Judge Betar win’s nomination to serve on 13th Judicial District
Associate Judge Sam Betar III won the backing of voters on March 20, 2018 to represent the Democratic Party as their candidate for the 13th Judicial District in Cook County in the November 6, 2018 General Election.
Judge Betar, one of the first Arab Americans to serve as a judge in Illinois (the other was judge Miriam Balanoff who originated from Aleppo, Syria), has received acclaim and praise for his knowledge of the law.
He has served for 20 years as an Associate Judge in Cook County, since May 1998, and was appointed in July 2017 by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a vacancy created in the 13th Judicial District.
Judge Betar’s name will be on the Nov. 6, 2018 ballot for the district judicial seat.
Judge Betar received more than 25,000 votes in the March Primary to represent the district, which is one of 15 judicial subdistricts in Cook County. The 13th SubCircuit represents residents who live in the Townships of Barrington, Palatine, Hanover Park and Schaumburg, as well as the north western portion of Wheeling Township.
He has worked in the First Municipal District and the Domestic Relations Division. He is currently assigned to the Third Municipal District and the Domestic Violence Division. He presides over criminal domestic violence cases and misdemeanor jury calls.
Judge Betar, his father (the late Samuel J. Betar, Jr.) and brother (Hon. Michael B. Betar, Circuit Court of Lake County) are three of ten founding members of the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois (“AABAR”). Judge Betar has served as a board member of AABAR since its founding in 1990. Judge Betar is active in the Northwest Suburban Bar Association (“NWSBA”), where he served as co-chair of the Matrimonial Law Committee.
He has received numerous awards for his work in the Domestic Violence Division. In 2017 he helped develop a program whereby attorneys provide legal services pro-bono to domestic violence victims who wish to file civil petitions for orders of protection against their abusers.
Judge Betar teaches at the statewide judicial education conference, and at the State and Cook County New Judges’ Schools. He is an appointed mentor of new judges. Similarly, he has been a frequent speaker at ABA, CBA, NWSBA and II.I.C.L.E. education conferences.
He received his B.A. from Boston College and J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago. Judge Betar resides in the in the Northwest Suburbs. He is married to Margaret, his wife of 31 years. They have three children, one of whom is a former army captain.
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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