FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Hon. James R. Epstein

Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division

Chicago, IL, USA


James R. Epstein has served as a judge since first being appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1999. He sat in the Criminal Division hearing felony cases for seven years and since 2006 has served in the Chancery Division hearing civil cases. The Supreme Court appointed Epstein to its prestigious Education Committee where for the past five years he and his colleagues have planned and conducted all of the continuing judicial education for Illinois judges.

Epstein recently completed his term as President of the Illinois Judges Association, which represents over 1100 present and retired Illinois judges.

Before being appointed to the bench Epstein practiced as a trial lawyer in civil and criminal litigation. He was selected for inclusion in the book "The Best Lawyers in America" by his peers and was appointed a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. While practicing law Epstein served for 15 years as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law teaching trial advocacy and coaching the school's trial team won a national championship. Epstein was also a faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy for 15 years where he taught trial skills to practicing attorneys. Before entering private practice Epstein work as a trial attorney for the Cook County Public Defenders Office where he was a member of the Murder Task Force.

In the past year Epstein was honored as Judge of the Year by the North Suburban Bar Association and given the Decalogue Award by the Decalogue Society of Lawyers.

Epstein is a life-long Cook County resident. He attended the University of Chicago Laboratory School for high school and received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Northwestern University.

Epstein is active in the community, especially as an officer of the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund which provides private school educations to hundreds of highly qualified but financially challenged Chicago children.

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