Judge Maureen R. Dunsing Profile
By Clarissa R. E. Myers
Judge Maureen R. Dunsing was appointed to serve as an associate judge in the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit on March 4, 2019, to fill a vacancy left by multiple associate judges’ retirements. She is currently assigned to the Glendale Heights traffic court at the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton, Illinois. Judge Dunsing is an active member of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Robert E. Jones Inn of Court, and the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers.
Judge Dunsing graduated from the University of Southern California in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in French. She briefly considered film school, but she enjoyed her college debate classes, the reading, and the writing necessary for the practice of law, which pushed her to pursue law school. She then graduated from DePaul University, College of Law, in 2006.
She began her career as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago Law Department (2005-2007), where she prosecuted in court as well as administrative hearings on a daily basis. Next, as an Associate Attorney with Thomas L. Burdelik & Associates in Chicago, IL (2007-2010), Judge Dunsing practiced in the area of insurance defense, and participated in hundreds of arbitrations, as well as multiple trials.
For the next nine years, Judge Dunsing was employed as Associate/Field Counsel with the Law Offices of Lawrence Cozzi in Warrenville, IL, serving as counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance (2010-2019). There, she continued her legal practice of insurance defense in multiple counties across the state, including DuPage. She enjoyed both the research and motion practice, in addition to gaining extensive trial experience. While practicing law, Judge Dunsing sat first chair in numerous trials, both bench and jury.
For the next portion of this article, Judge Dunsing was kind enough to sit down with me over a cup of coffee in the Attorney Resource Center, to candidly discuss her appointment and to answer some in-depth questions of interest for our DCBA Brief readers.
Q: How do you see your role as Judge?
A: I am honored to serve as a traffic judge, as I am sometimes the first and only encounter the public has with the judiciary, so temperament is important. I would like for other attorneys and litigants to say that I am fair and treat everyone respectfully. Litigants should be polite, respectful, and prepared in my courtroom. I’m doing my best to contribute to the judiciary, and I think the key for me is to be prepared and to stay humble, as a servant of the community.
Q: Did you have any unique experiences while growing up?
A: We moved around a lot because of my father’s work, so we lived in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, and France. I was enrolled in the American School of Paris during the Gulf War, so it was very different than my experience in the United States. I had the unique experience of living in a foreign country, learning French, having many refugees from Kuwait in my classes, and we also dealt with bomb threats at school on a somewhat regular basis.
Q: What are family dinners like at your house?
My brother, sister and brother-in-law are all attorneys, so when my husband and I and our family sit down for dinner, there are five lawyers. The biggest problem is that everyone knows how to argue and no one wants to cede the argument!
Q: What are your interests outside of the law?
A: My main interests are my children and sports, especially USC football. My kids can usually be found in cardinal and gold outfits on Saturdays.
Q: Of what are you most proud?
A: I’m most proud of my family. My parents were very supportive of me my entire life, and they helped make me the independent person I am today. I met my husband in law school, and we have three amazing children together, who keep us very busy.
Q: While the responsibilities of being a judge and a mother to three children must be quite challenging, how do you spend your free time?
A: When I’m not working or chasing around my kids, I participate in several fantasy football leagues, one of which is an all-female fantasy football league. We have an amazing trophy, a spray-painted gold Barbie in a ‘Heisman Trophy’ stance. I haven’t won the league yet, but if I do, the ’Barbie Heisman’ will definitely be on display in my chambers.