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Criminal Nuggets


Jan 17, 2018

Episode 442 (Duration 31:15). Judge Rene Cruz of the 16th Judicial Circuit provides practical advice for attorneys. 

Judge Rene Cruz 16th Circuit Illinois

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In This Episode

"...So I'm an army brat. My father was in the military. So we traveled. I happen to have been born in the country of Panama while my father was serving his second tour in Vietnam." -- Judge Rene Cruz.

Judge Rene Cruz

Before taking the bench, Judge Cruz practiced law in Illinois for 17 years with Ed Gil, his former law partner at Gil & Cruz (Now The Gil Law Group). He's now assigned to family court in Kane County.

Judge Cruz did have an extensive criminal law practice before his judgeship, however, we talked about

  • his experience in the legal community
  • diversity
  • the road to a judgeship and
  • how he's currently serving the community.

"Can't Miss" Moments:

✓ The Judge experienced diversity differently than the rest of us and now thinks of the diversity much differently than the rest of us do. (Go to 3:41) & (Go to 10:58)

✓ Why the judge walked away from a thriving business, a judgeship was the last thing on his radar, so what did he discover that finally motivated him to apply for judge. (Hint: It wasn't the money; he wasn't even sure how much judges get paid.)  (Go to 13:41)

The  judge didn't know a few important things when he first applied for judge. Once, he figured things out the process went a lot smoother for him.  (Go to 15:44)

 ✓ "Some judges would say to me straight off from the beginning, 'I'm being told and I'm hearing that we need some Hispanics on the bench', and the first thing I would tell them is..." - Judge Rene Cruz speaking about when he was a judicial candidate (Go to 14:27)

✓ What do full circuit judges really look at and consider when they are voting for an associate judge?  (Go to 20:00)

✓ Judge Cruz is playing the long game when it comes to promoting diversity on the bench and in law. You'll never guess where he spends his time recruiting and encouraging judicial applicants.  (Go to 24:50)

See Also

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