Friday, February 24, 2012

Chicago Bar Association releases judicial candidate evaluations

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of all judicial candidates running in the March primary. (The CBA's full report is available on the CBA website (PDF document).

The CBA rates candidates "highly qualified," "qualified," or "not recommended." Any candidate who refuses to participate in the screening process is automatically "not recommended." In evaluating the 105 Circuit Court candidates, for example, the CBA deemed 36 "not recommended," 15 of these because they refused to participate. Of the 90 candidates evaluated by the CBA, 14 were found "highly qualified" and 55 more were found "qualified."

So, what race are you interested in?
Supreme Court vacancy;

Appellate Court - Cahill vacancy;
Appellate Court - Coleman vacancy;
Appellate Court - Gallagher vacancy;
Appellate Court - O'Brien vacancy;
Appellate Court - Theis vacancy;
Appellate Court - Tully vacancy;

Countywide - Conlon vacancy;
Countywide - Jordan vacancy;
Countywide - Kinnaird vacancy;
Countywide - Moran vacancy;
Countywide - O'Brien, Jr. vacancy;
Countywide - O'Mara Frossard vacancy;
Countywide - Pucinski vacancy;
Countywide - Simmons, Jr. vacancy;
Countywide - Stewart vacancy;
Countywide - Stralka vacancy;
Countywide - Ward vacancy;

2nd Subcircuit -- Stuttley vacancy;
3rd Subcircuit -- McGann vacancy;
3rd Subcircuit -- Moore vacancy;
4th Subcircuit -- Riley vacancy;
4th Subcircuit -- "A" vacancy;
6th Subcircuit -- Delgado vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Jones vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Starks vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Terrell vacany;
7th Subcircuit -- Toney vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Chiola vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Cole vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Durkin Roy vacany;
8th Subcircuit -- "A" vacancy;
9th Subcircuit -- Bender vacancy;
9th Subcircuit -- Epstein vacancy;
10th Subcircuit -- Locallo vacancy;
11th Subcircuit -- O'Brien vacancy;
11th Subcircuit -- Urso vacancy;
12th Subcircuit -- Rochford vacancy;
13th Subcircuit -- Pietrucha vacancy;
13th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy;
14th Subcircuit - O'Gara vacancy.
Note: Some of these links will take you to page one, so you will not see all of the linked posts if you merely scroll down this page.

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Want to compare the CBA ratings with those issued by the Chicago Council of Lawyers? Click here.

CBA evaluation in the race for the Coleman vacancy on the Appellate Court

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate remaining on the Democratic primary ballot for the Coleman vacancy on the Appellate Court. No Republican filed for this (or any other) Appellate Court vacancy.

Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse, Jr. -- Highly Qualified
Justice Nathaniel R. Howse, Jr. is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. Justice Howse was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1976 and had an extensive trial practice before becoming a judge in 1998. Judge Howse was retained for an additional six-year term in 2004 and was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2009. Justice Howse is well respected for his knowledge of the law, work ethic, well-written opinions, and outstanding demeanor.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the Theis vacancy on the Appellate Court

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Theis vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court. No Republican filed for this (or any other) Appellate Court vacancy.

Maureen E. Connors -- Qualified
Judge Maureen E. Connors is “Qualified” for the office of Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. Judge Connors was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1979 and became an Associate Judge in 1988. In 1994, Judge Connors was elected to the Circuit Court and served in the Probate Division until 2010 when she was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court. Judge Connors has served as an Appellate Court Justice for the past ten months. Judge Connors has established an excellent reputation on the Appellate Court and is highly regarded her knowledge of the law, excellent demeanor, and well-written opinions.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the Tully vacancy on the Appellate Court

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Tully vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court. No Republican filed for this (or any other) Appellate Court vacancy.

Terrence J. Lavin -- Qualified
Justice Terrence J. Lavin is “Qualified” for the office of Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. Justice Lavin was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1983 and was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2010. Before his appointment to the Illinois Appellate Court, Justice Lavin had an extensive trial practice concentrating in torts and medical malpractice. Justice Lavin is highly regarded for his knowledge of civil law and has published numerous articles about Civil Trial Practice. Justice Lavin serves as the Presiding Judge of the Fourth Appellate Division and is well regarded for his knowledge of the law, legal scholarship, writing skills, and strong work ethic.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the countywide Jordan vacancy

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Jordan vacancy. No Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Jean Prendergast Rooney -- Highly Qualified
Judge Jean Prendergast Rooney is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Prendergast Rooney was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1994 and was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2010. Prior to her appointment to the Circuit Court, Judge Prendergast served as a law clerk in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, and in private practice. Judge Prendergast Rooney is hardworking and well respected for her knowledge of the law and fine judicial demeanor and temperament.

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CBA evaluations in the race for the countywide Kinnaird vacancy

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Kinnaird vacancy. Candidates are listed in ballot order. Both of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Kevin Cunningham -- Qualified
Kevin P. Cunningham is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Cunningham was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1992 and is engaged in the private practice of law concentrating in criminal, personal injury, and real estate matters. Mr. Cunningham also serves as Village Prosecutor in Oak Lawn. Mr. Cunningham is hardworking and well regarded for his legal knowledge, experience, and fine temperament.
Erica L. Reddick -- Qualified
Judge Erica Reddick is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Reddick was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1991 and was appointed a Circuit Court Judge in 2010. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as an Assistant Cook County Public Defender. Judge Reddick is well regarded for her work ethic and integrity.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the countywide Moran vacancy

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Moran vacancy. No Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Russell W. Hartigan -- Highly Qualified
Judge Russell W. Hartigan is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Hartigan was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1976 and had an extensive litigation practice before becoming a judge in 2010. Judge Hartigan currently is assigned to a misdemeanor court in the First Municipal District. Judge Hartigan is well respected for his knowledge of the law and outstanding demeanor and temperament.

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CBA evaluations in the race for the countywide O'Mara Frossard vacancy

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of candidates running for the O'Mara Frossard vacancy. Candidates are listed in ballot order. All of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Nichole C. Patton -- Not Recommended
Nichole Catina Patton is “Not Recommended” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Patton was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1997 and has varied practice experience in government, corporate law, and in private practice. Ms. Patton is currently working as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney handling mental health related issues. Although Ms. Patton has had both civil and criminal experience, she does not possess the depth and breadth of practice experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
Kevin W. Horan -- Qualified
Kevin W. Horan is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Horan was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1979 and is currently a co-managing member of his law firm. Mr. Horan has litigation experience in both civil and criminal law and is well regarded for his work ethic and integrity. Mr. Horan possesses all the requisite qualifications to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
Diann Karen Marsalek -- Qualified
Diann K. Marsalek is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Marsalek was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1990 and currently serves as a Legal Advisor in the Administrative Hearings Department of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. Ms. Marsalek has extensive legal and trial experience and has a soft-spoken demeanor. Ms. Marsalek possesses all the requisite qualifications to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
Rodrick F. Wimberly -- Not Recommended
Rodrick F. Wimberly is “Not Recommended” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Wimberly was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1995 and is currently engaged in the solo practice of law concentrating in criminal and family law matters. Mr. Wimberly has several pending inquiries with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and is facing a number of personal and professional financial problems. These problems raise significant questions and concerns about Mr. Wimberly’s professionalism.

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CBA evaluations in the race for the countywide Simmons, Jr. vacancy

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Simmons, Jr. vacancy. Candidates are listed in ballot order. All of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Michael A. Forti -- Highly Qualified
Michael Angelo Forti is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Forti was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1980 and has experience in private practice and the government sector. Since 1994, Mr. Forti has served in the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel’s office and currently is Deputy Corporation Counsel in the Constitutional and Commercial Litigation Section. Mr. Forti has extensive trial experience and possesses all the requisite qualifications to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
Jessica A. O'Brien -- Qualified
Jessica O’Brien is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. O’Brien was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1998 and is serving as a litigation attorney in the Income Tax Section of the Illinois Department of Revenue. Ms. O’Brien has an LLM degree in Taxation and Employee Benefits. In addition, Ms. O’Brien has served as the General Counsel for the Illinois Lottery since 2011. Ms. O’Brien possesses the breadth of legal knowledge and experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
James A. Wright -- Qualified
James A. Wright is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Wright was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1989 and served as an Assistant United State’s Attorney, Chief of Staff for the Chicago Police Department, and as an Inspector General for the Illinois Toll Highway Authority and for the Office of Inspector General for Illinois gubernatorial agencies. Mr. Wright worked at a large law firm for several years and is currently engaged in private practice as a solo practitioner. Mr. Wright has a fine demeanor and temperament and possesses the requisite qualifications to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the countywide Stralka vacancy

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Stralka vacancy. No Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Michael Tully Mullen -- Highly Qualified
Michael T. Mullen is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Mullen was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1981 and served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General and as an Assistant United States Attorney, rising to the position of deputy chief of the criminal division in which he supervised 35 attorneys. Mr. Mullen has received prestigious achievement awards from the U.S. Department of Justice. For the last 13 years, he has concentrated his practice in plaintiff’s personal injury work. Mr. Mullen has extensive civil and criminal practice experience and is highly regarded for his legal knowledge and ability and outstanding demeanor. Mr. Mullen is committed to public service and also serves as a suburban trustee.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the Moore vacancy in the 3rd Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the McSweeney Moore vacancy in the 3rd Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Daniel R. Degnan -- Not Recommended
The candidate 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.

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CBA evaluations in the race for the Riley vacancy in the 4th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Riley vacancy in the 4th Subcircuit. Candidates are listed in ballot order.

Democratic Candidates

Daniel Lawrence Peters -- Qualified
Judge Daniel L. Peters is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Peters was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1991 and was appointed to the bench in 2011. Judge Peters is assigned to the Circuit Court’s Fifth Municipal District and presides over misdemeanor and traffic calls in the Bridgeview Court. Judge Peters has a calm demeanor and possesses the requisite legal knowledge and experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.
William "Gomo" Gomolinski -- Qualified
Judge William E. Gomolinski is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Gomolinski was admitted to practice law in 1986 and has been a judge since 2007. Judge Gomolinski is currently assigned to the First Municipal District and hears Forcible Entry and Detainer cases. Judge Gomolinski manages a high-volume court call effectively and is well regarded for his knowledge of the law, work ethic, and judicial ability.
Michael J. "Mike" Dickman -- Not Recommended
Michael J. Dickman is “Not Recommended” for the office of Associate Judge. Mr. Dickman was admit¬ted to practice law in Illinois in 1990 and has varied practice experience as an Assistant Cook County Public Defender (1991-1994); litigation associate in two separate firms (1994-1996); Judicial Hearing Officer, Circuit Court of Cook County (1996-2007); Special Project Staff Lawyer (2007); Research Attorney for the Illinois Appellate Court (2008); and Assistant State’s Attorney (2008-2011). Significant concerns about the depth and breadth of Mr. Dickman’s knowledge of the law and integrity resulted in a “Not Recommended” finding.
Terry Gallagher -- Qualified
Terry Gallagher is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Gallagher was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1988 and served in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Mr. Gallagher is currently engaged in private practice concentrating in civil litigation and criminal defense work. Mr. Gallagher has extensive trial experience and is well regarded for his work ethic and fine temperament.
Joanne Marie Rogers -- Qualified
Joanne Marie Rogers is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Rogers was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1989 and is currently working for a small firm concentrating her practice in civil and commercial litigation and insurance defense work. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Rogers served in the Cook County Public Defender’s office and in the Appeals Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Ms. Rogers enjoys an excellent reputation and possesses all the requisite qualifications to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

Republican Candidate

Harry J. Fournier -- Not Recommended
Harry J. Fournier is “Not Recommended” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Fournier was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1997 and is currently a solo practitioner concentrating in Probate, Real Estate and Corporate Law. Mr. Fournier has transactional experience and is well regarded for his fine temperament and integrity. However, at this stage of his career, he does not possess the requisite depth and breadth of practice experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the Jones vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Jones vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Aicha Marie MacCarthy -- Not Recommended
Ms. Aicha Marie MacCarthy is “Not Recommended” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. MacCarthy was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1997 and has held a variety of positions including: service as a Hearing Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority and Traffic Prosecutor for the City of Chicago from 1998-2001 and as an Assistant Commissioner for the City of Chicago from 2001-2008. Ms. MacCarthy has been self-employed from 2009 to the present. Ms. MacCarthy has a fine demeanor and presented well. However, Ms. MacCarthy lacks substantive legal experience in complex matters and has limited practice experience. In addition, Ms. MacCarthy has not had any jury trial or appellate experience. At this stage of her career, Ms. MacCarthy does not possess the requisite depth and breadth of legal experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the Terrell vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Terrell vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

William Gamboney -- Highly Qualified
William Gamboney is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Gamboney was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1977 and served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney for fifteen years. Following his service in the State’s Attorney’s office, Mr. Gamboney entered private practice and has concentrated in criminal defense work. Mr. Gamboney has tried many complex cases and is highly respected for his integrity, legal knowledge, trial skills, and outstanding demeanor.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the "A" vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the "A" vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Laura Liu -- Qualified
Laura Cha-Yu Liu is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Liu was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1991 and has had diverse civil practice experience concentrating in Municipal and Health Care Law. Ms. Liu is thoughtful, organized, and well regarded for her work ethic. Ms. Liu possesses the requisite qualifications for service as a Circuit Court Judge.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

CBA evaluations in the race for the Bender vacancy in the 9th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Bender vacancy in the 9th Subcircuit. Candidates are listed in ballot order. These two candidates face each other in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Michael Ian Bender -- Qualified
Judge Michael I. Bender is “Qualified” to serve as a Recalled Judge of the Circuit Court. Judge Bender was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1991 and was appointed to the bench in 2008. Judge Bender is well versed in civil and criminal law and is currently assigned to the Expedited Child Support Unit of the Domestic Relations Division. Judge Bender is dedicated and well regarded for his knowledge of the law, excellent temperament, diligence, and commitment to the justice system.
Lionel Jean-Baptiste -- Qualified
Lionel Jean-Baptiste is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Jean-Baptiste was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1991. Mr. Jean-Baptiste is engaged in the private practice of law and concentrates his practice in transactional litigation, real estate, immigration, and contract matters. Mr. Jean-Baptiste currently serves as an Alderman in Evanston and is active in community work. Mr. Jean-Baptiste is well regarded for his integrity and work ethic.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the Locallo vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Locallo vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Thomas R. Allen -- Qualified
Judge Thomas R. Allen is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Allen was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1977. Judge Allen had extensive legal experience in both the government and private sectors before his appointment to the bench in December 2010. In addition, Judge Allen served as an Alderman for the City of Chicago for 18 years. Judge Allen is well respected for his strong work ethic, integrity, and knowledge of the law.

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CBA evaluations in the race for the O'Brien vacancy in the 11th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of candidates running for the O'Brien vacancy in the 11th Subcircuit. Candidates are listed in ballot order. All of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Maureen A. Murphy -- Qualified
Maureen A. Murphy is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Murphy was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1984 and served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and in private practice. For the past 18 years, Ms. Murphy has worked in the legal department of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Ms. Murphy has diverse legal experience and is highly regarded for her excellent people skills and outstanding temperament and demeanor.
Michael R. Clancy -- Qualified
Michael R. Clancy is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Clancy was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1989. Mr. Clancy is engaged in the private practice of law concentrating in criminal defense matters. Mr. Clancy is thoughtful, articulate, and well regarded for his legal knowledge and ability.
Maritza Martinez -- Qualified
Maritza Martinez is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Martinez was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1989 and is currently engaged in private practice concentrating in criminal defense and civil rights work. Ms. Martinez is a dedicated public servant and served 13 years as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and as a member of the Illinois Court of Claims. Ms. Martinez served as a volunteer to help troubled youth and is also a volunteer at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Ms. Martinez is an experienced lawyer and has both civil and criminal experience in both the state and federal courts.
Roger Zamparo -- Qualified
Roger Zamparo is “Qualified” to serve as a Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Zamparo was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1979. His current practice concentrates in real estate litigation. His past experience includes chancery, commercial litigation and domestic relations. References note the candidate is a hard worker with unquestioned integrity. He is known for his legal knowledge and ability in the areas in which he practices and he possesses the requisite qualities to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the "A" vacancy in the 13th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of the only candidate running in the Republican primary for the "A" vacancy in the 13th Subcircuit. No Democrat filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Martin C. Kelley -- Not Recommended
The candidate 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.

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CBA evaluation in the race for the O'Gara vacancy in the 14th Subcircuit

The Chicago Bar Association has released its evaluations of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the O'Gara vacancy in the 14th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Regina Ann Scannicchio -- Qualified
Judge Regina Ann Scannicchio is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Scannicchio was admitted to practice law in 1989 and practiced family law before her appointment to the bench in 2011. Judge Scannicchio is currently assigned to Traffic Court in the First Municipal District. Judge Scannicchio is highly regarded for her knowledge of the law and dedication to the justice system. Judge Scannicchio is active in the bar and is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More candidate responses to ICJL questionnaires

For an earlier post regarding candidate responses to ICJL questionnaires, click here.

More candidate responses have been linked on IllinoisJudges.net by the Illinois Civil Justice League.

Questionnaire responses from Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis (campaigning for a full term on the court) have now been posted, as have responses from Appellate Court candidates Kay Marie Hanlon and James M. McGing(both candidates for the Cahill vacancy).

New responses have also been posted from countywide candidates Karen Lynn O'Malley (Conlon vacancy), Kevin Cunningham (Kinnaird vacancy), Cynthia Ramirez (O'Brien vacancy), Gerald V. Cleary (O'Brien vacancy), Kevin W. Horan (O'Mara Frossard vacancy), and Edward J. Maloney (Pucinski vacancy).

Subcircuit canditates who have had responses posted recently on the IllinoisJudges.net site include Karen Elizabeth Swanson (4th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy), Julie Line Bailey (4th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy), Gregory Emmett Ahern, Jr. (6th Subcircuit - Delgado vacancy), James L. Kaplan (8th Subcircuit - Cole vacancy), Sharon Finnegan Patterson (8th Subcircuit - Roy vacancy), Michael Ian Bender (9th Subcircuit - Bender vacancy), and Ketki "Kay" Steffen (13th Subcircuit - Pietrucha vacancy).

The ICJL site notes that additional candidate responses are still coming in and more will be posted soon. Check here or IllinoisJudges.net for new candidate responses.

Jesse G. Reyes interviewed for a Sonny Hersh Election Special

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Jesse G. Reyes, a candidate for the O'Brien vacancy on the Appellate Court, was interviewed recently for a Sonny Hersh Election Special, a special presentation of Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, of North Town News Magazine fame. This interview is presented here with Mr. Meyers' permission; watch your local listings for air times.

Judge Reyes has also been interviewed previously on the North Town News Magazine program; here is a link to that earlier interview.

Andrea M. Schleifer interviewed on a Sonny Hersh Election Special

Judge Andrea M. Schleifer, a candidate for the Rochford vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit, was interviewed recently for a Sonny Hersh Election Special, a special presentation of Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, of North Town News Magazine fame. This interview is presented here with Mr. Meyers' permission; watch your local listings for air times.

Judge Schleifer was recently interviewed on the North Town News Magazine program; here is a link to that interview.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Aurelia Pucinski interviewed on a Sonny Hersh Election Special

Appellate Court Justice Aurelia Pucinski, a candidate for the Illinois Supreme Court, was interviewed for the second of several planned Sonny Hersh Election Specials, presented by Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, of North Town News Magazine fame. This show will have its initial airing tomorrow (check CANTV listings) and will be replayed as the primary draws near. This interview is presented with Mr. Meyers' permission.


Justice Pucinski was previously interviewed on an earlier edition of NTNM. I had not previously posted this interview, but I've put it up now. Click on the link in the preceding sentence or scroll down the page to find it.

Edward J. Maloney interviewed on a Sonny Hersh Election Special

Edward J. Maloney, a candidate for the countywide Pucinski vacancy, was interviewed for the second of several planned Sonny Hersh Election Specials, presented by Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, of North Town News Magazine fame. This show will have its initial airing tomorrow (check CANTV listings) and will be replayed as the primary draws near. This interview is presented with Mr. Meyers' permission.


Maloney's recent interview on NTNM is available here.

Judge Diann K. Marsalek on a Sonny Hersh Election Special

Judge Diann K. Marsalek, a candidate for the countywide Frossard vacancy, was interviewed for the second of several planned Sonny Hersh Election Specials, presented by Avy Meyers and his entire technical crew, Sonny Hersh, of North Town News Magazine fame. This show will have its initial airing tomorrow (check CANTV listings) and will be replayed as the primary draws near. This interview is presented with Mr. Meyers' permission.


Judge Marsalek's earlier interview on North Town News Magazine can be accessed by following this link.

Justice Joy Virginia Cunningham interviewed on NTNM

I had not posted this earlier, but Appellate Court Justice Joy Virginia Cunningham, a candidate for the Illinois Supreme Court, was interviewed not too long ago by Avy Meyers on his North Town News Magazine program.


This interview is posted with the Mr. Meyers' kind permission.

Justice Aurelia Pucinski interviewed on NTNM

I had not posted this earlier, but Appellate Court Justice Aurelia Pucinski, a candidate for the Illinois Supreme Court, was interviewed not too long ago by Avy Meyers on his North Town News Magazine program.


This interview is posted with the kind permission of Mr. Meyers.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Judge James M. McGing interviewed on NTNM

Judge James M. McGing, a candidate for the countywide O'Brien vacancy on the Circuit Court, was interviewed recently on Avy Meyers' North Town News Magazine. With Mr. Meyers' permission, the interview is posted below.


NTNM airs on CAN TV, Chicago Cable Channel 19, on Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons; on ECTV 6 on the Evanston cable system on Tuesday and Thursday evenings; and on select suburban cable systems on Mondays. Check your local listings.

Judge McGing was recently interviewed for the Issue Forum program as well. That interview was recently posted on page one.

NB: In many of the NTNM interviews I'll be putting up in the immediate future, Mr. Meyers touts the availability of his publication, Jewish Chicago, on line and in various locations throughout the area. However, these interviews are taped in advance of their actual air dates. Mr. Meyers advises that Jewish Chicago will be available on line on or about February 23 and will begin turning up in print between February 27 and March 1.

Chicago Council of Lawyers releases judicial candidate evaluations

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of all judicial candidates running in the March primary. (You can reach the Council's complete report by following the link from this page.)

The Council rates candidates "highly qualified," "well qualified," "qualified," or "not qualified." According to the Council's release today, any candidate that "refuses to submit his or her credentials to the Council... is rated 'not recommended' unless the Council is aware of credible information that would justify a 'not qualified' rating. Because we believe a willingness to participate in bar association and other public evaluations is a key indicator of fitness for public office, no candidate who refuses to be screened can be found 'qualified.'"

Before turning to the individual CCL ratings, there are a couple of additional points to make. Most of the CCL ratings are based on interviews and investigation conducted in the past few months. However, in a few of these ratings, some candidate information may be outdated. There are, for example, a couple of sitting judges whose Council evaluations do not reflect their appointment to the bench. This happens, on occasion because many lawyers try to become judges over a period of years. The Council explains, "In cases where the Alliance evaluated candidates within the past five years, the Alliance requested updated information, but did not investigate or interview candidates again for the March 2012 primary, instead relying on the earlier results."

Another point that should be made is that the Council does not mean any negative rating to be a reflection on an individual's skills as a lawyer. Again, quoting from the Council's explanation:
It should be noted that a lawyer might be performing well or even very well without being qualified to be a judge. A good lawyer may be unqualified to be a judge, for instance, because of a narrow range of prior experience, limited trial experience, or limited work doing legal research and writing. A lawyer may have the temperament and intelligence to be a judge without yet having worked in a position that would allow the candidate to demonstrate that capacity. Similarly, a candidate may have an outstanding resume but lack the temperament or patience to perform well as an even-handed or respectful judge. Accordingly, it should be recognized and expected that we will rate some good lawyers “not qualified.”
With these ground rules in mind, what race are you interested in?
Supreme Court vacancy;

Appellate Court - Cahill vacancy;
Appellate Court - Coleman vacancy;
Appellate Court - Gallagher vacancy;
Appellate Court - O'Brien vacancy;
Appellate Court - Theis vacancy;
Appellate Court - Tully vacancy;

Countywide - Conlon vacancy;
Countywide - Jordan vacancy;
Countywide - Kinnaird vacancy;
Countywide - Moran vacancy;
Countywide - O'Brien, Jr. vacancy;
Countywide - O'Mara Frossard vacancy;
Countywide - Pucinski vacancy;
Countywide - Simmons, Jr. vacancy;
Countywide - Stewart vacancy;
Countywide - Stralka vacancy;
Countywide - Ward vacancy;

2nd Subcircuit -- Stuttley vacancy;
3rd Subcircuit -- McGann vacancy;
3rd Subcircuit -- Moore vacancy;
4th Subcircuit -- Riley vacancy;
4th Subcircuit -- "A" vacancy;
6th Subcircuit -- Delgado vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Jones vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Starks vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Terrell vacany;
7th Subcircuit -- Toney vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Chiola vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Cole vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Durkin Roy vacany;
8th Subcircuit -- "A" vacancy;
9th Subcircuit -- Bender vacancy;
9th Subcircuit -- Epstein vacancy;
10th Subcircuit -- Locallo vacancy;
11th Subcircuit -- O'Brien vacancy;
11th Subcircuit -- Urso vacancy;
12th Subcircuit -- Rochford vacancy;
13th Subcircuit -- Pietrucha vacancy;
13th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy;
14th Subcircuit - O'Gara vacancy.
Note: Some of these links will take you to page one of this blog (where the majority of the judicial information can be found), so you will not see all of the linked posts if you merely scroll down this page.

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CCL evaluation in the race for the countywide Jordan vacancy

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Jordan vacancy. No Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Jean Prendergast Rooney -- Well Qualified
Judge Jean Prendergast Rooney was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2010. From 1997 to 2009 she was in private practice doing civil litigation and appeals. From 1996 to 1997 she was a law clerk for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Justice Mary Ann McMorrow and from 1994 to 1996, she clerked for then Illinois Appellate Court Judge Mary Jane Theis. Judge Rooney is currently assigned to the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. She has authored six publications published in the ISBA Illinois Lawyer Now Weekly. She is the past president of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association.

Judge Rooney, as a lawyer, had substantial litigation experience in complex matters. She is considered to have very good legal ability and was reportedly always well-prepared both as a practitioner and as a judge. She has an excellent temperament and reportedly communicates clearly to all parties before her while doing a good job of managing her call. All respondents reported that Judge Rooney produced well-reasoned opinions and rulings. The Council finds her Well Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluation in the race for the countywide Moran vacancy

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Moran vacancy. No Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Russell W. Hartigan -- Qualified
Russell William Hartigan was admitted to practice in 1976. He has been in private practice throughout his career with extensive personal injury litigation experience. He reports acting as lead counsel in 45 civil jury trials and in numerous arbitrations. He has personally handled fifteen cases as principal appellate counsel and argued orally eight of these in the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Illinois Supreme Court. He is active in bar association activities, and currently is on the Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors. He has published articles on civil practice matters and is active in community affairs. Mr. Hartigan is reported to have good legal ability and a very good temperament. He is praised as a hard-working, conscientious, and knowledgeable practitioner. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluations in the race for the countywide O'Mara Frossard vacancy

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of candidates running for the O'Mara Frossard vacancy. Candidates are listed in ballot order. All of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Nichole C. Patton -- Not Qualified
Nicole Patton was admitted to practice in 1997. She is currently a sole practitioner and was an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney having practiced in the areas of real estate taxation, delinquency, child protection, traffic, and appeals. She reports acting as lead counsel in one civil jury, five criminal juries, 200 criminal bench trials, and 100 civil trials. She has handled 25 cases on appeal. Ms. Patton is considered to have good legal ability and temperament and has the reputation of being a good attorney. The Council is concerned, however, because while Ms. Patton has litigation experience, little of it is in more complex matters. She has the potential for being a good judge but the Council believes she is not yet ready for the bench. The Council finds her Not Qualified at this time.
Kevin W. Horan -- Qualified
Judge Kevin W. Horan was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2010. He was admitted to practice in 1979. Before becoming a judge, he was a partner with the law firm of Rock Fusco LLC. He served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney from 1979 to 1987. He then entered private practice with Rock Fusco & Garvey Ltd and became partner in 1991. Mr. Fusco is considered to have good legal ability and has substantial experience in more complex litigation matters in both state and federal courts. He is praised for his professionalism. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Diann Karen Marsalek -- Not Qualified
Diann Marsalek was admitted to practice in 1989. She spent 16 years in the Illinois Attorney General’s office doing litigation primarily for the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC). Her initial 13 years in practice were primarily spent defending Section 1983 cases against the DOC in federal court, though she did also have some limited litigation experience in state court during this period. Her final three years in the AG’s office were spent as a “facilitator” for litigation involving the DOC and as a policy advisor concerning litigation and legislation. Ms. Marsalek is reported to have good legal ability and temperament. The Council is concerned, however, that most of her litigation experience was earlier in her career and was in federal court. The Council finds her Not Qualified to serve in the Circuit Court.
Rodrick F. Wimberly -- Not Recommended
Rodrick F. Wimberly did not submit materials for evaluation. The Council finds him Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluations in the race for the countywide Simmons, Jr. vacancy

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Simmons, Jr. vacancy. Candidates are listed in ballot order. All of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Michael A. Forti -- Qualified
Michael Angelo Forti was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1980. He is currently the Deputy Corporation Counsel for the Constitutional and Commercial Litigation Division of the Chicago Department of Law. He has served as the Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel of that Division. From 1994-1999 he was Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel at the City of Chicago Law Department, and from 1980-1994 he was an Associate and later Partner at Bell Boyd and Lloyd, now K&L Gates. Mr. Forti is considered to have good legal ability. He is reported to be a thoughtful, organized, and well-prepared lawyer with a professional demeanor. While serving in a supervisory role, he also maintains a trial court practice where he appears as lead counsel in more complex matters. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Jessica A. O'Brien -- Qualified
Jessica Arong O'Brien was admitted to practice in 1998. She received an LLM degree in 2002. She is currently a litigator with the Illinois Department of Revenue where she litigates income and sales tax cases and serves as an arbiter of facts and law for non-hearing cases. From 1998 to 2000 she served as an associate with Schuyler Roche & Crisham. She has been with the Illinois Department of Revenue since 2000. Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. O'Brien had a career in the hotel service industry. She is an active participant in bar association work and has an excellent record in community service.

Ms. O'Brien is considered to be a bright and hard-working lawyer. She has no jury trial experience as part of her employment, but recently volunteered to second chair a jury trial. She has extensive experience in evidentiary hearings before administrative hearing officers in proceedings that are similar to bench trials conducted in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Council is concerned that Ms. O'Brien's legal experience is narrow and that she has been a lawyer for a relatively short period of time.

She does, however, have substantial litigation experience and enjoys a reputation as smart lawyer with a professional demeanor. On balance, the Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
James A. Wright -- Qualified
James Wright was admitted to practice in 1989. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Wright was a certified public accountant. From 2005 to 2010, he was the Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor. His present professional experience includes serving of counsel to the law firm of Altheimer & Gray, as an Assistant United States Attorney for three years, and working for more than three years as an attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He has also served for two years as Chief of Staff to the Chicago Board of Education. From 2003 to 2005 he served as the Inspector General for the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. Mr. Wright is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. He has a variety of legal experiences requiring in-depth analysis of complex matters. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluation in the race for the countywide Stralka vacancy

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Stralka vacancy. No Republican filed for this (or any other) countywide Circuit Court vacancy.

Michael Tully Mullen -- Well Qualified
Michael Mullen was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1981. He currently works as a partner at Paul B. Episcope LLC specializing in personal injury litigation. From 1991 to 1998, Mr. Mullen was a partner at Mullen & Minella. While in private practice, he concentrated his law practice on personal injury cases and more specifically on cases that involved catastrophic personal injuries caused by medical negligence and product liability. From 1985 to 1991, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney where he was the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, and from 1982-1985 he worked as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General. Mr. Mullen has personally handled 20 cases as principal counsel on appeal and has orally argued 15 cases. He has authored a number of continuing education articles. From 2006 to present, Mr. Mullen has been a Chairman for the Board of Fire and Police Commission at the Village of Western Springs, and has also participated in CURE, a charitable organization designed to provide medical and dental services to the community.

Mr. Mullen is highly regarded as a very experienced trial lawyer with substantial experience in both civil and criminal law matters. He has experience as an appellate lawyer, as well. He is considered to have very good legal ability and his knowledge of his areas of law is regarded uniformly as excellent. He has a good temperament and is described by respondents generally as low key, effective as an advocate, and fair in his professional dealings. The Council finds him Well Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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Friday, February 17, 2012

CCL evaluation in the race for the Moore vacancy in the 3rd Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the McSweeney Moore vacancy in the 3rd Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Daniel R. Degnan -- Not Recommended
Daniel R. Degnan did not submit materials for evaluation. The Council finds him Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluations in the race for the Riley vacancy in the 4th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Riley vacancy in the 4th Subcircuit. Candidates are listed in ballot order.

Democratic Candidates

Daniel Lawrence Peters -- Not Qualified
Daniel Peters was admitted to practice in 1991. Mr. Peters has served as a prosecutor for the City of Burbank, and as legal advisor to St. Patricia Parish in Palos Hills. Following his admission to the bar, Mr. Peters served as Administrative Assistant to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, and also served as an administrative hearing officer from 1991 to 1992. From 1991 to 1995, he was an attorney in attendance for the Cook County Pension Board, and also maintained a private criminal trial practice. In addition, Mr. Peters has been an Independent Election Administrator on the Cook County Pension Board since 1994, and has represented and defended candidate petition challenges for the Lyons Township Electoral Board since 1991. Mr. Peters is praised for his temperament and has acquired litigation experience as a municipal prosecutor of traffic matters, as a bar attorney in misdemeanor criminal cases, and in other less complex matters. The Council is concerned, however, that while his transactional practice has grown in recent years, his litigation practice remains narrow and lacks sufficient depth. The Council finds him Not Qualified.
William "Gomo" Gomolinski -- Qualified
Judge William Gomolinski has been a lawyer since 1986. He was appointed to the Circuit Court in July 2007. As a judge he works in traffic court. As an attorney, he was a partner in small firms with general practices, although much of his work was in domestic relations where he had substantial litigation experience. Judge Gomolinski is praised for his court management skills and for his temperament. He has received good marks for his legal ability and temperament as a lawyer before he took the bench. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Michael J. "Mike" Dickman -- Not Qualified
Michael Joseph Dickman was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1990. Since 2008 he has been an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, where he prosecutes child abuse and neglect cases. He has served as an Assistant Cook County Public Defender in the juvenile law area, and has been in private practice. From 1996 to 2007, he was employed as a hearing officer in child abuse and neglect matters. From January to May 2008, he worked as a research staff attorney for the Illinois Appellate Court. Mr. Dickman is reported to be a knowledgeable attorney with good temperament. The Council is concerned that Mr. Dickman’s legal practice has been very narrow and that he does not have substantial litigation experience in complex matters. On balance, the Council finds him Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Terry Gallagher -- Qualified
John Terrence Gallagher was admitted to practice in 1988. He has been a sole practitioner since 1996. He tries cases in both state and federal courts. From 1994 to 1996 he worked at the Law Office of Edward R. Vrdolyak where he represented clients in criminal matters, and from 1992 to1994 he worked at Augustine, Kern, & Levens where he litigated civil matters, mostly contract cases with some injury cases. He worked in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps between 1988 and 1992. Mr. Gallagher has substantial litigation experience and is considered to be a solid practitioner. He is reported to have a good temperament. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Joanne Marie Rogers -- Qualified
(Evaluated in 2008)
Joanne M. Rogers has been a lawyer since 1989. She is currently an attorney with the firm of Ellison, Nielsen, Zehe & Antas P.C., specializing in municipal defense, civil rights defense, and litigation of employment and labor matters. She has also served as a Cook County Assistant Public Defender for nine years and was a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney for one year doing appellate work. Ms. Rogers is considered to be a highly competent lawyer with good legal ability and with civil and criminal law experience in complex matters. She is praised for her temperament and for her diligence. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Republican Candidate

Harry J. Fournier -- Not Qualified
Harry J. Fournier was admitted to practice in 1997. He is currently a sole practitioner and has been a sole practitioner for most of his legal career. His work experience involves real estate matters and buying/selling businesses. He has little litigation experience. Mr. Fournier is considered to be knowledgeable in his area of practice, and is reported to have good temperament while being a zealous advocate for his clients. He is active in community affairs. The Council is concerned, however, that he does not have sufficient litigation experience of any kind. His career involves transactional matters. On balance, the Council finds him Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluation in the race for the Jones vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Jones vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Aicha Marie MacCarthy -- Not Qualified
Aicha M. MacCarthy was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1997. She is a sole practitioner handling a variety of criminal and civil law matters, with a focus on probate, real estate, and criminal law matters. She serves as a court-appointed guardian ad litem. From 2001 to 2008 she worked for the City of Chicago. From 2004 to 2008 she was an Assistant Commissioner at the Department of Aviation, and from 2001 to 2004 she was Assistant to the Mayor at the Office of the Mayor. In 2001, she was a Financial Planning Analyst at the Department of Planning and Development and from 1998 to 2001, she worked as a Staff Attorney/Hearing Officer at the Chicago Housing Authority. In 1998, she served as a Traffic Division Prosecutor at the Chicago Department of Law. She provides substantial amounts of time to pro bono programs. Ms. McCarthy is considered to have good legal ability with a substantial commitment to pro bono work. She has a good temperament and is considered diligent and hard-working. The Council is concerned that she does not have substantial experience in a variety of more complex litigation matters. The Council finds her Not Qualified for the Circuit Court at this time.
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CCL evaluation in the race for the Terrell vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Terrell vacancy in the 7th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

William Gamboney -- Qualified
William Gamboney was admitted to practice in 1977. After spending a few years in private practice, he served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney between 1979 and 1994. He has been a sole practitioner since 1994. He reports acting as lead counsel in one civil jury, 50 criminal jury trials, 10 civil bench trials, and hundreds of criminal bench trials. He has handled 25 cases on appeal. Mr. Gamboney is considered to be a skilled criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience in state courts. He is praised for his demeanor and honesty. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluation in the race for the "A" vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the "A" vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Laura Liu -- Qualified
Judge Laura Liu was admitted to practice in 1991. She was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2010. Before taking the bench, she was in private practice. She is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. She has substantial litigation-related experience in more complex matters. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluations in the race for the Bender vacancy in the 9th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Bender vacancy in the 9th Subcircuit. Candidates are listed in ballot order. These two candidates face each other in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Michael Ian Bender -- Qualified
Judge Michael I. Bender was admitted to practice in 1991. He was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2008. Before being appointed, he was with a firm concentrating in family law. He has served as an assistant corporation counsel for the Village of Skokie and was a sole practitioner for 10 years. He clerked for Illinois Appellate Court Justice Allen Hartman after graduating law school. As a lawyer, Mr. Bender was reported to have good legal ability and temperament. The Council, in 2007, was concerned, however, that he lacked sufficient experience in complex litigation matters. Since being appointed to the bench, he has been assigned to Traffic Court, but has also presided over misdemeanor criminal bench trials and motions, misdemeanor criminal jury trials, and civil trials and motions in the First Municipal District. Respondents in general praise his judicial abilities, saying that he has done a good job grasping new concepts, understanding the issues, managing the courtroom, and having a good temperament. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Lionel Jean-Baptiste -- Qualified
Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2011. He was admitted to practice in 1991. He is involved in numerous community service pro bono activities, including immigration law work for Haitians to pursue political asylum, Temporary Protective Status, and other relief under immigration law. Before becoming a judge, he had served as the Alderman for the 2nd Ward of Evanston, Illinois since 2001. At the time of his appointment to the bench, he was a sole practitioner doing administrative law (such as representing clients before the Illinois Department of Human Rights) and litigation. From 1997 to 2001 he practiced law with state Senator Kwame Raoul. He was a sole practitioner between 1993 and 1997 and from 1991 to 1993 he practiced in the firm of Gainer & Dillard.

Mr. Jean-Baptiste is reported to be a hard-working lawyer dedicated to social justice. He is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. He has sufficient litigation experience in more complex matters. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluation in the race for the Locallo vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Locallo vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Thomas R. Allen -- Qualified
Thomas R. Allen was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2011. From 1990 to 2010, he was a partner with Chapekis Marcus Allen & Chapekis. From 1986 to 1990, he was a sole practitioner doing criminal defense, real estate, and litigation. From 1987 to 1992 he was a Panel Attorney for the Federal Defender Program and from 1976 to 1986, he served as an Assistant Cook County Public Defender. He served as a Chicago Alderman from 1993 to 2010.

Judge Allen is considered to have very good legal ability with substantial litigation experience in both civil and criminal law matters. As a judge he is praised for his decisiveness his ability to facilitate settlements, his communication with jurors, and his courtroom management skills. He is reported to have an excellent temperament. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
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CCL evaluations in the race for the O'Brien vacancy in the 11th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of candidates running for the O'Brien vacancy in the 11th Subcircuit. Candidates are listed in ballot order. All of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Maureen A. Murphy -- Qualified
Maureen Murphy was admitted to practice in 1984. She currently serves as senior counsel to the Archdiocese of Chicago, where she has practiced since 1993. Her current practice includes employment and contract law, tax exemptions, school law, and general representation in a variety of matters. From January 1990 to March 1993, she worked as an associate at Phelan, Pope & John. From October 1987 to December 1989 she served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel at Chicago Department of Law, and from September 1984 to September 1987 she worked as an Associate at McDermott, Will & Emery. She is considered to have good legal ability. She is praised for her professional demeanor. While she has conducted few actual trials, she has an active courtroom practice. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Michael R. Clancy -- Qualified
Judge Michael R. Clancy was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2011. He was admitted to practice in 1989. Before becoming a judge, he served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney from 1990 to 2002 where he was a well-respected first chair felony prosecutor. From 2002 to the present he has been in private practice doing criminal defense work. He is reported to have good legal ability and temperament. He has substantial litigation experience in more complex matters. He is praised for his fairness and for being hard-working. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Maritza Martinez -- Qualified
Maritza Martinez was admitted to practice in 1989. Since 2005 she has been an associate at the Law Offices of Robert Fisher doing criminal defense work. In 2004, she was at a small firm doing insurance defense and catastrophic loss work, and from 1991 until 2004, she was with the City of Chicago Department of Law doing prosecution and civil rights defense. Prior to 1991, she spent two years at a small firm doing real estate work. Since November 2007, she has also served part-time as a hearing officer with the Illinois Court of Claims, conducting trials and making recommendations to the Court of Claims judges regarding the disposition of various claims against the State of Illinois. She also currently serves on the Inquiry Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Ms. Martinez reports that she has litigation experience in both state and federal courts, acting as lead counsel in two jury trials in criminal law matters, three juries in civil matters, and numerous prosecutions involving bench trials in municipal ordinance violations. Ms. Martinez is reported to have good legal ability and is considered knowledgeable about her areas of practice. She has had litigation experience in a variety of areas and she is reported to possess a good temperament. She is active in community activities. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Roger Zamparo -- Not Recommended
Roger Zamparo did not submit materials for evaluation. The Council finds him Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

CCL evaluation in the race for the "A" vacancy in the 13th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of the only candidate running in the Republican primary for the "A" vacancy in the 13th Subcircuit. No Democrat filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Martin C. Kelley -- Not Qualified
Martin C. Kelley has been in private practice since his admission to the bar in 1992. He has spent his entire career with his family firm and is currently a partner. Mr. Kelley has adequate legal ability and temperament. The Council is concerned, however, that his practice lacks depth. He has little actual trial experience as the primary practitioner. In general, he lacks experience in complex litigation matters. The Council finds him Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.

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CCL evaluation in the race for the O'Gara vacancy in the 14th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the O'Gara vacancy in the 14th Subcircuit. No Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Regina Ann Scannicchio -- Qualified
Regina Scannicchio has been in private practice since her admission to the bar in 1989. From 1989 to 1992, Ms. Scannicchio was associated with a general litigation firm, but her current practice consists mainly of family law and some real estate matters. Ms. Scannicchio is considered to have good legal ability and she is praised by both lawyers and judges for her professional demeanor. She has substantial litigation experience in more complex matters and enjoys a reputation as a solid practitioner. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.

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CCL evaluation in the race for the Theis vacancy on the Appellate Court

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Theis vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court. No Republican filed for this (or any other) Appellate Court vacancy.

Maureen E. Connors -- Well Qualified
Judge Maureen E. Connors was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2010. She became an Associate Judge in 1988 and was elected to the bench in 1994. She was in private practice before taking the bench. She was an assistant general attorney at the Chicago Park District from 1983 to 1988 and was an attorney with Klafter & Burke from 1979 to 1985.

Judge Connors receives high praise both as an Appellate Court judge and as a trial jurist. She is praised for her knowledge of the law. She asks pointed questions during oral argument and her opinions are praised as well-reasoned and well-written. She was praised for her temperament as a trial judge and her ability to manage her courtroom. She gave ample time for parties before her to argue their cases and then made prompt rulings. The Council finds her Well Qualified for the Appellate Court.

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CCL evaluation in the race for the Tully vacancy on the Appellate Court

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluation of the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for the Tully vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court. No Republican filed for this (or any other) Appellate Court vacancy.

Terrence J. Lavin -- Qualified
Judge Terrence J. Lavin was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2010. From 1983 to 2009 Judge Lavin was in private practice. He has substantial litigation experience in medical malpractice and personal injury matters. He has taught trial advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and has written several published articles. He is active in community service. Judge Lavin was considered to be a good practitioner with good legal ability and temperament. As an appellate judge, he is reported to be well-prepared. His opinions are considered well-reasoned. The Council finds him Qualified for the Appellate Court.

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CCL evaluation in the race for the Coleman vacancy on the Appellate Court

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Coleman vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court. The Council evaluated two candidates but, as of this writing, only Justice Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse, Jr. remains on the Democratic primary ballot. No Republican filed for this (or any other) Appellate Court vacancy.

Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse, Jr. -- Qualified
Judge Nathaniel Howse, Jr. was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2009. He was elected to the Circuit Court in 1998. Prior to assuming the bench, he practiced about 22 years in small law firms and as a sole practitioner. He is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. As a trial judge, he was praised for his courtroom management skills and for being knowledgeable about the variety of subjects involved in his court call, including election law, mental health adjudications, and tax deeds. He is considered to be a very good jurist and is praised for the quality of his written opinions. The Council finds him Qualified for the Appellate Court.
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Judge Patrick Sherlock interviewed on Issue Forum


Circuit Court Judge Patrick J. Sherlock, a candidate for the Gallagher vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court, was recently interviewed by Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Frank Avila on "Issue Forum." This interview is posted here with the permission of producer Tony Joyce.

Judge Sherlock was previously interviewed on Avy Meyers' North Town News Magazine. You can watch that interview by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Edward J. Maloney interviewed on "Political Review"

Edward J. Maloney, candidate for the countywide Pucinski vacancy, was recently interviewed by Kathy Hayes for "Political Review," an occasional program on CAN-TV. The interview is reproduced here with the permission of producer Keith McDonald.



Related post: Edward J. Maloney interviewed on NTNM.