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  • Family Justice Resource Center

Judge Patrick T. Murphy Headlines "Fight To Reunite"

The Honorable Patrick T. Murphy of the Circuit Court of Cook County headlined the FJRC’s virtual benefit in November. As the former Public Guardian of Cook County for over two decades, Judge Murphy represented abused and neglected children, as well as seniors with disabilities. He repeatedly sued Illinois DCFS when children were attacked in the state’s emergency shelters. He won a landmark case in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding fathers’ rights in 1972. A longtime colleague (and occasional courtroom foe) of FJRC co-founder Diane Redleaf, Judge Murphy praised Redleaf and the FJRC for its work in exonerating innocent parents facing medically-based wrongful allegations of child abuse.

Hon. Judge Patrick T. Murphy

In his remarks, Judge Murphy spoke about the economic disparities in cases involving allegations of medical child abuse. While the state has free and unfettered access to resources, parents must spend tens of thousands of dollars just to prove their innocence. He said, “In criminal cases, the state has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s getting it down to the 10-yard line, if we’re talking about football. In civil cases, they only have to get it to the 50-yard line plus one inch. If that’s the playing field and I’m the referee, I’m looking for expertise on both sides so I can make a valid decision. I really support the FJRC because you are doing what needs to be done, you are helping level the playing field for parents.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke very highly of Judge Patrick T. Murphy, saying, "Patrick Murphy is a strong voice for the voiceless: children, the elderly, people with disabilities and the medically and mentally ill. He is a fierce advocate, fine attorney and represents the highest ideals and best practices of the legal profession." For further information on Judge Murphy and his career see this article from the New York Times and this article from the Chicago Tribune.


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