“No one will outwork me—I will commit myself wholeheartedly to ensuring justice in Cook County and making our court system more effective.”
Aside from when my fiancée agreed to marry me, my best memory is from 2007. I had competed in the Valparaiso University Moot Court Competition and won the award for best appellate brief. Who presented me the award? Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
I had the life-changing opportunity to sit with Justice Scalia to talk about the legal profession. He said I not only have a duty to myself to be ethical in all my practice, but that I owed that same duty to the bar, the entire legal profession, and every individual case I represent before the court. It was my job to read, apply, and effectively argue the law, nothing else. That conversation was the catalyst for my legal career.
I love practicing law. As a constitutional originalist, I believe the Constitution should be interpreted exactly as the framers intended. My passion drives me to always continue learning, and I strive to become a legal scholar.
My passion for the law started very early. Growing up in a hard-working family, I’d often find myself playing under my father’s conference room table at the feet of lawyers and accountants. I was told the law was a great career and a way I could always protect myself and the ones I love. I quickly learned as a lawyer I could do even more, protecting and serving as the voice for other people and even entire communities. The law gives me the chance to serve others, helping them protect what they love. That’s what drives me.
During law school I served as an intern with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, and immediately after earning my law school degree, was hired as an Assistant State’s Attorney in McHenry County. As a prosecutor, I earned a reputation as someone who was tough on crime, holding criminals accountable for their actions, especially violent and domestic offenders. This is a stark contrast to what we see from politicians like Kim Foxx, who are refusing to prosecute violent crimes, making our neighborhoods less safe, while doing favors for their political allies. Meanwhile, non-violent offenders rot in prison.
Then in 2013 I founded my own legal practice in Barrington, where I have represented clients in criminal, civil, and domestic relations matters. As a defense attorney, I always protect my clients’ constitutional rights and ensure the facts of every case are effectively heard so the judge can make an accurate and fair ruling. I’m known for being guided by a strong moral compass, refusing to represent individuals charged with violent crimes against women or children where there is clear evidence of potential abuse or maltreatment.
As a domestic relations and civil litigation attorney, I have acquired the invaluable tools to be an active listener, assess facts, and advise clients as to any applicable law. I am also attuned to the dynamics involved with domestic relations court procedure, including initial case management, discovery, evaluations, child protections, motion practice, and hearing. My litigation experience has put me in a uniquely qualified position to understand the procedural intricacies involved in both prosecuting and defending criminal matters, as well as litigating civil matters from both sides of the aisle.
These experiences have shown me the improvements that are needed in our court system, and that’s why I’m running for Cook County Judge. I want to help improve the system, especially how it handles veterans, mental health concerns, and addiction.
Too often our veterans, heroes who devoted a portion of their lives to serving our country, are tried in courts that don’t know how to deal with service-related mental illnesses or homelessness. Individuals with diagnosed mental health disorders are simply being locked up, making the Cook County Jail one of the biggest mental health providers in the nation. And those struggling with addiction are thrown in jail with no treatment for their illness.
When elected, I will help the Cook County Courts more effectively utilize specialty courts, in particular Veteran, Mental Health, and Drug Courts. These recovery and treatment courts still hold offenders responsible for their actions, but in the process provide support and treatment for these individuals so they don’t become repeat criminal offenders.
This balance is what you will find if you ever appear in my courtroom. Having experience on both the prosecution and defense sides, I understand the necessity of ensuring repercussions for those who break the law while also providing that individual an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves. Those who appear before me can expect to be treated with respect, with equal treatment under the law. I separate emotions from fact, weighing the evidence presented with an open mind then simply applying the law.
If you ever have to stand before a judge, you want to know they’ve had experience both as a prosecutor and defense attorney. That means your judge fully understands both sides of every issue and the gravity of each situation. They can remove any bias and emotion from the matter, simply weighing the evidence. And they are experienced at ensuring every party involved in the court proceedings receives the rights they are entitled to under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois. I am the only Republican candidate in this race who has this experience.
In fact, I’m the only Republican candidate in this race fully qualified and ready to serve as judge. Both my opponents are transactional lawyers, sitting behind a desk and handling things like estate planning, tax appeals, real estate transactions, political, and election law matters. Meanwhile, I am in court every single day arguing motions, appearing before judges and juries, and settling and trying cases. As a litigator, I have argued countless evidentiary hearings and tried well over 100 cases to verdict before a judge or jury. I am fully comfortable with both the criminal and civil procedure that goes into full-fledged litigation.
Plus, the harsh reality is this is the last election under the old judicial map where the 13th Subcircuit is a Republican District, which means this is our last and best chance to elect a Republican judge in Cook County. Combined, my opponents have attempted to run for judge in this subcircuit six times, and they have never won. As a result, we haven’t elected a Republican in this subcircuit since 2016. It’s time to back a candidate who can actually win in November.
Please, vote for me, Dominic J. Buttitta, Jr., for Cook County Judge in the 13th Subcircuit. No one will outwork me—I will commit myself wholeheartedly to ensuring justice in Cook County and making our court system more effective.