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About Luke     

I would be remiss if I did not begin by sharing information about what makes me the type of man and lawyer you would want in your next Resident Judge—my family.  God has blessed me with a wonderful and supportive wife, Gwen, and four beautiful and caring children, Grant, Vivian, Ivana and Lucy.  The responsibility of being a husband and father has provided me with clarity of judgment and compassion that would continue to guide me as a judge.       

Although I have lived and worked in Cass County (Beardstown and Ashland) for the last 15 years, I am originally from the small rural community of Riverton, Illinois, situated approximately 8 miles east of Springfield. My parents instilled the values of education, hard work, and importance of family. My father, Paul, was a union pipefitter out of Springfield Local 137.  My mother, Patricia, was a stay-at-home mom for a good part of my youth, but worked for the local school when I went off to college to help contribute to the costs of my education.  I am the first person in my family to advance my education beyond high school.

Although my parents passed away in 2012 and 2015, I have been blessed to continue to have extremely supportive, and caring “parents”—my in-laws, David and Georgeanne Osmer.  Maintaining a successful law practice, raising four children, and contributing to the community would not be possible without their support.

After high school, I attended Lincoln Land Community College and subsequently transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I received my degree in Economics.  I received a scholarship to attend SIU School of Law, and have personally financed my education beyond the help my parents were able to afford me. 

When I joined the McClure firm in 2003, I never imagined a small-town practice would afford me the opportunity to gain such vast experience, while also being able to assist those in need.  I was lucky enough to join a firm with three excellent, ethical attorneys—Milt McClure, George McClure, and Tom Brannan. As a young attorney and throughout my career, I was privileged enough to have these mentors further instill the value a of strong work ethic and commitment to learn as much as possible about the areas of the law that affects our community. 

I also feel extremely privileged to have started my young career before welcoming judges like Bob Hardwick, Bob Welch and Carol Pope. While patient and always helpful, our judiciary has always maintained a rightful expectation of preparedness and respect for the bench.  This has played a very large role in shaping my commitment to my clients and to the law.  It has also caused me to have a deep appreciation for the great responsibility that comes with being an attorney and judge, given the serious impact and implications our legal system has on people’s lives.  I am committed to carrying on our local judiciary’s fine tradition and reputation.

Over the past 15+ years, I have gained vast experience in representing businesses (big and small), financial institutions, and public bodies.  I have been the responsible attorney on some of our communities’ most important public works projects, which have totaled in excess of $30 million.  I have tried multiple complex criminal, municipal and civil law cases all the way through appeal. I will soon be appearing before the 4th District Appellate Court on my 17th appeal and have also filed two petitions for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.  These appeals have been across the legal spectrum, including criminal, real estate, divorce and restoration of civil rights cases.  

I have tried cases in 22 different counties, and have handled claims with multiple state and federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration, Department of Labor, Department of Human Rights, Department of Employment Security, Department of Children and Family Services, Illinois State Police, Attorney General, Workers Compensation Commission and the Illinois Court of Claims.

I am licensed to practice and have appeared regularly in the United States District Court and United States Bankruptcy Court.  I have handled Chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcies, interpleader claims, insurance disputes, civil rights and discrimination matters, tortious interference and licensing violations claims, and dischargeability determinations.

From arson defense and other serious felony criminal matters, to multi-million-dollar contract disputes, my approach has always been the same---to prepare thoroughly, learn as much as possible about the law involved in each particular case, and work tirelessly to achieve the outcome expected by my clients.  For these reasons, my firm and I have been the go-to attorneys in the County for representation in all serious legal matters that require a deep knowledge of the law and sound legal analysis.

 As a result of my experience, I understand the important role the judge plays in making a clear record, with decisions supported by sound legal reasoning.   Individuals and businesses alike need and deserve a judge who has the ability to not only make decisions, but decisions based on the law.  This ability is only gained through experience.  Litigation, criminal and civil, is extremely stressful on those involved and/or affected.  It is of utmost importance the trial judge works diligently and have the ability to resolve matters based on the law so that a prompt resolution is reached without the unnecessary delay of appeal.  I am always mindful lives are affected by every decision a judge makes.

I have always tried to learn from my mistakes, both personally and professionally.  While judges are human and make mistakes, I have worked hard to gain the experience necessary to greatly minimize those mistakes as an attorney and as your next Resident Judge if I am privileged enough to be chosen to serve.  I would not ask for your vote if I did not feel the experience to be adequately prepared to take on such great responsibility.  I owe this level of preparedness to you, your families and to the legal profession.  I have gained a very solid foundation in the law and will not be learning it on-the-job.

I look forward to meeting with each of you to learn your expectations of our next County Judge.  I am happy to discuss my candidacy with you in person, by phone (217) 323-2211 or my email any time.   I sincerely want to share with you why you should elect me as your next Judge. I appreciate your consideration and would truly appreciate your vote.

 

--Luke Thomas

 

     I have also included a list of professional organizations I have been involved with below:

 

Professional Memberships include:

Illinois State Bar Association

National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

Illinois Municipal League

American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys

National College for DUI Defense, Inc.

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

Illinois Association of Criminal Defense

American Society of Legal Advocates—Selected to 40 Litigators in State of Illinois in 2014.

American Bar Association

American Association for Justice (formerly American Trial Lawyers Association)

American Land Title Association

Cass County Bar Association (President 2005-2015).

Tri-County Bar Association (President 2005-2015).

Avvo Rating of 9.6 out of 10—(highest rating in Cass and surrounding counties)

Avvo-Superb rating—Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Government, and Appeals (highest rating in Cass and surrounding counties).

Federalist Society

National Rifle Association Golden Eagle Outstanding Leadership Award


Committee to Elect Luke Thomas
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