Patricia Spratt: 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: Husband: Judge William J. Bauer
Education: Northern Illinois University (1967-1969) (no degree conferred)
Loyola University Chicago, University College (1982-1985) (no degree conferred)
Loyola University Chicago School of Law (1987-1991), J.D. (admitted to law school without an undergraduate degree under an early admission program).
Civic involvement: Since 2006 I have been an active member of the PAWS Chicago, Inc., Development Board. PAWS is a Chicago animal welfare organization that operates the city's largest no-kill shelter. I have been a volunteer (2006-present); have co-chaired the annual PAWS "Run for Their Lives" 8K Run/4K Walk for each of the last seven years; and have provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal assistance to PAWS.
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?
I look at the overburdened Cook County judicial system and see a need for judges committed to ensuring that every individual receives the due process guaranteed by the Constitution, and who do so with compassion and efficiency. The county's executive and judicial branches readily acknowledge the problems in our court system, which every day fails to meet its mission to serve the public and deliver justice swiftly and fairly. The Cook County judicial system is ailing. And no meaningful remedy for what ails it can succeed without cooperation and assistance from knowledgeable, compassionate judges, courtroom by courtroom, who are committed to meting out justice fairly and efficiently.
It is my intention to work from within that system to aid in its recovery. To quote a dear friend, "we all owe rent." The better our life, the more rent we owe. We pay our rent in service to others. I have made down payments on my rentâ€"I have served as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Law School (2001-08); as the coach of the Hubbard High School Mock Trial Team (2001-08); have served on the PAWS Chicago Development Board, co-chaired the annual "Run for Their Lives" 8K Run/4K Walk, and provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal service; and as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility. I will make full payment of my rent due, in aid of the recovery of the judicial system, using my legal talents, experience, and all of my life's lessons in service to the public and to the Cook County judicial system, and will do so in all fairness and efficiency.
What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?
Too many attorneys approach the judicial system from a perspective insulated from the population it is meant to serve. The path that brought me to where I am today was not an easy one, but it was one that shaped my more global perspective of the role of the judiciary.
I entered the workforce at 17, while in high school, working in a small law office after class. Twenty years later, after saving for my education and caring for my ailing mother, I was accepted into Loyola Law School's night division. I continued working full time while in law school and received my J.D. 1991. While at Loyola, I was on the Dean's List, lead articles editor of the Law Journal, and inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society. Following law school, I clerked for a Chicago federal appellate judge. I then joined a law firm and have since been a civil litigation attorney in both state and federal courts. In my 22 years of practice I have handled more than 100 trials and adversary proceedings, have argued appeals in both state and federal appellate courts, and have written briefs in the United States Supreme Court. As a consequence, I have the legal skills required of a good judge.
But importantly, my 47 years' experience working in the legal profession provided the unique opportunityâ€"from a variety of vantage pointsâ€"to observe the demands on the judiciary as an institution and the difference that a conscientious, efficient, and fair-minded judge can have on both that institution and its participants. Additionally, the path that lead to my candidacy has been populated with incredible role models and mentors, exposure to whom has nurtured in me the development of the human qualities required of a good judge. That sets me apart as a judicial candidate.
Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?
For the years 2001 through 2008, I served as the Attorney-Coach of the Hubbard High School Mock Trial Team during the Chicago Coalition for Law Related Education Mock Trial competition ("CCLRE"). CCLRE is a city-wide program co-sponsored by the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Board of Education, and Sidley Austin. It provides teams of Chicago public high school students the opportunity to learn the Federal Rules of Evidence and develop trial practice skills over the course of a school semester, culminating in mock trials held at the Daley Center, presided over by sitting Cook County Circuit Court judges, in competition against teams from other Chicago public high schools. During the eight years that I coached the Hubbard High School teams, each of the teams placed first in the competition, and individual students from seven of those teams placed first in the individual round.