Judge O’Gara was the Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorney Representative for the United States District
Court, Southern District of Illinois from 2014 until 2016.
John O’Gara was appointed by Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Karmeier as Chairman of the 1 st and
20 th Circuit Illinois Capital Litigation Trial Bar Admission Committee from 2005-2011.
O’Gara was in private practice for over 21 years, concentrated in criminal defense with some civil
plaintiff and defense work. He previously served as the Public Defender in Knox County, and he was
Public Defender of St. Clair County before becoming an Associate Judge. In 2009-2016 he received an
AV Rating and was named to the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell, listed in
Chicago Magazine’s Top Attorneys in Illinois, 2009, 2013-2016, Leading Illinois Lawyer Advisory
Board from 2003-2016, and named an Illinois Super Lawyer from 2008-09, 2012-2016.