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updated: 2/10/2012 4:54 PM

Rhonda Sallee: Candidate Profile

Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy) (Democrat)

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  • Rhonda Sallee, running for Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy)

    Rhonda Sallee, running for Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy)




Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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City: Chicago


Office sought: Cook County Circuit Court (Stewart vacancy)

Age: 40

Family: Sinlge. Second Eldest of five children born to Kenneth and Rosalind Sallee.

Occupation: Attorney; Business Owner

Education: The John Marshall Law School - JD Dominican University - Masters in Business Administration in General Management UI at Champaign - Bachelor of Arts in English Literature

Civic involvement: Member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church for past 18 years. Instituted the Legal Services Ministry where we provide free legal information and referrals for those in need. Member of Sister Peak - organization that mentors young girls. Member of Illinois State Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association and Black Women's Lawyer's Association

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.

Questions & Answers

Do you favor the appointment of judges or do you prefer the election process' Please explain your answer.

I prefer the election process because the electorate are the people that the judiciary serves.

What special qualifications or experiences make you the best person to serve as a judge?

I possess the sense of fairness and compassion that is necessary to be an effective judge. My sense of fairness comes from knowing what it is like to be treated unfairly. My sense of compassion comes from being the second eldest of five children and watching my parents work and sacrifice to raise their children on the South Side of Chicago. My sense of compassion also comes from concentrating my practice in the area of family law and observing, firsthand, the impact and effect that protracted litigation has on the family structure. For this reason, I am a Child Representative for the Circuit Court of Cook County where I am appointed by the Court to represent children that are the subject of a dissolution of marriage proceeding or a paternity action. Although the children are the subject of the litigation, what is in their best interest seems to get lost in the process.

I have directly assisted with the management of a 1700 case calendar call in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court and a 600 case calendar call in the Law Division of the Circuit Court. In each instance, I scheduled the hearing, read the briefs or pleadings, completed the necessary research and drafted recommended decisions for the


I am an arbitrator whereby I have ruled on cases after having considered the evidence and judged the credibility of the witnesses.

Essentially, I have direct experience in courtroom management and deciding cases.

I have litigation experience in the following areas of law:

personal injury; breach of contract; construction contracts; enforcement of arbitration awards; administrative review; tax increment financing; small claims; corporations; probate;

labor law; dissolution of marriage; paternity; child support; child custody;

and visitation. I have practiced before the Illinois Appellate Court and varying administrative agencies such as the Illinois Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Cook County Civil Service Commission and the Cook County Employee Appeals Board. In addition to being licensed to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court, I am also licensed to practice before the Northern District of Illinois and the United States Supreme Court.

What are your thoughts on mandatory sentencing? Do you believe judges should have greater leeway when it comes to sentencing defendants' Why or why not?

Given that each case that comes before a court is, by its very nature unique, judges should be allowed some leeway when sentencing a defendant.

What are your thoughts on the use of drug courts, domestic violence courts, veterans courts, mental health courts and prostitution courts' Have they been effective?

I believe that departmentalizing the courts has assisted with the effectiveness and efficiency of the court system.

Do you support eliminating the ban on cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms' Why or why not?

A complete ban on cameras in the courtroom would not serve the interest of the public. Restoration of the confidence of the public in the judiciary and the court system is vital. Therefore, a complete ban on cameras in the courtroom would contravene this objective.