Lake Forest’s Daniel Jasica named associate judge in Lake County

Dan Jasica, who was selected this week the next associate judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit in Lake County, walks with his sons Jonathan and Evan at O'Plaine Community Park in 2012. Also pictured is States Attorney Michael Waller. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times Media
Dan Jasica, who was selected this week the next associate judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit in Lake County, walks with his sons Jonathan and Evan at O'Plaine Community Park in 2012. Also pictured is States Attorney Michael Waller. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times Media

Lake Forest’s Daniel Jasica has been selected the next associate judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit in Lake County.

Jasica, 48, said he regards his appointment to the bench as “a tremendous honor.”

Currently chief deputy of the civil division in the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, Jasica learned of his selection on Monday, Aug. 25. He will begin his new position Sept. 15.

“It is humbling to be given the opportunity and the responsibility,” Jasica said Wednesday.

He said he will conduct himself “on the bench and off the bench every day in a manner that instills confidence in the judicial system and earn the trust and confidence of the people of Lake County.”

Jasica received the majority of the votes cast by the circuit judges to be named to the bench.

“Dan’s expertise in the law, his substantial experience, judicious temperament, and total professionalism are lasting qualities that Dan will bring to the bench,” 19th Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge John Phillips said in a written statement.

A lawyer since 1991, Jasica applied for the position this year after careful consideration.

“It’s not something I grew up thinking would ever be attainable, but it’s something that over the past five to seven years I was interested in,” he said. “This year I felt, in my own mind, I had the life experience, the legal experience and qualifications that I thought I would be a viable candidate.”

Jasica said he expects the biggest change in his new role will be “to go from being an advocate for a position or a party to being asked to step back and be an impartial decision maker.”

He said he intends to do the best he can to give everyone who appears in front of him “a fair opportunity to present their position and to treat them with respect and courtesy and to try to do the right thing — the best I can do every day.”

Jasica joined the Lake County assistant state’s attorney’s office in 1997 after working as an associate in a Texas law firm from 1991 to 1997.

In Lake County, Jasica has provided civil representation and counsel to county officers and officials and has had daily responsibility for supervising civil trial and child support divisions of the state’s attorney’s office. In that role, Jasica represented the county in successfully striking down state legislation that would have taken away much of the duties of the county clerk’s office.

“I’m someone who respects the constitutional rights of all parties,” he said. “That’s the backbone of what our judicial system is based on and those rights need to be protected on a daily basis by citizens and by judges.”

The associate judge vacancy was created by the retirement of associate judge Joseph Waldeck.

Jasica, who earned his law degree from Northwestern University, was highly recommended by members of the Lake County Bar Association.

He and his wife Tanya Huang have three children and have resided in Lake Forest since 1996.

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