I knew Judge Michael Coppedge for 25 years. When I first met him, he was a very tough prosecutor for the city of Crystal Lake, and he was also a very aggressive civil litigator. Mike was a tall good-looking guy, always impeccably dressed, and in court he put on a very stern visage that every McHenry County lawyer will always remember.
I had a few cases against Mike, and he was a tremendous attorney. I was very lucky to find out that underneath that stern visage that he used in his professional life was a very kind, caring and funny guy in his personal life. I was both honored and proud to call him a friend.
When he became a judge here in McHenry County, he quickly became the favorite judge of all of the attorneys, clerks, court security officers and the public. He arrived every morning very early to prepare for his cases, and he stayed late likewise to do the same.
As former Chief Judge Jim Cowlin told me a few years ago, “Judge Coppedge is the best felony judge McHenry County has ever had – And both me and my dad were felony judges!”
McHenry County was very lucky to have such a fine judge, and I am going to be very sad for a very long time.