Kane County 16th Circuit Judge James Murphy Announces Retirement; Candidates Sought For Sub-Circuit

Kane County 16th Circuit Judge James Murphy Announces Retirement; Candidates Sought For Sub-Circuit

Kane County Circuit Judge James R. Murphy announces that he is retiring in July after serving 12½ years on the bench.

James R. Murphy

As a result of the upcoming vacancy, there will be an election for circuit judge in the First Sub-circuit of the 16th Circuit in 2022. Candidates for election must be attorneys and residents of the sub-circuit, which covers parts of Montgomery, Aurora, and North Aurora, and unincorporated parts of Aurora Township.

Supreme Court Justice Michael Burke is expected to make an appointment soon to fill the vacancy until the 2022 election.

Murphy was first elected in 2008, and was retained by the voters in 2016 and 2020. Murphy was first assigned to Aurora Branch Court, handling traffic and misdemeanors.

He handled civil cases and probate matters from 2009 until 2012.  In 2012, he was assigned to a Law/Jury courtroom, handling civil cases in which money damages over $50,000 are sought. He continued in that assignment until the present, and from 2013 through 2020 was presiding judge of the Civil Division.

Murphy served as a mentor with State of Illinois New Judge Mentoring Program and has mentored four new judges in the circuit.

Murphy said in a press release that he had enjoyed all of his assignments, in particular the professionalism of court staff, including court administrators, clerks, bailiffs, law librarians, staff attorneys and paralegals.He further complimented the attorneys who appeared at motions and hearings in his courtrooms.

“I have great respect for the professional abilities of the attorneys in these civil cases,” he said. “They have highly talented legal writing skills as well as exhibit strong advocacy for their clients in areas of law that are often quite complicated.”

Murphy said that he felt very fortunate to have been assigned to the Old Courthouse in Geneva almost his entire career.

“The courthouse is a beautiful old building, and it’s great to see lawyers and litigants returning to in-person settlement conferences and trials after so many months with remote hearings due to the pandemic,” he said. “Third Street and downtown have been missed, too, and it’s good that the local restaurants and stores are getting back to pre-pandemic levels.”   

An Aurora native, Murphy graduated from West Aurora High School, and received a BA in English from the University of Illinois.  He received his Juris Doctor law degree from Southern Illinois University.

Before becoming a judge, Murphy maintained a general practice law firm for 25 years, some of those with his father, the late J. Robert Murphy. Murphy also served as the elected township supervisor for Aurora Township.    

In retirement, Murphy and his wife would like to travel frequently, including to destinations in Colorado and Michigan, where their children are now located.

SOURCE: Kane County 16th Circuit Court news release