Judge John Michael Allegretti
Judge John Michael Allegretti is a Cook County Circuit Court Judge assigned to the Municipal Division, where he hears civil disputes. Here, he presides over non-jury civil trials, hears and decides motions, and conducts settlement conferences. Many litigants do not have attorneys. For those unrepresented litigants, a courtroom may initially seem intimidating and scary. As a judge, John Michael makes it his mission to actively listen to all litigants and their counsel. He takes the time to explain, answer questions, and provide legal support for his findings and decisions. Most of all, he strives to ensure that all litigants and their representatives feel welcomed, respected, and heard when they appear in his courtroom.
PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
John Michael’s past public and private legal experience as an advocate, an administrative law judge, in-house counsel, and college professor, has been a solid foundation on which he continues to build upon as a judge. Upon becoming an attorney in 1995, John Michael has and continues earn the respect trust, and confidence of the public, whom he serves. Legal Associations and those who appear in his courtroom describe him as being objective, fair, punctual, prepared, knowledgeable, and even-tempered.
His diverse substantial prior experience, includes the following:
- General Counsel to the Cook County Treasurer;
- Corporate Counsel, North American Real Estate Management;
- General Counsel-Deputy Assessor, Cook County Assessor’s Office;
- Assistant State’s Attorney, State’s Attorney’s Office (Civil Section/Torts, Taxation & Civil Rights Divisions);
- Associate Attorney, The Law Firm of Pollack, Weis and DuBrock;
- Administrative Law Judge, The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board;
- Associate Attorney, The Law Firms of Tristano & Tristano and McDermott & McDermott; and
- Professor, Wilbur Wright College
FOUND RECOMMENDED AND QUALIFIED
Judge John Michael Allegretti has participated in an extensive review, evaluation and interview process conducted by all of the major attorney associations. They have repeatedly found him RECOMMENDED/QUALIFIED and include the following:
- Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area (AABA)
- Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago (BWLA)
- Chicago Counsel of lawyers (CCL)
- Cook County Bar Association (CCBA)
- Decalogue Society of Lawyers (DSL)
- Hellenic Bar Association (HBA)
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI)
- Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)
- Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC)
- Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois (PRBA)
- Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI)
The Chicago Tribune endorsed him, finding that he is well regarded and possesses the depth and breadth of legal knowledge and experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
John Michael values those objective findings and works hard everyday to protect the rights of all citizens, so that he can continue to earn the trust, confidence and respect of those outstanding diverse organizations.
COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY
Judge John Michael Allegretti’s commitment to community service goes beyond the courtroom. Both now and prior to becoming a judge, he demonstrates an unwavering commitment to helping people, including children, veterans, seniors, disenfranchised individuals and the disabled in the community. He has volunteered his time, resources and assistance to organizations and projects to improve people’s lives in the community including the following:
- “Women Everywhere”- Supporting, empowering & encouraging young women to achieve educational and career goals in leadership positions
- Center for Disability and Elder Law- Assisting, Seniors, Veterans and the Disabled to ensure that they receive property tax exemptions and pay their property taxes, whereby averting delinquencies and the loss of their homes
- Chicago Bar Association’s LGBTQ Committee – Providing career advice to LGBTQ law students and new attorneys
- Alliance of Illinois Judges- Actively supporting and promoting activities to increase diversity in the judiciary and the legal community
- Moot Court / Trial Competitions– Judging, evaluating and instructing students at employment discrimination and criminal justice trial/moot court competitions
- High School Students- Judging, supporting and encouraging local high school students at the Annual Chicago Coalition for Law Related Education, High School Mock Trial Competition
- The Illinois Supreme Court Judicial College – Instructing and Teaching State Court Judges
- Mentoring – Providing mentoring, support, and guidance to new judges and students
- Local Governments and Community – Administering the oath of office throughout the county, officiating marriages, and addressing concerns of community groups throughout the county
- The Southside Builder’s Association- Providing information on programs and tax incentives available to revitalize and develop South Cook County Communities
- Annual Expungement and Second Chance Summit- Reviewing and approving expungement applications at the this annual event, sponsored by the Clerk of the Circuit Court, providing a free opportunity to expunge qualifying criminal records, whereby increasing opportunities for thousands of Cook County Residents
- Charitable Organizations – Participating in activities and providing financial support to organizations that improve the peoples’ lives, including: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital; Loyola’s Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Hospital; United Negro College Fund; Misericordia Heart of Mercy; Salvation Army; Toys for Tots; and Good Will Industries
- Mental Health- Worked with the Executive Director Robert Gannett of the Institute for Community Empowerment and the Cook County Clerk’s Office to establish a tax levy, resulting in the creation and funding of the “North River Expanded Mental Health Services Program,” which provides much needed mental health services to the community
- Local Food Pantry- Collecting and distributing food for those in need
- Pandemic Book Giveaway – Collecting and distributing free books to the community during the Pandemic
- Pandemic Displaced Student Sponsor – Sponsoring, housing and supporting a displaced College Student during the Pandemic, so that she could complete her education
- Pandemic Community Mental Health – Coordinating psychological services to individuals, including veterans and seniors, impacted by the Pandemic
- Pandemic Assistance to Seniors and Disabled – Providing groceries, conducting wellness checks, and doing yard work for seniors and disabled
DRAFTING LEGISLATION THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
John Michael has drafted legislation to ensure property tax relief, prevent mortgage fraud, make property tax bills easier to understand, and make government more transparent. He has helped hundreds of homeowners, seniors, veterans, churches, and businesses by preventing mortgage fraud, vacating tax sales, and correcting property tax errors. As a judge, John Michael no longer drafts legislation, but instead understands and enforces legislation to protect people’s rights.
TEACHIING AND EMBRACING DIVERSITY
As a Professor at the City Colleges of Chicago, John Michael taught business law, business management, and human resource management to a diverse student body. While teaching a multicultural student body, he embraced diverse perspectives and challenged his students to do the same. His inclusive teaching approach and appreciation of different perspectives and views are attributes that are important for a judge. John Michael continues to embrace diverse ideas, arguments, and views, which translates to sound and fair decisions for everyone.
CREATING QUALITY HOUSING AND BUILDING STRONG NEIGHBORHOODS
John Michael assisted the City of Berwyn in implementing an affordable housing program. Working with city officials, he resolved property tax issues on approximately 70 foreclosed and blighted homes. As a result, the properties were rehabilitated and sold to families, providing affordable quality housing to those in need.
COMMITMENT TO FAMILY AND FAIRNESS
John Michael has always balanced his community involvement and legal career with his ongoing commitment to his spouse of over 25 years, two children and a German Sheppard, named Rocky. Being a father and husband, has resulted in greater patience, understanding, and compassion as a judge.