Mr. deCastro is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Tulane University School of Law. He has been a trial attorney in Chicago for 29 years, litigating at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts. He has been named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 every year since 2019. Mr. deCastro has handled cases in 12 different counties in Illinois as well as federal trial courts across the country. He has handled appeals in Illinois state courts, and three different Federal Appellate Circuit courts, arguing more than twenty times before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has filed petitions in the United States Supreme Court, where he has been admitted to practice since 2001. Mr. deCastro is an Instructor in Trial Practice at the University of Chicago Law School. He has received the highest ratings and recommendations from all thirteen area bar associations that participate in judicial evaluations.
Mr. deCastro is a first-generation Cuban American. He grew up in a Spanish-Speaking household. Spanish was his first language, and much of his work as a lawyer has been for non-English speaking clients. His parents came to this country from Cuba when they were only 18 and 21 years old. They worked hard to put themselves through school, and they reached back to help other family members and their broader community. Mr. deCastro was raised to respect hard work, education, and the need to always keep an eye on what serves the public good.
From the beginning of his legal career, while still in law school, Mr. deCastro served on the board of the schools’ Public Interest Law Foundation and volunteered to represent immigrants detained in Louisianna penitentiaries. After law school he began his career at the Cook Conty Public Defender’s Office. For the past ten years he has dedicated most of his time to public defender work through the Federal Public Defender’s panel attorney program, and by volunteering to do pro-bono work for incarcerated individuals through a federal court program run by the Chicago Lawyer’s Committee For Civil Rights.
As an attorney Mr. deCastro has shown a dedication to the defense of due process, individual rights and access to justice. He looks forward to a career as a judge, where he hopes to ensure the protection of individual rights and equal access to the courts in a new role.