Reflecting on the posting of an article on 3rd Judicial Subcicuit Distrct 3 candidate Don Brewer, it occurred to me that appointed incumbent Justin Hansen had not yet sent a press release.
Since I have written articles on Hansen’s candidacy, here is one gleaned from his web site.
Here’s how it leads off:
Judge Justin Hansen is a dedicated community servant who serves with integrity as McHenry County Circuit Court Judge.
Unanimously appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court in February 2019 to fill the vacancy resulting from Judge Michael Sullivan’s retirement, Judge Hansen serves on the Third Subcircuit of Illinois’ Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit.
He presides over cases in the Family Division, and he previously heard cases in the Civil Division.
As a younger judge with a fresh perspective, Judge Hansen has worked to improve access to justice and the use of technology in the court system, including supporting programs that assist self-represented litigants.
Background of Justin Hansen
Judge Hansen’s dedication to public service started at an early age when he was active with service projects through Habitat for Humanity and InterVarsity.
Before attending law school, he was an advocate at the Task Force on Family Violence, a non-profit organization in Milwaukee that provides services to victims of domestic violence.
He helped pilot a program to provide training to law enforcement, child protection services, school personnel and social workers on the effects of children witnessing domestic violence.
In law school at DePaul University, he participated in the Public Interest Law Section, the Center for Public Interest Law, and a clinic for parents of students with special needs.
As a judge, he visits area schools to help with civics education, teaching students about the Constitution, the judicial system, and what it means to be a judge.
Judge Hansen sits on the Rules Committee and Public Relations Committee for the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit.
He serves as the Continuing Legal Education Coordinator and member of the Board of Governors for the McHenry County Bar Association.
He is also a member of the Illinois Judges Association and serves on committees for In School Programs, Public Affairs & Media, and Community Engagement.
Prior to his service as a judge, Judge Hansen was an accomplished prosecutor and experienced attorney with over a decade of experience in the law.
He represented individual, corporate and municipal clients, and successfully litigated scores of cases to verdict, including both jury and bench trials, in McHenry, Lake, and Cook Counties.
Judge Hansen began his legal career in 2009 at Cowlin, Naughton, Curran & Coppedge, a full-service law firm located in Crystal Lake.
He worked as a local prosecutor for the City of Crystal Lake and the Villages of Huntley, Cary, Prairie Grove, and Bull Valley.
Judge Hansen successfully tried many DUI trials to verdict and provided training to law enforcement about DUI cases and effective courtroom presentation. While at CNCC,
Judge Hansen also handled other municipal and civil matters as well as real estate transactions.
During that time, he also served McHenry County as a Special Public Defender, representing indigent clients in felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases.
In December 2014, Judge Hansen moved to the Libertyville office of Swanson, Martin & Bell.
He expanded his practice to include defending physicians, nurses, and hospitals from medical negligence claims.
He also continued serving as the local prosecutor for Crystal Lake and litigating a variety of other matters, including breach of contract, land use, landlord-tenant, and small claims cases.
Judge Hansen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College in 2004 and his Juris Doctor from DePaul University of Chicago in 2009.
He lives in unincorporated Crystal Lake with his wife, Cheryl, and their children.
He serves on the Board of Directors for Senior Care Volunteer Network and Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County, and is a member of the Crystal Lake and Cary-Grove Chambers of Commerce.
He and his family are active members at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.
Justin Hansen’s goal as a judge
My first job after college was with the Task Force on Family Violence in Milwaukee, a non-profit organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence.
I listened to the victims’ intimate, gut-wrenching stories and helped walk them through the legal process.
At the hearings, I would sit with them and their families to provide moral support.
During that process, I would observe the judges, and I quickly recognized how important they were, not only to the legal system but also to the individuals that appeared before them.
Their decisions could help break the cycle of violence for both the victim and the perpetrator.
On top of that, the judge’s willingness to listen and understand the situation of the person appearing before them was instrumental to the victim’s belief that the court system–and, ultimately, justice–was accessible.
These experiences confirmed that I wanted to go to law school and, one day, sit as a judge.
I wanted to hear those cases, bear that responsibility, and make the right decisions.
Today, I have that distinct honor. Serving as a McHenry County Circuit Court Judge after being unanimously appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court, I have the opportunity to use my God-given talents to apply the law fairly and effectively in every case and for every person who comes through my courtroom.
I am now running to retain my judgeship, and I hope to earn your support.
Serving our community is the honor of my life.
My community service runs much deeper than my daily courtroom calls, hearings, and trials.
From participating in local service projects to helping lead non-profit organizations to participating in sports with my kids, I take my civic responsibility seriously and strive to help make our community a better place.
What’s more, my community involvement makes me a better judge.
It helps ensure I understand the people who appear before me, along with how my decisions impact their lives.
Those who appear before me are people to me, not just words on a page.
As a judge, I strive to always do the right thing.
My parents raised me to always act with integrity.
I saw how they saved a cousin and her mother from an abusive home through great expense to themselves.
They taught me that doing the right thing is rarely convenient, easy, or cheap.
But when you know it’s the right thing to do, you do it. That is integrity. That is a lesson close to my heart as a judge.
In my courtroom, I apply the law fairly and justly.
Everyone is treated with patience and respect, and I ensure that all parties, including unrepresented parties, have their “day in court.”
I thoroughly research cases, carefully consider evidence, and diligently seek answers to ensure the right result.
As one of the younger judges in McHenry County, I have a fresh perspective that is invaluable to our court system.
I am working to help improve access to justice and the use of technology in our courtrooms.
We must evolve as the number of people who participate in our court system grows and changes, especially with many unable to afford representation.
I support efforts to improve our court system through increased e-filing, a self-help center that provides people legal resources, and an attorney help desk for the public to receive answers and get assistance.
I am able to help address these issues with recent, firsthand knowledge as an attorney and as a judge.
For me, serving as a judge is an incredible responsibility.
This isn’t a position for politicians or semi-retired individuals looking for an easy job and a cushy pension.
Judicial elections should not be an invitation to advance politics, issues, or selfish ambition over important qualities like integrity, humility, and dedication to the community.
I have lived out those qualities on the bench and in our community, and I hope to have your vote so I can continue to do so as a McHenry County Circuit Court Judge.