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Civil Litigation - Private
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average rating is 5 out of 5
average rating is 4 out of 5
I've known Judge Kapala since his days as a circuit court judge in Winnebago County. His demeanor and respect for the litigants has always been outstanding. He has enough of an ego that he's been appointed as a U.S. District Court Judge, but is very down to earth and displays genuine humility. I've tried more than one case in front of Judge Kapala and found him to be very even-handed and striving for the right result, even if it means stopping the trial to research and accept submissions from the attorneys before ruling. As a point of interest, rather than a secretary, Judge Kapala uses his staff budget to employ three permanent law clerks. My only criticism is that during trial he often gives the attorneys too much freedom so that trials are longer than they might be under a more controlling judge. In ruling on dispositive motions, he does not release any of his memoranda of decision for publication. He still appears to me to be writing as an appellate judge, taking his time -- as much as six months for a decision -- and drafting lengthy opinions which seem to be written with the 7th Circuit in mind. I will grant that he is very much a political animal, still very much involved in state and local Republican politics, albeit behind the scenes. But, I truly believe that what he lacks in intellect he more than makes up for in hard work and a willingness to let counsel educate him where he does not know. On the civil side, he tries to do what is legally correct.
7/15/19, 2:13 AM
Hon. Frederick J. Kapala

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