James Geocaris, Jr. was born and raised in Chicago, attended Luther North High School and graduated with honors from Loyola University of Chicago. Following law school at John Marshall in Chicago, Jim began his legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Appellate Division, writing Appellate Briefs and representing the State of Illinois in criminal cases before the Illinois Appellate Court. He then served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in various City of Chicago criminal courts and in the 4th District of Cook County in Maywood, Illinois. During his time as a State’s Attorney, Jim regularly performed criminal jury trials, gaining valuable experience as a trial lawyer and public servant.
Entering private practice in 1993, Jim concentrated in criminal and traffic defense, personal injury, family law, real estate and municipal law. From 1993 until 1997, he performed over one hundred bench trials and five jury trials.
He returned to prosecution work in 1997 with the United States Virgin Islands Department of Justice. While serving there, he tried by jury as lead counsel twenty-seven felony criminal cases, seven of which were capital cases. He eventually supervised the island of St. Croix’s prosecutions of felony and misdemeanor crimes, where under his leadership, the U.S.V.I. Department of Justice for the first time devised and implemented an effective Domestic Violence prosecution team, together with a victim-witness/community outreach agency to educate the public about this crime. In addition, he organized and implemented aggressive prosecutions for Impaired Driving offenses, appearing before the Virgin Island Legislature on several occasions recommending a system of mandatory fines, penalties and suspensions for these offenses.
After returning to Illinois in 2003, he resumed practice with the Geocaris Law Firm, handling cases including criminal defense, traffic defense, driver’s license reinstatement hearings, clemency, real estate, family law, estate planning, business services and immigration.
Jim takes pleasure in obtaining excellent results for his clients. He aspires to continue in his practice, perhaps running for public office one day, “retiring” into a teaching position later in life or doing mission work. Jim has previously taught legal research and writing, criminal procedure, estate planning and corporations in the paralegal division during various semesters at Harper College in Palatine and at the University of the Virgin Islands. Jim is also licensed to practice law in the state of New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
He enjoys reading, writing, outdoor activities, travel, animals, water sports, and debating political-social issues.
James Geocaris, Sr. was born in Chicago to Greek immigrant parents. He attended The University of Chicago High School where he was President of his senior class. He played minor league baseball for the Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs organizations before returning home to attain his B.A. at the University of Chicago. He was enrolled in the Graduate School of Business for one year before completing law school at Chicago's DePaul University.
During the Korean War, he became an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and was subsequently assigned to the Judge Advocate General, serving as defense counsel in Court Martial cases. Returning to Chicago, he entered the private practice of law for the next 10 years, concentrating in criminal defense and commercial litigation.
From 1962-1965 he served as Village Attorney for the Niles, Illinois. In 1966, he was appointed Magistrate of the Circuit Court of Cook County. In 1970, he was elected an Associate Judge of Cook County, and subsequently became a full Circuit Judge in 1971. In 1974, he completed the National College of the State Judiciary at the University of Nevada-Reno. As a Judge, he presided over personal injury trials, narcotics cases and other felonies at the criminal court house, and served two years as the Supervising Judge of the Housing Division.
From 1975-1995, he served as the Presiding Judge of the Third Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Principal duties in this position included supervising the operation of twenty-one courts and judges assigned to the third district in the Northwestern Suburban community, which consists of twenty cities, towns and villages with a population of approximately 585,000.
Retiring as Judge near the end of 1995, he joined his son Jim in the private practice of law. Since that time, he has practiced in the areas of criminal defense, civil litigation, arbitration, real estate and municipal law, serving as City Prosecutor for Rolling Meadows. He is currently involved in the activities of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.
In his spare time, Judge Geocaris enjoys spending time with his wife Naomi, their four sons, three daughter-in-laws and five grandchildren. In addition "the Judge" enjoys playing golf, reading on the beach, travel and is a life-long Chicago Cubs fan.