(From the October 2015 Issue)
Everything about Judge Jeffrey S. MacKay, who was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as an Associate Judge to fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Robert G. Kleeman to Circuit Judge, is homegrown.
The Fine Print
Judge MacKay grew up in Lombard where he attended Glenbard East High School. Judge MacKay earned his undergraduate degree in Champaign (that’s the “University of Illinois” for our out-of-state readers), where he majored in Economics, and received his J.D. from IIT Kent School of Law, in Chicago. An assistant DuPage County State’s Attorney for eight years, he was then in private practice for twelve years before ascending to the bench. Judge MacKay met his wife, another prosecutor at the time, while at the State’s Attorney’s office.
Some Q & A on the Serious Stuff
Why a lawyer: Judge MacKay’s father was a DuPage County Sheriff, and a Carol Stream police officer. His dad encouraged him to go into law, and not law enforcement. He still sees his dad once a week for lunch, as he has since graduating college.
Most annoying thing an attorney can do in your courtroom: Not be prepared.
What you expect from lawyers in your courtroom: Courtesy
Favorite area of law: Criminal
Dream assignment: Criminal
Role model for being a Judge: My former boss in the S.A.’s office, Dan Guerin.
Because: When we worked together in the sex crimes unit trying cases, he was always prepared. Later, when I appeared before him, he was always courteous to defendants and lawyers alike. A true gentleman who knows the ins and outs of the law.
First assignment: Traffic court.
Most unbelievable excuse a traffic offender has given: Rushing home to change baby’s diaper.
One of the greatest issues facing the DuPage County Court System: Dealing with pro se defendants. A lot of litigants don’t want to spend money on lawyers. It can be frustrating, but the system needs to be patient with these litigants.
It’s going: Great. Sitting on the bench is one of the greatest legal challenges any lawyer can face. You need to listen to both sides of the argument and render a fair decision.
The Fun Stuff
People wouldn’t know:
(in order of importance):
Cubs or Sox: Cubs
Favorite Cubby: Ryne Sandberg
Perry Mason, Ally McBeal, L.A. Law, or Boston Legal: L.A. Law
Favorite Character: Arnie Becker
Favorite subject in grade school: Social studies
When off the bench: Cooking (serious cooking), reading, coaching little league.
If you could meet a famous person, be they alive now or not: Benjamin Franklin
Because: He did everything. He invented, created a nation, lived in France for years trying to get help for The Colonies, too.
My first year property professor was tough on me and questioned if I really wanted to become a lawyer. That summer I spent working at a Denny’s in Maui. I came back in the fall and attacked law school with a vengeance.