Justices/Judges running for retention in Cook County
JUDGE JAMES M. VARGA
In addition to presiding over 100+ jury trials in the Law Division, reported in the
Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter, Judge Varga teaches. He was on the faculty
teaching Illinois judges at the Illinois Judicial Education Conferences in 2012,
2010, and 2004.  He has returned to Notre Dame Law School to join the faculty for
the Intensive Trial Advocacy course and to lecture and judge student trials.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION FOR JUDGE JAMES M. VARGA

Judge James M. Varga is a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  He was
elected in 1994 and retained in 2000 and 2006.   He is assigned to preside over
jury trials in the Law Division in Chicago.  He has presided over record jury verdicts,
including the record of $387.4 million.
  

Vote “YES” to retain Judge James M. Varga #251

EDUCATION:

He graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 1978, where he attained the
distinction of associate editor of the law review.

He graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1975, where he
attained a perfect cumulative academic grade point average.

LEGAL BACKGROUND:

He began his career with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he was
a member of the prosecution team against John Gacy, the serial killer of thirty-three
boys and young men.    He was elected a Judge of the Circuit Court in 1994.  In
addition to presiding over 100+ jury trials in the Law Division, reported in the Cook
County Jury Verdict Reporter, Judge Varga teaches. He was on the faculty teaching
Illinois judges at the Illinois Judicial Education Conferences in 2012, 2010, and
2004.  He has returned to Notre Dame Law School to join the faculty for the
Intensive Trial Advocacy course and to lecture and judge student trials.

AWARDS AND HONORS:

Associate Editor of the Law Review, Notre Dame Law School

COMMUNITY AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE:

Judge Varga has published professional articles.  His article, “A Short Guide to
Using Cross Examination to Impeach Experts,” is scheduled for publication in the
September 2012 issue of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Illinois Bar Journal.  
Beginning in 2008, he conducted three years of jury studies.  The purpose of the
articles is to have trial lawyers and law students who aspire to be trial lawyers
rethink and retool their trial advocacy in light of psychology, behavior, and changes
in life styles and technology.  The trilogy of articles, “Beyond the Verdict: Jurors
Speak Out,” “Beyond the Verdict II: Jurors Evaluate,” and “Beyond the Verdict III:
Jurors Pick Parts of Trial,” are published in the Illinois State Bar Association’s
Bench & Bar newsletter.      
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Judge James M. Varga is a Judge of the Circuit
Court of Cook County.  He is assigned to preside
over jury trials in the Law Division in Chicago.  He
has presided over record jury verdicts, including the
record of $387.4 million.  He was elected in 1994
and retained in 2000 and 2006.  He began his
career with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s
Office, where he was a member of the prosecution
team against John Gacy, the serial killer of thirty-
three boys and young men.  He graduated from
Notre Dame Law School in 1978, where he attained
the distinction of associate editor of the law review.  
He graduated from Southern Illinois University at
Carbondale in 1975, where he attained a perfect cumulative academic grade point
average.