From the Bench: The Honorable Judge Clare J. Quish

Q: What is your full title? 

A: Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County

Q: Which division of the Circuit Court do you serve?

A: I serve in the First Municipal District in the Richard J. Daley Center where I hear civil cases under $50,000, including cases involving breaches of contract, collection actions, and minor property damage and personal injury accidents.

Q: What is a typical day for you?

A: I have a 9:30 a.m. trial/status call where I hear anywhere from 10-50 cases.  I also conduct bench trials in the morning after the status call.  I have an afternoon motion call where I hear a variety of motions.  I spend time each day reading and researching fully-briefed substantive motions, such as motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment and preparing for hearings and drafting rulings.  I also conduct settlement conferences and evidentiary hearings.

Q: What made you want to serve as a member of the judiciary?

A: I love the law–researching and writing and learning new developments.  I like seeing both sides of an issue and fairly and impartially applying the facts of each case to the law to come to a decision.

Q: Prior to your election, what area of law did you primarily practice in?

A: I was a partner at Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, P.C., where I had a litigation and appellate practice.   I represented businesses, professionals and insurers on a wide range of civil matters in both state and federal trial and appellate courts, including cases involving torts, medical malpractice, employment litigation, construction law, trucking law, insurance coverage, declaratory judgments, due process and equal protection claims, and breaches of contract.

Q: What advice do you have for YLS members appearing in court? 

A: Be respectful of the judge, court clerks and staff.  Be on time.  If the judge has a standing order, review it in advance of your court appearance.  Try to learn the particular procedures for each courtroom.  Be prepared and know the details of your case.

Q: For YLS members who may be interested in serving as members of the Circuit Court, do you have any advice for them?  

A: Become involved in bar associations and other legal organizations.  Go to the events and meetings and meet people.  Seek out mentors and friends in your practice area as well as in other practice areas.  Although the legal community in Chicago seems large, it is actually a small world where many lawyers and judges know each other or know of each other.  You start to form your reputation as a lawyer from your first day of practice.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would have given yourself when you were just getting started in practice? 

A: It is ok to say you do not know the answer and to ask questions.

Thank You Your Honor!

About the Judge:

The Honorable Clare J. Quish was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as a Circuit Judge to the Circuit Court of Cook County in June 2016.  She currently is assigned to the First Municipal District in the Richard J. Daley Center, handling small claims (with amounts in controversy under $50,000), non-jury cases, including breach of contract, collection actions, minor property damage and personal injury accidents, and attorney fee petitions.  Before being appointed, Judge Quish was a partner at Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, P.C., where she concentrated in appellate practice and commercial and civil litigation, including professional liability, employment law, personal injury defense, insurance coverage and construction law. She is a former Adjunct Professor of Appellate Advocacy at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a former judicial law clerk to Justice Mary Jane Theis when she served on the Illinois Appellate Court. Judge Quish also served on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Character and Fitness for the First Judicial District from 2013-2016.  She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her J.D., cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Judge Quish is currently President of the Appellate Lawyers Association.  From 2009 to 2017, she co-authored the Civil Section of Cases Pending, published by the Appellate Lawyers Association, which summarizes all civil cases recently decided by, and currently pending before, the Illinois Supreme Court. Judge Quish was a panelist at the Appellate Lawyers Association Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar during a discussion of Preserving Issues for Appellate Review in April 2017 and spoke to the West Suburban Bar Association on “Nuts and Bolts Overview of Civil Appeals” in February 2017.  She also authored a chapter titled  Interlocutory Appeals as of Right, in the 2015 edition of Civil Appeals (Illinois): State and Federal, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) and spoke on the same topic at IICLE’s Civil Appellate Practice Seminar in November 2015.


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