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Hear from Jill Otte, Candidate for 18th Circuit Court Judge (Sutter Vacancy)

From Jill:

At the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office from 1995 until 2000, I litigated over 100 criminal trials, including 11 jury trials. In August 2000, I made the switch from criminal law to civil law and moved to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. I spent over 11 years defending State agencies in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, contracts, and employee discipline. In 2012, I was promoted to Deputy Chief of the Workers’ Compensation Bureau. I litigated about 50 trials and maintained a caseload of approximately 250 cases.


In 2014, I was promoted again to my current position as Chief of the Workers’ Compensation Bureau in Chicago. I now manage 16 attorneys who appear daily before 23 arbitrators in 10 venues. About half of my time is spent advising these junior attorneys on matters such as trial strategy, client issues, and communication issues with opposing counsels, witnesses, and clients. My current position as Chief has allowed me to hone my skills in decision making, analysis, reasoning, decisiveness, self-management, problem solving, and communication.


Please learn more about my campaign at jill4judge.com. I hope to earn your vote!


Here are Jill's answers to a questionnaire provided by YTDO:


1. Racial Injustice and systems of oppression have been on the front burner of American society recently, instigated by mass protests and demonstrations calling for racial equality in many systems that have historically and currently kept Black Americans down. If elected, what is a change or some changes that you would make in order to shrink the many disparities that have plagued black communities for generations?


As a Circuit Court Judge I will treat everyone who appears before me with respect, fairness and empathy. SInce I am already a public servant, this is not a change I would make, but rather a practice I would continue.


One change I would bring to the DuPage County courthouse is to bring back Night Court. Night Court would better serve our citizens who work during typical daytime hours and find it difficult to take time off work to attend court. It would also help those with children as it may be easier to arrange childcare in the evening. Allowing the option of Night Court would give much needed flexibility for residents.



2. What motivated you to run for this position?


I decided to run for Circuit Court Judge in DuPage because I wanted to have a bigger impact on my local community. As Chief of the Workers’ Compensation Bureau at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the decisions I make affect communities throughout our State. In addition to making court appearances in DuPage County, I have appeared in courthouses in Chicago, Rockford, Woodstock, Waukegan, Ottawa, Kankakee, Geneva, Joliet and Galesburg. I am ready to focus my skills and experience within my community where I have lived for 20 years.


3. What are some benefits that we would come to expect by having you in your respective position over your opponent?


I have devoted my entire legal career to public service, first as an Assistant State’s Attorney and currently as an Assistant Attorney General. Becoming a judge would allow me to continue as a public servant but with a locally focused impact.


I am immensely qualified for the position of circuit court judge. As an attorney and litigator for 26 years, I have evaluated cases both as a criminal prosecutor and a civil defense attorney. I have tried hundreds of cases in the following forums throughout the State of Illinois: Traffic/Misdemeanor, DUI, Mental Health, Felony, Felony Drug Court, Court of Claims (personal injury, wrongful death, contract, property damage), the Civil Service Commission, the Secretary of State Merit Commission, the Illinois State Police Merit Board, and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. I have the temperament to succeed on the bench. I am fair, decisive, reasonable and open minded. Finally, my experience and qualifications have been recognized by others as I have been endorsed by the following: The Chicago Tribune, Personal PAC, DuPage NOW, U. S. Rep. Bill Foster, State Rep. Karina Villa, State Rep. Terra Costa Howard, DuPage County Board Member Liz Chaplin, DuPage County Board Member Julie Renehan, DuPage County Board Member Sheila Rutledge, the North Central Illinois Labor Council, the Hellenic Voters of America, and Friends Who March.


I am the best candidate for the Sutter vacancy because I have the most well rounded experience. I am the only candidate who has been both a civil defense attorney and a former Assistant State’s Attorney. I have experience evaluating cases from both perspectives while advocating for my clients.



To find out more about me please check out www.Jill4Judge.com



4. What is your take on the BLM movement? The changes that they are proposing (Defunding/Abolishing police, Other Police Reform)?


Per Illinois Supreme Court Rule 67, as a judicial candidate I am precluded from answering any questions on issues which may come before the court.


I recently attended a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in Lombard with my teenage daughter.



5. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal to discriminate against employees or candidates based off of sexual orientation, which serves as a landmark case towards the fight for equality, acceptance, and protection of LGBTQ+ rights. In light of this wonderful verdict, what are some ways that you wish to bolster the health and prosperity of our LGBTQ+ communities and residents?


Per Illinois Supreme Court Rule 67, as a judicial candidate I am precluded from answering any questions on issues which may come before the court.


I recently attended a NaperPride event in Naperville. Also, I was endorsed by Personal PAC, Illinois’ leading pro-choice political organization, and DuPage NOW.



6. Climate change is the most pressing issue facing our world as a whole. What in your capacity will you do to make DuPage County a greener place?


Per Illinois Supreme Court Rule 67, as a judicial candidate I am precluded from answering any questions on issues which may come before the court.


To lower my carbon footprint, I drive a 2013 Prius primarily because it is the most fuel efficient vehicle available in my price range. I also take public transportation daily (pre-pandemic) to my job in Chicago. I strive to make my household as energy efficient as possible, with appliances, insulation and energy usage. Finally, I diligently recycle daily, both at home and at work.




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