The state's largest bar association on Wednesday released its evaluations of candidates running for judge in appellate courts and the Illinois Supreme Court in the March 20 primary.
The Illinois State Bar Association, with more than 30,000 members, rates candidates as highly qualified, qualified and not qualified based on background investigations and interviews with the candidates. Candidates who do not participate in the screening process receive a "not qualified" rating.
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For Illinois Supreme Court from the First District, encompassing Cook County, the ISBA found Justice Mary Jane Theis, appointed to the high court in 2010, highly qualified. Candidates Joy V. Cunningham and Jame G. Riley were found qualified while Aurelia Pucinski and Thomas W. Flannigan were found not qualified.
For the six First District appellate court vacancies, the ISBA found Mathias Delort, Nathaniel Howse and P. Scott Neville, Jr., highly qualified. The association rated as qualified the following First District appellate court candidates: Kay Marie Hanlon, Mary Brigid Hayes, James Michael McGing, Patrick J. Sherlock, Jesse G. Reyes, Rudolfo (Rudy) Garcia, William S. Boyd, Don Sampen, Mary Elizabeth Connors and Terrence Lavin.
Found not qualified for the First District appellate court were: Pamela E. Hill-Veal, Laura Marie Sullivan, Marguerite Anne Quinn and Ellen L. Flannigan.
The ISBA found former DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph E. Birkett qualified for the Second District Appellate Court, which includes DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.
For a complete list of ISBA evaluations by county, see ISBA.org.