Appellate Judge James R. Epstein
First District, 4th Division
James R. Epstein is a life-long resident of the Chicago area. He received his undergraduate (1975) and law (1978) degrees from Northwestern University. He served in the Cook County Public Defender’s office for 5 years, including three years in its Murder Task Force. Epstein was in private practice for 15 years trying both civil and criminal cases, and was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. He taught trial advocacy for 15 years at Northwestern Law School and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). Epstein was appointed as a circuit judge in 1999, elected in 2000 and retained in 2006. He sat in the Criminal Division for seven years and in the Chancery Division for four years. Epstein was appointed by the Supreme Court to its Education Committee where he was a member of the editorial board for the production of its judicial bench books. Epstein is a past president of the Illinois Judges Association. He is married and the father of four children.