Several bar associations have released results of their judicial evaluations of candidates running in Cook County for retention and/or to fill vacancies on the Illinois Supreme and Appellate courts and the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Among the factors bar association members consider in recommending candidates are a candidate's legal knowledge, integrity, fairness, experience, judicial temperament, diligence and impartiality.
The Illinois State Bar Association, whose 30,000-plus members makes it the state's largest, and the Chicago Bar Association, the second-largest with 22,000 members, found 1st District Supreme Court Democratic candidate Mary Jane Theis highly qualified, as did the Chicago Council of Lawyers. The ISBA and the CBA found Republican candidate James G. Riley qualified, while the CCL found him not qualified.
In the race for 1st District Appellate Court, the ISBA found the following candidates highly qualified: Mathias Delort, Nathaniel Howse and P. Scott Neville Jr. Maureen Elizabeth Connors, Terrence Lavin and Jesse G. Reyes were found qualified. The CBA mostly concurred, finding Neville qualified, as did the CCL, which found Connors highly qualified and the others qualified.
For the circuit court, the ISBA found the following candidates highly qualified: Erica Reddick, Russell W. Hartigan and Michael Tully Mullen. Karen Lynn O'Malley, Jean M. Prendergast Rooney, Cynthia Ramirez, Diann Karen Marsalek, Lorna Ellen Propes, Jessica A. O'Brien and Pamela M. Leeming were found qualified, and Elizabeth Mary Hayes was found not qualified.
Hayes was not recommended by CBA or the CCL, which also found Marsalek not qualified. Otherwise the CBA and CCL mostly concurred with ISBA findings. The CBA found Rooney, Hartigan, Propes and Mullen highly qualified and O'Malley, Reddick, Ramirez, Marsalek, O'Brien and Leeming qualified. The CCL found Rooney, Propes and Mullen well-qualified and O'Malley, Reddick, Hartigan, Ramirez, O'Brien and Leeming qualified.
For the 11th Subcircuit, which includes parts of Des Plaines and Chicago, all three bar associations found Michael R. Clancy and Lisa Ann Marino qualified.
For the 12th Subcircuit, which comprises parts of Wheeling, Elk Grove, Maine, New Trier and Northfield townships, the three associations found Democrat Andrea M. Schleifer either qualified or well-qualified. None recommended Republican Paul Pieczonka, who was found not qualified.
For the 13th Subcircuit comprising parts of Arlington Heights, Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Schaumburg and Streamwood, the ISBA, CBA and CCL found Paul S. Pavlus qualified. The ISBA found Martin C. Kelley qualified; however, the CBA and CCL did not recommend him.
In the appellate and circuit court retention races, the ISBA recommends against retaining the following judges: Cynthia Brim, who was suspended from her duties March 12 following an altercation with a Cook County deputy at the Daley Center; Christopher Donnelly, James D. Egan, Pamela E. Hill-Veal and Gloria Chevere. For all other Cook County judges running for retention, the ISBA recommended a "yes" vote.
The CBA recommends a "no" vote for the following: Brim, Rodney Hughes Brooks, Chevere, Loretta Eadie-Daniels, Egan, Hill-Veal and Lisa Ruble Murphy. The CCL recommends a "no" vote Kathy M. Flanagan, Brim, Donnelly, Egan, Joyce Marie Murphy Gorman, Hill-Veal and Chevere.