Judge Thomas O’Shaughnessy ’79

Vermilion County Presiding Circuit Judge Thomas M. O’Shaughnessy ’79 has been re-elected as the 5th Judicial Circuit’s Chief Circuit Judge.

The election occurred during the Circuit Judge Annual Meeting held Dec. 13. First elected as Chief Circuit Judge during 2020, O’Shaughnessy will begin his second two-year term on Jan. 27, 2023.

Each of Illinois’ 25 judicial circuits has a chief judge who, in addition to judicial responsibilities, has general supervisory authority over the administrative functions of the trial courts within the circuit.

“I am honored to have had the opportunity and privilege to serve as Chief Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit, and humbled that my colleagues have trust and confidence in me. I am blessed to work with judges who are innovative, creative and conscientious, along with a staff dedicated to carrying out the important work of the trial courts,” O’Shaughnessy said in a Commercial-News report. “And I am grateful to the members of the 5th Circuit Bar — good, decent and honest attorneys — who are devoted to upholding their obligations to our profession and responsibilities to the public. I look forward to continue working with all of them as together we serve the people of our judicial circuit.”

O’Shaughnessy was first elected as a circuit judge during 2014 and retained for another six-year term during the 2020 general election. He has served as Vermilion County’s presiding judge since September 2017.

He serves upon the Illinois Judges’ Association Board of Directors. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, serving on the Bench & Bar Section Council, and is a member and past president of the Vermilion County Bar Association. 

O’Shaughnessy earned his bachelor’s degree from Wabash and his law degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale. While at Wabash, he studied English and was a member of the cross country and track teams.