Judge Eileen O’Neill Burke (IL Appeal Court)

Eileen O’Neill Burke is a well-connected judge on the Illinois First District Appellate Court. She was elected to this court in 2016 after being assigned to it to replace Judge Stuart Palmer, who retired in 2016. She was elected to the vacancy created by Judge James Epstein‘s 2015 resignation.Her current term began on December 5, 2016, and expires on December 6, 2026.

Eileen O’Neill Burke’s husband , John David Burke,* is a Managing Partner of Ice Miller, one of the largest law Firms in Chicago with over 340 lawyers. His area of practice is commercial litigation with an emphasis on complex contract and business disputes. Ice Miller often appears in Appeal Court on high-profile cases.

John David Burke’s father was a well-connected Judge Jerome Burke, son of a well-connected Judge Joseph Burke, who was a retired Chief Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, and  served 54 years as a judge in Illinois, thought to be the longest of anyone in the history of the state.


In an order entered today, (the top of the Order states March 14, 2016) the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Circuit Court Judge Eileen O’Neill Burke to the Epstein vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court.

The appointment is effective March 31 and will terminate on December 5, 2016 — the day that Judge Burke will be sworn in as the winner of the election to the Epstein vacancy.

In other words, on March 14, 2016 at a Term of the IL Supreme Court held, Judge Burke was already known as a winner for November Election who had NO opponents to compete with ?

Judge Burke won the Democratic Party’s nomination for this vacancy yesterday (she was unopposed). Since no Republican filed for the vacancy, she will unopposed in the November general election as well.

Judge Stuart Palmer had been serving in this vacancy pursuant to a prior Supreme Court appointment. Judge Palmer recently retired.

*John has worked in commercial litigation in Chicago since graduating from law school in 1990. After graduating from law school, John spent the majority of his career with the law firm of DLA Piper where he worked as a partner in the litigation group until he joined Ice Miller in 2005.

John has broad experience in commercial litigation. He has represented private and publicly held companies in a wide variety of disputes, including those involving consumer fraud, trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty, shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of representations and warranties, franchise disputes, employee raiding and restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements.

John also has substantial experience in real estate litigation, especially title disputes, environmental, zoning and land use regulation. Burke has tried construction, title and land use disputes in Cook County and the collar counties.

John particularly enjoys working in the area of temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions where a client seeks immediate relief from the court. John has prosecuted and defended a number of temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunction actions in Cook County. Besides his experience in injunction actions, he has tried bench and jury trials in state and federal court. While John enjoys trying cases, he has conducted a number of successful mediations on behalf of his clients where alternative dispute resolution provides a better outcome for his clients’ problems.

John comes from a family that has a strong legal tradition. His grandfather, Joseph, emigrated from Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. Joseph Burke joined the bench at the age of 34 and remained a judge until he retired at the age of 88 as an Illinois Appellate Court Judge. Burke’s father, Jerome, served as a Cook County trial court judge for more than 23 years. Burke’s wife, Eileen, is also an Illinois Appellate Judge since 2016.

John volunteers at his church and has coached kids soccer in the fall and spring for the past 14 years. John is also a soccer player himself. In fact, John met another Ice Miller partner on the soccer field back in 1988, who convinced John to join Ice Miller in 2005.