James Crawley: Candidate Profile
Cook County Circuit Court (Democrat)
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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.
Family: Married to spouse of 13 years.
Education: Joliet Catholic High School, (1982).
Loyola University of Chicago, B.A., cum laude, Political Science, (1986).
St. Louis University School of Law, J.D., (1989).
Civic involvement: Jane Addams Hull House -- Uptown Center (former board member, treasurer);
Citizens Advisory Council to the Chicago Police Department (member);
AIDS Care, Inc. (former board member);
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls;
Women Everywhere Project;
Southern Poverty Law Center;
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice;
Chicago Bar Foundation; and
Windy City Hoops -- The City of Chicago's initiative with private businesses to fund after school programs in neighborhoods hardest hit by gang violence.
Elected offices held: None.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?
The bedrock of our democracy demands judicial independence. I am running in this election because the people of Cook County deserve well-qualified judges who will impart justice based upon the rule of the law and who will not be swayed by political influences or the pressure of special interests.
I am running because possess the skill, qualifications, temperament and integrity to meet the high standards demanded of this position.
Every day, judges make decisions that impact the lives of thousands of people on matters of life, liberty, family or property. Nothing is more fundamental to the administration of justice, in my opinion, than judicial independence. In other words, the application of our laws and Constitutional principles must never be influenced by politics, popular opinion or pressure from special interests. In running for judge this past year, I have been personally troubled by the deep influence of politics in judicial races.
I believe I possess an innate sense of fairness and the integrity to make difficult decisions. I have demonstrated in my work as an attorney over the years that I can make tough decisions based on ethics and what is just. Throughout my professional career, I have always treated my opponents fairly, and I know that as a judge I would do the same for those that came before me.
What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?
First, I wish to commend my opponents for running for judge. This process takes a tremendous commitment of not only the candidate, but also of the candidate's family and I know that we share a commitment and dedication to the law and the community.
I believe that what differentiates me the most from my opponents is my experience handling complex litigation for 24 years; my ability to make independent and impartial decisions without regard to political influences; and my strong commitment to social justice.
Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?
I have practiced law for 24 years handling complex litigation on behalf of seriously injured individuals. I have operated my own law practice for the past 12 years and concentrate in construction accidents, product liability, motor vehicle accidents, nursing home neglect, medical negligence and foodborne illness cases.
After conducting thorough investigations, the Chicago Council of Lawyers, Chicago Bar Association and ten other bar associations found me "recommended" or "qualified" to serve on the bench. The Chicago Bar Association committee said, James Crawley is "well-regarded for his dedication to the law and his integrity," while the Chicago Council of Lawyers said, "Mr. Crawley has substantial experience doing more complex personal injury litigation. … He is praised as a solid litigator who is hard-working with a good temperament. He is considered to have good legal ability and is exceptionally knowledgeable."
I am a lifelong Democrat and previously worked as an aide to U.S. Senator Paul Simon. I started my campaign for judge last winter, and since then I have traveled all over the county meeting voters and listening to their concerns.