Monday, April 18, 2016

In which the lawyer-blogger tries, and so far fails, to get rid of his fax line

I remember when fax machines were the new, bleeding-edge, must-have technology for law offices.

Well... maybe not so new in the 1980s... something like a fax machine, a wirephoto machine, figures prominently in the plot of the 1948 Jimmy Stewart classic, Call Northside 777 (filmed in Chicago, and based on a real-life wrongful conviction case).

But, whether the concept had been around for awhile or not, it wasn't until sometime in the mid-1980s that actual fax machines became ubiquitous in office settings.

The firm I worked for in those days resisted acquiring a fax machine for as long as possible. The senior partners there were wise enough to know that the very ability to pose questions instantaneously creates expectations that those questions will be answered just as quickly. With a fax machine, a client's question about a document could not be fended off by saying, well, I'll have to take a look at the document in order to see if it means what you think it means... you know, building in some time for reasoned consideration, evaluation, maybe even some research... oh no, just *ring, ring*, *whir, whir*, and the document was there, demanding instant interpretation.

And no fax machine ever went off on Friday after 4:30 p.m. with good news.

So I've never liked fax machines. And I haven't shed a single tear as fax machines gradually became yesterday's news, joining floppy disks and pocket pagers in the Office Technology Graveyard.

And yet, for years now, largely because of inertia if nothing else, I've maintained a fax machine and a dedicated phone line for said fax machine. Even though the faxes I receive on said machine look mostly like this one:


You know, once I remembered that I am a solo practitioner, I was able to figure out fairly quickly -- within a day or two, certainly -- that I probably didn't have an H.R. Department.

Hey, what's a little extra overhead among friends, right?

But AT&T finally motivated me to act.

For several years now, every single year -- long about this time -- AT&T would send me an office phone bill for roughly twice the amount I had been paying.

Technically, of course, the fault was mine. In 21st Century Corporate America, the customer is always wrong, whatever that old fool Marshall Field may have said: AT&T would send me letters or leave me messages asking me to sign up for a new plan -- these being different from the usual batch of letters that AT&T sends, or the voice mails that AT&T leaves, asking me to sign up for this or that, because these said my current plan would expire and I would lose my special business rate if I failed to act.

It took me a couple of years to realize that some of AT&T's junk letters and messages were just junk, but others were traps. And in the course of the passing seasons, and the press of business, I would forget the bitter lesson learned. And the double-whammy phone bill would arrive in predictable course, like the swallows at Capistrano.

But not last year. Last year, I wrote about my frustrations -- and I resolved to prevent this from ever happening again.

I would cut the cord.

A colleague had shown me the way: She kept her landline office number but 'ported' it to a cell phone. That way she could work from home, or from the hospital, just as if she were in the office (she was caring for a sick relative when she had her epiphany). And she already had a cell phone, so adding one line was quite a bit cheaper than the cheapest landline.

I had hoped to wait until March, the better to tie in with the annual expiration of my annual AT&T "business rate," but the catastrophic failure of my youngest son's cellphone at the end of January necessitated that I advance my plans. And Costco had a deal. And, after numerous calls and web visits while I stood around looking dumber than usual, the sales clerk said he'd started the process by which my office number would be successfully ported.

He said.

A week went by.

And my office number was still active as a landline.

I steeled myself for the ordeal, like Hercules undertaking his descent into Hades, and plunged into AT&T Phone Hell. After fending off all the computer guardians set to block my access to a real human, I finally spoke with a young lady and asked her why my account was still active.

It's scheduled to be disconnected, she assured me. All three lines? I asked (I had a rollover line in addition to the fax line; this was another holdover from the days when conference calling was pretty spiffy stuff). I'm closing out this account, I told her, and she asked why. I told her.

And, lo and behold, within a few more days, the main number was disconnected. My cellphone office number was up and running.

I disconnected my landline phone. I wanted to pull out the fax machine, too, but, alas, when I pressed "Hook" on the console, I still got a dial tone. I got the fax shown here after I asked for the disconnection of my AT&T service. It has since been joined by a sheaf of brother and sister junk faxes.

Meanwhile, I got another bill from AT&T. Now my old rollover number was the account number -- but, admittedly, there was a price decrease reflecting the change from three lines to two. Except that I had requested -- you'll recall -- to go from three lines to none.

I paid the bill. I marked it "Final" and "Under Protest" and put both account numbers on it -- all the things that we learned, way back in law school, that were supposed to be helpful in preserving rights but which we now know, in reality, to be a complete waste of ink.

So I girded my loins for another descent into Phone Hades.

Why did I get a bill? I asked, when I finally made it through the multiple menus and "all of our service representatives are still assisting other customers" announcements.

The new young lady looked up my account. Never mind that I'd given my new account number, my old account number, my shoe size, and my high school transcript to various computer guardians en route to speak with her. You are scheduled to be disconnected, she told me, eventually.

I am?

That's what it says here.

Can you tell me why I haven't been disconnected yet?

I can't tell from this screen, she told me (and I was not at all surprised), but you are scheduled.

When?

I can't say for certain. Soon.

I let it go at that.

What a dope I am.

The double-whammy bill has since arrived. And I'm still getting faxes from my "H.R. Department."

Judicial blogger interviewed again on NTNM



I am a guest on an upcoming episode of Northtown News Magazine. However, with the permission of NTNM host and moderator Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew Sonny Hersh, you can avoid the wait and watch the interview now.

NTNM airs Thursdays on CAN-TV at 7:30 p.m., and again on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. It airs in Evanston on Cable Channel 6 on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 p.m. NTNM also airs on a number of cable systems in the suburbs Thursdays and Monday. Check your local listings for air times.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spent some time on BallotReady this morning...

No, at this point, I think I know where I'm going on the judicial ballot. I was studying up on the 41st Ward Committeeman race and BallotReady was helpful there.

I'm glad BallotReady includes all the bar association recommendations -- but it doesn't have the explanations that three of the 12 groups have provided -- and it doesn't have links to the video interviews, or the Tribune Questionnaires....

Meanwhile, Aldertrack is retweeting palm cards. I'm trying to pull up what they post to see where wards or townships may have departed from the judicial slate. Tweet me your palm card at @JackLeyhane. I think that's what the kids do, right?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Steven A. Kozicki interviewed for a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Steven A. Kozicki, a Republican candidate for the "A" vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

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Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Judge Alison Conlon interviewed for a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Judge Alison C. Conlon, a candidate for the countywide Hogan vacancy, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

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Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Judge Eve Marie Reilly interviewed on a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Judge Eve Marie Reilly, a candidate for the Howard vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

-----------------------------------------
Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Tom Kougias interviewd for a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Thomas Peter Kougias, a candidate for the Berman vacancy in 9th Subcircuit, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

-----------------------------------------
Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Louis George Apostol interviewed for a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Louis George Apostol, a candidate for the Kazmierski, Jr. vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

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Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Pat Heneghan interviewed for a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Pat Heneghan, a candidate for the countywide Palmer vacancy, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

-----------------------------------------
Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Judge Jerry Esrig interviewed for a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Judge Jerry Esrig, a candidate for the Berman vacancy in the 9th Subcircuit, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

-----------------------------------------
Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Richard "Rick" Cenar interviewed for a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Richard "Rick" Cenar, a candidate for the Howard vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

-----------------------------------------
Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

William S. Wojcik interviewed for a Sonny Hersh Election Special



William S. Wojcik, a candidate for the countywide Ruscitti Grusell vacancy, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

-----------------------------------------
Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Judge Aleksandra Gillespie interviewed on a Sonny Hersh Election Special



Judge Aleksandra Gillespie, a candidate for the countywide Howlett, Jr. vacancy, was recently interviewed by Avy Meyers for a "Sonny Hersh Election Special." With the permission of Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, you can watch the interview here.

-----------------------------------------
Planning to vote tomorrow and looking for information about all Cook County judicial candidates? Click here for the most complete information about every Cook County judicial contest.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Organizing the Data: 2nd Subcircuit, Savage vacancy

Candidates are listed in the order that they appear on the ballot in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this vacancy.

This contest was profiled in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Celeste K. Jones - #241


Campaign Website

Tribune Questionnaire

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Celeste K. Jones is “Not Recommended” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Jones was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1995 and has served in a variety of positions in the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office her entire career. Since 2007, Ms. Jones has served as Supervisory Attorney in the Accounts Department where her duties include: preparing and filing annual accounts, income tax returns, ensuring payment of real estate taxes, and other duties for people under the supervision of the Public Guardian’s Office. Ms. Jones’ career in public service is exemplary, however; her limited court experience coupled with her narrow area of practice would make it difficult for her to effectively serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Celeste Jones was admitted to practice in 1995. She is a career attorney with the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office. She is currently a supervising attorney in the Accounts Department. From 2003 to 2007, she served as a staff attorney in this Office. From 1999 to 2003, she was the Lead Attorney in the Juvenile Division, and was an attorney doing litigation in the Office between 1995 and 1999. She is widely respected for her legal knowledge and ability. She has substantial litigation experience and has a strong background in a variety of legal issues. She is reported to have good temperament and is praised for being prepared. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Celeste K. Jones has been licensed since 1995. She is currently a supervising attorney in the Accounts Department for the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office after previously serving in several other divisions of the office. She has substantial litigation experience in various divisions of the Circuit Court system and is praised for her legal knowledge and ability. Ms. Jones is found to be Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisQualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

Endorsement
Chicago Federation of Labor

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Chelsey R. Robinson - #242


Campaign Website

Tribune Website

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Chelsey R. Robinson is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Robinson was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1996 and is engaged in private practice concentrating in criminal law, divorce, and personal injury matters. Ms. Robinson has a varied practice which includes trial experience. Ms. Robinson is also involved in community and philanthropic organizations. Ms. Robinson possesses the requisite depth and breadth of experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Chelsey R. Robinson was admitted to practice in 1996. She is a Partner in a small firm where she handles civil and criminal litigation matters. Her practice also includes bankruptcy and employment discrimination matters in federal court. She is widely praised for her legal ability and for her knowledge of the law. She has litigation experience in a variety of matters in both state and federal courts. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Chelsey Robinson was admitted to the bar in 1996. She is in private practice in a small firm handling civil and criminal litigation matters. In addition, she serves as legal advisor to the Judge Mathis television show. While she is considered to be well-prepared and even-keeled, concerns were raised during the evaluation process as to her lack of more recent and complex courtroom litigation. Ms. Robinson is found to be Not Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisQualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

Endorsement
Illinois Civil Justice League (Recommended)

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D. Renee Jackson - #243


Campaign Website

Tribune Questionnaire

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
D. Renee Jackson declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association’s governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
D. Renee Jackson failed to submit materials for evaluation. The Council finds her Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
D. Renee Jackson declined to participate in the judicial evaluation process. Ms. Jackson is found to be Not Recommended for election to the Circuit Court, pursuant to ISBA guidelines.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Not Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoNot Recommended
Cook County Bar AssociationNot Recommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersNot Recommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationNot Recommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisNot Qualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoNot Recommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisNot Recommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisNot Recommended

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Travis Richardson - #244


Campaign Website

Tribune Questionnaire

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Travis Richardson is “Qualified” to serve as a Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Richardson was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1997 and is a partner in the firm of Richardson & Mackoff. Mr. Richardson has extensive civil and criminal trial experience in a variety of courts. Mr. Richardson is also actively involved in community service and bar association work. The circumstances involving Mr. Richardson’s past censure and several collection/contract lawsuits were thoroughly reviewed. Mr. Richardson possesses the depth and breadth of legal experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Travis Richardson was admitted to practice in 1997. He has been in private practice for most of his career, focusing on litigation matters in both state and federal courts. His litigation experience spans both civil matters and criminal defense work. He is active in community efforts, and served as a Hearing Examiner for the Chicago Board of Elections between 2010 and 2012. Mr. Richardson is considered to have excellent legal ability. He has substantial litigation experience in more complex matters and is widely praised for his professionalism, his knowledge of the law, and for his temperament. He is reported to be exceptionally hard-working and a zealous advocate for his clients. He is also reported to have demonstrated his interest in improving the legal system. The Chicago Council of Lawyers finds Mr. Richardson to be Well Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Travis Richardson has been licensed since 1997. He has spent most of his career in private practice, litigating in both state and federal court and before administrative agencies in both civil and criminal matters. In addition, he has been a hearing officer for the Chicago Board of Elections. He has substantial litigation experience in complex matters and is considered to be professional, knowledgeable and even-tempered. Mr. Richardson is found to be Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisHighly Qualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

Endorsement
Chicago Tribune

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Organizing the Data: 1st Subcircuit, Hopkins vacancy

Candidates are listed in the order that they appear on the ballot in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this vacancy.

This contest was profiled in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Anthony E. Simpkins - #243


Campaign website

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Anthony Simpkins is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Simpkins was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1994 and worked for several years for the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing. In 1997, Mr. Simpkins became an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and served as Litigation Supervisor, Senior Municipal Prosecutor in the Law Department’s Building and Land Use Litigation Division. Since 2007, Mr. Simpkins has served as Deputy Commissioner in the City of Chicago’s Department of Community Development. Mr. Simpkins is well regarded by his peers for his knowledge, legal ability, fine temperament, and commitment to public service.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Hon. Anthony Simpkins was admitted to practice in 1994, and was recently appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court. He had been the Deputy Commissioner for Housing Preservation for the Chicago Department of Housing since April 2007. He was Senior Counsel in the Building and Land Use Litigation Division of the Chicago Department of Law between 1997 and 2007 where he prosecuted civil litigation matters. Between 1996 and 1997, he served with the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing as a Skadden Fellow. Mr. Simpkins is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. He has substantial litigation experience in complex matters both as a practitioner and as a supervisor of other lawyers. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Anthony E. Simpkins was admitted to practice in 1994. He was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2014. Prior to his appointment, he was the Deputy Commissioner for Housing Preservation for the Chicago Department of Housing. He also spent about ten years as the senior Counsel in the Building and Land Use Litigation Division of the Chicago Department of Law, handling civil litigation. He has substantial litigation experience and ability along with being diligent and even-keeled. He has some bar association and community involvement. Judge Simpkins is found to be Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisQualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

Endorsements
Chicago Tribune
Chicago Federation of Labor
Indo-American Democratic Organization

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Rhonda Crawford - #244


Campaign Website

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Rhonda Crawford declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association’s governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Rhonda Crawford failed to submit materials for evaluation. The Council finds her Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Rhonda Crawford declined to participate in the judicial evaluation process. Ms. Crawford is found to be Not Recommended for election to the Circuit Court, pursuant to ISBA guidelines.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Not Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoNot Recommended
Cook County Bar AssociationNot Recommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersNot Recommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationNot Recommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisNot Qualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoNot Recommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisNot Recommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisNot Recommended


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Lisa A. Copland - #245


Campaign Website

Tribune Questionnaire

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Lisa Copland declined to participate in the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) screening process and, therefore, according to The Chicago Bar Association’s governing resolution for the JEC, is automatically found NOT RECOMMENDED.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Lisa A. Copland was admitted to practice in 1997. She provides pro bono assistance through the Cook County Bar Association Free Legal Clinic, and through the Foreclosure Mediation program of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. She is currently a sole practitioner, and has practiced as a sole practitioner or in a small firm throughout her career. While she does not report having jury trial experience, she has substantial bench trial experience and represents individuals
in administrative hearings. She is considered to have good legal ability and is praised for her knowledge about her areas of practice. She has substantial litigation-related experience and is reported to have a good temperament. She is active in doing pro bono representation. She is hard working and a zealous advocate for her clients. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Lisa Copland was admitted to practice in 1997. She is in private practice concentrating in domestic relations. In addition, she has served as a court appointed guardian ad litem and appeared before DCFS hearings. She is active in pro bono work. While Ms. Copland is considered to be intelligent, professional and well-prepared, concerns were raised over her lack of any jury trial experience. Ms. Copland is found to be Not Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisQualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

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Organizing the Data: 13th Subcircuit, Fecarotta, Jr. vacancy

The Democratic candidate for this vacancy is unopposed; two candidates filed as Republicans for this vacancy. The Republican candidates are listed first.

The Republican primary contest was profiled in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Republican Candidates

Kevin Michael O'Donnell - #241

Campaign Website

Kevin O'Donnell: In his own words

Tribune Questionnaire

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Kevin M. O’Donnell is “Not Recommended” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. O’Donnell was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1988 and has been a solo practitioner concentrating in real estate, wills, trusts and probate matters. While Mr. O’Donnell has practiced law for 28 years, his limited court experience would make it difficult for him to effectively serve as a judge.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Kevin M. O’Donnell was admitted to practice in 1988. He has been a sole practitioner for most of his career, although he practiced with small firms for several years early in his career. His current practice concentrates on estate planning, probate, litigation, corporate work, and real estate matters. He is active in community activities. He is considered to have good legal ability and knowledge of the law. He reports handling relatively few trials, but he has been involved in substantial pretrial practice activities in more complex matters. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Kevin O’Donnell has been licensed since 1988. He is a sole practitioner in Park Ridge who concentrates in estate planning, probate and some real estate. Most of this recent experience is transactional in nature. He has not tried any matters to a jury and has limited trial experience overall. He is praised for his knowledge of probate law and generally considered well-prepared. There are concerns about his limited trial experience and lack of recent complex litigation. Mr. O’Donnell is found to be Not Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Not Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoEvaluation Unavailable
Cook County Bar AssociationNot Recommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersNot Recommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationNot Recommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisEvaluation Unavailable
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoNot Recommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisNot Recommended

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Gary W. Seyring - #242

Campaign Website

Tribune Questionnaire

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Gary W. Seyring is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Seyring was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1978 and has practiced in a small firm or as a solo practitioner for 35 years. Mr. Seyring, who is also a Certified Public Accountant, concentrates his practice in probate, estate planning, real estate, and general business matters. Mr. Seyring has an even temperament and is well regarded by his peers for his knowledge of the law. Mr. Seyring is also involved in pro bono and public service work.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Gary W. Seyring was admitted to practice in 1978. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. He is a solo practitioner focusing on domestic relations, real estate, estate planning, tax planning, and business law. A substantial percentage of Mr. Seyring’s practice involves litigation. He is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Gary W. Seyring has been licensed since 1978. He is a sole practitioner and a CPA focusing on domestic relations, real estate, estate planning, and business law. He does have litigation experience in those areas. It is reported that he has good legal knowledge and is diligent with a good demeanor. Mr. Seyring is found to be Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisNot Recommended
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoNot Recommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

Endorsement
Chicago Tribune

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Democratic Candidate

Ketki "Kay" Steffen - #241


Campaign Website

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Judge Ketki Shroff Steffen is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Steffen was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1991 and was first appointed to the Circuit Court in 2010. Judge Steffen served on the bench for two years and presided over traffic, civil and criminal domestic violence cases. From 2013 to November 2015, she served as an Administrative Law Judge Arbitrator for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Judge Steffen was reappointed to the Circuit Court in 2015 and is currently assigned to the First Municipal District where she presides over forcible detainer cases. Judge Steffen is diligent and highly regarded her knowledge of the law, judicial ability and integrity.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Hon. Ketki Shroff Steffen was admitted to practice in 1991. She was appointed to the Circuit Court for a second time in 2015. In 2013 she was a sole practitioner and from 2013-2015 she served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. She was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Circuit Court in 2010 and served as a Circuit Judge between 2010 and 2013. From 1991 to 2010, she served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. She is considered to have good legal ability. As a lawyer, she enjoyed a reputation as a trusted and experienced litigator. As a judge, she is praised for her ability to grasp the issues, for her courtroom management, and for her temperament. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Ketki Steffen was licensed in 1991. She was appointed in November 2015 to the Circuit Court. She also served as a Circuit Court judge by appointment from 2010 to 2013, and was then appointed to be an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission from 2013 to 2015. Before her original appointment to the bench, she spent nineteen years with the State’s Attorney’s Office where she obtained extensive litigation experience. She is considered knowledgeable in a variety of areas of law and is highly regarded by attorneys who have appeared before her. Judge Steffen is found to be Highly Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersHighly Recommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisQualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoHighly Recommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

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Organizing the Data: 12th Subcircuit, Mathein vacancy

Two candidates filed as Democrats for this vacancy and one Republican. The Democratic candidates are listed first.

The Democratic primary contest was profiled in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Democratic Candidates

Janet Cronin Mahoney - #245

Campaign Website

Tribune Questionnaire

Video Interview: NTNM

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Janet C. Mahoney is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Mahoney was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1987 and serves as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney assigned to the Criminal Appeals Division. Ms. Mahoney has extensive appellate practice experience and is highly regarded by her peers for her knowledge of the law and excellent demeanor.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Janet Cronin Mahoney was admitted to practice in 1987. She is a career Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney where she is a supervisor in the Appellate Division. She has handled more than 280 appellate matters. Lawyers generally report that she has good legal ability. As a seasoned appellate lawyer, she has experience with a large number of issues. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Janet Cronin Mahoney has been licensed since 1987. She has spent her entire career at the State’s Attorney’s Office where she is a supervisor in the Appellate Division. While she is considered to be a competent and diligent appellate lawyer, there are concerns about her limited trial court experience and her lack of recent non-appellate litigation. Ms. Mahoney is found to be Not Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationNot Recommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersNot Recommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisEvaluation Unavailable
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

Endorsements
Chicago Tribune
Cook County Democratic Party
Chicago Federation of Labor
Jewish Chicago
United Hellenic Voters of America

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Adam Scott Mathein - #246

Campaign Website

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Adam Mathein is “Not Recommended” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Mathein was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1997 and is a partner in his own firm concentrating in insurance law and subrogation matters. While Mr. Mathein has a high volume practice with considerable experience in arbitration, his knowledge and practice experience is in a narrow field of law and his court experience is limited. It is recommended that Mr. Mathein obtain additional practice and court experience which would better equip him for service as a Circuit Court Judge.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Adam Scott Mathein was admitted to practice law in 1997. He is attorney and vice president of Mathein & Rostoker, P.C. He went into practice with Glyn Rostoker immediately upon graduating from law school. His practice involves insurance litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, and reports that he also is responsible for the day to day operations of the small firm (2 partners, 1 associate, and five non-lawyer employees). He practices in Cook County courts (mostly in the municipal districts) as well as in the collar counties. He is considered to have good legal ability and is widely praised for his diligence in his dealings with opposing counsel. He has substantial litigation-related experience. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Adam Mathein has been licensed since 1997. He is in private practice at Mathein & Rostoker doing insurance litigation and subrogation work. He does not have adequate jury trial experience, and while he litigates many motions, the cases rarely go to trial. He is considered knowledgeable and hard-working in his area as well as professional. There are concerns, however, about the lack of complex litigation and trials and the limited nature of his experience. Mr. Mathein is found to be Not Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersNot Recommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisEvaluation Unavailable
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoNot Recommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisNot Evaluated
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

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Republican Candidate

James Leonard Allegretti - #242


No campaign website known

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
James L. Allegretti is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Allegretti was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1978 and is engaged in private practice concentrating in personal injury, workers’ compensation, criminal, and traffic reinstatement hearings. Mr. Allegretti is well rounded in the law and possesses the requisite legal knowledge and experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
James L. Allegretti was admitted to practice in 1978. From 2005 to 2011, Mr. Allegretti served as the Fourth Ward Alderman for the city of Park Ridge. Since 1990, he has been the Principal in the firm of Allegretti and Associates, focusing on Plaintiff’s personal injury cases and petitioners’ workers compensation representation. He has practiced as a solo practitioner or in a small firm doing traffic, DUI, personal injury and workers’ compensation cases since 1978. He is considered to have good legal knowledge and ability. Lawyers say he knows the law and has a good temperament. He is civil even in difficult cases. He has substantial litigation experience. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
James Leonard Allegretti was admitted to practice in 1978. He is in private practice and was an alderman in Park Ridge from 2005 to 2011. He has a strong background in traffic and DUI law. Since 2007 his practice has focused more on personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, along with federal civil rights matters. He receives good marks for legal ability and demeanor, and has had some bar association involvement. Mr. Allegretti is found to be Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisQualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

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Organizing the Data: 12th Subcircuit, Tristano vacancy

These two candidates are running unopposed in their respective primaries.

Democratic Candidate

Carrie Hamilton - #247


Campaign Website

Video Interview: NTNM

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Carrie E. Hamilton is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Hamilton was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1996 and has served as Assistant United States Attorney for the past 13 years. Ms. Hamilton is currently serving as a Deputy Chief in the Public Corruption and Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s office. Ms. Hamilton has tried a number of complex jury cases and is highly regarded for her integrity, knowledge of the law, legal ability and outstanding demeanor and temperament.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Hon. Carrie Hamilton was admitted to practice in 1996. She was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Circuit Court in 2015. She was an Assistant United States Attorney who had prosecuted a number of high visibility cases in Chicago. She is praised for her legal ability and for her courtroom skills. She is considered to have a good temperament. She has extensive litigation experience in complex matters. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Carrie Hamilton was admitted to practice in 1996. She was appointed to the Circuit Court in July 2015. Prior to her appointment, she worked for the United States Attorney’s Office, most recently as Deputy Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, handling several high-profile cases. She has extensive complex litigation experience and is praised for her legal ability, courtroom skills and temperament. Judge Hamilton is found to be Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisNot Evaluated
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoHighly Recommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

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Republican Candidate

David Studenroth - #243

Campaign Website

Video Interview: NTNM
Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
David Studenroth is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Studenroth was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1987 and is currently engaged in private practice concentrating in criminal matters. Mr. Studenroth has extensive trial experience and is well regarded for his knowledge of the law, legal ability, diligence, and excellent temperament.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
David Lawrence Studenroth was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1987. In 1987 he became an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. In 1998 he began a solo practice focusing on criminal defense matters. Mr. Stedenroth is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. He has litigation experience and is reported to be a solid practitioner. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
David Studenroth has been licensed since 1987. After several years working for the State’s Attorney’s Office, in 1998 he opened his solo practice focusing on criminal defense. He has substantial trial experience and is considered knowledgeable with a good temperament and high character. He is active in his community. Mr. Studenroth is found to be Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersHighly Recommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisQualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisHighly Recommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

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Organizing the Data: 4th Subcircuit, Kunkle vacancy

This candidate is running unopposed in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this vacancy.

Edward J. King - #241


Campaign Website

Bar Association Evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association says:
Judge Edward J. King is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge King was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1981 and had extensive practice experience before his appointment to the bench in 2014. Judge King’s experience includes private practice and service as an Assistant Chicago Corporation Counsel and as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General. Judge King is currently assigned to Traffic Court and is well regarded for his knowledge of the law, judicial ability, dedication to justice, and outstanding temperament.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers says:
Hon. Edward J. King was appointed to the Circuit Court by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2014. He was a sole practitioner and since 1988 had served as a Special Assistant Illinois Attorney General. He is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. He had substantial litigation experience in more complex matters. He is praised for his temperament. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
The Illinois State Bar Association says:
Edward J. King was admitted to practice in 1981. He was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2014. Prior to his appointment, he worked as a sole practitioner doing personal injury, chancery, estates, and criminal defense. He also represented municipal entities and state agencies. He has substantial jury and bench litigation experience. He is considered to be a strong advocate with a collegial demeanor and high integrity. Judge King is found to be Qualified for election to the Circuit Court.
Other Bar Association Evaluations:
Asian American Bar Association of the
Greater Chicago Area
Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater ChicagoRecommended
Cook County Bar AssociationRecommended
Decalogue Society of LawyersRecommended
Hellenic Bar AssociationRecommended
Hispanic Lawyers Association of IllinoisQualified
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of ChicagoRecommended
Puerto Rican Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended
Women’s Bar Association of IllinoisRecommended

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