The Judge’s Bio

Judge Smith comes to the bench with an extensive commitment to law and justice in Lake County.  The Illinois Supreme Court appointed him in January 2016 to fill the Circuit Court judgeship on the 19th Judicial Circuit in Lake County. The Honorable George Bridges left that seat upon his retirement. Judge Smith is in the Family Division.

Judge Smith was installed along with Judge Christy Bishop and Judge Chris Stride, each of whom are now required by law to be elected by the voters to serve a full 6-year term.


Photographs from the Installation of Judge Smith following his appointment to the circuit court by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the vacancy of Hon. George Bridges, upon his retirement.

Chuck Smith

Chuck Smith

Circuit Court Judge, 19th Judicial District

Charles W. “Chuck” Smith has been an attorney for more than 40 years. His area of concentration was government law, police and fire pensions, personal injury, civil and criminal litigation. He also spent three years as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Lake County prosecuting the first death penalty case in the county under the revised statute.  Judge Smith also served as a prosecutor for 11 different municipalities.

Just prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Smith successfully argued a case involving police officer disability pension language in front of the Illinois Supreme Court.


Judge Smith is a member of the Lake County Bar Association, serving as its President from 1997-98. He was also Chairman of the Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Judge Smith is active in his community. He is currently on the Development Board at St. Anastasia and served as the Waukegan Park District Secretary. He was Park District Patron of the year in 2016. He was also honored as Grand Marshall of American Independence Parade in 2016.

Smith and his wife Michele have two grown children. His son Brian has followed in his father’s footsteps into law. His daughter Megan, and her husband are both active-duty officers and pilots in the United States Navy.

In His Own Words: Chuck Smith on…


Faith, Family and Fairness

Being “The Waukegan Judge”

Working for You!

Law Career

  • Attorney for nearly 40 years (concentrations in government law, police & fire pensions, personal injury, civil & criminal litigation)
  • Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney 1976-1979
  • Private Practice 1979-2016
  • President – Smith, LaLuzerne, & Hartman Ltd. 2002-2016
  • Attorney/Secretary –Waukegan Park District 2001-2016
  • 2001-2016 City Attorney Waukegan
  • 2005-2016 City Attorney North Chicago
  • IL Supreme Court appointment:  Feb. 2016 to fill 19th Judicial Circuit Court Vacancy
  • Current assignment: Family Division


Read More about Chuck Smith as Profiled The Docket
The Docket Page 2
The Docket Page 3


  • Lake County Bar Association President 1997-1998
  • Benedict Ori Award 1995
  • Founding editor of Symposium magazine
  • Member of the Lake County Bar Association (past president), Illinois Bar Association, Florida Bar
  • 2014 named to Top Chicago area lawyers by. Chicago Tribune
  • 94-95 Chairman of Illinois State Bar Association Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council

Notable Cases

  • Appellate work:  Authored or co-authored briefs in excess of 50 cases
  • Successfully argued Village of Vernon Hills v. Heelan before IL Supreme Court, 2015 (represented Vernon Hills police officer, won victory for officers injured in the line of duty, protecting their right to a disability pension and health insurance after catastrophic injuries.)
  • 2009 People v. Thomas HYDE
  • Defending a former mayor of Island Lake, he won a complete acquittal of his client on charges of official misconduct and forgery connected to the issuance of a liquor license.
  • 1978 prosecuted 2nd capital murder case in the state of Illinois at the time (I need more information on this. Got information from letter to Supreme Court seeking appointment.)
  • 1977 People v. DeJesus–as an Assistant State’s Attorney, convicted a father who physically abused his two-year old daughter.