet them. I am proud to be of any help to these people.

On January 5, I worked at the USO from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm and had one of the busiest days that I can remember. 1,200 flights were cancelled that day and Army, Navy and Air Force personnel were delayed in great numbers. Assisting those service men and women was an honor. I believe it is important to serve the military just as they serve all of us.

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